Definition : A Schengen visa allows its holder to move freely in all the member states of the European Union who signed the Schengen agreement within the validity of the visa.
The Schengen Space : At the moment there are 25 member countries : Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Foreign citizens with valid residency permits in a Schengen country may travel freely in the Schengen space for up to 3 months as long as they hold valid recognised passports and valid residency status.
Be advised that a Schengen visa does not guarantee the entry clearance into the Schengen space.
Airport transit visa : This visa allows you to transit through the international zone of a French airport with no access to the Schengen space, before flying on to your final destination.
Transit visa : This visa allows you to pass through one or more Schengen member states on your way to a country outside the Schengen space. This visa can be valid for up to 5 days.
Short stay Schengen visa : This visa allows you to travel freely within the Schengen Space, including France, and spend a maximum of 90 days over 6 months. It is issued for various purposes such as tourism, shopping, business or family visits.
Visa for Spouse or Child of a French Citizen : This visa is for the spouse or child of a French Citizen who need to obtain an airport transit, transit , short stay or circulation visa.
Visa for Spouse or Child of an European Union Citizen (non- french) : You are the spouse or child of an European Union Citizen and need to obtain an airport transit, transit, short stay or circulation visa.
NB :"Circulation" Schengen visa : This visa allows the holder to travel freely within the Schengen Space, including France, over 1 to 3 years. It can be granted to people who can prove their frequent trips for family or business purposes.
Long stay visa : This is not a Schengen visa. This visa allows you to reside in France, for longer than 3 months, either to study, work or retire.
Visa for countries represented by the French Authorities in the United Kingdom : This is not a Schengen visa. This visa allows you to travel to Central African Republic, Djibouti or Mauritania.
Dom Tom visa : This visa is not a Schengen visa. This visa allows to travel to Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion Island, Guyana, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, French Southern Territories, St. Pierre and Miquelon or Mayotte.