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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, Liechtenstein, 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 180 days.

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, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina *, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Malaysia, Mauritius, Monaco, Nicaragua , New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Holy See, Seychelles, Taiwan (passport bearing identity card number), Uruguay, Montenegro*, FYROM* and Serbia* ;
*bearers of biometric passports only

-  nationals of the following countries: Australia, Brazil, USA, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea Venezuela. 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.

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).

-  Mayotte

-  Saint-Barthélemy

-  Saint-Martin

-  Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon

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, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Malaysia, Mauritius, Monaco, Nicaragua, New Zealand , Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis San Marino, Holy See, Seychelles, Taiwan (passport bearing No. identity card), Uruguay, Montenegro *, * FYROM, Serbia *
*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;

-  nationals holding a British passport marked "British Overseas Territories Citizen" or "British Dependent Territories Citizen" and the reference to the territory following countries:
Bermuda (except for Mayotte);
Anguilla, Cayman Islands (exemption for Guadeloupe and Martinique);
Montserrat (exemption for Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy)
Turkey and Caicos Islands, British Virgin Islands (exemption for Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy)

-  nationals of the following countries: Dominica, Saint Lucia exemption for stays of less than or equal to 15 days within 120 days cumulative 12-month exemption for Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy;

-  nationals of the following countries : Grenada , St. Vincent and the Grenadines , Trinidad and Tobago: exemption for Guadeloupe and Martinique only;

-  nationals of the following countries : South Africa , Bahrain, Belarus, China, UAE, Kuwait , India, Oman , Qatar, Russia and Ukraine, holders of a travel visa issued by a French consular authority ;

-  citizens of South Africa : Visa Waiver for Reunion only.

-  olders of a British passport marked " nationality ": " British Nationals (Overseas) " or " British Subject " and mention that the passport holder has the right of abode (mention) in the United Kingdom ;

-  holders of a residence permit valid issued by a province in France, by the prefect of an overseas department and by a Schengen Member State;

-  Holders of long-stay visa valid D issued by France or another Schengen State.

-  holders of a special card issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to staff of a diplomatic mission and consular

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

-  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, Antigua and Barbuda) Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Brunei, Bolivia, Bosnia *, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Solomon Islands, Israel, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Malaysia, Mauritius, Micronesia, Monaco, Nauru, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Palau ° Panama, Paraguay, Papua New Guinea (only for New Caledonia), Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Holy See, Western Samoa , Seychelles, Taiwan (passport bearing the number of the identity card), Tonga, Tuvalu, Uruguay, Montenegro *, * FYROM, Serbia *;
*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;

-  olders of a British passport marked " nationality ": " British Nationals (Overseas) " or " British Subject " and mention that the passport holder has the right of abode (mention) in the United Kingdom ;

-  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.

October 2013


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