Frequently Asked Questions
Please read carefully all the related information for your visa application. If you have a question which is not explained on our website, you can contact the visa section via email. The visa section can only be contacted by email.
ATTENTION : Information requests already dealt with on our web site will not be answered.
- General requirements to enter France
- We do not deal with progress enquiries nor help with your application.
- How can I choose an appropriate visa for my situation ?
- What must be the validity of my passport ?
- What are the requirements for my passport ?
- Characteristics for Photos
- Visa Processing Fees
- Contacting the Visa Section
- Is there an expedited process ?
- How can I collect my passport ?
- Can I use my Schengen visa, issued by the French Consulate, to travel to other European countries ?
- I plan to visit several Schengen countries, where should I apply for my visa ?
- Appointment Booking procedure
- I couldn’t print the confirmation for my appointment.
- How do I reschedule my appointment ?
- How is the screening on arrival in France
- Can I work in France ?
- Can I travel in Europe during my stay in France ?
- Should I keep the original documents with me at all times ?
- Can the French Consulate help me if I have problems while I am staying in France ?
- Is it really mandatory for me to have a visa if I stay longer than 3 months ?
Any foreigner going to France, whether they require a short stay visa or not, should be able to present to the immigration officer and/or the police if required, in addition to a valid passport, the following documents :
Proof of the reason of the trip:
• for tourism: a hotel reservation or proof of an organized tour.
• for business trips: a letter from the employer stating the reason of the trip to France and/or a letter of invitation from a business contact in France (company, institution, or individual).
• private visits: lodging certificate (proof of accommodation) from the host in France, issued by the city hall and stamped by the French consulate.
Proof of financial resources : cash, traveller checks, and/or valid international credit card.
Proof of repatriation: round-trip ticket or sufficient financial means to buy a return ticket - Entry visa to the country where you are staying temporarily or to your final country of destination.
The consulate general also recommends the travellers to be provided with documents proving the date they entered France : flight ticket, train ticket, or stamp on the passport by the immigration officer at the border.
Requests for progress on your application only slows down the processing of applications.
The Visa section cannot give you advice on how to set up your file, or what type of visa you should apply for, unless you formally lodge an application and pay the relevant administrative fee.
If you need help with your application or advice about France’s immigration rules and requirements, you can seek advice from a qualified immigration adviser such as legally qualified professionals regulated by designated professional bodies.
However, this is done at the applicant’s own responsibility.
Getting advice from third parties such as Travel Agents or Courier Agencies without checking our website afterwards will also be at the applicant’s risk and will not engage the Consulate General’s responsibility if your application is being rejected or refused due to missing documents or misleading given information. Only information provided by our website must be considered as valid and official.
It is the applicant who has to choose an appropriate visa category and prepare all the required documents before booking an appointment on line on the website of the French consulate.
If you are not sure which category of visa you are needing, please read first all the guidelines for each category of visa in question on our website and see if you can bring all the required documents necessary for visa application to your interview at the consulate.
Your visa application will be refused if your application form and supportive documents are not complete.
Your passport must be valid for at least 90 days after your date of return from the Schengen or French territory and -in case you do need a visa- it must have at least two blank "visa" pages. Make sure your passport has been delivered less than 10 years ago.
No visa may be issued on amendment pages.
Passport valid for at least three months beyond the applicant’s last day of stay in the Schengen states. Please make sure that:
* your passport has a minimum of two blank pages (to affix the visa and for border stamps). Only visa pages are valid, amendments pages cannot be used for visas or entry stamps.
* your passport is in good condition (any slight damage, even to the cover, can be considered as a breach of the security of the travel document and declined at the visa section or at the border)
* your passport allows proper identification of the bearer without any doubt (for example, passports of adults with passport pictures in their young ages may not be accepted)
* your passport has been issued less than 10 years ago (first issuance) . Even if it has been renewed since then by your country, we will decline your passport for a visa application and you will have to renew it prior to applying.
The officer of the visa section has full authority to decline a passport that wouldn’t meet the requirements and request a renewed one before you can apply for a visa at the french consulate.
Refugees: persons residing in Canada with refugee status, even if they hold permanent resident cards, must have in their possession a travel document for refugees, 1951 Geneva Convention Model.
Copy of ALL the identifications pages of the passport (identification, picture, passport number, date of issuance, expiration date, and if applicable: extension & signature)
No. A visa application cannot be expedited. Make sure you apply in advance.
Processing time depends on the citizenship.
Applications cannot be processed more than 3 months ahead of time.
Apply in advance. Do NOT wait for the last minute.
- No emergency visa will be issued.
The visa section is open to the public on an appointment basis only. No walk-ins allowed.
The visas are not issued on the same day so you may wait for our email and pick it up in person or may choose to get it back by mail (please provide us with a self addressed envelope at your expenses on the day of your appointment.
A Schengen visa allows you to travel within all the Schengen space (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Slovenia, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic) unless stated otherwise on your visa.
(example: Schengen "-D" means you may not travel to Germany)
The Consulate of the main destination is responsible for issuing the uniform Schengen visa. If the main destination cannot be determined, responsibility for issuing the visa lies with the Schengen state of first entry. Please, apply at the Consulate of the country where you stay the longest.
You stay 6 days in France and 4 days in Italy: You must apply at the French Consulate
You stay 5 days in France and 5 days in Germany: You must apply at the French Consulate only if you enter France first.
You stay 4 days in France for business reasons and 10 days in Spain for tourism: You must apply at the French Consulate since your main destination is France.
It is not a problem as long as your appointment is confirmed in the system. Simply show up at the time of your appointment.
If you are not able to attend, please free a slot by cancelling your previous appointment and reschedule another one.
You cannot change your appointment schedule on the same day of the appointment. Please try to reschedule 24 hours earlier or later than the appointment day.
The French Consulate will cancel all multiple appointments.
Besides having a valid passport containing a visa (except for nationals from exempted countries), foreigners wishing to enter France must be able to produce various documents to the border police, including:
Supporting evidence of the conditions of their stay in France (for tourists: hotel reservations, registration with an organized tour … ;
For a work-related stay: letter from the employer, invitation from a French organization… ;
For a private stay: "Attestation d’accueil"
Demonstration of means of livelihood in France (cash, traveller’s cheques, currently valid international credit card…) ;
Assurance of return to country of origin (plane ticket…) ;
Those who are unable to provide these documents may be refused entry on French territory.
No. Under no circumstances will a person holding a visitor visa be allowed to work in France without prior authorization.
You are allowed to travel up to 90 days in the period of 6 months without visa within the Schengen area during the validity of your French temporary residence permit ("carte de séjour temporaire") or a French long stay visa.
To travel outside the Schengen region, you should enquire whether you need a visa at the Embassy or consulate of the country you intend to visit.
You will be asked to show the original of the documents submitted with your visa application when applying for your residence permit at the Préfecture.
You must keep your residence permit or passport with you, in case you are requested to show them to French authorities. You are strongly advised to keep a photocopy of those documents in a safe place, separated from the originals.
The role of the French Consulate is limited to process and issue visas. If you wish to lodge a complaint, you should contact directly French authorities in France. Also, it is the responsibility of Embassies and Consulates of your country in France to assist you. However you may inform the French Consulate who issued your visa of any complaint you lodged.
Yes. If your nationality is exempted from a short stay visa and you stay past the 90 days allowed, you become an illegal alien.
The long stay visa is mandatory for any foreigner staying in France for more than 90 days. It cannot be issued in France, you need to have it in your passport prior to departure from Canada.