France gives every travel enthusiast a thousand reasons to go there or even return the second time. Whether to see the majestic Eiffel or admire Monet’s Waterlilies, a trip to France can never disappoint you. It was in the late 1900s that the Schengen agreement was signed in. Since then, one has to apply for a Schengen visa rather than a France visa from India. Applying for a Schengen visa, although not rocket science, but it still does require a layer of processes.
Indians do have a wrong picture painted in their head that the application process of France tourist visa from India is complicated. It’s not. In this blog, we would look at the essentials of what documents are required, the legal processes and so on. Let’s take a look.
Applying for a visa for the first time? Read: How to apply for Visa? In focus – Schengen visa, H1B visa
Things to know about Schengen visa
In the whole of the European subcontinent, there are 26 member states that require you to carry a Schengen visa. These are the countries who had signed the Schengen agreement in the 1900’s. So, if you apply for a Schengen Visa France, then you can visit Germany, Switzerland or Spain with the same visa. At the same time, if you have an Austrian Schengen Visa, then you can use that to visit France.
There are specific timelines when you want to visit the Schengen area. First if you are travelling there, you need to apply for a short-term Schengen Tourist Visa. There are two types – Type A and Type C. Depend a lot on the kind of visa you are applying for, the tourist visa gives you a single entry or multiple entry access.
For France Visa from India, you have to apply in the French embassy. The same applies to other countries as well. For Schengen Visa France, it is typically valid for six months and allows a tourist to stay in the country for three months. 90 days to be precise. Typically this is known as Schengen short-stay visa.
Know In Depth: How to get your Schengen visa from India?
How To Apply For France Visa From India?
There’s a France visa application form which you need to download and fill it accurately. Make sure to avoid overwriting, cancellations and anything messy. Handwriting should be crisp and clear. There is also an option for typing out the form. That way you can avoid unnecessary mistakes. But, in the place of a signature, handwrite or give a digitally handwritten signature. More authentic it looks. Then collect all the necessary documents required for your France visa from India and schedule an appointment to submit your application. And also your biometric data. You can submit it either 15 days before your planned dates of visit or even 3 months in advance. That way you would stay way ahead in case of any issues. If you are travelling alone, it would be easier but if it’s in a group, then each person has to submit their own form and schedule separate appointments.
Documents Required for your Visa Application
Keeping your France visa documents ready beforehand is the key for a smooth procedure. This should be done at the time you download and fill up the France visa application form. The documents required for France visa from India does depend a lot on the reason for travelling.
If you are a tourist, then your documents should include:
- Passport which is valid for at least three months. Expired or cancelled passports need to be carried as well.
- A cover letter which explains your purpose of travel, a go through of your whole itinerary, and proof of your trip funding. You also need to provide a strong reason behind why you would be returning back to your country post the trip. For those reasons, many aspiring tourists carry documents and proof of their residence while going for the interview. You can also make a separate letter of intent for more proof. The officials would understand the seriousness of your purpose for travel. If your travel is sponsored, you need to mention and explain your relationship with the sponsor. In case, you are not able to provide any required document, do explain why are you not able to do so. Cover letter is the main communication channel for the embassy officials to know you better. If you want a hassle-free trip, keep your communication clear.
- Including your finance essentials is the next important document right after the cover letter. Attach your monthly pay slips for the last 3 months, bank statement of 6 months. Make sure that you have a constant bank activity in the last 6 months. These are mainly the reasons why you need to plan your travel well in advance. Also make sure to file an IT for the last three years and attach it along with the other financial documents. If someone else is funding your travel, then show the officials their documents. Ideally that person should be travelling with you. But, if it’s not the case, keep their salary pay slips, bank statements ready.
- There are many a times when you do not have a properly planned itinerary. But, if you are travelling to France, make sure to write and sketch a proper travel plan. An accurately made itinerary has all the information about your to and fro flight timings, hotel bookings, internal transit details. If you are planning to stay over at a friend’s or relatives, a Proof of Accommodation is required. And that POA need s to be attested from the nearest Government office. Copies of their ID proof, passport, driving license are mandatory.
- If you are employed, then a NOC (No Objection Certificate) is a must from your employer.
- Adding a travel insurance for France visa from India is a must. You can very well ignore insurance requirements while travelling in India. But, for France, you need to carry one.
- A confirmation of your travel insurance needs to be shown to the embassy during the interview.
- Once all these documents for your France visa from India is ready, attach your various ID proofs. Aadhar, Pan Card, Ration card, Birth Ceritficate.
Once all these documents are ready, send them in a neatly done package to the visa office. Once your documents are processed, you would be called for a face-to-face interview. Make sure that your oral information tallies with the ones you have mentioned in all your documents.
Passport Photo Specifications
- It should be a white, neutral background photo
- Photo needs to be taken within six months of your visa appointment.
- The applicant’s face should take up 70-80% of the frame and it should be 35-40mm wide.
- No crease marks are entertained. The photograph print should be on high quality paper.
- Applicant face should be clearly visible in the photograph. Hair pulled back, neutral expression and directly looking at the camera.
- If you wear glasses, make sure to choose a light frame that does not cover your eyes. Tinted glasses are not allowed.
- Headgear or anything which covers your head is not allowed. In case if it is mandatory or for religious reasons, make sure that it doesn’t cover your forehead, face or create any shadows.
- For children’s passport photo, no one else should be visible in the frame.
France visa cost from India
If you are a regular tourist, then the French Schengen visa would cost you INR 4348. A service charge of INR 1446 which is additional also needs to be paid. The visa fee has been reduced to INR 2536 for the kids. Service charge remains same though for all. Fees are non-refundable and only accepted by cash, debit or credit while payment. Once your visa is issued, you can collect your passport. A courier fee of INR 300each needs to paid for every passport (in case if you are traveling in a group).