French Embassy Washington DC – 6 Easy Steps to Apply for France Schengen Visa
Have you been to France yet? If not, then you have some wonderful memories to make in this beautiful Schengen country. Not only does it have traditional and delicious cuisine, splendid monuments, and romantic, modern and charming places to stay, but there are so many exciting things to see and do. You will easily fall in love with everything it has to offer. In this article learn more about how to apply for France Visa at the French embassy in Washington DC, France visa appointment booking, Processing time at the French visa application center and French Visa Application Process at the Washington DC consulate.
Last year, 3,684,404 French Schengen visa applications were received by all of the consulates in the world. Out of this large number of applications, 502,526 were not approved. The French consulate in Washington received 9,289 applications and 0.9% of them were refused.
Applying for Schengen Visa from the United States
If you are not a US citizen but you live in the US on a permanent basis, you can apply for a French Schengen visa.
The Consulate General of France in Washington no longer deals with visa applications and has outsourced this work to VFS Global.
First of all, you have to make sure you apply at the right French embassy and consulate. The Visa Application Center (VAC) in Washington will receive your visa application if you live in the following areas:
– District of Colombia
– West Virginia
You will need to complete your application and book your appointment through the France-Visas’ website, but you must visit VFS Global in Washington to submit your application.
Types of Schengen Visas Offered at the French Consulate in Washington
Regardless of how long you wish to visit France for, you will need to apply for a visa. The two types of visa that are offered at the French consulate in Washington depend on how long you are going for:
- Schengen visa (short-stay visa) – up to 90 days
- National visa (long-stay visa) – over 90 days
There are different categories of short-stay and long-stay visas and the one you apply for will depend on why you are traveling to France. It may be for tourism or business, but you must apply for the correct one. Check France-visas’ website before you begin.
- Family visits
- Airport Transit
- Stay for an extended time for tourism or personal reasons
- Carry out a professional activity
- Pursue education
- Join family members
Each of these visas can be:
- Single entry – 1 entry within 90 days
- Double entry – 2 entries within 90 days
- Multiple entry – Unlimited entries within 90 days
Schengen Visa Application Process at France-Visas
When it comes to applying for a French Schengen visa, you don’t have to feel overwhelmed. It is straightforward and relatively quick. The steps you need to take are as follows.
Don’t leave it too late when you apply for your visa. Although VFS Global have speedy turnaround times, it may take longer to process than you had anticipated. It depends on where you come from and what visa you want. It’s advisable to apply at least 2 weeks and up to 12 weeks prior to your trip. Please note, you cannot apply more than 12 weeks ahead!
Step 1: Gather information on your situation
The first step is to check whether you actually need a visa. Go to France-Visa’s website and use their visa wizard. It will tell you the prerequisites for your application, including required documents, fee, and submission requirements for VFS Global.
Go to the visa wizard and input the requested information and click on “search”:
On the next screen, input the requested information:
Once you have done that, continue to the next screen for information regarding the requirements:
Step 2: Set up the online application
On France-Visas website, you’ll need to set up your online application. Scroll down and click on “online application form”:
On the next screen, click on “Access”:
You’ll need to create an account, if it’s your first time using this system, or use your log in details to access the application form for completion:
As you proceed through the application, there are on-screen explanations if you need them. Once you get to the end, don’t forget to print the form off for signing, as well as the list of documents you need to submit to VFS Global.
Step 3: Book your appointment
Go to France-Visa’s website and click on “submit your application”:
Next, click “whom should I contact”:
And click on the tab that says “Washington”:
You’ll see VFS Global in Washington’s contact details and “Book an appointment” – click on this:
The next thing you have to do is to log into the appointment system:
Or register as a new user:
Once your appointment has been scheduled, you can get your documents prepared.
Making appointments with the embassy or visa application center is generally free and can be done yourself. However, If you are running short of time or not sure which consulate to apply to or have no idea on how to get this done yourself then not to worry, we will make the appointment for you for a small service fee!
