Short stay visa for tourism, business or family visit

1- What is a "Schengen visa" ?

A Schengen visa, also called "C" visa, is a short stay visa (up to 90 days by semester) valid for the 26 States that are members of the Schengen agreement :

Austria Belgium Czech Republic Denmark Estonia
Finland France Germany Greece Hungary
Iceland Italy Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania
Luxembourg Malta The Netherlands Norway Poland
Portugal Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden

Therefore, you don’t need to apply twice when you travel to 2 or more different Schengen countries.

  • If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, you must apply at the Consulate of that specific country.

  • If you intend to visit several Schengen countries, you must apply at the Consulate of the country of your main destination (where you will be staying the longest).

Duration of stay : you may stay up to 90 days in the "Schengen space" with such a visa.

2- Do you need a visa to visit France as a tourist?

  • YES, if you are a citizen of the following countries even if you hold a US Permanent Resident Card ("Green Card") :

Afghanistan Albania [1] Algeria Angola
Anguilla [*] Armenia Azerbaidjan Bahrein
Bangladesh Belize Benin Bermuda [2]
Bhutan Belarus Bolivia Bosnia [3]
Botswana Burkina Faso Burma Burundi
Cambodia Cameroon [4] Cape Verde Cayman Islands [5]
Central Africa Chad China China - Hong Kong [6]
China - Macao [7] China - Taiwan [8] Comoros Congo
D.R. Congo (ex-Zaïre) Cuba Djibouti Dominican Republic
Ecuador Egypt Equatorial Guinea Eritrea
Ethiopia Fiji Gabon Gambia
Georgia [9] Ghana Guinea Guinea Bissau
Guyana Haiti India Indonesia
Iran Iraq Ivory Coast Jamaica
Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kirghizistan
Kiribati Kosovo Kuweit Laos
Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya
Macedonia [10] Madagascar Malawi Maldives
Mali Marshall Islands Mauritania Micronesia
Moldavia Mongolia Montenegro [11] Montserrat [12]
Morocco Mozambique Namibia Nauru
Nepal Niger Nigeria North Korea
Oman Pakistan Palau Palestine
Papua Philippines Qatar Refugees
Russia Rwanda Solomon Saudi Arabia
Senegal Serbia [13] Sierra Leone Somalia
South Africa South Sudan Sri Lanka St Thomas
Sudan Surinam Swaziland Syria
Tadjikistan Tanzania Thailand Togo
Tonga Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan
Turks and Caicos [14] Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine [4]
Uzbekistan Vietnam Virgin Islands [15] Yemen
Zambia Zimbabwe

  • NO, if you hold a passport issued by a country NOT listed above, you do not need any visa to enter France for tourism, business or family visit.

    However, if the purpose of your trip is NOT tourism, business or family visit then you may still be required to get a visa before your departure (please check with us at Note that not needing a visa for France does NOT necessarily mean that you do not need one to visit the other Schengen countries.

3- How to make an appointment?

The appointment systems opens every 5 weeks, if the day is not open yet please try to take your appointment later .
For security reasons, all applicants, except children under the age of 12, have to appear personally at the Consulate General of France in Chicago.

Please bear in mind that applications cannot be processed more than 3 months before your departure date.

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

Minors must apply with their parents at the French Consulate. (or a person with the authority if the parents are out of the country).

Make an appointment by clicking here

To use the system, the following configuration is required :
- Firefox 1.0 and higher
- Mozilla 1.7.8 and higher
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 and higher
- Adobe Acrobat reader and higher
- allow pop-ups

IF YOU CANNOT PRINT YOUR CONFIRMATION RECEIPT IT IS NOT A PROBLEM. Simply show up on the date and time of your appointment .

No appointment can be made by phone or by e-mailing us. If you are not able to attend, please free a slot by canceling your appointment.

Make sure you bring all the required documents when coming to the Consulate General.

4- Processing time

  • Processing time depends on your citizenship :

    15 days is the average processing time if you are a citizen from :

Afghanistan Algeria Bangladesh
Congo DRC Egypt Iran
Iraq Jordan Lebanon
Libya Mali Mauritania
Morocco Niger Nigeria
North Korea Pakistan Palestinians
US Re-entry permit US Refugee travel doc Rwanda
Saudi Arabia South Sudan Sri Lanka
Sudan Syria Tunisia
Vietnam Yemen Zimbabwe

  • Processing time depends also on the purpose of your trip :

    Please note that according to the purpose of your stay (scientific collaboration, presentation of a conference paper, academic research, etc), the processing time might take longer than 15 days. Make sure to apply sufficiently in advance.

5- Requirements

ATTENTION: please read this important announcement before preparing your file:

The Consulate will, in no circumstance, make any photocopies and files can no longer be completed at a later stage.
All the files presented will be carefully examined by the Visa Department. However, we wish to emphasize the fact that if you do not produce all the requested documents (originals with their photocopies), the visa will be denied.
No exception will be made. For this reason, we do advise you to prepare your file with the utmost care in order to avoid any delays.

