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Do I need a visa for a short stay in France?

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Question: Do I need a visa for a short stay in France?
Answer: France has very relaxed entry requirements for visitors from certain countries, and more complicated and stringent ones for other nationalities.

U.S. and Canadian citizens planning to travel to France for short visits of 90 days or less do not need visas to enter France. A valid passport is sufficient. Exceptions exist for:

  • Journalists traveling to France on assignment
  • Crew Members on short-term assignment (film crews, etc.)
  • Individuals holding diplomatic or official passports

If you belong to one of the above categories, you need to submit a short-stay visa application to the embassy or consulate closest to you. U.S. citizens can consult the French Embassy in the United States for more details. Canadian citizens can locate their nearest French consulate here.

Since France is one of the 26 European countries belonging to the Schengen territory, U.S. and Canadian passport holders may transit into France through any of the following countries without a visa or passport (please note that the United Kingdom is NOT on the list; you will need to pass through immigration inspections at the UK border, showing your valid passport):

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

Also note that U.S. and Canadian citizens do not need visas to transit from French airports to non-Schengen territory countries. However, be sure to verify the visa requirements for the country you will be heading to from France.

European Union passport holders are not required to hold visas to enter France, and may stay, live, and work in France without limitation.

All other nationalities: You can find visa information corresponding to your situation and country of origin on this page at the French consular website.

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