Note: This section applies to foreigners wishing to travel to France. If your question is about visas for Hong Kong or Macau, please visit the immigration department of Hong Kong website or the Macau government website.
To qualify for a Schengen visa issued by the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau:
France must be your main destination
You must be an actual resident in Hong Kong or Macau.
It is mandatory to obtain an appointment online to apply for a visa.
The personal appearance of applicants is required. They must come in person at the visa section at the time of the scheduled appointment made online only and present their passport and all original documents with a complete set of photocopies. The Consulate won’t do any photocopies and it won’t be possible to complete your application later. Only visa applicants are allowed to enter the visa section. Third parties are not allowed to accompany visa applicants and will therefore remain outside unless it is a minor (under 18 years), who must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian with a proof of identity. French citizens are not allowed to accompany visa applicants (unless it is their minor child).
All documents submitted to the visa department have to be written in French or English. If not, they have to be accompanied by a certified translation.
All foreign nationals who wish to come to France must be able to present at the border regulatory proof of the purpose of stay, means of subsistence and proof of accommodation. In certain circumstances, a visa is required. It must be requested before your departure at the French consulate.
If you hold a passport of the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau (SAR) or British National Overseas (BNO), you are exempt from the visa requirement to go to France and to the countries of the Schengen area for a stay of less than 90 days (short stay) over a period of 180 days, unless you are going to engage in a gainful employment in France. Since 1st January 2002, the SAR and BNO passport holders no longer need a visa to travel to the DOM-TOM, unless you are going to engage in a gainful employment.
Holders of the "Document of Identity" or "Travel Permit" need a visa to enter French territory.
If you are living in Hong Kong or Macau and have another type of passport, have a look at the Foreign nationals holding ordinary passports exempt from visa requirements section of the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
If you hold a valid Schengen visa issued by a consulate or embassy of another Schengen State, the visa is valid for the entire Schengen area (which includes the European territory of France), unless marked otherwise on the visa sticker and as long as this visa is valid.
The Schengen area includes the following countries (in alphabetical order): Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France (the territory of France located in Europe), Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. There is no immigration control at the border between the countries of the Schengen area, except under special circumstances.
The United Kingdom and Ireland are not part of the Schengen area.
The French overseas departments (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyana, Reunion), French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna, Mayotte, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, French Southern and Antarctic Lands are not located in the Schengen area. A Schengen Visa does not allow his holder to enter French territories located outside Europe. To enter a French territory located outside Europe, foreigners (except those who are exempt) must submit a special visa that only the French consular authority may issue (or prefectural authority for foreigners that are already in France).
You must submit your visa application in person to the French consular office in your usual country of residence. You cannot apply by post.
The main destination country is the Schengen state which will host the activity motivating your trip or, in case of equivalent motives, the Schengen state where you will spend most of your time.
Thus, if the purpose of your trip (visiting family, business ...) takes place in another Schengen state, even if you stay in France longer, it is the consular authority of the other Schengen State which is competent. However, if you visit several states for the same purpose (tourism ...), it is the Schengen state in which you stay the longest which will be competent.
In this second case, it is therefore the Consulate of France who is competent to deal with your application if, for example, you plan to enter the Schengen area through another country than France, but it is in France that you will spend the longest time. However, if you enter the Schengen area by France but your main destination is in another country of the Schengen area, it is the consular authority of the other country which is competent. If your stay in the various Schengen states are of equal length, it is the state in which you enter the Schengen area first which is competent.
The list of documents required for each purpose of travel to France are only indicative. Other documents may be requested if necessary.
The type of visa required to enter France depends on both the duration and patterns of the intended stay, except in special cases:
For stays equal to or shorter than 90 days over a 180-day period, the visa to be issued is a short-stay visa called "Schengen visa"
For stays longer than 90 days, the visa to be issued is a long-stay visa appropriate to the duration of and reasons for your stay.
Once you are in France, you cannot have your visa modified nor change your immigration status. In addition, exercising a salaried activity is subject to specific procedures that require getting a work permit before getting a visa. This applies to all employees, including artists and sportspeople.
After you have submitted your application, the consular authority processes it and makes a decision. The consular authority provides an answer as soon as possible, depending on the checks it may have to carry out. There is no point in contacting the consular authority again during this processing period.
It is highly recommended that you apply for your visa several weeks prior to your departure, especially during peak periods of the year (from mid-April to the end of July and in December). The processing time for issuing a short-stay visa is usually 48 hours (depending on the applicant’s nationality) after submitting the complete application to the consulate. The average time for issuing a long-stay visa is 10 to 15 days (4 to 6 weeks for the working holiday visa).
If you have received no answer within 2 months, you may consider that your visa application has been refused (implicit refusal).
Note: we can not issue a visa more than 3 months before your departure date.
National passports (ordinary, diplomatic, service, official), as well as "Documents of Identity for Visa purpose" for Hong Kong and “travel permits” for Macau are recognized for affixing visas.
If you hold another type of travel document, you should consult the visa section.
The Community Code on Visas has introduced two standards:
the travel document must contain at least two blank pages for affixing a visa and entry stamps,
the travel document must have been issued within the last 10 years.
Note : The period of validity of your passport must be greater than 3 months from the date of expiry of the visa requested. If the validity of your passport is not long enough, you must apply for an extension or renewal of your passport.
The Entry and stay visas : Application fees section of the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs lists all the application fees in euros. The amount payable to the Consulate in Hong Kong dollars can fluctuate according to the exchange rate.
The fees are payable exclusively in Hong Kong dollars, by credit card or cash only.
Note: Whether or not a visa is issued, the visa processing fee is not refundable.
If neither the information page of the website of the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong & Macau, nor the Getting a visa section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, answer your question or if your case is unique and not mentioned on these two sources of information, you can contact us.