Obtaining a visa
France is one of the central countries of the Eurozone and the Schengen area. Almost all the rules for staying in this state comply with Schengen standards. Nevertheless, for tourists from Russia there are some nuances that you should know about in advance, even at the stage of preparing documents. Check a2zdirectory for history of France.
The consuls of France are jealous of each completed document, so it should be clearly understood that any inaccuracy may cause a refusal of a visa.
To obtain a standard tourist visa to France, you need to prepare the following:
- Original passport, previous passports and copies of all completed pages. The validity of the document must be at least 90 days from the date of return to Russia.
- Russian passport and copies of all its pages.
- Two color photographs of 3.5×4.5 cm format. The requirements of the French consulates for photos for 2015 are as follows:
- The picture must be taken only on a light gray background ;
- The face should occupy from 70 to 80% of the picture ;
- You can not be photographed in sunglasses, hats, “chameleons” and glasses with a massive frame that covers the cheekbones;
- The picture should not have any artistic retouching ;
- The photo must be printed only on matte paper.
- Application form completed in French or English. Recently, it is often required to fill out these questionnaires in the presence of the consul in CAPITAL LETTERS.
- Certificate from the place of work on the letterhead of the organization. The certificate must contain information on income for the last 6 months, as well as the position and labor duties of the applicant. In addition, in the certificate, a mandatory item since 2010 is the line stating that upon returning to Russia, the person will be reinstated in the workplace with the same position and salary.
- Bank statement showing:
- The amount of funds on the account in rubles and euros. This is the so-called confirmation of the solvency of the tourist. The minimum amount for a stay in France is 50 euros per person per day if the travel period is more than 10 days, or 790 euros per person if the tour takes less time;
- All operations on transfers and replenishment of the account for the last 3 months.
- Accident insurance policy. The insurance company must be licensed in the Schengen countries, and in France in particular. The amount of coverage must be from 30,000 euros.
- For non-working tourists and pensioners – a sponsorship letter and all statements from the sponsor’s place of work and bank accounts.
- For schoolchildren and students – a certificate from the place of study. If the trip is carried out during the summer holidays, a separate certificate is required that the student has been transferred to the next course / class.
- For a minor child – permission to leave from one or both parents. It must be notarized and translated into French.
- Hotel booking confirmation. Since 2014, the French consulates do not accept certificates from online services and websites for finding and booking hotels. The room must be booked by calling the hotel, and the certificate sent by fax or mail.
Also, Russian tourists can get a visitor visa to France. In order for this document to be drawn up and issued on time, the following documents are required:
- An invitation from a private person or organization certified by any French authority.
- A copy of the French passport and a certificate of income of the inviting party for the last six months.
- Approximate travel plan indicating possible stops.
The possibility of submitting documents through visa centers frees the potential tourist from the personal presence at the French consulate. However, no one has canceled the final interview, and often it can be the decisive moment in issuing or refusing a visa.
France visa processing time
The standard processing time for a French visa is 15 working days minimum. In a number of visa centers, the terms are increased to 20 working days.
However, the consulates set their own number of days to wait for the document:
- Standard tourist visa – 16 days;
- Express visa (single entry only) – 7 days;
- Visitor visa – 18-20 days;
- Multiple entry long-term visa – from 20 days.
Visa applications may be denied for the following reasons:
- outstanding conviction;
- Debts on loans, alimony or utility bills;
- Incorrectly completed documents or grammatical errors in the questionnaire;
- Personal data that does not correspond to reality.
The consular fee for obtaining a French visa is standard for Schengen 35 euros. Express visa will cost 70 euros per person.
With service fees, the situation will be much more complicated. Their value depends on the duration of the visa and the location of the visa center. The rates for 2015 are as follows:
- Single entry tourist visa with a period of stay in Francefrom 15 to 30 days – from 150 to 300 euros;
- Guest visa – from 500 euros ;
- Multiple entry visa valid up to 3 years and the right to stay in France up to 90 days for every 6 months – from 1000 euros.
More accurate prices for service fees should be found in a specific visa application center.
When visiting France for the first time, a tourist has the right to rely only on a standard (single-entry) tourist visa and a stay in the country of no more than 15 days.
In case of refusal to issue a visa, only the consular fee will be returned to the applicant.
The presence of France in the Eurozone obliges the country to establish common customs rules for this territory for tourists. However, the country has its own nuances regarding the import and export of a number of goods. See France import restrictions.
Allowed duty-free import to France
- Alcoholic products with a strength of 22% – no more than 1 liter ;
- Alcoholic products with a strength of up to 22% – no more than 2 liters ;
- Tobacco products – no more than 200 cigarettes, 50 cigarillos or 50 cigars ;
- Tobacco in its pure form – no more than 200 grams ;
- Vintage perfume – no more than 50 ml ;
- Eau de toilette – no more than 250 ml ;
- Fish and seafood – no more than 2 kilograms in sealed packaging with legible trademarks;
- Caviar – no more than 250 grams ;
- Coffee in any form – no more than 500 grams ;
- Tea – no more than 200 grams.
Prohibited from importing into France
- Meat, dairy and agricultural products produced outside the European Union;
- Any types of firearms, cold steel and gas weapons, as well as ammunition for them;
- Narcotic substances of any origin;
- Counterfeit cosmetics produced under French brands.
Export prohibited from France
- Any items that have the status of artistic or historical value;
- Any product labeled as restricting its sale outside of France.