France Visa for US Citizens

France Visa for US Citizens

Are you an American planning to visit France soon? Maybe you’ve been dreaming of the cobbled streets of Paris, or perhaps you’re heading to the lush lavender fields of Provence.

Whatever your French travel itinerary, before you dig that beret out of your closet for your trip, you’ll need to research whether or not you require travel authorisation. 

Many Americans fall in love with this country each year drawn in by iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, and stunning coastlines like the Côte d’Azur. Oh, and of course, the food!

What travel authorisation you need will depend on a number of factors. Are you coming to study here or to work as a teacher say? Or are you going on an extended trip and planning to spend time in other Schengen countries too? 

Whatever your circumstances, get the most out of your voyage to the home of the City of Light and the wine hub Bordeaux by reading up on this essential information to help plan your trip!

Do US Citizens Need A Visa for France?

Good question! So as this country is in the Schengen Area, Americans do not currently require travel authorisation to visit here on a tourist trip. 

Because of the travel agreements in place, US citizens can enter le France and the other 25 Schengen member countries without requiring a visa. A valid passport must be presented though, of course. 

This exemption applies to stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period and visits are cumulative across the Schengen Area. So if you would like to enjoy more time than this exploring the Schengen member countries, you must apply for appropriate travel authorisation.

Please note: From late 2022, Americans will need to request an electronic travel pass to visit France and other Schengen countries. The good news is, you will be able to apply for this authorisation online with Byevisa just by filling out a simple form. Learn more about the ETIAS for France on our dedicated page!

Visa Requirements for US Tourists Visiting France

The ETIAS for France will soon be a standard requirement for American citizens visiting on short term trips. 

It will be required by every American for stays of up to 90-days when travelling to a European country. To apply, you’ll need to hold a passport that’s valid for at least 6 months from your planned date of entry. You must also answer some standard medical and security questions to check against the EU’s databases. This can be done through Byevisa. 

If you are wanting to stay for longer than 90 days, you will need to apply for a long-stay visa by filling in an online application form and arranging an appointment at a visa application centre.

France Visa Application Process for US Travellers Coming to Work or Study

If you are travelling to France (or indeed Monaco) for reasons other than tourism or business you must obtain the appropriate travel authorisation for that purpose before you depart from the US. It is nearly impossible to obtain or change your visa status when you’re already in the country. 

This applies if you are travelling for study, an internship or employment.

Is There a France Work Visa for US Citizens?

The type of paperwork you require depends on the nature of the work you are looking to undertake. 

To employ a foreign worker, French companies or employers must have requested authorisation from the French authorities. For some roles, this may not apply if your employment contract does not exceed 90 days.

There are several categories of French work visas and so if you require one, you’ll need to check which applies to you and then submit an application along with 2 passport photos and a certificate of a criminal record. You’ll also have to pay the associated fee and may be asked to provide additional documentation too. 

How much is the France Visa Cost for US visitors?

The total cost of the ETIAS for France travel authorisation is yet to be set. For longer trips, 

the price for a long-stay visa for Americans is equivalent to just over 115 USD.

Working and Studying in France as an American

Working or studying in ‘lla République’ is a rewarding and even life-changing experience.

From TEFL jobs to customer service roles, there are a range of employment opportunities for Americans. If you speak French, you’ll find that your options are even more plentiful. 

To undertake employment once you’ve obtained a job offer, you will require a visa. The type issued will reflect the nature of your employment contract. Typically this is either a long-stay pass categorising you as  ‘salarié’ (employee) for permanent employment contracts or ‘travailleur temporaire’ (temporary worker) for fixed-term contracts.

Planning to study here instead and asking yourself, do I need a student visa to study in France?  

Firstly, you’ve chosen well! From Paris to Lyon and Toulouse there are many world-class academic institutions in this country. 

If your program of study here is for under 90 days, as a US citizen you are not required to apply for a student visa. 

However, students travelling here for longer programs of over 90 days must apply for one.

To do this you will need to: 

  • Complete a visa application via the government visa website
  • Schedule and attend an in-person appointment at a VFS visa centre

USA Embassy and Consulate in France

The embassy in Paris is located at:

2 avenue Gabriel
75008 Paris

The contact details are:

Phone: +33 1 4312 22 22
Alt Phone: +33 1 42 66 97 83
Fax: [33 (1)42669783

The US consulate in Marseille is found at:

Espace Cordeliers
2, rue Président Carnot
69002 Lyon

Tel: 01-43 12 48 60
Email: usalyon@state.gov

The embassy in Marseille is located at:

US Consulate General Marseille

Place Varian Fry
13286 Marseille Cedex 6

The contact details are:

Tel: 01-43-12-47-54
Fax : 04 91 55 09 47

There are also US consulates located in Bordeaux, Rennes, and Strasbourg.

You can find details of other American embassies in the country here

France Visa FAQs for Americans

We hope you now have all the information you need to prepare for your journey to the City of Lights or wherever else you’re heading in this beautiful country.

However, if there are more things you need clarification on, keep reading for answers to more commonly asked questions.

Do US Green Card Holders Need a Visa for France?

Yes, if you hold a US Permanent Residence Card or a US visa, you will still likely require a Schengen visa. The requirements are different for US residents than for citizens.

What Is the Flight Time to France?

The flight time will, of course, vary depending on where you are flying to and from. If you fly from the East Coast, you will likely arrive more quickly than if you fly from California for example. The average flight time to this destination is around 10-11 hours. A popular route is New York to Paris which takes just under 7 hours.

How Many Americans Are There in France?

Americans are the third biggest international tourist group here. There are around 31,000 Americans registered as permanent residents in this country. However, in reality, the number living here is much higher, as this does not include students and people on extended stays.

What do I Need to Know Before Travelling Here from the US?

Don’t forget to pack a US to France power adapter in your case! The currency used here is Euros and 1 EUR is equivalent to around 1.18 USD.

Further Information About Travelling to France

We hope you now have all the information you need to plan the trip of a lifetime! If there are things that you’d still like to know about this gourmet nation, take a look at our page all about visiting France.