Frequently asked questions

1- How to apply

1.1- Where is the Consulate General of France located ?

The visa section of the Consulate General of France in Chicago is located at the Michigan Plaza, 205 North Michigan avenue, 37th floor, CHICAGO, IL 60601. Click here to see the map.

1.2- Can I apply by mail ?

No. Personal appearance is compulsory (except for children under 6 years old who do NOT need to apply in person) . Please make an appointment here.

1.3- Can someone else apply for me ?

No. Personal appearance is mandatory. Travel agents or other individuals are not allowed to represent the applicant.

1.4- I am applying for visas for my family, i.e ; myself, my spouse and my child(ren). Do we all need to be present ?

Both you and your spouse need to be present. Children under the age of 6 are not required to be present.

1.5- I live far away from Chicago. Is there another visa section other than the one in Chicago ?

If you are a resident from North Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, you must apply at the French Consulate in Chicago.

2- Timeframe

2.1- When can I apply ?

Applications have to be submitted at least 15 DAYS before your expected date of departure. The visa section is open Monday through Thursday between 9.00am and 12.30pm and on Fridays from 8.00am to 12.30pm by appointment only.

2.2- Is there an expedite process ?

No. A visa application cannot be expedited. Make sure you apply far enough in advance according to your nationality and at least fifteen days before your departure.

2.3- I leave in a few days, can you make an exception ?

No. Make sure you apply at least fifteen days before your departure.

2.4- Can I apply at the visa section without an appointment ?

The visa section is open to the public on an appointment basis, with no walk-ins allowed.

2.5- How long does it take to get my passport back ?

Processing time depends on your nationality and the purpose of your trip. After the interview, the consulate requires a minimum of one working day to process a visa application. However in certain cases, it may take longer.

2.6- How can I collect my passport ?

Passports are sent back via the EXPRESS MAIL prepaid envelope provided by the applicant.

2.7- Can I collect my passport at your counter ?

No. Passports are sent back by mail and cannot be collected at the visa section.

2.8- How long is the visa valid for ?

We must first see your file before we make a decision on the validity of your visa. The decision will be made by the visa officer on the day you apply.

3- Validity of passports

3.1- What must be the validity of my passport ?

Your passport must be less than 10 years old and valid for at least 90 days after your date of departure from the Schengen territory. In case you do need a visa- it must have at least two blank `visas` pages available.

3.2- Can I apply for a visa if my passport is still valid, even though it was issued more than 10 years ago ?

No. Your passport must have been issued less than 10 years ago.

4- Applications

4.1- Where can I get the application forms ?

Application forms can be downloaded from our website :

- short stay visas

PDF - 750.5 ko
(PDF - 750.5 ko)

- long stay visas

PDF - 28.4 ko
Long stay visa - Application form
(PDF - 28.4 ko)

4.2- Where can I collect the requirement list for my visa

The requirement list can be printed from our website 24 hours a day.

4.3- How much does the visa cost at the Consulate General of France ?

Processing fees depend on the official French exchange rate. Please click here for exact amount.

4.4- What shall I do if my application is incomplete ?

Applicant should provide a complete file. If additional documents are required, a form stating the missing documents is handed over to the applicant. If application remains incomplete after a few days, the visa will be refused.

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

You must book your airline ticket but do not purchase it until the visa has been approved.

4.6- Where can I get the Attestation d’accueil ?

This certificate must be obtained at the City Hall by the person you are visiting in France. It is a compulsory requirement for people applying for a visa to visit family or friends. Be advised that you must provide the original certificate as it needs to be officially stamped and might be presented at the border.

5- Schengen visas

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

A Schengen visa allows you to travel within the Schengen space. As long as you were granted a multiple entry Schengen visa and that it is still valid, you may travel to any other Schengen country (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Slovenia, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic). However, please note that you should always apply at the consulate of your main destination.

5.2- I plan to visit several Schengen countries, where should I apply for my visa ?

The Consulate of the main destination is responsible for issuing the uniform Schengen visa.
For example, if you are going to one country for business and to another one for tourism, then you should apply at the Consulate of the country where you are going for business. If you have the same purpose in all countries, then you should apply at the Consulate of the country in which you will stay the longest. And if you are staying the same length of time, you should apply in at the Consulate of the first country you are entering.

6- Appointment system

6.1- I can’t make an appointment, the link doesn’t work.

To use the system, the following configuration is required :

  • Firefox 1.0 and higher
  • Mozilla 1.7.8 and higher
  • Adobe Acrobat reader 5 or higher

You need to enable your computer to open pop-ups by changing your browser settings.

6.2- I couldn’t print the confirmation for my appointment.

It is not a problem as long as your appointment is confirmed in the system. Simply show up at the time of your appointment.

6.3- How do I reschedule my appointment ?

If you are not able to attend, please free a slot by cancelling your previous appointment and reschedule another one.

To cancel or change an appointment, click here and then choose "changing an appointment".

7- Visas refusal

7.1- My visa is rejected. What shall I do ?

If your visa has been rejected and unless you can provide further elements modifying your application, this decision will not be changed.

7.2- My visa is rejected. Can I get a refund ?

Processing fees are not reimbursed.

8- Contacts

8.1- I cannot reach you over the phone, what should I do ?

You can reach the Visa Section at 312 327 5229 from 02.00 to 04.30 pm from Monday through Friday.

8.2- I didn’t receive an answer to the email I sent.

Allow the visa section a couple of days before expecting an answer. Please read carefully our website, you’ll probably find an answer to your question.

8.3- Can I make an appointment by mail or over the phone ?

No. You need to make an appointment online here.

8.4- I didn’t receive my passport back.

Please keep a record of the tracking number of the envelope so that you can check online in case you do not receive your passport within three weeks.

Last update : 05/08/2013

Dernière modification : 07/12/2016

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