Who Does and Who Don’t Need A French Visa?


Not to every foreigner and not for every territory of France applies the same visa policy. As such, visa exemptions are greatly influenced by dissimilar factors, where the major ones are: foreigner’s nationality, the territory of the France that the applicant seeks to visit, foreigner’s residence status in Schengen Area or specifically in France, the purpose of visit, as well as duration of stay.

Speaking of France territories, the law separates them into three following parts, subject to dissimilar visa policies:

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  • French European Territory
  • French Overseas Départments or Regions (DOM)
  • French Overseas Territories (TOM)

Who Needs a French Visa to Enter and Stay in European French Territory?

France is part of the Schengen Area. Therefore, its European territory is a complementing part of other territories: of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, also members of the Area.

Learn HERE who CAN travel to the European French Territory without a French Visa and who NEEDS to get one for entering and staying there.

Who Needs a French Visa to Enter and Stay in French Overseas Départments or Regions?

The following foreign nationals are FREE to travel WITHOUT French Visa for a short stays (up to 3 months) to Guadeloupe (and its dependencies: Saint Martin, Saint Barthélémy), French Guyana, Martinique, Réunion:

  • Schengen Area member countries,
  • Andorre,
  • Argentina,
  • Australia,
  • Bolivia,
  • Brunei,
  • Bulgaria,
  • Cyprus,
  • Canada,
  • Chile,
  • Costa Rica,
  • Croatia,
  • El Salvador,
  • Guatemala,
  • Honduras,
  • Hong-Kong (titulaires du passeport de la Région administrative spéciale seulement),
  • Ireland,
  • Japan,
  • Macao (titulaires du passeport de la Région administrative spéciale seulement),
  • Malaysia,
  • Mexico,
  • Monaco,
  • New Zealand,
  • Nicaragua,
  • Panama,
  • Paraguay,
  • Singapour,
  • South Korea,
  • St-Marin,
  • Switzerland,
  • The Holly See,
  • United Kingdom,
  • United States,
  • Uruguay and
  • Venezuela. 

*Note: Nationals of the above listed countries CAN enter and stay in French Overseas Départments or Regions WITHOUT a French Visa, except for the following categories of foreign nationals, who MUST have a French Visa to stay in those territories:

  • Nationals of the United States, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Venezuela or Singapore who aim to work in these territories,
  • Nationals of the United States who: aim to study there, hold a diplomatic or official or other service passport and aim to stay in these French territories in a diplomatic or official mission there, as well as those who aim to stay there for journalism purposes

All other foreign nationals of the excluded countries from the above list, CANNOT enter or stay in French Overseas Départments or Regions WITHOUT undergoing the French Visa Application procedure and getting the appropriate French Visa.

Who Needs a French Visa to Enter and Stay in French Overseas Territories? 

The following foreign nationals are FREE to travel without a French Visa  for a short stays (up to 3 months) in French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna, New Caledonia and its dependancies, (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 * (passport holders of the special administrative area exclusively),
  • Japan,
  • Macao* (passport holders of the special administrative area exclusively),
  • Malaysia,
  • Mexico,
  • New Zealand,
  • Nicaragua,
  • Panama,
  • Paraguay,
  • Singapore,
  • South Corea,
  • United States and
  • Uruguay.

Nationals which can enter in the French Overseas Territories WITHOUT a French Visa but CANNOT stay more than three (3) months or ninety (90) days there, come from the following countries:

*Note: Nationals of the above listed countries CAN enter and stay in the French Overseas Territories WITHOUT a French Visa, except for the following categories of foreign nationals, who MUST have a French Visa to stay in those territories:

  • Nationals of Brasil, Canada, South Korea, United States, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore meaning to get a gainful job in these territories,
  • Nationals of the United States if they: aim to get a job there, or, entering and staying there for journalism purposes
  • Nationals of Hong-Kong and Macao will need a French Visa to enter and Stay in Overseas French Territory of New Caledonia.

All other foreign nationals of the excluded countries from the above list, CANNOT enter or stay in the French Overseas Territories WITHOUT undergoing the French Visa Application procedure and getting the appropriate French Visa.