Before arrival


All nationals of countries subject to the need to obtain visas for a long stay in France must apply prior to their departure for a long-stay visa called "Visa D" - see "PROMAE card" - from a French mission in their country of origin or residence.

  • Children over 21 years of age enter France, whatever type of passport they hold, with a diplomatic or service visa bearing the endorsement "voir carte de séjour" (see residence permit) and apply on arrival for a titre de droit commun (standard residence permit) from the Prefecture of their place of residence.
  • Under the provisions governing the free movement of persons within the European Union (EU), Community nationals and European Economic Area (EEA) nationals do not need a long-stay visa. On arrival in France, they are requested to apply to Protocol Department for a special residence permit.

Holders of a residence permit must possess a valid passport to travel in European Union (EU) Member States.

Certain preliminary formalities are required for three categories of diplomatic agents, namely heads of diplomatic and consular posts, defence, military, naval and air attaches.

They are as follows:

  • Heads of diplomatic missions are to obtain the agrément for their designation. In practice, the request for agrément is transmitted to Protocol Department by the Embassy of the sending State or by the French Embassy in that State. It should be accompanied by a curriculum vitae in French. The Embassy concerned will then be informed by Protocol Department following agrément by the French Government.
  • In general, this formality takes two to three weeks.
  • Multiple accreditation to several States can be applied for under the same conditions.
  • Defence, Military, Naval and Air Attachés are to apply for approval of their appointment. The Embassy transmits to Protocol Department a curriculum vitae in French - giving details of their military careers, their family names, given names, pseudonyms, date and place of birth, previous visits to France. Protocol Department will approve the appointment following consultation with the Military Staff. Appointments can only become effective following this consultation.
  • Visas for entry into the French territory can be issued following approval of appointments, but special residence permits can only be granted following a presentation visit to the Military Staff.
  • Heads of consular posts appointments must be approved. The Embassy should send to Protocol Department a full curriculum vitae (in four copies) and specify the location and the address of the consular premises in the principal town of the department.

updated : july 2012