FAQ

Schengen area : entry and stay

- Which countries are part of the Schengen Agreement ?

France’s territory in Europe is part of the 26 countries of the Schengen Area. If you hold a Schengen visa -with no territorial restriction-, you will be able to travel to any country part of the Schengen area.

- Can I enter Monaco, Andorra, St Martin, Vatican and Liechtenstein with a Schengen visa ?

Yes, A schengen visa allows you to enter Monaco, Andorra, St Martin, Vatican and Liechtenstein.

- Can I enter the Schengen area if I hold a visa from Cyprus, Bulgaria, Roumania, UK or Ireland ?

No, These countries are not part of Schengen and you must therefore apply for a Schengen visa.

- Can I apply for a visa directly in France?

No, the current immigration rules do not allow you to apply for any type of visa directly in France. Local immigration authorities will refuse you entry or ask you to leave the French territory and return in your country of residence.

- Can I extend my stay directly in France or in the Schengen Area at the end of my visa?

No, immigration rules are extremely strict on that point: you must return to your country of residence at the end of your stay or validity of your visa. You might face deportation if you do not comply with this obligation.

- For Australians or nationalities not requiring a visa to visit the Schengen area (for up to 90 days), if you are holding a long stay visa while in France, at the expiry of the visa, you will have to leave France and the Schengen space and re-enter the Schengen area the following day as a tourist for 90 days within a 180 days period (under the schengen visa waiver program). You may leave the Schengen area (passport stamped at the border) by going to the UK for example.

Please note that it is very important to get your passport stamped when you enter and when you leave the Schengen space.

- How long can I stay as a tourist within the Schegen Area?

The Schengen Agreement allows you to stay for a maximum of 90 days in total over a period of 180 days. This can be used either in one go or within multiple trips. The total of your trips within 6 months must not exceed the 90 days allowance.

- At the end of my 90 days allowance, can I leave the Schengen Area for one day and return for 90 more days?

This is not authorised by Schengen Regulation. The 90 days allowance is within a 180 days period. If you use your 90 days in one go, you will have to wait 3 months before being allowed back in.

- I would like to tour the Schengen States for more than 90 days. Is there any long stay Schengen visa?

The Schengen Regulation allows tourist trips for a maximum of 90 days only. If you want to stay longer, you will need to apply for a long stay visitor visa. This type of visa will be valid for France only. You will be asked to provide proofs of a residence in France, like a rental agreement, covering the whole validity of the requested visa.

There is no visa allowing you to visit Europe as a tourist for more than 90 days.

- On my arrival in the Schengen area, my passport was not stamped. How can I prove that I have not been staying more than 90 days in the Schengen area?

There is no other way to prove you have not overstayed. Make sure to have your passport stamped by the Immigration Authorities both at your arrival and departure of the Schengen area if you do not want any problem occuring on your next application.

- I have been granted a long stay visa or residency permit to stay in one of the Schengen countries. Do I need to apply for another visa to travel in the other countries during its validity?

No, as a resident in a Schengen country, you may travel freely within the Schengen space until the expiry date of your residency permit.

- Can I use my Schengen visa, issued by the French Consulate, to travel to other Schengen countries?

Yes, a Schengen visa allows its holder to travel freely within the Schengen Area. So, as long as you were granted a Schengen visa with no territorial exception and provided that it is still valid, you may travel to the other Schengen countries.

However, please note that you should always apply at the consulate of the country which will be your main destination . Please ensure you do travel to France with the Schengen visa the French Consulate has issued you, as this is a ground of refusal for a future application and you might be refused direct entrance by some Schengen countries.

- Does a Schengen Visa allow me to enter New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Reunion Island and French Carribean Territories?

No, for these destinations you need to apply for a specific and separate visa.

- Does an Airport Transit Visa allows me to exit the International Zone of a French airport?

No, Airport Transit Visas only entitle you to stay in the International Zone of an airport.

