How to Apply for a France Schengen Visa
Updated: 21 January 2020 by Rose Delacquis
How to get your French Schengen Visa from the UK as an individual
The simple steps to apply for a France Visa in the UK (before and after Brexit)
The best reasons why you should apply for a France Visa in the UK
According to the last statistics for the consulate, almost 127,000 French Schengen Visa Applications were made in the UK.
99% of Out of those 127,000 Visa applications to France have been granted by the French Consulate in London. This makes France part of the top 10 easiest Schengen countries to apply and get Schengen Visa.
Besides that, Chinese and Russian people asked for a French Schengen visa respectively about 817,00 and 380,000 applications in 2018.
Here are the best reasons you should apply for a French Schengen Visa from the UK as an individual:
- France is part of the 26 countries that are part of the Schengen Area. Having a French Schengen Visa will allow you freedom of movement within the Schengen Area and no internal borders
- France is the world’s top tourist destination thanks to its architecture, famous artistic and cultural history, and its wine and gastronomy. France is also the second UK’s top travel destinations
- As the second-largest economy in the EU, France is an attractive country for foreign investors but also offers a nice work-life balance with a 35-hours working week and one of the best retirement age in the world. France also attracts 325,000 international students a year and is consequently the fourth major host country in the world
Six main steps to get your French Schengen Visa UK (Short-Stay)
There is a recent visa liberalisation managed by the European Union that contributes to abolish visa requirements and fees to enter the EU for short-stay visits. Because of that, there is a significant increase in the number of visitors from visa-free countries to the EU.
FIRST STEP: Do you need a Visa to come to France?
Some nationals are exempt from getting a French visa. Others automatically get the right to visit France for up to 90 days (within a 180-day period) without the need of a visa and others will need a French Schengen Visa or a French Visa.
In any case, you might want to apply for a French Schengen Visa in the UK if:
→ You are planning on visiting France only
→ You are planning on staying in France longer than in other country(ies)
→ You are planning on first coming to France before visiting other Schengen countries
And you should ask yourself what kind of Uniform Schengen Visas is the best for you:
→ The Single-entry visa: it allows you to enter the Schengen Area only once
→ The Double-entry visa: it gives you the same rights as the single-entry permit but allows you to go back to the Schengen area after you left it
→ The Multiple-entry visa: it allows you to go in and out the Schengen zone as many time as you want, for a specific period of time (1 year; 3 years; 5 years)
Who can apply for a France visa from UK?
So who needs a visa to travel to France from the UK?
Depending on your nationality, residency and purpose of travel, you may need a Schengen visa.
⇒ Check out your eligibility using our French Schengen visa eligibility checker to find out if you can apply for a French visa from the UK,
You don’t need a visa to enter France if:
- You are a UK citizen with a valid British Citizen Passport
- If you are a spouse or dependent of an EEA or UK national, you do not need a Schengen visa France if you are travelling with that national, but there are some practical considerations
- If you have a Refugee Travel Document, you are allowed to visit France without a visa
You are exempt from French Schengen visa UK requirements:
- If you have a diplomatic passport, service/official passports or special passports
- If you are a civilian air and sea crew members in the performance of your duties
- If you are a civilian sea crew members who hold a seafarer’s identity document
- If you are a crew and member of emergency or rescue missions in the event of a disaster or an accident
- If you are a civilian crew of ships navigating in international inland waters
- If you hold travel documents issued by intergovernmental international organisations of which at least one Member State is member
You need a Schengen visa to France if:
- you reside in the UK and have a UK Resident Card, or a UK Visa and are planning to come to France, for any reason, such as tourism, visiting friends and family, business purposes, medical or even a pilgrimage, you can apply for a Schengen visa from the UK, come to France and also experience the additional benefit of being able to travel across Europe visa-free for a maximum of 90 days.
