For the past 38 years, Frenchway travel has been the best corporate travel agency in Paris and New York. We provide customers the best corporate travel experience. In this blog, we will provide you information regarding if you need a visa for your next business travel in France and how to obtain it. All the information is pulled out from the official French website.
You are replying to invitations and requests from your partners in France. You want to attend or participate in trade fairs, seminars or conferences related to your professional activity.
You will be issued a short-stay visa valid for the Schengen area or a French non-European territory depending on your destination. It will allow you to visit France for the duration of your visit, which must not exceed 90 days.
Your supporting documentation
To obtain your visa, you must demonstrate the link between your professional activity and the purpose of your trip. The required supporting documents related to your personal and professional situation are indicated in the visa wizard. The steps of this process are detailed below.
Your arrival in France
Whether or not you need a visa, entry into the Schengen area of third-country nationals must comply with a certain number of conditions, as provided for by the European and national regulations in force.
Documents needed on arrival in France
The Border Police can request upon your arrival in France:
- A valid passport issued less than 10 years before and valid for at least 3 months after the envisaged departure date;
- A valid visa, if required;
- Proof of accommodation covering the whole duration of the stay (hotel reservation and/or certificate of staying with a relative validated in the town hall);
- Sufficient financial means;
- Your return ticket or the financial means to acquire one at the envisaged return date;
- Any document providing details on the profession of the traveller as well as on the establishments or organisations located in France which are expecting you, if you are on a professional trip.
- Insurance certificate covering all medical and hospital expenses for which you may be liable for the duration of your stay in France, as well as medical repatriation costs and expenses in the event of death.
For travellers in transit, you must be able to present proof of satisfying the entry conditions in the final destination country (conditions of stay and accommodation during transit, continuation ticket and visa for the destination country).
What amount of resources must you justify?
If you are staying in a hotel, you will need to provide a hotel booking as well as a minimum amount per day of stay that differs depending on the Schengen country visited.
For France, this amount is:
- 65 euros per day of stay in the case of presentation of a hotel booking;
- 120 euros per day in the case of non-presentation of a hotel booking;
- In the case of a partial hotel booking: 65 euros per day for the period covered by the booking and 120 euros per day for the remainder of the stay.
If you are hosted by an individual, you must provide a certificate of staying with a relative validated in the town hall at the request of the person who invited you (note: at the border crossing you must also prove that you have, in addition to this certificate, a minimum amount per day of stay – this minimum amount is €32.50 per day).
In which cases are you exempted from presenting supporting documents at the border?
You are exempted from presenting supporting documents at the border if you belong to one of the following categories:
- You hold a valid French residence permit or a movement document for foreign minors (DCEM) or a French identity certificate (TIR);
- You are spouse of a French citizen;
- You hold a long-stay visa marked with “residence permit must be applied for upon arrival in France”;
- You are the holder of a document attesting to one of the following functions:
- Member of diplomatic missions and consular posts taking office in France;
- Member of parliament;
- Official, officer or agent of foreign public services, carrying an assignment brief from your government;
- An official of an intergovernmental organisation of which France is a member, carrying an assignment brief from that organisation;
- Ships and aircraft crew members engaged in service travel.
Where should I submit my visa application?
You must submit your visa application to the French consulate (or Embassy) or with a certified service provider (differs from country to country) in the country where you legally reside.
However, if you are in another country and you can explain why your application could not be submitted to the consulate in your legal place of residence (unexpected circumstances, etc.), your visa application may be accepted.
How long does it take to get a visa?
Visa processing times vary depending on the nationality of the applicant, the purpose of the stay and the local visa issuing conditions.
To apply for a short-stay visa, the application must be submitted at least two weeks prior to your planned visit; however, it can not be submitted more than 6 months prior to your planned visit. It is the responsibility of the applicant to take the necessary precautions in terms of respecting deadlines when an appointment system is in place.
Certain types of visa require special checks (e.g. civil status, etc.) or consulting different French authorities, which may extend the processing time.