Please note that French Airports are closed in France between Midnight and 5am. If your transit is within this period of time, you will have to apply for a Schengen Tourist visa and provide all relevant documentation.

- I am staying in Andorra. Should I apply for my visa at the French or Spanish Consulate?

Andorra has no airports. Therefore, if you are flying to a French airport , then you should apply at the French Consulate. If you are flying to a Spanish airport, you have to apply at the Spanish Consulate.

Passports requirements and Australian residency

- What passport validity is required to enter France for a short stay visit?

French Immigration Regulation requires your passport to be valid for at least 3 months on the date of your return to Australia.

Therefore, we do recommend that if your passport has less than 6 months validity left, you apply for a new one before lodging a visa application or travelling to France.

- My passport expires soon. May I still be granted a visa?

All passports must be valid for at least 3 months on the date of return to Australia for short stay visa applications;
- All passports must be valid for at least 6 months on the date of arrival in France for long stay visa applications.

- I only have a few pages left in my passport, can I still apply for a visa?

In order to have your visa application accepted at the desk, you must have at least 2 full blank visa pages (successive and facing each other) left in your passport (with no marking or stamp of any kind, even partial ones).

We can’t put a sticker label on a page which has already been labelled with another visa, stamped (even partially), dammaged (even partially) or not labelled "VISAS".

- My passport has been damaged, can I still apply for a visa with it?

Passport which are damaged, where it is difficult to clearly identify the holder or its details, with missing/teared off pages or where a previous visa label has clearly been removed will not be accepted.

- I have been granted a Bridging Visa by Australian authorities, can I apply for a visa?

We do not accept application for short stay visas from Bridging Visas’ holders (all categories). As they are still waiting for a decision from the Australian Immigration authorities regarding their residency status, this type of applicants will be considered as ineligible by this office until a temporary or permanent residency has been granted.

- I have been granted an electronic visa by Australian authorities. How can I prove that I am legally resident in Australia?

You should be able to provde the VEVO document with your Australian visa granted.

- I am currently on visit in Australia and my family/friends have decided to take me to a trip to France/New Caledonia/French Polynesia. Can I apply for my visa in Sydney?

We are unfortunately not competent to process visa applications for holders of Tourist Visas or of a Sponsored Family Visitor valid for 6 months or less. People must apply for their Schengen visas before travelling to Australia in their country of residence.

- I am a visiting Australia and hold a subclass 676, subclass 679 or subclass 456 visitor visa for Australia. Can I apply for a visa at the French Consulate ?

We are unfortunately not competent to process visa applications from applicants not allowed to stay in Australia more than 6 consecutive months.

- I hold a temporary residency for Australia, Can I apply for a visa at the French Consulate ?

As far as the Australian authorities have allowed you to stay in Australia for more than 6 consecutive months, you will be able to apply at our office.

- My Australian residency is not stamped onto my passport but it is on a loose sheet or is an electronic visa. Can I still apply for a visa?

Yes, you will have to provide the VEVO document with your granted visa.

- My Australian residency is stamped in my old passport, what should I do?

You will have to provide the VEVO document with your granted visa.

- I hold an Australian Bridging Visa, can I apply for a Visa for France?

Holders of Bridging Visas (all categories) will not be able to lodge any application. As they are still waiting for a decision from the Australian Immigration authorities regarding their residency status, this type of applicants will be regarded as non residents in Australia by this office until a definite residency has been granted.

- I am a citizen from a country which requires a visa to visit the Schengen states but I hold a permanent Australian residency. Do I still need a visa to travel to France?

Yes, permanent residents in Australia still require a visa for tourism or business trips purposes.

Facts about lodging your application

- How can I get advice?

The Visa section cannot give you advice on how to complete your application, or what type of visa you should apply for.

If you need help with your application or advice about France’s immigration rules and requirements, you should seek advice from a qualified immigration adviser such as legally qualified professionals regulated by designated professional bodies. These are available throughout Australia and France.

