FAQ

I CAN NOT FIND A SUITABLE APPOINTMENT/I DON’T SEE ANY SLOT AVAILABLE, WHAT SHOULD I DO ?

Please note that due to the peak season you might experience difficulties to find an available slot. However, please note that our appointment booking system IS WORKING and that our complete and reinforced team is already doing its best to accommodate as many people as possible.

You can check our appointment system regularly as there may be some cancellations. We also add extra appointments on our schedule every day to follow the demand. Please remember that you can’t apply more than 90 days prior to your departure and that you can’t book an appointment with us more than 50 days in advance.

During peak seasons, WE WILL NOT REPLY TO EMAILS REGARDING APPOINTMENT SCHEDULING. If we are at full capacity, the system will notify you.
In case of justified medical or professional emergencies ONLY, please send us an email including a letter from your doctor or a letter from your company at the following address: Admin-etrangers.san-francisco-fslt@diplomatie.gouv.fr

WE ARE A FAMILY OF 4, HOW MANY APPOINTMENTS SHOULD WE BOOK?

You should book 4 appointments. It doesn’t matter if they are not at the same time as long as they are on the same day but you can all come at the same time of course.

I MISSED MY APPOINTMENT AND YOUR SYSTEM DOES NOT ALLOW ME TO BOOK ANOTHER ONE, WHAT CAN I DO?

You will be able to book a new appointment starting only the day after the one you have missed.

I LIVE IN NEW YORK BUT I WILL BE IN SAN FRANCISCO FOR THE WEEK, CAN I APPLY WITH YOUR CONSULATE FOR MY VISA ?

Unfortunately, you can apply with us only if you reside in one of the following states: North California, North Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Alaska, Hawaii & Pacific Islands. Please note that we can’t take your visa application if you hold a B1/B2 US visa.

I AM A FRENCH CITIZEN AND I NEED A US VISA / NEED TO EXTEND MY STAY IN THE US.

You must contact the United States immigration authorities (ex: US Citizenship and Immigration Services, or the American Embassy in Paris). Our office is only competent for visas to travel to France, French overseas territories and departments.

Les consulats français à l’étranger sont compétents uniquement pour délivrer des visas aux étrangers souhaitant voyager en France. Pour toutes questions concernant un visa ou séjour pour les Etats-Unis, vous devez vous renseigner auprès des autorités d’immigration américaines (ambassade américaine à Paris ou US Immigration Services).

I HAVE A GREEN CARD, DO I NEED A VISA?

Being a Green Card holder doesn’t exempt you from applying for a visa. You MUST refer to you passport and your current nationality (country that has issued your passport) to determine if you need a visa. Please note that you must refer to your nationality of origin if you hold a US travel document.

DO I HAVE TO COME IN PERSON TO APPLY FOR MY VISA ?

If you already hold a Schengen visa with the mention "VIS" on it issued less than 5 years ago, you don’t have to apply in person. In that case, just mail us your complete application with a credit card authorization form for the fees and a self addressed prepaid envelop. DO NOT send us your green card, a photocopy of it will do. Please also note that “VIS-0” is different to “VIS” and is not eligible for this process.

If you are not holding a previous Schengen visa with the mention “VIS”, are residing in our jurisdiction and are over 12 years old, you MUST appear in person at our Consulate in San Francisco. The reason is that our Consulate is now connected to the VIS (Visa Information System) that requires the collection of biometric data: ten fingerprints and a picture. These will be taken in our office after the interview. NO EXCEPTION.

DO YOU HAVE AN EXPEDITE PROCESS ?

No, French consulates DO NOT have any expedite process.

WHAT IS THE PROCESSING TIME TO OBTAIN MY VISA?

It depends on various factors but the average time is as follow (please note that the Consulate experiences some peak seasons, around the Holidays and during summer so please PLAN AHEAD OF TIME, especially for appointments):

SHORT TERM VISA: the average processing time is 5 days.

LONG TERM VISA: the average processing time is 15 days.

To be safe, we highly recommend that you apply at least 3 weeks prior to your departure date.
For particular situations or for some nationalities we recommend that you apply as soon as travel arrangements and plans are made but please note that you CANNOT apply more than 90 days prior to your departure date.

