France Visa Guide for Indians

France Visa Guide for Indians

26 February, 2024

Bonjour, avid travellers and explorers! Planning a trip to France? Before you lose yourself in the magic of the city of love, culinary delights, or stunning architecture along the Seine, there is one task that you need to accomplish; you must obtain your France visa. Getting the visa is the first step on the journey to ensure you do not face any challenges along the way. It is vital to understand the visa application process if you are an Indian national planning to travel to France. This guide will breakdown the visa application process, explaining the types of visas France offers and the steps involved in obtaining a visa.

Different Types of France Visas for Indians

France offers various types of visas which are primarily categorised into two sub-categories:

  1. Short-stay Visas

These visas are designed for foreign nationals who are citizens of countries other than those falling in the European Union, and the European Economic Area or Switzerland, planning to stay in France for a period of up to three months (90 days). The French consulate typically offers this visa on a single-entry basis, for short stays or multiple entries for several successive short stays. You may obtain short-stay visas for the following reasons:

  • To enter into short-term courses or internships in France

  • To meet family/friends for personal visits

  • To attend business trips

  • To travel across France as a tourist

  • To engage in paid employment, per specific conditions.

  • To do short-term courses or internships.

  1. Long-stay Visas

If you want to stay in France for more than 90 days, for studies, work, or other extended purposes, you will need to apply for a long-stay visa. This visa must be obtained by foreign nationals living outside the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland, wishing to live in France for a longer period.

The long-stay visa allows you to live in France for a specific duration and lets you enjoy the same privileges as someone with a temporary residence or a multiyear residence permit. Additionally, it gives you the opportunity to request a residence permit from the local Préfecture (regional administrative office) where you reside in France, allowing you to continue your stay in France.

Applying for a France Visa in India

For Indian travellers, the visa applications are evaluated by the French consulates or the visa section of the Embassy of France in Delhi. French consulates are in the following cities in India:

  • Mumbai

  • Puducherry

  • Kolkata

  • Bengaluru

When To Apply To Obtain A France Visa?

Whether you want to apply for a short or long-stay visa, you should consider applying at least 4 to six weeks before your planned travel dates. This is because it typically takes the French Consulate up to 15 working days to process visa applications. During peak tourist season, it may take up to 45 days for you to receive your passport with a valid French Visa sticker.

While it is always wise to plan ahead and adhere to the timelines, you cannot apply more than six months before your planned departure.

Steps Involved in the France Visa Application Process

Let us now breakdown the France visa application process into simple steps:

Step 1: Determine the visa type and seek related information

Visit the official website of the French Government for Indian passport holders to initiate your application process and collect necessary information before you proceed with your online visa application. Use the visa wizard platform to assess your situation and understand the visa requirement, along with details about the applicable fees and the required documents.

Step 2: Fill out the application form online

Start filling out the application form by creating a new France-visas account on the official portal. This account will help you manage and track your visa application. To submit your visa application easily, you must keep following documents handy:

  • Your passport.

  • 2 photos for identification in ISO/IEC format (PDF).

  • Other relevant documents with original copies and photocopies.

Step 3: Book your appointment

When scheduling an appointment, make sure that you have ample time before your departure date to avoid last minute rush. For a smooth experience, you should check the usual waiting time for appointments so you can submit your application with enough time left for evaluation.

In India, the French government has collaborated with VFS Global to provide visa services. You can easily book your appointment on the VFS global website and visit your nearest VFS Global centre on the scheduled appointment date.

Step 4: Submit your application

Attend your appointment to submit your application. Ensure you bring along your visa application form (CERFA) and other required documents. The submission process typically takes around 20 minutes wherein, VFS service providers carefully review your application, collect the visa fee, and gather your biometric data (your photo and fingerprints). VFS Global will keep your passport and supporting documents to send your application to the consulate for evaluation.

Step 5: Track your application status

Check your application status regularly. Your application’s progress is closely monitored by the visa centre where you submitted your application. You can find more information by using the VFS online application tracking tool. Once your visa is approved, you will receive a notification with details of when you can collect your passport from the visa centre. You may also choose to have your passport couriered to your home address by paying an extra fee.

As mentioned earlier, the entire process – from submitting your application to getting your passport with the Visa takes up to 15 working days from the date of submission. It can extend to 45 days during peak travel seasons.

Booking An Appointment At A VFS Global Centre

VFS Global is the official partner of the French government, tasked with providing administrative support services to French visa applicants in India. It serves as an intermediary between visa applicants and the French consulates to streamline the visa application procedure. There are various VFS Global Centres in India, where you can apply for a France visa, including:


To book your appointment, visit and choose the suitable option to proceed. Just provide the necessary details and select the centre for application submission.

France visa fees

The visa fees vary based on the type of visa you need. The fees cover administrative costs for processing your France visa application. Moreover, there will be some additional charges that VFS Global will levy in lieu of providing additional services to assist with application submission and processing. The below table highlights the fees payable for different visa types:

Visa categoryFees (Euro)Reduced rate
Schengen visa and Airport transit visa80 euros40 euros (children between the age of 6 and 12)
Short-stay visa for Guadeloupe, Saint Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion.60 euros35 euros (children between the age of 6 and 12)
Long-stay visa99 euros50 euros
Short-stay visa for Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Mayotte and French Southern and Antarctic Lands, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Wallis, and Futuna.9 euros--

Note: The fee structure is subject to change, per the changing rules of the French consulates. Refer to the official website of the French government for the latest updates.

Arrival in France

Once you arrive in France, you must get through the passport control point. At this time, you may be asked to present certain documents to convince immigration officers about your visit. It helps to keep the following documents handy:

  • Your passport with a valid visa sticker

  • Proof of accommodation

  • Proof of funds

  • Your return tickets

  • Valid travel and medical insurance documents.

  • Relevant documents if you are on a work/business trip.

Manage Money Easily in France with HDFC Bank Forex Card

To ensure you enjoy a convenient, hassle-free trip to France, you should consider getting your own HDFC Bank Forex Card. Doubling as a prepaid/ATM-cum Debit Card, the Forex Card allows you to make cashless payments conveniently. You can use it to withdraw funds at ATMs or pay for your purchases at retail stores. Plus, you can load it with Euros, Dollars and multiple other foreign currencies. You can easily buy the forex currency from HDFC Bank. We also offer online Forex Card facilities. Once you have the Forex, you can utilise your France Visa and explore the French landscape.

Experience hassle-free currency management with HDFC Bank Forex Cards. Apply now!

*Terms and conditions apply. The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances.

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