One has to select a France visa depending on his/her nationality and purpose of the visit. France being one of the Schengen countries, if the applicant's country is a part of the European Union, European Economic Area, or is a Swiss citizen, he/she doesn’t need to apply for a France visa or a residence permit. However, one must apply for a France visa from India since India isn’t a member of any of the above.
France visas are divided into short-stay and long term visas, and all the types of visas that fall under these categories have different visa application fees. The following are the France visa types one can apply for:
Short-stay/Entry visa: This type of France visa is generally issued for business purposes, family visits and tourism purposes. France is one of the 26 Schengen countries along with Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Poland and more. If one is travelling between any of these countries and has a stopover in France, he/she will apply for a French airport visa. While this visa allows one to stay only within the international zone of the airport, one must apply for a short-stay Schengen visa to leave the airport. A short-stay visa is valid for 90 days within 6 months. These visas also allow one to participate in internships, training programs and sit for conferences and meeting as long as it doesn’t exceed the expiry date.
Long term/ Extended-stay visas: If one wants to live and work in France for more than 90 days, he/she must apply for a long term France visa. A long term France visa application can be submitted if one meets specific requirements such as an employee with a year-long contract, a student/intern, a science researcher, a spouse of a French citizen or the spouse of a foreign national who is legally living in France. To work in France, he/she must have an approved contract with an employer before applying for a visa. Some long term visas which are valid from 3 months to a year also act as a temporary residence permit as long as OFII validates the visa.
Residence Permit: To extend his/her stay in France, within 2 months of the temporary permit expiry date, he/she must apply to the local French authorities for a renewal. One has to provide details such as financial statements, proof of address, family situation and an employment contract with a French employer. While the duration depends, usually permits are renewable after a year and can also extend up to 10 years.
Apply for France visa from India: To begin with the France visa application, one must first decide on the purpose of travel. France offers multiple types of permits for work, business, tourism, transit and studying. Once the purpose is clear, one must check which procedures to follow depending on his/her nationality. The earliest one can apply for France visa from India is 3 months before the trip, and 15 working days at the latest. Once all the documents for the France visa application are collected, the next step is submitting the application for the France visa online. While this can be done in person too, downloading, filling, printing, signing and submitting the France visa online application form is more hassle-free. After applying for a visa for France from India, one can get updates based on the verified ID or phone number provided on the application form. After receiving interview date and time, one must carry all the documents relevant for processing of visa for France from India. Once the interview is over, and the applicant pays the visa fees, he/she must wait for 15 working days to get a response about the visa.
Documents required: The list of necessary documents changes based on the type of France visa application and one’s nationality. Some of the standard documents one needs are the downloaded and filled application form, a valid passport, recent photographs, the proof of residence, recent bank statements and a cover letter stating the visiting purpose along with the itinerary. Applicants can find more information about documents on the official government website.