5 Easy Steps to Apply for France Schengen Visa at French Consulate in San Francisco, California
France – a country of romantic dreams, a fascinating history, world-class cuisine, and stylish beach resorts. The diversity is quite staggering. Cities full of monuments, mansions, and lively evenings; coastal towns with memories from the past; vineyards producing some of the finest wines and champagnes – stretching as far as the eye can see. You can take to the outdoors and ski, go hiking and biking, or simply wander through the peaceful countryside. Whatever you decide to do, France will remain in your memories for a long time. In this article learn more about how to apply for France Visa at the San Francisco consulate, French visa appointment booking, Processing time at the French visa application center and France Visa Application Process at the San Francisco consulate.
An impressive 3,685,404 French Schengen visas were applied for in 2017. The number rejected was 502,526 or 13.64%. The Consulate General of France in San Francisco received 5,953 applications of which only 3 were not issued.
Applying for Schengen Visa from the United States
If you’re planning on visiting France, you’ll need to apply for a French Schengen visa. You can do this in the United States as long as you:
- Are a non-US citizen
- Are a permanent resident of the US
- Do not hold a B1/B2 visa
If you have a B1/B2 visa you are only eligible for an Airport Transit visa which must be applied for in your home country.
If you are looking to apply for French visa at French embassy and consulate in San Francisco then read on. To make the process simpler and to reduce waiting times, applications for French visas are no longer dealt with by the French consulate in San Francisco. The visa section has been replaced by VFS Global who will review your application.
You are free to apply to the VFS Global Center in San Francisco if you reside in the following areas:
1) Northern Californian counties – Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo, Yuba
2) Northern Nevada counties – Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Launder, Lyon, Pershing, Storey, Washoe, White Pine
3) States – Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and the Pacific Islands under US jurisdiction including Guam
To complete your visa application, you must use the online system provided on France-Visas’ website. Please note, you must submit your application in person to the VFS Global application center in San Francisco.
Types of Schengen Visas Offered at the French Consulate in San Francisco
You can apply for either a Schengen visa, which is valid for a maximum of 90 days or, if you wish to go to France for longer than 90 days, you must apply for a long-term or National visa.
Depending on your reason for going to France, there are a variety of visas available. It’s important to apply for the correct one, so take time to find out which one you need.
a) Tourism – Vacation only
b) Professional Purpose – Business and/or employment, events, religious worker
c) Study – Study and/or training
d) Family purpose – Visit family
e) Medical – Receive medical treatment
f) Airport Transit Visa (ATV) – Change planes on French territory
Each of these visas can be:
1) Single entry – Maximum of 1 entry during 90 day period
2) Double entry – Maximum of 2 entries during the 90 day period
3) Multiple entry – Unlimited entries during the 90 day period
Schengen Visa Application Process at France-Visas
There are 5 easy steps to follow if you are applying for a French Schengen visa. It’s a good idea to follow each step exactly if you want to be sure that your application is accepted.
Step 1: Create an account at France-Visas
The first thing you need to do is to create an account on France-Visas’ website. Remember to make a note of your log-in details because you’ll need them at certain parts of the application process.
Next, you need to use the visa wizard to establish what documents you need and what fee to pay.
You can now proceed to complete your application using the online system. Make sure you fill in all the information. If you need to go back to it, you can save your data. It’s really easy to use and there are on-screen instructions to help you. Once you’ve finished, print off the application, which you will need to sign, the acknowledgement letter, and the list of required documents.
Step 2: Book your appointment
The next step is to go to the France-Visas website and click on “submit your application”, then choose your location.
On the next page, click “whom should I contact” and find VFS Global’s center in San Francisco
Next, click on “book an appointment” and you’ll be able to schedule an appointment for a day and time that’s convenient for you.
It’s advisable to allow enough time for your application to be processed. It may well be that the visa application center has many applications to deal with at any given time, so you may struggle to get an appointment. In addition, processing times for applications may be longer than anticipated due to your nationality and what type of visa you are applying for. The ideal timescale is 15 to 90 days before your trip. Applications that are more than 90 days will not be accepted.
There is an additional fee of $29.79 charged by the VFS Visa Application Center which you can pay online.
If you’re running short of time, then we can also help you book a visa appointment for a small service fee!
Step 3: Preparing your documents
In preparation for your appointment, you should get together all the required paperwork to be submitted along with your visa application.
1) Fully completed and signed Schengen Visa application form
2) Valid Passport
– In good condition
– Valid for 3 months after the trip
– Issued within the last 10 years.