WHY DO I HAVE TO PROVIDE A SELF ADDRESSED PREPAID ENVELOPE?

It is not mandatory; it is only for your convenience. You can provide a self addressed prepaid envelope if you don’t want to come back to our Consulate to pick up your passport once your visa is ready. It can be a USPS or a FEDEX envelop (NO UPS) and it needs to have a tracking number. Please keep copy of your tracking number as we are NOT going to do so.

CAN I PAY THE VISA FEES IN EUROS OR WITH A CHECK?

No, we only accept dollars. You can pay by cash (exact change only) or by card (Visa or MasterCard only).

CAN I CALL YOU?

No, the visa department can’t take any phone calls. You have to send us an email at the following address: Admin-etrangers.san-francisco-fslt@diplomatie.gouv.fr

I LIVE IN SEATTLE. CAN I APPLY WITH YOUR HONORARY CONSULATE?

No, as mention earlier, fingerprints and picture can only be collected by our visa department in San Francisco.

CAN YOU SEND ME AN APPLICATION FORM AND THE LIST OF DOCUMENTS REQUIRED?

Everything you need is available online. All the application forms, the explanations and the list of documents required are clearly listed.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE INSURANCE?

Along with other required documents needed to get a Schengen visa, all applicants have to present a medical insurance valid for the Schengen territory (regulation of the European Union: decision 2004/17/CE of December 22nd, 2003).
A letter from your insurance company is required. This letter has to mention that you will be covered in Europe for any medical, evacuation and repatriation expenses during your whole stay. The medical expenses have to be covered for at least $35,000 or 30,000 euros.
Please kindly note that a photocopy of your insurance card will not be sufficient enough to meet the above requirements.
You have to contact your insurance company to get this letter. If your insurance company does not provide such a letter/coverage, please purchase an international insurance prior to your appointment at the visa section and do not forget to bring the letter. TravelSafe, Seven Corners, Axa assistance, MEDEX, Europ assistance, IMG meet the Schengen requirements.
We kindly remind you that the insurance coverage letter is a compulsory document. Applicants missing this document will systematically have their visa denied.

I AM VISITING SEVERAL SCHENGEN COUNTRIES, WHERE SHOULD I APPLY FOR MY VISA?

If you intend to visit only ONE (1) Schengen country, you must apply at the Consulate of that specific country.
If you intend to visit more than one Schengen country, you must apply at the Consulate of the country of your main destination, WHERE YOU WILL BE STAYING THE LONGEST. Therefore we need to see hotel booking for the entire length of your trip, in France as well as in any other country visited.
Example 1: you arrive in France and stay for 5 days, then travel to Italy for 2 days = you must apply for your Schengen visa at the French consulate Example 2: you arrive in France and stay 2 days, then travel to Italy for 4 days = you must apply for your Schengen visa at the Italian consulate.
If you intend to visit more than one Schengen country for the SAME AMOUNT OF TIME, you must apply at the Consulate of your first entry.
For example : you arrive in France and stay 3 days, then you travel to Italy for 3 days = you must apply for your Schengen visa at the French consulate, as you arrive in France first.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ID PICTURE?

All photographs provided with a visa application must be:

  • recent (no older than 6 months),
  • in color
  • on a plain white background
  • must be printed on photo-quality paper at high resolution — passport size (2" x 2") — must clearly show facial features — of full front view of the face, your face must fill about 75-80% of the photograph — taken facing the camera, no side or angled view are acceptable — no glasses — keep a neutral expression (no smiling) — uncovered: (head coverings are not permitted except for religious reasons, but your facial features from bottom of chin to top of forehead and both edges of your face must be clearly shown)

MY PASSPORT HAS BEEN ISSUED MORE THAN 10 YEARS AGO, BUT HAS BEEN EXTENDED, CAN I APPLY FOR A VISA?

No, your passport must have been delivered less than 10 years ago (date of first issuance, i.e. your passport CANNOT be older than 10 years), be valid for at least three months AFTER your stay in the Schengen area or French territory, have at least two blank pages left to affix the visa (amendment pages are not suitable for visas) and be in good condition (ie. not torn or damaged)

Dernière modification : 19/07/2016

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