Visa process of French overseas territories

Devraj Lahiri18 June 20211030 views8 min. read
Visa process of French overseas territories

France, with all its exquisite beauty, is incomplete without a visit to its overseas territories. However, to visit them, one has to undergo a French Overseas Visa Application Form. The French Overseas Territories Visa Application Form may be obtained from the French Embassy or the consulates. Visa rules differ from the territorial part of the country, as the visa policy of the French overseas territories differs depending on the overseas department, collectives and other territories. The French Overseas Territories Visa Policy is a set of clearly laid down rules and regulations. It is expected that visitors are well aware of them before they embark on a visit.

Before we get into the French Overseas Territories Visa Requirements for the French Overseas Territories Visa Application Form, it is pertinent that we get to know the French Overseas Territories.

What are French Overseas Territories?

French Guiana

Most of us are aware of France, situated in South Western Europe. France has been of immense influence for centuries across the world. Through its cultural uniqueness, language, cuisine, literature, and fine arts, it has established a vast network of Francophiles across the length and breadth of the globe. However, France is vaster than that. Most travellers miss out on the long list of French Overseas Territories, primarily because of a lack of knowledge. Hence, whilst travelling, one must do ample research on French overseas territories and how to reach there.

Here is the list of French Overseas Territories that is a must-visit for every world traveller:

  • Guadeloupe
  • French Guyana
  • Martinique
  • Reunion
  • Mayotte
  • French Polynesia
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Wallis and Futuna
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Barthelme
  • New Caledonia
  • French Southern and Antarctic Lands
  • These French Overseas Territories are broken into:
  • Overseas Regions and Departments
  • Overseas Collectivities
  • Sui Generis Collectivity
  • Overseas Territory

Each has separate French Overseas Visa Requirements, which is an important thing to know for travellers.

French Overseas Territories Visa Requirements

visa

The visa law is categorized under the following head:

  • French European Territory
  • French Overseas Departments or Regions
  • French Overseas Territories

Nationals from the following countries are allowed to visit without a French Visa but only for short stays of up to 3 months to Guadeloupe, French Guyana, Martinique, and Reunion:

  • All the Schengen Members
  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bolivia
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Hong-Kong
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Macao
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • St-Marin
  • Switzerland
  • The Holy See
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

Nationals from the following countries are allowed to visit without a French Visa but only for short stays of up to 3 months to French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna, New Caledonia and its dependencies, (Terres Australes et Antarctiques françaises (TAAF)), Mayotte, Saint Pierre et Miquelon:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Bolivia
  • Brasil
  • Brunei
  • Croatia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Hong-Kong
  • Japan
  • Macao
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • The United States
  • Uruguay

France usually allows short stay trips across its territories, though longer trips are allowed to nationals of the countries mentioned above. There are also restrictions based on the reason for visit and nature of work. It is generally done to prevent illegal immigration, crime, and unfair employment advantages. After one has acquired the requisite knowledge of the French Overseas Territories comes the important aspect of applying for it. How to apply for visas has often befuddled visitors. Let us look at the steps to help visitors apply for visas for entering the French Overseas Territories.

How to apply for visas?

embassy of france

It has to be remembered that the French Overseas Territories are not part of the country’s European Territory. Hence, the Schengen agreements and all rules and regulations about it are not applicable here. So visitors on a short stay visa to the Schengen territories will be barred from entering from the French Overseas Territories and vice versa. Obtaining a visa for the overseas territories has to be a separate activity and will not be clubbed with formalities about visits to countries on the mainland.

For those who plan to visit both the Schengen Territories and the French Overseas Territories, then separate visa applications have to be submitted.

One of the mistakes that most applicants make is applying for visas at the last moment. It can lead to the cancellation of the trip since every consulate has its own processing time. Therefore, it is advisable that travellers, intending to visit the French Overseas Territories apply for their respective visas much earlier, but not earlier than three months from the date of travel, to prevent any inconvenience caused.

It is also advisable that a complete visa application be submitted since the consulates will not entertain any half-baked ones and reject them outright. The documents that are submitted need to be in French.

The instructions provided by the French Passport office are precise and have to be followed vigorously.

There are plenty of documents that are required, along with the application for a Visa.

The Passport

It is the single most important document that the traveller has to carry with him or her. The passport has to be issued in the last 10 years and not more and must be valid for a minimum of three months after the departure date from the said French Territory.

Do know that they are all short-stay visas, the form of which shall be downloaded from the provided link.

Passport Size Photographs

Three passport-sized photographs have to be submitted along with the form. These Photographs have to be recent and clicked in front of a light background. Any discrepancy arising out of the photograph and there is a high possibility of the application getting rejected.

Evidence of Sustainability

France takes the evidence of sustainability with extreme seriousness since it is particular about letting illegal immigrants enter its borders. Hence, the traveler has to submit the following documentation, proving sustenance during the stay:

euro
  • Foreigners with the certificate of accommodation will be charged €32.50 a day
  • Foreigners with proof of their hotel room booking will be charged €65 a day
  • Foreigners without any proof of hotel room booking will be charged €120 a day
  • The kind of documentation is categorized based on the reason for the visit: Tourist Visits: Proof of hotel booking and its affiliates are a must. If this isn’t provided, then the application, in all possibility, will be rejected
  • Personal Visit: A proof of accommodation has to be provided both in original and photocopies
  • Transit: Proof related to the travel bookings, documents related to the final destination must be submitted along with the visa application
  • Business Visit: The letter of invitation from the host has to be submitted. For travellers on business visits, this is the singular most important document that needs to be carried
  • Education, internship, or Training purposes: France is a major education hub, attracting thousands of students from across the globe. One has to carry the internship agreement or University-related documents for the application to get accepted

Cost

The cost for the application of the short-stay visa varies from €35 to €60. This depends on the nationality of the applicant. The fees are non-refundable and even if the visa application is rejected, it won’t be returned.

It needs to be known that like most consular services across the globe, quite a few visa-related services have been outsourced to third-party vendors. Because of this, an additional charge may be levied on top of the usual charges.

The usual steps involved in applying for a visa for the French Overseas Territories are as follows:

  • Collect and ascertain the kind of visa you would apply for and the places you would be visiting
  • The Online Application will then have to fill out
  • Book the appointment with the Consular staff
  • File Submission
  • Track the Application

The usual time taken for processing the visa application is 15 working days. Under certain circumstances, it may take a bit longer. Hence, as suggested earlier in the article, the visa should be applied earlier, though not earlier than 3 months from the journey date.

It is also helpful if the applicant looks out for any information that the French Ministry of External Affairs puts out concerning changes in rules and regulations. 

Rejection

The consulate may reject the visa application on many grounds. The visa application fee, being a non-refundable one, will not be returned. The reasons for rejection will be provided in writing, along with the opportunity to appeal against the rejection. The relevant authorities may be asked to reconsider the rejection and recheck the application. One of the oft-used reasons for rejection has been incomplete application forms or incorrectly filled ones. It has to be taken care of.

Conclusion

Flag of France

A visit to the French Overseas Territories is a dream come true for many. However, due diligence has to be followed for it to become a reality while applying for the visa.

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