– 2 free pages
3) Residence card/Advance Parole/IAP66/Non-US resident visa/I-94/I-20/I-797/
– Please note in addition to the above documents, all non-US citizens must provide proof of residence
4) 2 x recent photos
– Passport-size, 3.5 x 4.5 cm
– Not older than 6 months
– Close up of head and top of shoulders (face should take up 70%-80% of frame)
– Sharp focus and clear
– Good quality
5) Purpose of Stay
– Trip itineraries
– Employment contract/internship agreement
– Proof of student registration
– Medical certificate/Proof of medical cost payment and/or insurance cover /Sworn affidavit for the responsibility of additional costs/Agreement of hospital admission
– Proof of event participation
– €30,000 to cover medical emergencies and repatriation
7) Proof of accommodation
– Hotel reservation and/or proof of sufficient funds (€120 per day)
– 3 months bank statements
– 3 months payslips
– Income tax return or proof of previous financial activity
– Scholarship details
9) Socio-professional situation
– Employed: Employer letter and/or proof of business
– Self-employed: Business license
– Students: Certificate of attendance
– Retired: Pension certificate
10) Birth and/or marriage certificate
If you’re planning to obtain your flight reservation for visa without paying for the ticket, all you have to do is follow the 3 simple steps below:
- Visit the Visa Reservation website to choose the right package
- Submit the travel details and make the payment online
- Receive flight itinerary in email
Step 4: Go to VFS Global in San Francisco for your appointment
When the day comes for your appointment, go to VFS Global Center in San Francisco with all your documentation. You should:
- Have ALL documentation – originals and photocopies of everything
- Arrive early – being late will not stand you in good light with the visa official
- Dress in formal clothing – your aim should be to make a good impression. This is not the place for casual clothes
- Treat the interview seriously – this is important in order to have the best chance of success
You may also be required to provide biometric data which includes a photo and fingerprints and you will have to pay the necessary fee:
|Fee||Free of Charge|
|Schengen visa and|
Airport transit visa
the age of 6 and 12)
-Children under the age of 6
-Foreign spouse of French national
-Foreign members of families of nationals of other Member States of the EU/EEA and Switzerland
Reduced rate for students
|-Foreign spouse of French national|
The visa official may ask you further questions about your application. If this happens, don’t worry. Just answer the questions honestly and with confidence. They are simply trying to verify your intentions in France.
Some of the most common questions are:
- What is the purpose of your trip?
- Have you ever been to France before?
- Do you pay income tax?
- Where will you be staying?
- How many days are you going for?
At this point, the interview is over, so you can relax and wait for the decision. Keep the tracking number you were given at the interview because you’ll need it for the next step.
Step 5: Receiving your visa
You can track the progress of your visa application by using VFS Global’s tracking tool. When you see your passport is ready to collect, you can go to the center in San Francisco or you can arrange for your passport to be returned by mail. If you want to have it sent to you, you’ll need to provide a self-addressed, pre-paid envelope at your interview. .
It’s a simple process applying for your French Schengen visa on France-Visas’ system and the process will remain simple as long as you follow these straightforward steps. If all goes well, you won’t have any issues and you will receive your passport with your accepted French visa.
However, you must accept that sometimes visa applications are rejected for any number of reasons, a few of which include:
- Criminal history
- Unclear purpose of travel
- Previously overstayed in the Schengen area
- Invalid reference letter
- Damaged passport
- Lack of financial means
To avoid your application being rejected, make sure your paperwork is all present and correct, prove that you are a trustworthy person who has genuine reasons for wanting to go to France, and provide any further information that is requested. If your visa application is rejected you have the right to appeal the decision within 2 months.
Contact detail for the VFS Global Center in San Francisco:
Address: 315 Montgomery Street, Regus Center, Floor 10, San Francisco, CA 94104
Visa application call center: 1-212-784-6157/1-347-252-3055
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.
To sum up, while it may appear long-winded and difficult to apply for your French Schengen visa, it’s really not. The online application system is quick and easy to use. Just prepare all your documents, turn up for your interview and before long, you’ll hopefully have your visa and you can begin to get ready for your wonderful trip to the beautiful county of France.
At Visa Reservation, we strive to simplify the visa process by providing free visa consultations, cover letter templates and no objection letter templates for our clients from US, UK, Canada, Philippines, India, China, UAE, Europe, Nigeria and globally. We also offer flight itinerary for visa, travel medical insurance, hotel reservations for visa and much more. To learn more about how we can help you with our visa services, please feel free to contact us today.