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Travel Guide: How to Apply for a French Visa in the UK?

Welcome to our blog guide on applying for a French visa in the UK! Whether you’re planning a vacation or a business trip to France, obtaining the necessary visa is a crucial step. In this concise guide, we will walk you through the application process, requirements, and share valuable tips for a smooth and successful experience. Let’s get started on your journey to securing your French visa hassle-free!

Apply for a French Visa in the UK

What are the Common Types of Short-Term Visas for France?

  • Tourism (less than 90 days) 
  • Business/Professional visit (less than 90 days) 
  • Family visit (less than 90 days) 

The most common types of French visas are known collectively as “Short-stay Visas” as their maximum duration of stay cannot exceed 90 days. International students in the UK typically need to apply for a Short-stay Visa for Tourism.

Who is Eligible to Apply for a French Visa in the UK?

To apply for a French visa in the UK, you need to meet the following three application criteria:

Possess a Valid Passport 

Your passport should have been obtained within the last ten years, contain your signature, be undamaged, and have at least 2 blank visa pages. Furthermore, it must remain valid for at least three months beyond the date of your planned visit to France. For instance, if your passport expires on December 1st, and three months before that is September 1st, your application to visit France must be submitted before September 1st.

Be a UK Resident with a Valid UK Visa

Being considered a UK Resident entails having held a UK visa for more than six months. It’s important to note that if your UK visa is set to expire, it is advisable to travel to France three months prior to the expiration date (to avoid potential issues at customs upon re-entry to the UK). As an example, if your UK student visa expires on December 1st, counting three months forward to September 1st, it would be best to visit France before September 1st.

Fulfill One of the Following Conditions

  • France is your sole point of entry.
  • France is where you will spend the longest duration during your entire European itinerary.
  • France is your first point of entry, and you plan to spend an equal amount of time in each country.

For instance, if you are traveling to both France and Germany for a total of 10 days, Scenario 1 would involve spending 7 days in France and 3 days in Germany. In this case, even if you don’t fly to France first, you can still apply for a French visa since you will be staying longer in France than in Germany throughout the trip.

In Scenario 2, where you spend 5 days in both France and Germany, with an equal length of stay, you can apply for a French visa if you fly to France first.

What are the Documents Required to Apply for a French Visa in the UK?

I will now provide an overview of the required documents for French visa application, specifically the Short-stay Visa for Tourism.

General Documents for All Applicants

Apply for a French Visa in the UK
visit france from uk
  • Valid passport and copy.
  • Valid UK Residence Permit (BRP) with at least 3 months validity beyond your planned departure.
  • Recent passport-size photo (3.5cm x 4.5cm) with a white background.
  • Completed and signed French visa application form, along with a backup copy.
  • Itinerary if visiting other Schengen countries.
  • Original and copy of travel proof (tickets, etc.).
  • Original and copy of travel insurance covering €30,000 medical expenses for the entire trip.
  • Proof of accommodation, such as hotel booking confirmations or details if staying with friends.
  • Original and copy of funds proof (bank statements or travellers cheques) for the last 3 months.
  • Original old passport (if available).
  • Copy of the latest Schengen Visa obtained within the past year (recommended).

Additional Documents Required for Students

  • A school letter issued by your university within the last 3 months. This letter should include details about your course, attendance, and holiday dates. Please bring both the original and a photocopy.

Additional Documents Required for Applicants with Work Status

  • Original and photocopy of an employment certificate issued within the last 3 months. This certificate should include details about your employing company, the start date of your employment, and your position’s salary.

  • Original and photocopy of payslips for the last 3 months.

Additional Documents Required for Self-Employed Workers

  • A letter from your lawyer, accountant, or bank manager with details about your company, such as shares, industry, date of incorporation, and revenue. Include proof of the company’s VAT registration within the last 3 months, along with original and copy.

  • Self-Assessment Form approved by the tax and customs authorities.

Additional Documents Required for Applicants Receiving Financial Support from the Partner

  • A letter from your partner’s employer issued within the last 3 months, stating their job title and start date. Please provide one original and one photocopy.

  • Original and photocopy of your partner’s payslips for the last 3 months.

  • Original and photocopy of your partner’s valid passport.

  • Original and photocopy of your marriage certificate. If the certificate is in Chinese, it must be translated into French or English by an official translation agency.

  • A Statement of Will to Support the Spouse.