- you are not a UK or EU national, you need a French Schengen visa to travel to France
- If transit through the international transit areas of airports of the Schengen States (“airport transit visa”) (for citizen of certain countries only or other exceptions such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka)
- you are a citizen of one of the countries listed below
Burkina Faso Burma/Myanmar
Central African Republic
Dem. Rep. Of Congo
Papua New Guinea
Sao Tome And Principe
SECOND STEP: Look at the French visa document requirements for UK Residents
|Requirements and documents||Travel Insurance||TravelDocuments||Accomodation||FinancialRequirements||Fees|
Tourist Visa for Employed/Self Employed/Retired
|.Original and Valid Passport (for at least 3 months beyond the date you which to leave).A recent identity photograph (45mmx35mm).A Visa application form completed and signed. A visa fee.British Resident Permit.Travel Itinerary.Documents of Employment Status or Proof of pension receipt||.Valid for the countries in the Schengen AreaValid for DROM/CTOM as per your itinerary. Minimum insurance cover of Eur30,000.Covers the entire period of stay in the Schengen Area||.Provide return ticket||Proof of accomodation:.accommodation certificate if private housing.confirmation of hotel booking if hotel stay||Adult: |
Increased to €80 from 2 February, 2020)
Tourist Visa for Spouse of UK Nationals
|..Original and Valid Passport (for at least 3 months beyond the date you which to leave).A recent identity photograph (45mmx35mm).A Visa application form completed and signed. A visa fee.British Resident Permit.Travel Itinerary.Documents of Employment Status or Proof of pension receipt|
In Original and Copy:.A letter from Spouse’s employer.Last 3 months’ Pay Slips of Spouse.Spouse’s Valid Passport.Civil Marriage Certificate.Official translation of the Marriage Certificate
|.Valid for the countries in the Schengen AreaValid for DROM/CTOM as per your itinerary.Minimum insurance cover of Eur30,000.Covers the entire period of stay in the Schengen Area||.Provide return ticket||Proof of accomodation:.accommodation certificate if private housing.confirmation of hotel booking if hotel stay||Adult: Increased to €80 from 2 February, 2020)|
|Tourist Visa for Students||.Original and Valid Passport (for at least 3 months beyond the date you which to leave).A recent identity photograph (45mmx35mm).A Visa application form completed and signed. A visa fee.British Resident Permit.Travel Itinerary|
Educational Documents: Letter from the British School, College or University
|.Minimum insurance cover of Eur30,000.Covers the entire period of stay in the Schengen Area||.Provide return ticket||Proof of accomodation:.accommodation certificate if private housing.confirmation of hotel booking if hotel stay||.Proof of sufficient personal means of subsistence to support the stay in France (last 3 months UK Bank Statements or Travelers’ Cheque or Scholarship Certificate||Adult: |
€80 from 2 February, 2020)
|Tourist Visa for children under the age of 18||.Original and Valid Passport (for at least 3 months beyond the date you which to leave).A recent identity photograph (45mmx35mm).A Visa application form completed and signed. A visa fee.British Resident Permit.Travel Itinerary|
In Original:.Proof of Guardianship.Authorization Form from each parentIn Original and Copy:.Birth Certificate.Official Translation of the Birth certificate.Certified copies of passport of the parents.Court Decision (if sole custody).Official up-to-date letter from the British Social Services.Valid passport of the Guardian
Educational documents in Original: Letter from the British School, College or University
|.Minimum insurance cover of Eur30,000.Covers the entire period of stay in the Schengen Area||.Provide return ticket||.Proof of sufficient personal means of subsistence to support the stay in France (last 3 months UK Bank Statements or Travelers’ Cheque or Scholarship Certificate||Child between 6-12 years of age: €35/!\ will increase to €40 from 2 February, 2020)|
Child younger than 6 years of age: Free
Other fee exemptions for UK residents applying for the French Schengen Visa:
- Schools pupils, students, postgraduate students and accompanying teachers who stay for the purpose of study or educational training
- Researchers from third countries travelling for scientific research
- Representatives of non-profit organisations aged 25 years or less participating in meetings organised by non-profit organisations
The fee MIGHT BE waived for:
- Children between 6-18 years old
- Holders of diplomatic and service passports
- Participants aged 25 years or less in meetings organised by non-profit organisations
You can have a discount on your French Visa if you are a national of specific countries and do not hold a biometric passport (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine)
THIRD STEP: Complete your France Schengen Visa UK application form by Registering your application with the Government of France
To complete your Schengen Visa France application form, you will need to register on the official French Schengen visa government application via France-visas.gouv.fr. You will be able to lodge your French visa application in the UK 3 months before your planned trip. However, the latest time will be at least 15 working days before you intend to travel from the UK to France.
This site is the Official Government’s Schengen Visa France Application Portal. All applications for a France Schengen Visa UK need to be made through this website. Check out how to complete your Schengen Visa Application form
You will be able to create a group application after you have created your first application.
The application in the official visa website for France is organized as follow:
- Your plans
- Your information
- Your last visa
- Your contacts
- Supporting documents
You can also print and fill the pdf application form cerfa No.-14076*02 and bring the signed original form (or a copy downloaded from the internet, or a photocopy of the form) at the French Consulate or Embassy later (see fifth step).
FOURTH STEP: Book a French visa appointment
Once you have all your documents together, you will need to Book a French visa appointment via the Visa Application Centre (VAC).
- Select your centre (Edinburgh, London or Manchester)
- Prepare your supporting documents (see our table here to know which documents you need), including the France-Visas form
- Register your details on the VAC’s site.
- Make an appointment
FIFTH STEP: Attend your appointment at the French Consulate or VAC
Once you have your documents and application ready, it’s time to Come to the appointment at the French Consulate or Embassy in London (or Manchester Edinburgh) with the appointment confirmation letter, your application form and all the supporting documents that you have collected.