- How long in advance can I lodge my application?

The Immigration rules do not allow the Visa Section to accept an application lodged more than 3 months prior to the intended date of travel.
This means that we cannot take into consideration applications from people who have made other travel arrangements resulting in a departure from Australia prior to this 3 months deadline.

- I live far away from Sydney. Is there a French Visa section other than the one in Sydney to lodge my long stay visa section?

Sydney is the only place where you can lodge a long stay visa application in Australia. Please note that Honorary Consuls do not deal with visa applications.

- I have read on your website that residents in WA, SA and VIC can lodge their Schengen visa application at the Greek Consulates there. Does this also applies to long stay application?

No, long stay visa applications can only be lodged in Sydney.

- I am applying for visas for my family, i.e. myself, my wife and my son. Do we all need to be present?

For your wife, you need to consult the page Do I need a visa’ as it depends on her nationality. Please note that children under the age of 12 are required to be present although their biometrics data won’t be collected.

- What will happen on the day of my interview ?

Please make that you arrive on time (even slightly earlier) to the Visa Section. If you are more than 10 minutes late, you will be denied access and will have to take a new appointment.
You will show your appointment letter or confirmation to the security officer at the reception desk who will ensure that your details are on the appointment list, and then be directed to the Visa Section desk.
During the interview, the visa officer will examine all your supporting documents and, if necessary, will consult the manager for the final decision.
- check the following link : Application [STEP] by [STEP]

- How long will my visa be valid for? Can I apply directly for a visa which will allow me to do several trips to the Schengen area?

We are unable to inform you of the validity of the visa you may be granted before actually assessing your application: the decision will be made by the visa officer on the day of your appointment.

- Can I pay by cash?

No, we do not take payment by cash or cheques. We only accept payment by credit and debit cards and EFTPOS. We also do not accept American Express and Diners.

Financial guaranties

- I am unable to assess the minimum financial requirements on your website. How do I know that I will present sufficient funds on the day of my application?

Immigration regulation does not allow us to indicate the minimum financial requirements necessary for both short and long stay visas. This will be assessed on the day of your interview on the ground of the documents you are presenting.

The only general indications we can give you are the following:

  • you must have sufficient reserves and incomes to provide support to yourself and your family (food, accommodation, general spendings) for the whole lenght of your trip;
  • cost of life in Metropolitan France and French Overseas Territories are similar to the ones in Australia. Living in Paris will cost you as much as living in Sydney. You have to keep this in mind.
  • the financial details must be yours and state your names. We will not accept sponsors from family members or third persons except for students under 25yo who can be sponsored by their parents.

- My bank only issues statements once every 3 months and I read that to lodge a visa application, documents must be less than 1 month old. What can I do?

You will need to produce the last official statement the bank sent you, and ask your bank to issue a recent statement at the counter (dated and stamped). Be advised that the French Consulate does not accept credit cards statements and that the statement must show your name and address.

- Can I provide a bank statement printed directly from my computer as proof of financial means?

This type of printout is accepted as far as the name of the account holder appears clearly. Please check with your bank provider.

- I am a student and my parents/a member of my family are/is paying for my expenses. Can I provide their bank statements as proof of financial means?

The Visa Section does not accept financial sponsorship. Only your own Bank Statement in Australia will be accepted.

- I am a housewife and I am travelling on my own. Can I provide my husband’s bank statement as proof of financial means?

This is acceptable only if you also provide a copy of your husband’s passport and of your marriage certificate.

- I am not married and my partner is paying for my expenses. Can I provide his/her bank statement?

If you are not legally married, even in the case of De Facto, we cannot accept someone else’s proof of financial resources. Only your own bank statement will be taken into account.

Tickets and accomodation

- Do I need to show my tickets to France when I come and apply for the visa?

Yes. Please do make sure there is enough time between the day you apply for your visa and your travel dates (but no more than 3 months) to allow for the processing delay.

