Do you need a visa?
The United Kingdom has not signed the Schengen Agreement. Therefore, even if you hold a permanent or temporary permit to reside in the UK, you may still need a visa to enter the Schengen Area.
The Schengen Area: At the moment there are 25 member states (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland).
Foreign nationals with a valid residence permit issued by a Schengen country may travel freely in the Schengen Area for up to 3 months as long as they hold a valid recognised passport and a valid residency status.
Citizens of countries listed in the table below do NOT need a Schengen visa to go to France, as long as their stay does not exceed 3 months.
|Antigua & Barbuda||EEA countries (2)||Montenegro (1)||South Korea|
|Argentina||El Salvador||New Zealand||Switzerland|
|Bahamas||Guatemala||Panama||Timor-Leste (East Timor)|
|Barbados||Honduras||Paraguay||Trinidad & Tobago|
(blue passport only)
|Samoa||United Arab Emirates|
|Bosnia Herzegovina (1)||Israel||St Christopher & Nevis||United States of America|
|Brunei||Macao||St Vincent & the Grenadines||Vanuatu|
|Canada||Macedonia (FYROM) (1)||San Marino||Vatican|
(1) Only for holders of a biometric passport.
(2) The European Economic Area (EEA) comprises 30 countries : 27 member states of the European Union (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom), plus 3 member states of the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway).
(3) Taiwanese nationals are exempted from short-stay visas, provided that their passport bears their ID card number (usually printed on page 3 above the date of birth).
However, you may be asked, either at the border of entry or within the Schengen Area, to produce proofs of financial means of support, hotel bookings or your return ticket to your country of residence.
Additionally, all foreigners wishing to travel to France MUST be in possession of a valid travel insurance that covers medical and repatriation costs.
NB: Nationals who do not need a visa to go to France should contact the other Schengen countries they may also plan to visit to ascertain visa requirements.
Check the tables below to see whether you need a Schengen visa for a stay that does not exceed 3 months.
|TYPE OF PASSPORT
(printed on page 1)
British National Overseas (BNO)
British Overseas Citizen
British Overseas Territories Citizen
British Protected Person
|British Dependant Territories Citizen||YES|
|Travel documents issued to Refugees (Geneva 1951) / Stateless people (New York 1954)||Holders of travel documents issued by the British authorities under the Geneva Convention of July 1951 (refugees) and under the New York Convention of September 1954 (stateless people) may travel visa-free to France and the Schengen area as long as they can produce at border control their valid travel document as well their valid UK residency permit. People who do not hold official evidence of their right to remain in the United Kingdom will need to apply for a Schengen visa.|
|British Certificate of Identity
British Certificate of Travel
|These are not recognised by the French authorities|
as valid travel documents. Holders of such documents
can therefore not be issued with a French visa.
If your British document exempts you from a visa, you may travel to France up until the expiry date of your travel document. There is no minimum passport validity requirement, but you should ensure that your passport is valid for the proposed period of your stay. Driving licences are NOT accepted as travel documents.
Be advised that all foreigners wishing to travel to France MUST be in possession of a valid travel insurance that covers medical and repatriation costs.
Pupils / schoolchildren / high school students in general education travelling on a school trip, nationals of countries who would normally require a visa, are exempt from an entry visa into France, if their names are entered on a "List of Travellers" form available from:
The British Council Information Centre
58 Whitworth Street
Manchester M1 6BB
Tel: 0161 957 7755
Fax: 0161 957 7762
And online at this address.
This form is not, however, a travel document in itself: each individual pupil must carry a valid official document establishing identity and bearing a photograph, such as:
a valid passport,
a valid ID card.
Further information about the school trips exemption may be obtained from the British Council. Please note that the British Council cannot give general visa advice.