France Transit Visa From USA

If you are a US citizen looking to pass through a French airport to catch a connecting flight, then you may be wondering if you need a France Transit Visa. In this guide, we will explore France airport transit visas, who needs them, who is exempt, transit visa applications, and the costs.

For more information about visas for Americans visiting France, including details about the eligibility criteria and how to apply (as well as bespoke advice for your immigration situation), reach out to one of our Total Law legal advisers today. Call us on +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online.

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    What is the Airport Transit Visa for France?

    An Airport Transit Visa (ATV) for France allows you entry to the international zone of a French airport while you are waiting for a transfer flight. It is also known as an “A” visa.

    Bear in mind that a France Transit Visa is only valid for 24 hours. It also does not allow you to leave the international zone of the airport, for instance, to sightsee or stay the night in a hotel.

    You only need an Airport Transit Visa if you are traveling from a country that is not one of the Schengen states and your final destination is also outside of the Schengen area. The Schengen area is the 27 European Union (EU) member state countries that have abolished passport control at their mutual borders.

    It is important to apply for the right Airport Transit Visa for you, which will depend on the nature of your trip. The three main types are:

    • The one-way Airport Transit Visa, which authorizes one-way transit through a Schengen country.
    • The return Airport Transit Visa, which authorizes return airport transit through one or two Schengen countries.
    • A multiple Airport Transit Visa, which authorizes several transits through one or more Schengen countries.
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      Do American citizens need an Airport Transit Visa for France?

      Usually, if you are an US citizen then you are exempt from needing an Airport Transit Visa for connecting flights at a French airport, as long as you are staying within the airport’s international zone.

      US citizens can travel to France for up to 90 days visa-free within each six month period, including for airport transit, tourism, and business. Bear in mind that if you are traveling with a normal passport then it must be valid for at least three months after the date of your intended departure from the Schengen states area.

      Note that if you are a non-citizen resident of the US who has a passport from one of the countries that requires an Airport Transit Visa, then you will still need to apply for this visa.

      Also, if you are traveling with a 12-page emergency US passport, then this will not be automatically valid for visa-free entry to France.

      You will have to submit an Airport Transit Visa application, although the French authorities may still refuse this. If you have an emergency passport and are intending to catch a connecting flight in France, then it may be advisable to visit a French consulate in the US for advice before your trip.

      How do I apply for an Airport Transit Visa for France?

      You can apply for a France Airport Transit Visa via the French government Republique Francaise website. You will need to submit the following documents to apply:

      • A signed and completed visa application form, which can be accessed via the website.
      • Two recent (taken within the past six months), standard-sized passport photos.
      • A photocopy or scan of your passport with at least two blank pages and valid for a minimum of three months after your return date.
      • Two copies of your passport photo page.
      • A photocopy or scan of your return flight tickets.
      • If you are traveling on business, then you may be asked to provide proof of this in the form of a cover letter explaining the purpose of your trip.

      How long does an Airport Transit Visa application take to be processed?

      The visa application process usually takes around 15 days but at busy times like the summer, it can take longer. In some cases, if the French authorities require further information, then it can take up to 45 days for your visa to be processed. That is why it is a good idea to allow an adequate amount of time for your visa application.

      What is the cost of a France Airport Transit Visa?

      The fee for each visa applicant is €80 (or approximately $85). For children between the ages of 6 to 12, it is €40 (approximately $43). The Airport Transit Visa is free for children under the age of six.

      The France Airport Transit Visa is also free for:

      • Applicants who are spouses of French nationals, although you will have to provide proof of this.
      • Applicants with family members who are nationals of the UE, EEA, or Switzerland. Again, you will have to provide proof of your connection to this family member.

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        Who needs an Airport Transit Visa for France?

        Foreign nationals of the following countries must apply for a an Airport Transit Visa if they are catching a connecting flight:

        Afghanistan Ghana Republic of the Congo
        Angola Guinea Russia
        Bangladesh Haiti Senegal
        Bolivia India Sierra Leone
        Cameroon Iran Somalia
        Central African Republic Iraq South Sudan
        Chad Mali Sri Lanka
        Ivory Coast Mauritania Sudan
        Cuba Nepal Syria
        Democratic Republic of the Congo Nigeria Togo
        Dominican Republic Pakistan Yemen
        Eritrea Philippines Palestine
        Ethiopia Republic of the Congo

        Who doesn’t need an Airport Transit Visa for France?

        The following categories of people are exempt from needing an Airport Transit Visa for the international zone of French airports:

        • Aircraft crew members.
        • Diplomatic or service passport holders.
        • Holders of a valid residence permit for a country in the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EAA).
        • Holders of a valid visa or national long-stay visa for one of the Schengen states.
        • French re-entry permit holders.
        • Residency permit holders for Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Monaco, Andorra, Holy See, San Marino, Canada, Japan, or the United States of America.
        • People who have a family member who is a national of the UE, EEA, or Switzerland.

        Do you need an Airport Transit Visa for connecting flights in Paris?

        If you are traveling between non-Schengen member state countries via Paris Charles De Gaulle airport, then you will not need an Airport Transit Visa for your flight connection. This waiver applies no matter what your final destination is. Charles De Gaulle airport is exempt from the Airport Transit Visa traveler requirement.

        When is the Airport Transit Visa for France not valid?

        In the following cases, an Airport Transit Visa will not be suitable. Depending on your legal residency status in the US, you may need to make a short-stay France Visitor Visa application instead:

        • If you have to leave the airport or the international zone of the airport
        • If you have to collect baggage and go through the check-in process again at the airport
        • If you are traveling on an open ticket

        If you have a French residence permit will you need an Airport Transit Visa?

        You won’t need a transit visa for France if you have an existing French resident permit, for instance, the Carte de Sejour, Carte de Resident, EU Blue Card, or Authorisation of Stay. However, make sure that your residence permit isn’t due to expire while you are making your trip as you may need an Airport Transit Visa, depending on your nationality.

        List of French consulates in the US

        If you have any concerns about the validity of your passport, then it may be advisable to contact a French consulate in one of the following US cities:

        Atlanta Boston Chicago
        Houston Los Angeles Louisiana
        Miami New York City NW Washington
        San Francisco Washington DC

        How Can Total Law Help?

        Understanding the French and European Union (EU) visa application and immigration systems can be complicated. Total Law can help you with navigating various visa options, including transit visas, tourist visas, and long-stay visas.

        We are experienced, sympathetic lawyers working within the field of international immigration. We have the tools and expertise to assist you, regardless of your personal circumstances or the complexity of your case.

        Whether you’re looking for assistance with French visa requirements, are unsure of how to navigate the visa application process, or just need to speak to an immigration professional regarding your case, we can help.

        For more information about the services we provide and how we can help you with France visa permits, please reach out to a member of our team today. Call us on +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  You cannot get a Transit Visa on arrival. You must apply in advance of your trip via the government’s Republique Francaise website. Applicants should also allow around 15 days for your visa application to be processed.

                  No, even if you have been granted a France Transit Visa, French border control will still be in place. So technically you can still be refused entry to an airport if French authorities have a reason to do so.

                  The forthcoming regulation that US citizens will need to register with EITAS (the European Travel Information and Authorisation System) to travel to France will not take effect until 2025. The intention of EITAS registration is to make Border controls across the Schengen area much safer for everyone.