Do not be late! if you are more than 10 minutes late, it is unlikely you will be allowed in to submit your documents.
Consulate General of France in London, England:
6a Cromwell Place, London SW7 2EW
Tel: 0845 7300 118
Embassy of France in London, England:
58 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7JT
Tel: +44 20 7073 1000
Consulate General of France in Edinburgh, Scotland:
West Parliament Square, Edinburgh EH1 1RF
Tel: 0131 225 7945
SIXTH STEP: Collecting your Schengen Visa & Passport
SIXTH STEP: Collect your passport in person (bringing with you your application checklist, the original and copy of your photographic ID)
or by a representative (bringing also a copy of Representative’s Photographic ID and a Letter of authorization signed by you)
or you will receive your passport to the address chosen if you have chosen Express Courier Return.
⇒ You can track your application in real-time using the TLScontact application.
Always remember that even after obtaining a french Schengen visa,you may still face questions from Immigration officers on entry into France or any other Schengen State. You may also need to confirm whether you will be able to travel with the right documents from the travel company you use.
Airlines have their own rules and requirements to allow people to board (permit to travel form for passengers under 18 years old, …).
Brexit: How it will affect your holiday or travel plans to France
During the transition period, from January 31, 2020 to the end of December, 2020, the UK will still follow the European’s rules and regulations, which means that UK nationals will still be able to live and work in European countries.
After Brexit truly applies, British citizens who want to stay longer than 3 months in France will have to obtain long-stay visas in case of a no deal Brexit.
However, UK citizens in the EU, and EU citizens in the UK will retain their residency and social security rights.
Also, anyone who remains in the same EU country for 5 years will be allowed to apply for permanent residence.
Things you need to do NOW if you are planning on travelling to France after Brexit occurs:
- Check if you need to renew your passport
- Check if you have appropriate travel insurance with health care cover (your current European Health Insurance Card may not be valid after Brexit)
- You may need extra documents considering the way you travel (driving, flight, ferries, …)
- Pet travel: allow at least 4 months to arrange
- Entering France: you may have to show your return ticket and money
- Other minor changes: mobile roaming, …
⇛ You can use the British passport online application service from IaM if you need to renew your passport.
What is next? The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS)
The ETIAS is an automated IT system created to identify any security or irregular migratory risks posed by visa-exempt visitors travelling to the Schengen area whilst ensuring fundamental rights and data protection.
If you are a non-EU nationals who normally do not need a Schengen visa France to travel inside the EU, you will have to apply for a travel authorization prior to your trip by 2022 (by regulation, it will cost €7.00 and is valid for 3 years).
Read more to find out more about the ETIAS visa program.
FAQs About France Schengen Visa UK
Can I visit French overseas territories with a French Schengen Visa?
No, you will not be able to visit the French overseas territories, which include Reunion, French Guiana, Guadeloupe and Martinique, Mayotte, Saint-Barthelemy, Saint-Martin, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis-et-Futuna and the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.
Can I apply for a French Visa if my UK residency permit expires soon?
You must have at least 3 months remaining on your UK residency permit counting from the day you depart from France.
Can I apply for a French Visa at the external border?
Yes, in exceptional cases.
What can I do if my French visa gets denied by the French consulate in London?
You can appeal against the French diplomatic office’s decision to reject your French visa, within the period of 2 months from the date of notification of the refusal.
Will I get a refund if my visa is rejected?
Unfortunately, no. You will not receive a refund if your application is denied at the embassy.
Can my French Schengen Visa be annulled or revoked, and if so for what reasons?
Your French visa may be annulled for the following reasons:
- The necessary conditions to get the visa were not met at the time the visa was issued
- The necessary conditions are no longer met
- The visa holder asks the revocation
- The visa holder can’t provide the supportive documents at the border
What visa should I apply for if I want to stay in France for longer than 3 months?
If you want to stay in France between three months and one year, you are required to apply in advance for a long-stay visa, whatever your nationality is. This visa will give you the same rights as the Schengen Visa.
You are still not sure about what type of French Schengen Visa you need and how to apply for it? Our visa team will assure you professional guidance and support to help you achieve your goals. Please book a call with your IaM Visa Coordinator using our Contact Form or directly start your Schengen Visa application.
Going to France? French Schengen Visas Applications have been simplified with IAM
If you are a national of a non-European country, we can apply for a French Schengen Visa to allow you to travel to France and other Schengen Visa countries.
Whether France is your only destination, or you are travelling to a number of European countries, a Schengen visa France will be suitable. For both purposes, the same France Schengen visa UK form applies.
The difference between the two is only the number of countries that you intend to visit.
If you intend to visit two or more countries, you need to apply to the country of first entry or the country you intend to spend more time in.
Don’t lose this opportunity of having the chance to be in France for the purpose of travelling or business.
Download our free Schengen Visa France Information guide about the documents required OR start your Schengen Visa Application to France.
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