Visa applications submitted in the United States are processed by the France Embassy Washington DC, France Consulate General in Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco.
France at a glance
Located in Western Europe, France’s medieval cities, lofty villages, and Mediterranean beaches continue to attract whooping numbers of tourists throughout the year. Paris—its capital—is touted as ‘World’s Top Fashion Capital’ and is famous for its iconic wrought-iron lattice Eiffel Tower.
With state-of-the-art educational set up, highly-advanced industrial set up and tech-oriented economy, France continues to be a major player in the power politics.
France is also a member of the Schengen Area.
Who can apply for France Visa from within the USA?
Before proceeding further, let it be clear that a permanent citizenship holder of the United States does not need to apply for or acquire a France Schengen Visa. A Permanent Resident Card [usually referred to as Green Card] allows you to enter France or any other Schengen Area for up to 90 days without a visa. But it is mandatory that itinerant’s passport must hold validity of a minimum of 90 days or three months after his/her intended return to the USA.
However, if you are a permanent citizen of the USA and intended to stay for over 90 days, then you are required to apply for France National Visa in France Embassy Washington D.C.
Jurisdiction of France Consulate General in Chicago
The France Consulate General in Chicago covers the following states:
North Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Visa Application Process At France Consulate General in Chicago
Readout step-by-step guide for having an in-depth acquaintance with the visa application process at France Consulate General in Chicago.
To find out whether you need a visa or not to enter the French territory, open franceintheus.org (official website of French Missions in the United States) and click on “Visit France” section and click on “Visa” category.
The computer will open a new window. Click on highlighted “France Visas” section to proceed further.
Staffers at the franceintheus.org have made visa application process very simple. Once you click on the highlighted “France Visa” section, a new window will be opened enlisting the four-step visa application process.
You will start with by scrolling down to “Do You Need a Visa” and then clicking on it.
Select visa type (short-stay or long-stay visa), enter the number of days you plan to stay, select the main destination of stay, issuing authority (country) of the travel document, the passport type, and enter the search.
In light of the information that you will submit, the portal will tell whether you need a visa or not. If yes, the portal will also illustrate a number of supporting documents that you’re required to attach with your visa application.
This wizard will help you in establishing the following things:
- Requirements for visa procedure
- Visa Fees
- List of supporting documents
As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to apply for or acquire France Schengen Visa to enter the French territory. But if you currently reside in the USA but don’t possess permanent citizenship, then you’ve to apply for France Schengen Visa (depending upon your visa nationality).
If you already have an online account, use your details to log in. Otherwise, create an account by following simple instructions.
Step Four: Submit Online Application
Go back to France Visas and click on “submit online application” box and select your location i-e United States of America.
Scroll down your icon to VFS Global and click on it.
Now select the category you belong to (i-e the state which you belong to) and click on “Book An Appointment”.
Please note that appointments times and processing duration for applications can vary, depending on your nationality and type of visa applied for. We recommend you to apply well in advance of your trip, at least 15 days, but not more than 90 days, prior to your intended departure dates.
Step Five: Prepare Your Documents
Now that “Visa Wizard” has illustrated the list of supporting documents that you’re required to submit with your visa application, we recommend you to start preparing them without wasting even a split second.
Application form: Fill the application form. Don’t forget to sing it. Also, attach an ID Photograph.
Passport: Your passport must hold validity for at least three months before the planned date of return. It should be issued less than ten years ago and with at least 2 blank pages and photocopy of passport pages.
Cover Letter: This is the document describing the planned program. It is also known as the letter of confirmation or confirmation at France Consulate General in Chicago.
Roundtrip Flight Itinerary for visa application: If you are going to apply for a short-stay visa, we recommend you to buy a roundtrip flight itinerary as it enlists dates of your entrance in French territory and dates of departure to your home destination.
If you are going to apply for a long-stay visa, we recommend you to attach one-way flight itinerary as you’ve no intention to come back to the USA soon.
Travel Health Insurance: You must not forget to attach a Travel Health Insurance document. The travel health insurance must cover any possible costs for medical repatriation, and emergency or hospital treatment, for a minimum treatment of 30,000 EUR or 50,000 USD. The travel health insurance should hold validity in all Schengen Area.
Hotel Booking Reservation/Proof of accommodation: A proof of accommodation will be submitted by your friend or relative—who must possess permanent French citizenship—in case you are planning to reside at his place. It is known as “Attestation d’accueil” in French.
