Short stay visa for tourism, business or family visit

The Consulate General of France in Boston does not provide any photocopy. Each passport must be presented with one photocopy of the identity pages.

Last update: 05/31/2013

1. What is a "Schengen visa"?
2. Do you need a visa to visit France as a tourist?
3. How to make an appointment?
4. Processing time
5. Requirements
6. Important information

1. What is a "Schengen visa"?

A Schengen visa, also called "C" visa, is a short stay visa (up to 90 days by semester) valid for the 25 States member of the Schengen agreement :

The 25 States member of the Schengen agreement
Austria Belgium Czech Republic Denmark Estonia
Finland France Germany Greece Hungary
Iceland Italy Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg
Malta The Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal
Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland

Therefore, you don’t need to apply twice when you travel to 2 or more different Schengen countries.

- If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, you must apply at the Consulate of that specific country.

- If you intend to visit several Schengen countries, you must apply at the Consulate of the country of your main destination, or the country where you will be staying the longest.

- If you intend to visit several Schengen for the same amount of time, you must apply at the Consulate of your first entry.
Duration of stay : you may stay up to 90 days in the "Schengen space" with such a visa.

2. Do you need a visa to visit France as a tourist?

Exempt from visa requirement for France’s territory in Europe are :

  • citizens of the EU, the EEA and Switzerland;
  • nationals of the following countries, whatever the reason for their stay: Albania*, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina*, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, East Timor, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Grenada, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Israel, Malaysia, Mauritius, Monaco, Montenegro*, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Palau, Panama, Paraguay,Peru,Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Serbia*, Seychelles, Taiwan (passport bearing identity card number), Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, and Vanuatu;
*bearers of biometric passports only
  • nationals of the following countries: Australia, Brazil, United States, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Venezuela. If you are gainfully employed, the exemption only applies if you can produce a work permit;
  • bearers of passports of the Hong Kong special administrative region (People’s Republic of China) and the Macau special administrative region (People’s Republic of China);
  • holders of a valid residence permit for France ;
  • holders of a residence permit issued by a state applying the Schengen Agreements ;
  • holders of a valid long-stay “D” visa issued by France or another Schengen State;
  • holders of certain travel documents issued by a Member State of the European Union (EU family member’s residence card or EU long term residence permit);
  • holders of “British National (Overseas)”, “British Overseas Territories Citizen”, “British Protected Person” and “British Subject” passports;
  • holders of a special card issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to staff of a diplomatic mission and consular.

However, if the purpose of your trip is NOT tourism, business or family visit then you may still be required to get a visa before your departure (please check with us at Note that not needing a visa for France does NOT necessarily mean that you do not need one to visit the other Schengen countries.

3. How to make an appointment?

For security reasons, all applicants, except children under the age of 6, have to appear personally at the Consulate General of France in Boston.

The visa section is open to the public on an appointment basis, with no walk-ins allowed.

Make an appointment by clicking here

To use the system, the following configuration is required :
- Firefox 1.0 and higher
- Mozilla 1.7.8 and higher
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 and higher
- Adobe Acrobat reader and higher
- allow pop-ups|

If you cannot print your confirmation receipt, it is not a problem Simply show up on the date and time of your appointment.

No appointment can be made by phone or by e-mailing us. If you are not able to attend, please free a slot by canceling your appointment.

Make sure you bring all the required documents when coming to the Consulate General.

4. Processing time

Processing time depends on your citizenship :

- 15 days is the average processing time if you are a citizen from :

Afghanistan Algeria Bangladesh
Congo DRC Egypt Iran
Iraq Jordan Lebanon
Libya Mali Mauritania
Morocco Niger Nigeria
North Korea Pakistan Palestinians
US Re-entry permit US Refugee travel doc Rwanda
Saudi Arabia South Sudan Sri Lanka
Sudan Syria Tunisia
Vietnam Yemen Zimbabwe

- Processing time depends also on the purpose of your trip .
Please note that according to the purpose of your stay (scientific collaboration, presentation of a conference paper, academic research, etc), the processing time might take longer than 15 days. Make sure to apply sufficiently in advance.

Applications cannot be processed more than 3 months ahead of time.

5. Requirements

All ID/passeport and US visas must be provided with one photocopy to avoid rejection.

1. Original passport or travel document (+ ONE COPY of the identity pages). Your passport must have been issued less than 10 years ago, be valid for at least three months after your return to the US and have at least 2 blank visas pages left.

2. Processing fee

3. One application form filled out completely and signed by the applicant (please read carefully the explanations).

4. Two ID pictures (white background, full face, no glasses nor hat, closed mouth) : 1 glued/stapled onto each application form + 1 additonal photo. for more information about pictures format, visit

5. A valid U.S. permanent residence card ("green card") or a valid US visa with valid I-94 / valid I-20, or an Advance Parole document. We do NOT accept applications from B1/B2 visa holders. They must apply in their country of residence. (+ONE COPY)

6. If the country of final destination is not the applicant’s country of citizenship, please submit a valid visa, a resident permit, a work permit or any other document showing that the applicant is allowed to enter or reside in such country.

7. Proof of socio-professional status :

  • letter of employment in the U.S confirming your salary, hire date, position and dates of vacation (business registration if self employed)
  • if needed : proof of relationship with the financial sponsor (i.e. marriage/birth certificate)
  • and your last 2 paystubs
  • or letter from your school or university confirming your enrollment status, attendance and expected graduation date

8. Proof of financial means : your last 2 bank statements
and proof of relationship with the financial sponsor if account’s holder different from applicant.

9. Your travel itinerary : you MUST BOOK your airline ticket. The purchase is not required until the visa has been approved.

10. Proof of medical coverage abroad : a letter from your insurance company stating that you are covered abroad or a travel insurance to be purchased from a travel agency (minimum amount of 50,000 US$). Your insurance letter must include : “Medical evacuation” and “Repatriation”.

11. Proof of accommodation :

  • Confirmed hotel reservations for your entire stay in the Schengen states
  • or, if you are staying with friends or family, original of "Attestation d’Accueil" that your host has to request at the City Hall (Mairie) in France
  • For a business trip: please also provide a letter from your employer in the US and from your host company in France stating that you are in France on behalf of the company, giving the name and address of the contact person(s) in France and guaranteeing full responsibility for expenses, lodging, and return to the United States.
  • For a School trip : a headed letter issued by the School mentionning the itinerary, accomodation addresses, participants (including chaperones) and insurance and parental authorization (+copy of parents’ IDs).

12. If the applicant is under 18 years old and travelling without his parents:

  • notarized copy of his (her) birth certificate
  • notarized authorization from both parents allowing their child to travel to France or from the parent exercising full custody of the child according to the divorce decree.
  • if you are divorced : certified copy of divorce decree stating that you have full custody of the child(ren).

13. If you cannot pick up your visa by yourself, you can send to the French Consulate, a self-addressed prepaid EXPRESS MAIL envelope from all Postal Services (i.e: the US POST OFFICE, FEDEX, UPS, AIRBORNE EXPRESS etc.). You may use one envelope per family if you buy `flat rate`
Please do NOT stick the mailing label on the envelope and fill out as follows :

FROM:Please, don’t put
the French Consulate name
Your full name Your full name
Your address Your address

6. Important information

- The consular administration has full authority to evaluate and request more documents than those submitted by the applicant.

- Please be aware that submitting the aforementioned documents does not guarantee the approval of the visa.

- Please note that holders of Schengen visas are still subject to immigration control upon first entry into a Schengen country. The visa itself does not grant the right to enter the Schengen space.

Last modified on 17/05/2017

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