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Foreign nationals holding ordinary passports exempt from visa requirements

Visa exemption depends on :

-  your nationality ;

-  possession of a residence permit for France or a Schengen state ;

-  the duration of your stay ;

-  where on French territory you intend to stay.

For visa purposes, the law divides French territory into three areas where separate regulations apply :

-  France’s territory in Europe, which is part of the Schengen Area ;

-  the territory of the overseas (Outre-mer) : départements or regions (Reunion Island, Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana) ;

-  the overseas (Outre-mer) territories: Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Mayotte, French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Saint Martin, Saint Barthélemy.

France’s territory in Europe

France’s territory in Europe is part of the Schengen Area. The Schengen Area also comprises the territory of other European Union and associated states : Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

1. Short stays (less than 90 days in the Schengen Area)

A short stay is a stay in the Schengen Area lasting less than 90 days or a succession of stays totalling less than 90 days in any period of 6 months.

For short stays, European regulations specify the list of countries whose nationals are exempt from visa requirement to enter the Schengen Area.

Exempt from visa requirement for France’s territory in Europe are :

-  citizens of the EU, the EEA and Switzerland ;

-  nationals of the following countries, whatever the reason for their stay: Albania*, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Bosnia*, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Israel, Macedonia*, Malaysia, Mauritius, Monaco, Montenegro*, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, Serbia*, Seychelles, Taiwan (passport bearing identity card number), Uruguay ;
*bearers of biometric passports only

-  nationals of the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, United States, Venezuela, bearers of passports of the Hong Kong special administrative region (People’s Republic of China) and the Macau special administrative region (People’s Republic of China). If you are gainfully employed, the exemption only applies if you can produce a work permit ;

-  holders of a valid residence permit for France ;

-  holders of a residence permit issued by a state applying the Schengen Agreements ;

-  holders of certain travel documents issued by an EU Member State ;

-  holders of a British National (Overseas) passport.

Special cases

Certain nationals remain subject to short-stay visa requirements in the following cases :

-  nationals of the United States: journalists on assignment, scientists and artists in gainful employment in France.

2. Long stays (over 90 days in France)

Only nationals of the following countries are exempt from entry and long-stay visa requirements: Member States of the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA), Andorra, Monaco and Switzerland.

French overseas départements and regions (DROM)

-  Reunion Island

-  French Guiana, Guadeloupe and Martinique (the three départements in the Americas).

1. Short stays

A short stay is a stay lasting less than 90 days in the French overseas départements and regions.

Exempt from visa requirements are :

-  nationals of the European Union, the European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland;

-  nationals of the following countries: Albania*, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Bosnia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Israel, Macedonia*, Malaysia, Mauritius, Monaco, Montenegro*, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Serbia*, Seychelles, Taiwan (passport bearing identity card number), Uruguay, and (exempt only for Guadeloupe, Martinique and Saint Martin only), Anguilla, Tortola, Turks and Caicos Islands ;
*bearers of biometric passports only

-  nationals of the following countries: Australia, Brazil (except for French Guiana), Japan, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, United States, Venezuela. This exemption does not apply in the case of gainful employment in a DROM ;

-  bearers of passports of the Hong Kong special administrative region (People’s Republic of China) and the Macau special administrative region (People’s Republic of China). This exemption does not apply in the case of gainful employment in a DROM;

-  holders of a valid residence permit issued by a prefecture in Metropolitan France, the Préfet of a French overseas département, the High Commissioner of a French territorial collectivity or a Schengen state ;

-  holders of a special card issued by the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs to the staff of diplomatic and consular missions.

2. Long stays

Only nationals of the following countries are exempt from entry and long-stay visa requirements : Member States of the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA), Andorra, Monaco and Switzerland.

Other French overseas collectivities and territories (CTOM)

The CTOM are :

-  Saint-Pierre and Miquelon

-  French Polynesia

-  New Caledonia

-  Wallis and Futuna

-  Mayotte

-  Saint Barthélemy (same movement control as for the DROM)

-  Saint Martin (same movement control as for the DROM)

-  French Southern and Antarctic Territories

1. Short stays

The maximum duration of a short-stay visa is 90 days.

Exempt from visa requirements are nationals of the following countries :

-  nationals of the European Union, the European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland;

-  Albania*, Andorra, Anguilla and British Virgin Islands-Tortola (only Wallis and Futuna), Antigua and Barbuda (except for Wallis and Futuna), Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Bosnia*, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Israel, Macedonia*, Malaysia, Mauritius, Monaco, Montenegro*, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Serbia*, Seychelles, Taiwan (passport bearing identity card number), Tonga (only for French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna), Uruguay, Vanuatu (only for French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna) and (except for Mayotte) Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu;
*bearers of biometric passports only

-  nationals of the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, United States, Venezuela. This exemption does not apply in the case of gainful employment in a CTOM;

-  bearers of passports of the Hong Kong special administrative region (People’s Republic of China) and the Macau special administrative region (People’s Republic of China). This exemption does not apply in the case of gainful employment in a CTOM;

-  holders of a valid residence permit issued by the Préfet of a French overseas département, the High Commissioner of a French territorial collectivity or a Schengen state;

· holders of a special card issued by the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs to the staff of diplomatic and consular missions.

2. Long stays

Only nationals of the following countries are exempt from entry and long-stay visa requirements : Member States of the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA), Andorra and Monaco.


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