Business visa in France
Foreigners apply for a France business visa to visit business partners, participate in negotiations, exhibitions and conferences related to their professional activities. A business visa is issued based on the invitation from a French company. This visa, however, does not give you the right to engage in full-time employment in the country, for this purpose you must obtain a work visa.
A business visa is a short-term Schengen type C visa that entitles you to stay in France for a maximum of 90 days during a six-month period for the purpose of visiting business partners. The visa is valid in the Schengen Area and the non-European territory of France, depending on the destination.
Application procedure for a business visa to France
The first step is to prepare the documents and send the online application form. You can do it yourself or via the official French visa centre in your country. The applicant then makes an appointment at the consulate or the visa centre, depending on whether they have chosen to submit the paperwork directly or to use the agency's help.
If the visa centre handles the paperwork, they will send and pick up the documents from the consulate themselves. The applicant can check the application status and track the documents online. Once the visa is ready, the applicant can collect the passport in person or using courier services.
List of documents required for a business visa to France:
- Invitation from a French company and a copy of it.
- International passport and old passports (if any).
- 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm biometric photo.
- A copy of internal passport pages with a photo and registration address.
- A copy of international passport pages with a photo and previous Schengen visas for the last 3 years.
- Printed-out online application form filled in in French or English.
- Travel insurance policy with a minimum coverage of €30,000 valid for the duration of stay.
- Consent to personal data processing.
- Booked round-trip flight ticket.
- Hotel or apartment booking.
- Statement of employment indicating salary, position and date of commencement of employment with the company. Proof of employment must be signed and stamped by a company employee.
- Bank account statement with a minimum balance of €720 (for up to 21 days travel).
- Printed-out appointment for documents submission.
- Proof of payment of a consular fee.
- Proof of payment of a visa centre fee.
Business invitation letter
To get a business visa, the applicant must prove the connection between their professional activities and the purpose of the trip. The main document confirming the purpose of the trip is an invitation from a company registered and operating in France. The letter should be written in English or French.
The invitation should contain the following information:
- Full details of the applicant's international passport, contacts, place of work and position held.
- Dates of travel to France and location of meetings, exhibitions, conferences.
- The purpose of business travel (e.g. business trip or participation in a conference).
- Upcoming travel schedule if a multiple-entry visa is required.
- The activity of the host company.
- The obligation of the French company to pay the applicant's expenses related to their stay (if applicable).
- Seal and signature of the company representative, their name, title and contacts.
The applicant may submit a print-out of the invitation to the consulate, there is no need to provide the original.
Frequently asked questions
The consulate fee is €35; double fee for express entry.
The application is usually processed within 3 to10 days. If additional verification is required, this period may increase up to a month.
A business visa is valid for the same period as any short-term Schengen visa: no more than 90 days during a six-month period.
All adult applicants must submit fingerprints and have their photographs taken with special equipment. Children up to 12 years of age are exempt from having their fingerprints taken. The biometric data is stored for 5 years and can be used for subsequent visa applications.