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

Verified 14 August 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

To be able to enter and stay in France for up to 3 months, a foreigner must normally have a visa short stay (Type C). This uniform visa shall be common to all States Schengen.. It allows you to stay in France and other countries Schengen, except for exceptions. You must also have other documents that vary according to the purpose of your stay.

You are affected if you meet the following 3 conditions:

  • You foreign
  • You come for a stay of maximum duration of 3 months in France (or another country) Schengen)
  • You do not have a residence permit or long-stay visa in a country Schengen..


this procedure does not apply to an alien who is a national of European country, or members of his family living in France with him.

Depending on your nationality and the type of passport, you may be exempt from a visa.

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

Check if you need a visa - Visa Assistant

A visa is a sticker affixed by the administration of a country to a person's passport to allow them to enter and stay for a specified period.

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

Exceptionally, it may have a territorial validity limited to France or one or more countries Schengen (e.g. France and Belgium).

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

Reason for stay

This visa may be granted to you for one of the following reasons:

  • Travel
  • Business travel
  • Family visit
  • Short training, internship
  • Exercise of a paid activity (e.g. if you are an artist on tour in France, sportsman, model, etc.), after obtaining a provisional authorization of work

Duration of stay

The short stay visa allows you to stay 90 days maximum in the countries Schengen..

Thus, you have a total period of 180 days to make an uninterrupted stay of 90 days or several stays of a cumulative duration of 90 days maximum.

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

You will only be able to return 180 days after your first entry for a new maximum stay of 90 days, and so on for any other trip.

A short-stay visa can be issued for:

  • 1 single entry (e.g. for a single 30-day trip to visit your family in France)
  • or 2 or more entries (movement visa), allowing one or more successive stays of not more than 90 days over any period of 180 days (its validity ranges from 6 months to 5 years).

Calculate the maximum permitted length of short stays in Schengen countries

Depending on the reason for your stay, you must also submit the following documents:

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


if you want to work during your short stay, you must have documents..

You must apply for a visa (no more than 3 months) before departure to the French consular authorities of the country where you live:

Apply for a visa

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 when arriving via Belgium, you must apply to the Belgian consulate.

Passport validity

Your passport must:

  • be valid for at least 3 months after the expiry date of your visa
  • and have been issued for less than 10 years.

Registration of applicant data

Your biometric data is saved in a file called Visabio..

This data is scanned images:

  • your photo,
  • and your fingerprints (the child under 12 is not concerned).

You cannot object to this record, but you have a right to access and correct the file.

To find out the cost of the visa, you can consult the Rates from the pages of the assistant France-visas:

France-Visas - Visa cost by country

Visa fees must be paid at the visa office at the time of application.

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

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


in the event of a visa refusal or cancelation of the stay, the amount paid shall not be refunded.

The following persons are exempt from visa fees:

  • School children, students and teachers accompanying them during study or educational stays
  • Researchers traveling for scientific research
  • Representatives of non-profit organizations aged up to 25 and participating in seminars, conferences or sports, cultural or educational events organized by non-profit organizations

Reason for refusal of visa 

Reasons must be given for refusing a visa.

Appeal against refusal of a visa

If your visa application is refused, you can apply for a ex gratia to the consulate, asking it to review its decision:

You can also appeal to the Appeals Board against decisions refusing entry visas to France (CRRV):

This remedy is mandatory before any appeal to the administrative judge. You must present it in 2 months next:

  • notification of written refusal,
  • or implicit refusal of your visa application (if the consulate has not responded within 2 months).

You must give reasons for your appeal (set out the elements of law and fact). You must write it in French, sign it and attach any useful documents.

The CRRV may be approached by you, your lawyer, or any person with an interest in challenging the visa refusal (for example, a family member).

The CRRV may:

  • reject your appeal (if no reply is received within 2 months, this is an implicit rejection),
  • or recommend to the minister of foreign affairs and the minister of the interior to grant you the visa.

Please note

if your appeal is manifestly inadmissible or unfounded, the Chairperson of the CRRV may reject your appeal alone, without convening the CRRV.

If the CRRV rejects your appeal, or if the ministers confirm the refusal of the visa despite the favorable opinion of the CRRV, you can file an action for cancelation within 2 months. This appeal must be filed with the Administrative Court of Nantes:

Reasons and decision to repeal

Your short-stay visa Schengen may repealed by the Prefect for any of the following reasons:

  • You cease to fulfill the conditions for issuing the visa
  • You work without authorization in France
  • Your behavior disturbs public order
  • You came to France to stay there and not for a short stay (you need some clues to suggest it)

The prefect competent to decide the repeal is the prefect of the department where you are staying or the prefect of the department where you have been checked.

The decision to revoke your short-stay visa must be communicated to you, together with the reasons, by means of a standard form.

Possible remedies

You may appeal against the decision to repeal an appeal without charge to the prefect or/and a hierarchical appeal to the Minister of the Interior:

Who shall I contact

You can also refer a case to the administrative judge appeal for annulment 

  • if your administrative appeals have not been successful,
  • or directly without going through these administrative remedies.