Step 4: Preparing your documents
Please make sure you check that you have everything you need. If not, this could delay your application or result in it being refused. Documents include:
1) Schengen or National visa application form – completed and signed
2) Passport – valid at least 3 months longer than the end of the trip; issued in the last 10 years; 2 blank pages for visa
3) Non-US resident visa/Residence card/I-94/I-20/I-797/Advance Parole/IAP66
4) Confirmation of residence – State ID/driving license
5) 2 x recent passport-sized photos
6) Round-trip flight booking and full tour itineraries
7) Invitation letter from the company or host
8) Contract of employment/internship and/or details of student registration
9) Medical certificate/details of paid hospital costs and/or insurance/Affidavit of financial responsibility
10) Details of involvement in event/conference
11) Travel Insurance – minimum €30,000 to cover medical emergencies and repatriation
12) Hotel booking and/or rental agreement
13) Proof of financial means – 3 x bank statements; 3 x wage slips; income tax return or proof of previous financial dealings; details of scholarship/sponsorship
14) Verification of employment –
– Employed: employer letter and/or business proof
– Self-employed: corporation license
– Students: certificate of attendance
– Retired: proof of pension income
15) 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 5: Submit your file to VFS Global in Washington
When the day comes for submitting your file to VFS Global in Washington, it’s important to arrive early. Everyone will have been given an allotted time, so being late will only result in not being able to submit your application which would obviously delay your trip.
Remember to take everything that is required to the visa application center. Again, this will end with a return trip home without your visa application being processed.
Also, dress as you would for a job interview. It’s doesn’t seem like much, but it will make a good impression at your interview.
During the interview, you will be required to provide biometric data unless you have a previous biometric Schengen visa issued within the last 2 years. You will also have to pay the relevant fee.
Schengen Visa Fee
Schengen visa and Airport transit visa (Adults)
Short-stay visa for Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion, Saint Martin, and Saint Barthélemy
Children between the age of 6 and 12
Reduced rate for students
Adopted child (when the adopter is a French national
Adopted child (when the adopter is a non-French national
|Nationals from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Georgia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine|
Children under the age of 6
Foreign spouse of a French national
Foreign members of families of nationals of other Member States of the EU/EEA and Switzerland
There is also an additional fee of $29.31 charged by the VFS Visa Application Center which you will need to pay when you submit your documents.
When you hand over your application, the visa official might ask you some questions regarding your application. If this happens, answer them truthfully and to the point. Sometimes, a short answer will be enough, but if you are asked to elaborate, then do so politely. Common visa interview questions are:
- Is this your first trip abroad to the Schengen area?
- Are you traveling with someone else?
- Do you enjoy any scholarship?
- Do you have a job leave approval letter from your employer?
- Have you booked or bought the flight ticket?
Don’t jeopardize your Schengen visa interview at the last minute. Use this comprehensive and thorough visa interview guide to crack the visa interview!
Step 6: Track your visa
Once you have submitted your application, you will receive a reference number. You can then use this to track the progress of your visa. Go to their website and click on “VFS online tracking application tool”:
Select the United States of America as the country where the application was submitted and click on “Go”:
Next, key in your reference number and date of birth. Click on “I’m not a robot” and then “submit”:
If your passport is ready, you can go and collect it from VFS Global in Washington.
Hopefully, you’ll find your French visa attached to your passport, but it may not be. Schengen visa applications get rejected from time to time for a number of reasons:
- Missing documents
- No signatures
- Invalid passport
- Purpose of the trip isn’t clear
- Lack of funds
- No travel insurance
These are genuine reasons why visas are rejected, so make sure your application isn’t among them. It’s so important to have ALL the documents you need, so keep checking the requirements and make sure you present everything. Don’t forget to sign documents too and make sure they are valid. You need travel insurance and enough money, so have both before you get to the visa application center. Also, make it clear why you wish to travel to France. You can appeal the decision if your application is rejected.
Contact detail for the VFS Global Center in Washington DC
Address: 1025 Vermont Avenue, NW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20005
For information regarding appointments or difficulties with appointments, you can contact France-Visas by using their contact form.
Visa application call center: 1-212-784-6157/1-347-252-3055
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.
It’s so easy to apply for your French Schengen visa. All you need to do is to complete your application on France-Visas’ website, get all your documents ready, and submit the application in person to VFS Global’s application center in Washington.
Once you get your French Schengen visa, you’ll know that it won’t be long until your jetting off on a French trip of a lifetime.
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.
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