  1. Original passport in good condition or travel document (+ ONE PHOTOCOPY of the identity pages). Your passport must have been issued less than 10 years ago, be valid for at least three months after you exit the Schengen states and have at least 2 blank visas pages left

  2. Processing fee

  3. One application form filled out completely and signed by the applicant (please read the explanations carefully).

  4. One US passport size photo on a white background with no glasses and no hat and please do not smile

  5. A U.S. permanent residence card ("green card") (+ ONE PHOTOCOPY) or a valid US visa(+ ONE PHOTOCOPY) or an Advance Parole document (+ ONE PHOTOCOPY)

    Students/interns, in addition to a valid US visa will also need a valid I-20 (+ ONE PHOTOCOPY) or DS2019 (+ ONE PHOTOCOPY)
    Please note that we do NOT accept applications from B1/B2 visa holders. These visa holders must apply in their country of residence.

  6. If the country of final destination is not the applicant’s country of citizenship, please submit a valid visa, a resident permit, a work permit or any other document (+ ONE PHOTOCOPY) showing that the applicant is allowed to enter or reside in such country

  7. Proof of socio-professional status :
    • letter of employment in the U.S confirming your salary, hire date, position and dates of vacation (business registration if self employed)
    • and your last 3 paystubs (unless downloaded, please bring a photocopy)

    • or letter from your school or university confirming your enrollment status, attendance and expected graduation date

    • For a business trip: please present a letter from your employer or University
      regarding the purpose of your trip and an official invitation from your hosting company in France
  8. Proof of financial means :
  9. your last 3 bank statements (unless downloaded, please bring a photocopy) Your bank statements must show your name and address.
  10. If you are self employed, you must bring your tax return from the previous year or proof of previous economic activity and income for last year
  11. If you are retired : you must provide your pension benefits letter or a letter of previous employer

  12. Proof of travel arrangements : flight (roundtrip) travel reservations or other proof of intended transportation and full itinerary (if several Schengen States will be visited OR if the trip covers several Schengen States and non-Schengen countries). We recommend you do not purchase your airline ticket until you get your visa.

  13. Proof of travel medical insurance showing valid worldwide coverage for at least $50,000 for accident/sickness emergencies and at least $50,000 for repatriation/evacuation with NO deductible on any of the coverage. The following are some suggested companies : 7 Corners, Roam Right, AXA, TravelGuard, Travelex, HCC …

  14. Proof of accomodation :
    • Confirmed hotel reservations for your entire stay in the Schengen states
    • or, if you are staying with friends or family, original of "Attestation d’Accueil" that your host has to request at the City Hall (Mairie) in France

  15. If the applicant is under 18 years old :
    • notarized copy of the child’s birth certificate (unless the parents’ name appears in the passport). If it is not written in French or English we need an official translation
      If the child travels alone or with one parent only :
    • notarized travel authorization from both parents (or the one who does not travel)

  16. A self-addressed prepaid USPS EXPRESS MAIL or PRIORITY MAIL with a tracking # envelope - NO FEDEX / UPS / AIRBORNE EXPRESS accepted. You may use one envelope per family if you buy `flat rate`

    Please do NOT stick the mailing label on the envelope and fill it out as follows :

205N. Michigan Ave, Suite 3700
Your full name
Your address

If you wish you can collect your passport in person, in which case an envelope is not necessary

6- Important information

  • The consular administration has full authority to evaluate and request more documents than those submitted by the applicant.

  • Please be aware that submitting the aforementioned documents does not guarantee the approval of the visa.

  • Please note that holders of Schengen visas are still subject to immigration control upon first entry into a Schengen country. The visa itself does not grant the right to enter the Schengen space.

Last update : 10/20/2017

[1Except for biometric passports holders who do not need a short stay visa.

[2Some exceptions may apply. Please contact us at

[3Except for biometric passports holders who do not need a short stay visa.

[4For Camerounese citizens willing to enter Germany, please note that you must present a valid Camerounese Identity card.

[5Some exceptions may apply. Please contact us at

[6Except S.A.R. who do not need a short stay visa.

[7Except S.A.R. who do not need a short stay visa.

[8Except for ordinary Taiwanese passports which contains the identity card number of the holder. In this case, a short stay visa is not required.

[10Except for biometric passports holders who do not need a short stay visa.

[11Except for biometric passports holders who do not need a short stay visa.

[12Some exceptions may apply. Please contact us at

[13Except for biometric passports holders who do not need a short stay visa.

[14Some exceptions may apply. Please contact us at

[15Some exceptions may apply. Please contact us at

Last modified on 20/10/2017

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