In addition to the documents mentioned earlier, the French visa centre may require additional proof based on individual circumstances. To ensure completeness, you can use the wizard page on the French visa website. By answering simple questions, the system will generate the necessary documents. Additionally, for business or family visit visas, you may need to provide specific supplementary materials such as an invitation letter from a French company or the local address of your friends/relatives in France.

What is the Process of Applying for a French Visa in the UK?

The process for applying for a French visa in the UK is as follows:

Step 1: Visit the France-Visas official website and access the online visa application page.

Step 2: Create an account by providing your name, email address, and other basic information. Activate your account through the email received.

Step 3: Log in to your account and fill in the required Travel and Personal Information accurately.

Step 4: Review and confirm all the information before proceeding to the next step. Note that changes cannot be made after confirmation.

Step 5: Once you have completed the online process, visit the official website of the UK Legal Visa Delivery Centre. Select the city where you will submit your visa application, register your account, fill in the form, and schedule an appointment for visa submission.

Step 6: Use Firefox 7.0, Google Chrome 15.0, or IE7 or above to fill in the online form. Remember to download the Appointment Form promptly after paying the service fee to avoid account cancellation after 20 days.

Step 7: Bring all required visa documents to the visa centre at the appointed time for submission.

Note: Along with the application form and visa documents, remember to bring the payment receipt on the day of visa delivery. Turn off your mobile phone upon entering the visa centre as the use of mobile phones is prohibited. Compliance will be monitored by the staff.

Apply for a French Visa in the UK

How Much Does It Cost to Apply for a French Visa in the UK?

Currently, the visa fees are consistent across all three delivery centres in London, Edinburgh, and Manchester. To apply for a French visa in the UK, you will need to pay two fees: the France visa fee and the visa centre service fee.

France Visa Fee:

For a Short-Stay Visa (less than 90 days), the fee is €80. However, the Pound Sterling equivalent may vary due to fluctuating exchange rates. Please refer to the current fee in Pound Sterling.

Visa Centre Service Fee:

Starting from September 1st, 2023, the Visa Centre has announced an increase in the service fee. The new fee for a Short-Stay Visa will be €40, and additional services such as passport posting and photo ID will also have increased fees.

It is important to note that payment of the visa fee and service fee does not guarantee visa approval. If your visa application is denied, these fees are non-refundable.

France Visa Application Centre in the UK

France Visa Application Centre in London

  • Address: 18 Ryeland Boulevard (Ram Quarter), Wandsworth, London SW18 1UN
  • Visa Application Opening Hours (Appointment Required): Monday to Friday 8:30-12:30, 13:30-15:30
  • Passport Collection Opening Hours (No Appointment Necessary): Monday to Friday 8:30-12:30, 13:30-15:30

France Visa Application Centre in Edinburgh

  • Address: Office 4.18 / 5.5 – Regus, Abbey House, 83 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 2ER
  • Visa Application Opening Hours (By Appointment Only): Monday to Friday 8:30-13:30
  • Passport Collection Opening Hours (No Appointment Necessary): Monday to Friday 8:30-13:30

France Visa Application Centre in Manchester

  • Address: The Junction, Quay Side, Merchants Quay, Salford M50 3SG
  • Visa Application Opening Hours (Appointment Required): Monday to Friday 8:30-13:30
  • Passport Collection Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30-16:30


Applying for a French visa in the UK requires careful preparation and attention to detail. By following the steps outlined in this guide and staying informed about any changes in requirements, you can navigate the process with confidence. We hope this blog has provided you with the necessary information and insights to make your visa application a success. Bon voyage and best of luck with your French adventure!


According to the France Visa website, it is recommended to apply for your visa no later than 20 days before your planned departure to France. However, it is important to note that you should not apply more than 6 months in advance of your intended travel dates.

No, there is no expedited service for French visa.

If you need to retrieve your passport during the visa application process, it would be considered a withdrawal from the application. In such a case, you would be required to reapply for a French visa from the beginning for any future travel plans.

The London Visa Centre can provide results in as fast as 3 working days, according to feedback. However, during peak periods or if further investigation is needed, it may take longer. If your application requires review by the French Embassy alongside other embassies, expect results in around 15 days. Visa processing times vary for each individual. The Edinburgh visa office tends to have a slightly slower turnaround, with results for visas under 90 days taking about 3 weeks on average. It’s advisable to apply at least a month in advance to account for processing time.

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