Applying Schengen visa(France) from USA

By HorizonNerd - April 26, 2020



France is a part of everyone’s bucket list, so why not actually accomplish it. We booked our tickets during our UK trip(Yes! We do that sometimes😀). Since we already had prior experience of Schengen visa from Italian consulate and required documentation is almost the same, This time we got our passports delivered in just 24 hrs. 
Documentation:- 
  • Copy and original of Passport and US Visa/Green Card
  • Passport size photographs(2X2)
  • Pay stubs - 3 Months
  • Bank statement - 3 months
  • Employment letter
  • Medical Insurance certificate
  • Address proof for current address(Driver’s license, utility bill, etc)
  • Marriage certificate( if required), original and copy
  • Birth Certificate for baby(if required), original and copy
  • Booking details(round trip flight, train, and hotel)
  • Cover letter - Purpose of visit and details of a planned visit
  • Print of appointment slip
  • Return mailing envelope USPS, FedEx(Optional in case you want to pick the passports)
Apply in person:- 
Create a login and book appointment from consulate general of France website
Download visitor visa form fill for all relevant details from here
Sign and affix the passport picture in the form 
Visit France consulate general office in (San Francisco in our case) with an original passport(s) and all other documents. Fingerprints will be taken at the consulate
They will keep the form, photograph(s), copies of required documents, return mailing envelope, and original passport(s). After payment(€60 per applicant) you will be provided with receipt(s) 
Track the visa status here with receipt number and DOB.
Some pointers:- 
  • Book your appointment 4-5 months in advance. I am not sure about other locations but consulate in SF is usually full.
  • The family form is available from May 2018 onward, all members can be added in the same form and book a single appointment slot.
  • In case you are not sure about the appointment date, it can be changed or canceled anytime. 10 days before you will get mail to confirm the appointment.
  • Medical insurance is mandatory for travel to any Schengen country.
  • They will check every booking of your itinerary including hotels, domestic flights and trains, etc.
  • We reached 15 min prior to scheduled, the end-to-end process took 15-20 min
  • The validity of visa starts from the date of travel mentioned in form till return date or 1 year( depends on case to case)
  • To expedite the entire process, arrange all documents in order and highlight wherever required(address, numbers, etc)
Statistics :- 
  • Time taken to figure out how to apply - 1 weekend
  • Time taken to fill the application - 2 evenings
  • Biometrics/In-person visa interview - 20 min
  • End to end processing time after submitting passports - 24 hrs



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