Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does my visa sticker mean?

Is my passport valid for France?

Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date of expiry of your short-stay visa. To apply for a long-stay visa of definite duration (long-stay visa constituting a residence permit), your passport must be valid for as long as the visa. For a long-stay visa marked “carte de séjour à solliciter” (“residence permit to be applied for”), your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date of expiry of the visa. If your passport expires earlier, you must ask your own national authorities to extend or renew it.

  1. Your passport must contain at least two blank pages to take the visa and the French entry and exit stamps.
  2. No visa will be affixed to a passport:
    - whose plastic film cover (transparent security film which must cover the photograph) has not been stuck or has been unstuck (you must ask the passport issuing authority to secure the passport again);
    - that was coated with plastic in a store, which renders the passport invalid;
    - that was defaced by scraping, erasure or alterations;
    - that was damaged (torn page, binding not matching the original, etc.).

Which countries is my visa valid for?

Unless marked otherwise on the visa sticker, short-stay visas are valid for travel throughout the Schengen Area which comprises the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

There is no immigration control at the borders between countries in the Schengen Area, except in exceptional circumstances.

The United Kingdom and Ireland are not members of the Schengen Area.

May I extend my stay in France after my visa has expired?

If you remain on French territory after your visa has expired, you run the risk of having to pay a fine and/or having an alert recorded against you when you leave the French territory. In such a case, the consulate would process any further visa applications you may submit in the light of your overstaying the visa.
Consequently, if you consider that you are obliged to extend your stay in France after your visa has expired for reasons of force majeure, you must, before the date of expiry of your visa:
- submit an application for “prolongation de visa” (visa extension) with documentary evidence to the prefectural authority in your location;
- comply with the decision taken by the prefectural authority.

I want to work in France (The worker procedure)

If as a foreign national (i.e. not a national of France or of any other European Union country) you wish to work in France, you must first find a prospective employer.

Your prospective employer will contact the foreign labour department of the local unit of the DIRECCTE (regional directorate of enterprises, competition, consumption, labour and employment). Once the application is approved, the relevant office of the OFII will forward it to the French consulate in your country of residence, in order to process the visa application.
After receiving the visa application, the consulate will send you an application letter specifying the documents to bring with you.

What are the border controls going to ask for when I arrive in France?

If you have been granted a short-stay visa, or if you do not require a short-stay visa, on your arrival in France you must be able to show the following to the border police on request :
- your passport (with the appropriate visa if required)
- documentary evidence for the reason for your stay in France, your means of support during your stay and your resources for returning to your country of origin.

Having a visa in your passport does not therefore automatically mean that you will be allowed to enter the Schengen Area. The border police may refuse entry.

If you have been granted a long-stay visa, the border police will only ask to see your passport and visa sticker. They will stamp your date of entry into France. Immediately on arrival in France, you must send the OFII form to the relevant regional delegation or, if your long-stay visa specifies “carte de séjour à solliciter” (residence permit to be applied for), within 2 months of your arrival you must submit an application for a residence permit at the prefecture of your place of residence, unless you are under age (under 18).

Please click on the following link to find answer to all above questions.

Published on 16/05/2016

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