Schengen short-stay visa (foreigner in France for up to 3 months)

Verified 27 March 2024 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

You are a foreigner and you want to stay in France for less than 3 months? You must have a visa short-term (Type C). This visa is common to the countries of the Schengen area. It allows you to stay in France and in the other countries of space Schengen, except in exceptional circumstances. Other documents are also required, depending on the purpose of the stay. Here's the information you need to know.

You are affected if you meet the following 3 conditions:

  • You are foreigner
  • Your stay is one maximum duration of 3 months in France (or in another space country) Schengen)
  • You don't have a residence permit or long-stay visa in a space country Schengen


This procedure does not concern a foreigner who is a national of European countrynor the members of his family living in France with him.

Depending on your nationality and the type of passport, you may be exempt from the visa requirement. You can check if you need a visa using the Visa Assistant service. The process is done on the Internet:

Check if you need a visa - Visa Assistant

A visa is a sticker affixed by a country's administration to a person's passport to allow him or her to enter and stay for a specified period of time.

The short-stay visa allows you to enter and travel in France and other countries in space Schengen.

Exceptionally, it may be valid in France or in one or more countries in space Schengen only (for example, France and Belgium).

Unlike a national long-stay visa (type D), the visa Schengen does not allow you to settle in France.

On what grounds can a Schengen visa be granted?

This visa can be granted for example for one of the following reasons:

  • Tourist trip
  • Business travel
  • Family visit
  • Short Training, Internship
  • Exercise of a paid activity (for example if you are an artist on tour in France, sportsman, model, etc.), after having obtained a provisional work permit

What is the authorized length of stay with the Schengen visa?

The short-stay visa allows you to stay for a maximum of 90 days for a continuous stay or for several stays in the countries of space Schengen over a period of 180 days.

At the end of this 90-day maximum, you must leave the space Schengen.

A simulator allows you to calculate the maximum length of a non-European foreigner's stay in the Schengen area:

Calculate the maximum permissible length of short stays in Schengen countries

Depending on the reason for your stay, you must present the following documents, in addition to the visa:

  • Proof of your livelihood (cash, traveler's checks, international bank cards, etc.)
  • Proof of guarantees for your repatriation (return transport ticket, etc.)
  • Insurance covering medical and hospital expenses, including social assistance, for care you may receive in France (the minimum coverage requested is €30,000)
  • Proof of reception or proof of accommodation in a hotel or a host establishment, if your stay is part of a private or family visit
  • Documents on the purpose and conditions of your stay in France, if your trip is touristic or professional or is for hospitalization or research work


If you want to work during your short stay, you must have a work permit.

You must complete your visa application on the internet:

Apply for a visa

The request must be made at the earliest 3 months before departure planned.

After completing your application on the internet, you must make an appointment at the French Consulate of the country in which you reside.

The process is done on the Internet.

Please note

If the main destination cannot be determined, it is the country of entry into theSchengen area who is competent to issue you the visa.

For example, if you plan to spend 15 days in Belgium and 15 days in France for tourism arriving through Belgium, you must make your request at the Belgian consulate.

Validity of the passport

Your passport must be valid at least 3 months after the end date of your visa. It must also have been issued since under 10 years.

Recording of the applicant's data

Your data biometrics are saved to a file, called Visabio.

These data are the scanned images of your photo and fingerprints (children under 12 years of age are not affected).

You cannot object to this registration. However, you have the right to access and correct the file.

To find out the cost of the visa, you can consult the Rates of the pages of the France-Visas wizard:

France-Visas - Cost of visa according to country

The amount of the visa fee must be paid to the visa office at the time of application.

In countries where the State has entrusted the receipt of applications to a private provider, the application fees must be paid to that provider. The latter may also charge additional service charges abroad.

After payment, a receipt with an indication of the amount paid shall be given to the applicant.


In case of refusal of the visa or cancelation of the stay, the amount paid is not refunded.

A Schengen visa may be refused on the following grounds:

  • You can't introduce the supporting documents concerning your stay in France (proof of accommodation, resources, medical insurance, etc.)
  • You present false travel documents or documents of questionable authenticity
  • You have already stayed 90 days during the current period of 180 days in the French territory
  • Your presence in France would represent a threat to public order
  • You are registered for the purposes of non-admission in the Schengen Information System or pose a threat to the security, public health or international relations of a country the Schengen area
  • You are subject to a prohibition order (judicial prohibition of french territory, expulsion order, return ban, administrative inadmissibility)
  • Your intention to leave French territory before the end of the visa is not established
  • You cannot provide precise information about the purpose and conditions of your stay in France


The short-stay visa requested by the holder of a diplomatic or service passport may be refused to a national of a State which does not cooperate sufficiently in the readmission of its nationals in an irregular situation or which does not comply with a bilateral or multilateral agreement on the management of migratory flows.

Your Schengen visa may be refused:

  • Explicitly by a written decision which must specify the reason for the refusal
  • Implicitly if your request is not answered after 2 months

You can appeal against a visa refusal decision in court. But you must first make a mandatory prior administrative remedy (Rapo).

How to make a Rapo?

You must write to the Deputy Director for Visas of the Directorate-General for foreigners in France (Ministry of the Interior), which is responsible for examining administrative appeals against decisions by diplomatic or consular authorities to refuse short-stay visas.

The Rapo must be trained in 30 days from the date on which you were notified of the visa refusal decision.

The Deputy Director of Visa may:

  • Dismiss your appeal, or
  • Either instruct the consulate to issue you the requested short-stay visa.
Who shall I contact

What if the Rapo is rejected?

The Rapo: titleContent shall be rejected:

  • Either if a written decision to refuse is sent to you (explicit rejection),
  • Or if you don't have a response within 2 months of sending your RAPO (implicit rejection).

You can then file an application for annulment, within 2 months after the implicit or explicit rejection of your Rapo.

The Administrative Court of Nantes has jurisdiction to hear and determine actions for annulment of visa refusals.

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