Who requires a visa, what kind do you need, and how to get one? What do you have to declare to French customs? What are the mandatory vaccinations in France? Here are all the required steps to take before you arrive in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.
Visas and Visa Exemptions
To enter French territory, foreign nationals (except residents of the Schengen area) have to have a visa and to provide the reason for their visit, their means to support themselves, and where they will be staying. To obtain a visa, you should contact the French Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence before you leave. The type of visa you should have on your arrival in France depends on the duration and the reason for your stay.
For a stay of less than or equal to three months (90 days):
You should have a “Schengen Visa.” This is issued for one or more visits, most commonly for business trips or family visits. The “Schengen Visa” also allows its holder to stay in France to attend a short training course, another type of course, or to carry out a paid activity. The “Transit Visa” will enable its holder to stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 5 days. Unless in exceptional circumstances, a visa is not required to transit through a French airport, provided that you do not leave the “international zone.”
For a stay of more than three months (90 days):
You should have a “Long-Stay Visa,” suitable for the duration and reasons for your visit. Once you arrive in France, you should contact the French Immigration and Integration Office (Office Français d’Immigration et d’Integration) or the appropriate Prefecture to have them issue you with a residence permit. The “Long-Stay Visa” cannot be modified after your arrival on French soil.
There are two separate lanes for French customs: the green lane, if you have nothing to declare, and the red lane, to declare goods if necessary. Upon your arrival and departure from France, you should declare funds, securities and financial instruments of more than €10,000 in your possession. This declaration, which can be made online, is free of charge.
Information on prohibited goods: douanes.gouv.fr / +33 (0)1 72 40 78 50
Compulsory vaccinations in France are universal vaccinations: polio, diphtheria and tetanus. Vaccinations against whooping-cough, tuberculosis (BCG) and MMR (mumps, measles, rubella) are also advised.