Short stay visa (Schengen visa).

From Wednesday June 10 2015, NO PHONE CALL to the visa section will be answered. Please send your questions by EMAIL ONLY.


If you provide a FEDEX envelop to receive your passport at your residence’s address, this envelop MUST mention:

From: your address (NOT the address of the French Consulate)
To: your address


You have to apply with the French Consulate in Houston, only if you study or reside in one of the following states :Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. If this is not your case, click here.

1. What is a "Schengen visa" ?

A Schengen visa, also called "C" visa, is a short stay visa (up to 90 days by semester) valid for the 25 States member of the Schengen agreement :

AustriaBelgiumCzech RepublicDenmarkEstonia
IcelandItalyLatviaLithuania Luxembourg
MaltaThe NetherlandsNorwayPolandPortugal

Therefore, you don’t need to apply twice when you travel to 2 or more different Schengen countries.

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To be able to apply at the Consulate general of France, you must of course visit France.

If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, you must apply at the Consulate of that specific country.

If you intend to visit several Schengen countries, you must apply at the Consulate of the country where you are going to stay the longest.

If you intend to visit several Schengen for the same amount of time, you must apply at the Consulate of your first entry.

Duration of stay : you may stay up to 90 days in the "Schengen space" with such a visa.

2. Do you need a visa to visit France as a tourist?

American or Mexican citizens DO NOT NEED visas if they stay less than 90 days.

To know if you need a Schengen visa to enter the French territory, please click herefor the list of foreign nationals holding ordinary passports exempt from visa requirements. Attention: Peruvian citizens do not need a visa since March 15, 2016 for the Schengen zone, for Martinique, Guadeloupe. However they still need a visa for La Réunion, French Polynesia and New Caledonia.

However, if the purpose of your trip is NOT tourism, business or family visit then you may still be required to get a visa before your departure please email us. Note that not needing a visa for France does NOT necessarily mean that you do not need one to visit the other Schengen countries.

Citizens from the following countries: USA, Australia, Brasil, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea and Venezuela are no longer required to obtain a short stay visa for work, provided they hold a valid work authorization at the time of their travel.

3. How to make an appointment?

The visa section is open to the public on an appointment basis, with no walk-ins allowed.
No appointment will be given at the counter, by e-mail or by phone.

Each applicant (children included) has to appear personally at the Consulate and should have his own appointment.


IMPORTANT: When you book your appointment online, please make sure to WRITE DOWN YOUR REFERENCE NUMBER (starting with HOU20… ) appearing in the first pop-up window.



IF YOU CANNOT PRINT YOUR CONFIRMATION RECEIPT IT IS NOT A PROBLEM. Simply show up on the date and time of your appointment.

If you need to book another appointment for the same person because you made a mistake, you will have to change one piece of information (for example replacing the passport number by 00000) while booking it.

Applicants arriving late will not be accommodated and must reschedule their appointments.

Minor applicants have to be accompanied by their mother or father or legal guardian at the personal interview.

Click here if you are ready to book an appointment.

4. Processing time

Processing time depends on your citizenship :


15 days is the average processing time if you are a citizen from :

Afghanistan Algeria Bahrain
Bangladesh Belarus Burma
Burundi Congo DRC Egypt
Indonesia Iran Iraq
Jordan Kazakhstan North Korea
Kuwait Lebanon Libya
Mali Mauritania Nigeria Niger Oman
Pakistan Palestinians Philippines
Qatar US Re-entry permit US Refugee travel doc
Rwanda Saudi Arabia Sudan
Surinam Syria Yemen
United Arab Emirates Vietnam Zimbabwe

It takes 2 to 3 days for others. (India, China....)

Applications cannot be processed more than 3 months ahead of time.

5. Requirements

Please provide us with the original + 1 copy of each document.

The visa section does not make any copies, you must bring your documents and the required copies.
Please do not staple the documents together


  1. Original passport or travel document (+ ONE COPY of the identity pages). Your passport must have been issued less than 10 years ago, be valid for at least three months after your return to the US and have at least 2 blank visas pages left. In the same way, the visa AND the US resident status must be still valid at least 3 months, after the last day of stay in the Schengen Area (short stay) .

