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Overseas travel: does a foreigner need a visa?

Verified 01 octobre 2019 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

General case

If you are a foreigner and want to travel overseas for a short stay (3 months maximum per 6 month period), you must obtain, not a visa Schengen, but a specific short-stay visa. In fact, overseas France is not part of the Schengen area.

However, you are exempt from a visa if you have a residence permit or D-type long-stay visa valid issued by a French authority or another country Schengen..

For certain nationalities, you can also be exempted from a visa depending on your passport type and destination.

You can check if you need a visa by using the Visa Assistant service.

Check if you need a visa - Visa Assistant

Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs

If you are not in one of the exemption cases, to travel overseas, you must hold a limited-validity entry visa for the intended destination.. You must apply for a visa before departure, at the French consulate in the country where you live.

A visa is issued for a stay of 3 months maximum. It shall indicate the territory of the intended stay.

If, before your departure, you only requested a visa Schengen, you can apply for an overseas visa from the prefect of your place of stay if you are in a French department or at the nearest French consulate if you are in a other Schengen country ..

Who shall I contact

For a European

If you European, you can enter and stay up to 3 months in France (including overseas) without any particular formality.

All you need is a valid passport or identity document, if you have an identity check on the territory.

Possession of one of these 2 documents allows you to stay freely in France.