If you intend travelling to France, you’re definitely set for an exciting time however, the first step is to apply for a visa. There are different categories of visas depending on your purpose of travel. These categories include:
Tourist/ Visitor’s visa
This visa is either for the purpose of tourism or to visit a family member or friend. Just as the name of this visa indicates, they should be used for vacationing, cruising, sightseeing and other recreational activities. You’re not expected to use a visitor’s visa to work.
The business visa is needed if you’ll be conducting business or any other commercial activities in the country. These include meetings, seminars, conferences, trainings or trade fairs.
This is another category of visa which is applicable if you will be changing your flight in France.
There is also the long stay visa which allows you to stay for a longer period. Usually a long stay visa is any visa in which you are allowed to stay more than 90 days. There are many reasons for this. Some of these include studies, employment, marriage or medical reasons.
The visa you’ll be applying for if you’re to travel to France is the Schengen visa. There are specific rules and regulation you ought to know before you apply.
- France is one of the Schengen states and if you intend to visit France, you should apply at the French Consulate General in Lagos.
- If you’ll be visiting any of the other Schengen states before visiting France, you’d need to apply to that country instead.
- Also, if you’ll be staying longer in any of these countries than you will be in France, you’ll have to apply for a visa there instead and vice versa.
- If you’re applying for a long term visa, your passport should carry a minimum validity of 2 years.
- If you’re applying for a short term visa, your passport should have a minimum of 6 months validity from the intended arrival date.
- You application should be submitted at most 10 weeks and at least 3 days before your scheduled travel date.
- It is essential that you submit all required documents because any incomplete documentation could lead to a delay or deferral in decision making on the part of the visa officials.
- You’re to submit a bank statement stretching back to three months
The centre in Lagos that accepts visa applications to France is the VFS Global Centre.
You can download the long stay visa application form from the website. There’s also a compulsory OFII form that you’ll need to download from the website and complete.
Also, you’ll need to download a mandatory questionnaire when applying. After completing these forms, you would attach 3 clear copies of yor current passport to the data page. There are specifications for the photo you’ll be using which you can find here. There are also supporting documents that you’re expected to attach to these forms.
Afterwards, you should pay your visa fees and other related charges such as the VFS Global Service charge as applicable. You are to submit your application personally at the VFS Office.
If you’re below 18 years, you must provide these documents:
- A copy of birth certificate
- A letter of consent from your parents
- A passport copy of the parent issuing the letter should also be attached or any form of national identity card.
Usually, the processing time of your visa application is 15 working days which starts counting from the day you take your biometrics after submitting your form and related documents at VFS Global.
You can track your visa application online by providing a unigue VAC reference number and your date number. The VAC reference number is printed on the receipt you were given after you biometrics information was taken.
You can collect your decision letter between 10 am and 6pm between Monday and Friday except on public holidays. You should come along with your receipt and an original proof of identity.
You’ll have to collect the document by yourself except you’re sending a representative. The representative could either be a family representative or an official representative if you’re applying from a ministry arm of the government or a corporate organization.
You can also use a courier to order for your passport along with your decision letter; however you’ll need to present your receipt and proof of identity before receiving your package.