We strongly advise that you do not purchase a non-refundable, non-flexible air ticket before receiving your visa. We won’t accept responsibility for any financial loss and we do not fast track applications solely due to planned date of travel.

- I booked my trip on the internet and do not have proper tickets/hotel reservations to show. What should I do?

The Visa Section accepts e-bookings for travel arrangements (transport, hotel, insurance). Please make sure that the printout you provide shows your name, details of your reservation and proof of payment. We do not accept confirmations by email for hotels.

- I am visiting friends/family in France, and I have read on your website that I need Certificate of Board and Lodging. How can I obtain that document?

This certificate, known as "Attestation d’Accueil", must be obtained by the person you are visiting in France from his/ her local townhall. It is a compulsory requirement for people applying for a visa to visit family or friends. The validity of the visa you may be granted will not exceed the dates stated by the certificate. Be advised that you must produce the original certificate as it needs to be officially endorsed.

Family and relationship

- How do I prove that I am legally married?

The Visa section can only accept marriage / birth certificates issued by the States Registers in the form of the full copy. Certificates issued by religious authorities will be declined.

- How can I prove that someone is my child/parent?

You have to provide the full birth certificate issued by the Civil Registar of the country of birth, showing the full name of the child/parent. The Consulate General of France does not accept birth certificates issued by religious authorities.

- I am the widow of a Citizen of the European Union. May I apply as the spouse of an EU national?

Under European and French Civil Law, the death of one of the spouses results in the end of the bonds of marriage. Therefore you are no longer eligible for that type of visa but can apply for a visa of another category.

- One of my parents is a Citizen of the European Union. Can I apply as a family member of an EU national?

Under Schengen regulation, you are considered as the family member of an EU national only up to the age of 21 years old inclusively.

- I am in a relationship akin to marriage (De Facto or a European Civil Partnership). My partner is a Citizen of the European Union. May I apply as the spouse of an EU national?

All De Facto and Civil Partnerships in regards to visa applications are still being discussed by the Schengen partners. Therefore, the French Consulate cannot allow the gratuity of the visa processing fees nor a simplified procedure.

Minors

- My child is under 18, can he/she apply for a visa on his/her own?

No, all minors must apply accompanied by at least one of their parents, or their legal guardian if the parents do not live in Australia.

- Our child lives in Australia but we currently live abroad. How can he/she apply?

Parents should officially designate a legal guardian in Australia in order to represent them and apply on their behalf. This person must be present on the day of the interview and provide legal documents attesting of its position.

- I am separated/ divorced from my child’s other parent. Which documents do I need to bring?

For child protection purposes, the French Consulate General requires the child’s full Birth Certificate, your passport, your ex-partner’s passport (or a certified copy) and a parental authorisation, completed and signed by both the parents or by the legal guardian authorising the child to travel. This letter should be duly authenticated by a solicitor or Justice of the Peace, or by a Consular Officer of the applicants’ nationality. You must also provide the full address in France and specify the length of your stay. If you have sole custody of the child, the French Consulate General requires the child’s full Birth Certificate, your own valid passport and the court order establishing custody. Those documents may also be asked at the border of entry, so please ensure you take them along.

- My child is under 18. Can he/she travel to France alone? If so which additional documents to his/her passport would be required?

Minors between 16 and 18 years old can travel alone. They will need to be in possession of a parental authorisation valid for the countries they intend to visit.
Minors under 16 must be accompanied by an adult or legal guardian during their stay.

- Is it compulsory to go through an approved association to apply for Student visa for under 18?

While not compulsory, we strongly recommend it as this will facilitate the application of your child with the Visa Section.

- I have adopted a child who has not been issued with an Australian passport yet. Can I apply for a visa to travel to France on his her behalf?

The French Consulate will only issue visas to children whose adoptions have been finalised in Australia.

Dernière modification : 05/04/2016

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