Let us walk you into the process and requirements to get a visa for France. All the information are pulled out from the official French website.
The process for initiating a visa application is divided into 5 steps:
STEP 1 - GATHER INFORMATION ON YOUR SITUATION
Seek information and check if you require a visa or not
The France-Visas portal helps you assemble the information you will need before submitting your visa application online.
The visa wizard will help you determine, depending on your situation, the visa requirements to which you are subject, as well as the submission fee and required supporting documents.
If you have lived in the Schengen Area within the past 6 months please use the Visa Calculator tool to determine the precise number of days you have remaining. (online calculator ).
Determine which authority is approved to receive your application
In addition to furnishing important general information, this link offers pages specific to your localisation, so that you can access the most accurate information for your visa application.
STEP 2 - SET UP YOUR ONLINE APPLICATION
Fill out the visa application form
Important : All documents in languages other than French or English must be translated into French.
To submit a visa application, you must provide at least the following :
- A travel document in good condition, issued less than 10 years ago, with at least two blank pages, which is valid for at least three months after the date on which you have planned to leave the Schengen Area, or in the event of a long stay, which is valid for at least three months on the date on which the requested visa expires. However, in the event of a duly proven emergency, this final requirement may be waived.
- 2 recent ID pictures in ISO/IECI format (pdf)
- The supporting documents (originals and copy) depending on your situation and your plan
- Your application fees are due upon filing.
- If your home country is eligible, you must fill out the online application form. You will be guided through the whole process by on-screen explanations. Before validating and printing out your application, you will create a personal account that includes your email address in order to save your form. After this step, you will receive the list of required supporting documents and have the opportunity to book your appointment.
- If your country is not eligible, please check the appropriate procedure on your country of application page.
STEP 3 - BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT
Arrange an appointment with the visa application center
Allow enough time before your departure date to schedule an appointment to have your application reviewed. Check on the average appointment wait times to ensure that you are able to submit your application:
- Three months to two weeks prior to your departure date for a long stay visa;
- Six months to two weeks to your departure date for a short stay visa.
In most cases, the consular services use external service providers to receive visa applicants and their documents. The consular services nonetheless remain fully responsible for reviewing applications and making visa issuance decisions.
You will find all the necessary details to make an appointment on the country of application page.
STEP 4 - SUBMIT YOUR FILE APPLICATION IN PERSON
You must attend your appointment with all the required documents. Also bring a copy of each document, including the passport and its ID pages.
The service provider (or consulate) will receive you, review your application, collect the visa fee, capture your biometric data (photo and fingerprints) and retain your passport and the copies of all your supporting documents in order to forward them to the consulate.
The visa application submission will take approximately 20 minutes at the visa center.
Biometrics – All visas issued by France are biometric visas.
Any visa applicant aged 12 or older must submit his or her visa application in person. The following biometric data will be required: a photo (scanned or taken during your appointment), and ten individually-taken fingerprints.
If you hold a biometric Schengen visa issued within 59 months, either bearing the mention ‘VIS’ or issued after March 2016, your previous biometric data can be re-used.
Fees – Visa application fees are composed of :
- The administrative costs incurred for the processing of your application. The amount paid is kept by the administration, even in cases where visas are denied. For more details, please refer to the table of application fees by visa type (pdf).
- If application fees are received by an external service provider, this provider is responsible for collecting the appropriate fees. The service charge differs by country, but may not exceed € 40 per visa application. External service providers are also authorized by the administration to offer additional services at cost.
You may be exempt from attending your visa appointment in person if:
- You have held previous Schengen visas and have used them in accordance with the law.
- You travel regularly or frequently for the same purpose.
NOTE: To confirm whether someone else can apply for a visa on your behalf, please contact your visa center.
STEP 5 - TRACK YOUR APPLICATION
Tracking your application and collecting your passport
In most cases, you can track the progress of your application. For details, go to our track the progress of your application page.
You will be notified when your passport is ready for collection from the visa centre where you applied.
In some instances, the passport can be sent by postal services.