  2. Processing fees: by credit card (Visa, Mastercard) or the exact amount in cash only. Personal checks or American Express are not accepted.

  3. one short stay application form filled out completely and signed by the applicant.

    Word - 107.5 kb
    Application for short stay visa (Schengen visa)
    (Word - 107.5 kb)

  4. One ID picture

  5. A valid U.S. permanent residence card ("green card") or a valid US visa with valid I-94 / valid I-20 (+ ONE COPY) , or an Advance Parole document. Applicant must bring the original green card or US VISA toghether with photocoies of those documents too.
    We do NOT accept applications from B1/B2 visa holders. They must apply in their country of residence.
    Students with an F1 visa must present the original and a copy of their I-20 properly endorsed for travel (a certification signature is only valid for one year). The validity of the travel endorsement must cover the intended trip in Schengen + 3 months.
    For Camerounese citizens willing to enter Germany, please note that you must present a valid Camerounese Identity card.

  6. Proof of socio-professional status (if you are working) :
    • letter of employment in the U.S confirming your salary, hire date, position and dates of vacation (business registration if self employed)
    • and your last 2 payslips
    • or letter from your school or university confirming your enrollment status, attendance and expected graduation date

  7. Proof of financial means : your last 2 bank statements

  8. Your travel itinerary : you MUST BOOK your airline ticket but do not purchase until the visa has been approved.

  9. ATTENTION!! Proof of medical coverage: you must present a letter from your insurance company stating that you are covered for repatriation, urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospitalization or death, with a minimum coverage amount of 50,000 USD. This coverage must be valid for the Schengen States or worldwide, and indicate your name and dates of coverage. The medical insurance company must pay directly the providers. A medical insurance with a 0 deductible is strongly recommended.

    For all the details, please click on document below:

    Word - 15.6 kb
    Proof of medical coverage abroad
    (Word - 15.6 kb)

    Visa applications without the proper proof of medical insurance abroad will not be processed.

    If you do not have medical coverage abroad, please note that such insurance may be purchased online.

  10. Proof of accommodation :
    • Confirmed hotel reservations for your entire stay in the Schengen states
    • or a letter from your travel agent stating that you are part of a tour.
    • or, if you are staying with friends or family, original of "Attestation d’accueil " that your host has to request at the City Hall (Mairie) in France
    • For a business trip: please also provide a letter from your employer in the US or from your host company in France stating that you are in France on behalf of the company, giving the name and address of the contact person(s) in France and guaranteeing full responsibility for expenses, lodging, and return to the United States

  11. If the applicant is under 18 years old :
    → copy of his/her birth certificate + certified translation if the document is not in French or English

    If the applicant is under 18 years old and travelling without his parents :
    → notarized copy of his/her birth certificate + certified translation if the document is not in French or English
    → notarized parental authorization from both parents or from the parent exercising full custody of the child according to the divorce decree (a certified copy of the divorce decree must be provided) + copies of both parents passports

    If the applicant is under 18 years old and travelling with only one parent :
    → notarized copy of his/her birth certificate + certified translation if the document is not in French or English
    → notarized parental authorization from the non-travelling the parent + copy of his passport

    PDF - 4.7 kb
    Parental authorization
    (PDF - 4.7 kb)
  12. if you are divorced : certified copy of divorce decree stating that you have full custody of the child(ren).

  13. If you cannot come back to the Consulate to pick up your passport (the Consulate will keep you passport during the processing time) and your visa, you will need to bring a self-addressed prepaid envelop with a tracking number (FEDEX, UPS, EXPRESS MAIL). FEDEX Account number and FEDEX Ground envelops are NOT accepted. You may use one envelope per family if you buy “flat rate”.

    Your full name
    Your address
    Your full name
    Your address

    6. Important information

    • The consular administration has full authority to evaluate and request more documents than those submitted by the applicant.

    • Please be aware that submitting the aforementioned documents does not guarantee the approval of the visa.

    • Please note that holders of Schengen visas are still subject to immigration control upon first entry into a Schengen country. The visa itself does not grant the right to enter the Schengen space.

      If you still have any question, please contact the visa section at the following e-mail address :

Last modified on 23/06/2017

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