General rules applying in France and the Schengen Area regarding entry and stay

- 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.

- 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 6 months. 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 Reulation. The 90 days allowance is within a 6 months 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 is valid for France only. You will be asked to provide a booking reservation, 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 visa/residency to stay in one of the Schengen country. 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?

A Schengen visa allows its holder to travel freely within the Schengen Area. So, as long as you were granted a multiple entry Schengen visa 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 of 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 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 .

Dernière modification : 25/03/2014

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