Visa requirements for american passports holders

Last update: 05/31/2013

Short stay visa (less than 90 days) requirements

American passport holders are not required to obtain a visa prior to enter the Schengen area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. This period is calculated by counting backwards from the date the traveler enters the Schengen area. The length of the traveler’s proposed stay plus the duration of all prior stays within the 180-day period must equal 90 days or less.

If you plan to work in France up to 90 days, you are NOT required to have a visa except if you are :

  • a diplomatic / official passport holder on a mission;
  • a journalist.

However salaried employees are required to obtain a valid work permit by the French labour authorities before entering France. This document should be presented at the border control.

Long stay visa (more than 90 days) requirements

American passport holders are all required to obtain a visa to spend more than 3 months in France.

The requirements and processing times vary depending on the purpose of the stay.

Note that you may only apply for one type of visa and that if you enter France with a specific visa it is rarely possible to change your status without having to come back to the U.S.A.

Please choose one of the type of visa that applies to your situation in our long stay visas pages.

Last modified on 12/11/2015

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