In case you’ve booked or paid for accommodation in a hotel, then you will attach the Hotel Booking document with your visa application.
It can also be a certificate of ownership of real estate in France or lease agreement.
Bank statement/Proof of financially means: Whether you want to enter French territory for a short period or a long period, you’ve to prove to the staffers of the France Consulate General in Chicago that you possess sufficient financial means to carry yourself comfortably in France during the course of your stay.
For this purpose, you will submit a bank statement of the previous six months.
Affidavit of Support: Now, if you’re unable to produce bank statement for any reason whatsoever, you will ask your sibling or friend—residing in France and in possession of permanent citizenship—to produce an affidavit of support on your behalf expressing the willingness to support the itinerant financially during the course of stay.
Means of subsistence: It means to provide evidence to the France Consulate General in Chicago that the applicant has sufficient amount or financial resources to bear his/her expenditures during his stay in the Schengen country. In the absence of proof of accommodation or hotel booking, the applicant is bound to attest to the French Consulate or Embassy that he possesses daily cash equivalent to 120 euros.
The amount plummets to 65 euros per day if the foreigner—seeking entry in France—displays proof of prepaid accommodation.
The amount falls further to 32.25 euros per day if the applicant holds evidence of cheaper means of accommodation.
Employment contract; and
Current bank statement of the latest 6 months; and
Leave permission from the employer; and
Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary.
A copy of your business license; and
Company bank statement of the latest 6 months; and
Income Tax Return (ITR).
If a student:
Proof of enrollment; and
No-objection certificate from school or university.
Pension statement of the latest 6 months.
Regular income generated by property proof of the latest 6 months.
Apart from the general documentation required, accompanying should be other additional documents depending on the nature of your visa application.
Recent nationwide criminal history check.
US work permit
Confirmation of participation in any type of event or activity
Self-addressed, pre-paid US express mail envelope (if applicable)
Documents proving the legal status in the US – original Alien Registration Card (Green Card), a Green card Stamp in your passport, an Advance Parole, or a valid US Visa must be provided along with a valid I-94 departure record. Students should also submit the original validated I-20, DS-2019 or IAP-66.
The US residence permit or visa should be valid at least 3 months beyond the intended departure from the Schengen member state territory.
Letter of continued employment including income statement. If you are self-employed a business license and tax return forms are required.
Step Six: Submit File
Well, after being done with all the stuff mentioned above, you are now required to submit visa application file at France Consulate General in Chicago. We recommend you to adhere by below-mentioned instructions to avoid any untoward situation:
Double-check that you are coming with all mandatory documents
Try to reach at least 30 minutes prior on your day of the appointment
Answer all interview questions smartly, confidently and most importantly with utmost honesty.
Try to leave a good impression
As of May 15, 2014, each individual applying for a Schengen visa in the USA must appear in person, so that the necessary biometric data – ten fingerprints and a digital photo – can be collected. The biometric data are stored for a period of 59 months and can possibly be reused. This means that future applications during that period of time may be filed through correspondence, provided your data are of good quality and can be retrieved from the VIS.
San Francisco, Atlanta, and Washington: visaonweb.diplomatie.be (printed application form and documentation must be sent by postal mail or courier service
San Francisco: by postal mail or courier service only
Exemptions for the fingerprinting requirements are granted to:
Children under the age of twelve;
Persons for whom the collection of fingerprints is physically impossible;
Heads of State and members of National Governments and their accompanying spouses, as well as the members of their official delegation when invited by Member States’ governments or by international organizations for an official purpose.
Furthermore, the applicant can extract the aforementioned data from the Visa Information System (VIS) if he/she has submitted it within the duration of five months. In such a case, you can forward application either by mail or courier.
Step Seven: Track your Visa
With the advent of VFS Global tracking tool, you can effortlessly track your visa application by simply entering your tracking number to know progress being done by staffers of the France Consulate General in Chicago. Usually, France Consulate General in Chicago will take up to 15 days to process your visa application.
Possible Reasons for Visa Rejections
There are a number of reasons upon which France Consulate General in Chicago may reject your visa application. These reasons include (but are not limited to):
You forgot to sing the application form
The validity of your passport has expired
Passport is partially damaged.
Any of mandatory or supporting documents is missing
France Consulate General in Chicago finds something dubious in your application.
Address of France Consulate General in Chicago
205 N Michigan Ave #3700, Chicago, IL 60601, USA
Phone: +1 312-327-5200