Surreal landscapes, iconic landmarks, and an intriguing culture, the glory of France is hard to describe in words and definitely deserves a visit. If you are an Indian, you would have surely thought about visiting France over a hundred times. But, what is holding you back? I know, I know, the visa process right. While there’s been totally a wrong picture that is painted over the visa process to France, it is totally easy! So, how to apply for a visa to France for Indian passport holders? Read on to get more closure on the France visa requirements and the process.
The first thing that you should know before applying for a visa to France is, you will be applying for a Schengen visa and not just France visa. Remember the term ‘European Union countries’ from your history book? All those countries, have signed a pact within themselves called the Schengen Agreement. Under this agreement, you are free to stay or transit between 26 member states of the European Union to a maximum of 90 days. While Schengen Visa can be applied in any of the 26 member state embassies, for traveling to France you have to apply in the French embassy and the same applies to the other countries as well.
Document Requirements and Process:
1. Schengen Visa Application
Download the latest Schengen visa application and fill it either by hand or type it out. Make sure you do it with utmost care because every single detail counts.
2. Cover Letter
While applying for a new job, there’s often this request to upload a cover letter. If you are one of the many applicants, who just attach their resume without any cover letter then chances of you getting to the top draw is a bit difficult. The similar applies when you are planning to apply for a Schengen visa to France from India. The only difference here is your application will be rejected outright if there is no cover letter. Although there is no single format to write a cover letter, it should ideally carry the following:
- Explain the purpose of your travel.
- Present a go through of your whole itinerary.
- Show proof of how you will fund your trip.
- Provide a strong case of why you will return to your home country. Given the importance, you can make the letter of intent as a separate one.
- In case you are visiting France on a sponsorship, explain your relationship with the sponsor.
- If you are unable to submit any specific document as mentioned by the embassy, then provide the reason as of why you will not be able to.
The main thing that you should understand while writing the cover letter is, it is the main communication channel for the embassy to know you better. So, keep it more personal and compelling as you can.
3. Finance Essentials
Include the salary payslips for the last three months along with the last 6 months’ bank statements. Ensure there is constant activity in your bank account in the recent times. This will indicate that your account is more active and you can be trusted. In addition to these documents, file an IT for the last three years and attach the same. Alternatively, if you are showing the documents of someone else who will be funding your travel, ideally, that person should be traveling with you. If not, it is safe to make the transaction to your account prior the process. If you are self-employed, you have to provide a copy of your business license in India.
There will be a lot of times when you used to just go explore a new place without any itinerary. While it’s still possible to do that in France, you are required to present a proper itinerary that includes your flight plans (to and fro), internal transit details, and hotel booking confirmation. In case you are planning to stay in any of your relatives or friends place, then you have to get their Proof of accommodation (which must be attested from the nearest government office), copies of their driving license, passport, and their ID.
5. No Objection Certificate
For those who are employed under someone, it is mandatory that you submit your leave permission and No objection certificate (NOC), signed by your employer. For students, who have applied for a visa to study abroad, proof of enrollment and NOC from the school or university is necessary.
6. Travel Visa Insurance
When you are traveling within India, it is very easy to ignore adding a travel insurance to your trip and get away with it. But, France visa requirements compulsorily state that you insure your travel for at least a minimum of €30,000. You have to show the confirmation of your travel insurance to the embassy to proceed further on your visa.
Submit your passport along with the copies of your previous visas, if there are any. In regards to your passport, it should at least have 3 months validity from your expected date of return and 2 blank pages (one at the front and one at the back).
8. Personal Details
Once you have made all these documents ready, attach ID proof copies (pan card, aadhar, ration card, birth certificate). Basically, everything that conveys your civil status.
Now that everything has been figured out, it’s time to send your documents to the visa office. After your documents get processed, you will be called in for a face-to-face interview. Remember to by-heart all the information that you have mentioned in your documents and make sure to impress the interviewer.
Can I get my visa once I arrive in France?
No, you have to get your visa before flying.
I am an Indian living abroad, where should I apply for the visa?
While it is okay for you to apply in India, it is best recommended that you apply for your visa in the place you are currently residing.
I have a valid Schengen Visa but my passport has expired, what should I do?
Apply for a new passport and carry both your expired and new passports together while you are traveling. You need not apply for a new visa.
We are a family of four, how many appointments should I schedule?
Ideally, you have to schedule one appointment per person. So, it will be four in total.
How soon should I apply for a visa?
3 months in advance would be best.
Can I extend my visa in France?
No, you cannot extend your visa. You have to leave once your visa expires.
I am sure, now you have a clear idea of how to apply for a visa from India. In case you have other France visa related questions, drop them in the comments section below. We will get back to you at the latest.
On the other hand, if you are still confused about the France visa requirements and find the whole process annoying, then check out these places where there is no visa required for Indians.
Got your visa and all set to explore France? Plan your trip.