Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What type of visa do I have to apply for?

You must tell the visa official the precise reasons for your journey to France: get information :.

2. I have a green card, do I need a visa?

Being a Green Card holder DOES NOT exempt you from applying for a visa. You must refer to your passport and your current nationality to determine if you need a visa. Note that you must refer to your nationality of origin if you hold a US travel document.

3. Which documents are required from anyone who wishes to enter France, a French territories or the Schengen area regardless of whether or not they need a visa ?

Regardless of whether or not you need a visa to enter France, French territories or the Schengen area, you need to be able to present a certain number of documents to the Border Police to do so. See the section

4. 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. If the main destination cannot be determined, responsibility for issuing the visa lies with the Schengen state of the first entry.

Main destination means: the destination where your main purpose of travel is (professional meeting, family meeting, award invitation) or the country where you will be staying the longest.

5. Can I apply by mail or can someone else apply for me?

No. Personal appearance is mandatory.

6. I am applying for my family (my spouse and children): do we all need to be present?

Yes. Your spouse, your child(ren) and you need to be present. You should book 1 appointment by applicant. If you are a family of 4, you have to book 4 appointments.

7. I live far from Miami: is there another visa section where I can apply?

No. If you are a resident of Florida, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, US Virgin Island, Turks and Caicos Islands, you must apply at the Consulate General of France in Miami.

8. I am a tourist with B1/B2 US visa: can I apply at the consulate in Miami?

Applications from B1/B2 visa holders who are not resident of Caiman Islands, Bahamas or Turk & Caicos Islands are not accepted. You must apply in your country of residence.

9. Where is the consulate general of France located?

1395 Brickell Avenue, suite 1050 - Miami FL 33131
See Googlemaps

10. When can I apply?

You CANNOT apply more than 3 months prior to your departure date. However, as slots are limited, it is strongly recommended to make an appointment as early as possible. Applications have to be submitted at least 21 days before your expected date of departure.

11. Can I apply without an appointment? How can I make an appointment?

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

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 5 or higher

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

12. 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 general requires a minimum of 3 days, and up to 21 days, to process a visa application, provided that you submitted all required documentation.

However in certain cases, it may take longer.

13. 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 21 days before your departure.

14. I leave in a few days, can you make an exception?

No. Make sure you apply at least 21 days before your departure.

15. 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.

The immigration officer of the visa section has full authority to decline a passport that would not meet the requirements and request a renewed one before you can apply for a visa at the French consulate.

16. Do I have to provide copies?

You must provide an original and a copy of each document.

17. Do I need to show my ticket to France?

You must book your airline ticket but do not purchase it until the visa has been approved. At the time of your appointment, you must bring that airline reservation with your name as a passenger.

18. How can I get the “attestation d’accueil”?

This certificate must be obtained at the City Hall (Mairie) by the person you are visiting in France. It is a mandatory 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 be presented at the border.

19. My journey is sponsored by relative or friend: what documents are mandatory?

You must provide a notarized sponsor letter specifying the name and address of the sponsor, a copy of the sponsor’s ID, and the last two bank statements of the sponsor.

20. 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 the application remains incomplete after a few days, the visa will be refused.

21. How much does the visa cost?

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

22. How can I pay?

• by credit/debit card (Visa or Mastercard only)
• by money order
• by cash (the exact amount must be provided)

The consulate only accepts US dollars. The processing fee must be paid upon submission of the application file.

This fee is non-refundable and non-transferable, no matter what the issue of the application is. Please note that payment of this fee does not guarantee that the visa will be issued.

23. How can I collect my passport?

The opening hours to pick up passports - upon presentation of the receipt - is every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon between 2pm and 4pm at the main entrance of the consulate general.


To avoid having to come to the consulate to pick up their passport with visa, the applicants can also provide a self-addressed prepaid envelope with tracking number (USPS Priority Mail or FEDEX or UPS) at the time they apply for the visa.

Please fill out the mailing label as follows : sender and receiver must be identical including your phone number.

See the following page

24. What can I do if I cannot come personally to collect my passport?

You can send someone to pick up your passport but presentation of the receipt is still mandatory.

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

In addition to a valid passport with a visa (except for exempted nationals), every foreigner, when entering France, should be in a position to produce to the Immigration Officer the following documents:

1. Motive of stay in France:
• for tourism: hotel reservation or proof that the traveler possesses means of living of at least 120€ per day or documents from a travel agency
• for a professional visit: letter from the employer, invitation from a French firm or organization
• for a private visit: “attestation d’accueil” delivered by the “mairie”

2. Means of living: cash, traveller’s cheques, international valid credit card

3. Guaranties of return: return ticket

27. 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, Liechtenstein).

However, please note that you should always apply at the consulate of your main destination (the country where you will be staying the longest).

28. My visa request is rejected: what shall I do? Can I get a refund?

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

29. May I extend my stay in France after the 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.

30. I want to work in France

France wishes to better structure professional immigration by facilitating your access to chosen professions.

For more information, see the following page

31. I am a French citizen and I need a US visa or to extend my stay in the United States.

You must contact the US immigration authorities (American embassy in France or US Immigration services). The consulates of France are only competent for visas to travel to France, French overseas territories and departments.

32. I did not 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.

The visa section will not answer questions for which answers are on the website.

Last modified on 12/12/2016

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