Frequently Asked Questions

IMPORTANT

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

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Tourism in France - November 2015

1. What are the location and hours of the Consulate General of France in Houston?
2. In which cases should I apply to a French Consulate?
3. In which French Consulate should I apply for a visa?
4. What is the best way to contact the visa section of the French Consulate in Houston?
5. Do I need a visa to go France?
6. What is a SCHENGEN visa?
7. If I travel to 2 or more Schengen countries, in which Consulate should I apply for a Schengen visa?
8. May I apply at the visa section without an appointment?
9. The online appointment system does not work.
10. How do I reschedule my appointment?
11. When can I apply for a visa?
12. How much does it cost to apply for a visa?
13. What documents should I bring when applying for a visa?
14. How long is the visa valid for?
15. What must be the validity of my passport? What are the other requirements regarding my passport?
16. What type of medical insurance do I need to present?
17. Do I need to show my plane tickets to France when I come and apply for a visa?
18. Where can I get an “attestation d’accueil”?
19. When and how do I get my passport back?

1. What are the location and hours of the Consulate General of France in Houston?

For location and hours, please click here.

2. In which cases should I apply to a French Consulate?

You have to apply with a French Consulate, if:
-  You wish to go only to France ;
-  You wish to travel to several Schengen States, but France is the country where you are going to spend most of the time of your trip ;
-  You wish to travel to several Schengen States, with no main destination (the duration of your stay is strictly equal in each country), but France is your first point of entry.

NOTE : If you do not need a visa for the Schengen country of your main destination or first point of entry, please note that you may require a visa for other Schengen countries you wish to visit. You should then apply with the Embassy or Consulate of the country which does require a visa.
The visa is issued only by a Consulate of France if Monaco is the main destination.

The visa section of the French Consulate in Houston is competent ONLY for visas to travel to France, French overseas territories and Departments, and Monaco (if Monaco is the main destination).
If you are a French citizen and need a visa for the United States or need to extend your stay in the United States, you must contact the United States immigration authorities (for example, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services or the American Embassy in Paris).

3. In which French Consulate should I apply for a visa?

If you are a resident from Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma or Arkansas, you must apply at the French Consulate in Houston.
If you are a resident from another state, please apply at the French Consulate of your jurisdiction. In order to know where to apply, please click here. If you are not a resident of our jurisdiction, your application will be denied.
You will have to show us at least ONE of the following documents to prove your residency:
— a valid driver license or state ID from one of these states, which must be located in the consulate’s jurisdiction;
— OR a valid student ID from a university located in one of these states (or a statement issued within the past 2 months from the registrar of your university, which must be located in the consulate’s jurisdiction);
— OR an original lease or rental agreement in the applicant’s name or a notarized statement from the owner or leaseholder, plus a recent utility bill in the applicant’s name with an address located in the Consulate’s jurisdiction.

4. What is the best way to contact the visa section of the French Consulate in Houston?

From Wednesday June 10 2015, NO PHONE CALL to the visa section will be answered. Please send your questions by EMAIL ONLY.
Please read our website carefully before contacting us. There is a lot of information that can be found on the visa pages. You will only receive a reply if the information is not available on this website.
Please allow the visa section a couple of days before expecting an answer.
E-mail: visas.houston-fslt@diplomatie.gouv.fr
Fax : 713-572-2904
When writing to us, please include the following:
-  Your full name
-  Your nationality
-  If you are not a US citizen, your current status in the USA (permanent resident "green card", F1 visa, H1B visa, etc…)
-  Which visa you are applying for (please be specific) and the approximate length of your stay
-  Additional contact information (phone number, secondary e-mail, etc…)

5. Do I need a visa to go France?

Depending on your nationality and the purpose and duration of your trip, you may not need a visa to go to France. Please read carefully the visa pages for a complete description of visa requirements.

6. What is a SCHENGEN visa?

A Schengen visa, also called short stay visa or "C" visa, is a short stay visa (up to 90 days per semester) valid within the whole Schengen space, unless indicated otherwise on your visa.

Please click here for the list of the Schengen States.

If you are traveling to 2 or more Schengen countries, you will only need to apply once.

7. If I travel to 2 or more Schengen countries, in which Consulate should I apply for a Schengen visa?

If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, you must apply at the Consulate of that specific country.
If you intend to visit more than one Schengen country, you must apply at the Consulate of the country of your main destination, where you will be staying the longest.

Example #1: you arrive in France and stay for 5 days, then travel to Italy for 2 days = you must apply for your Schengen visa at the French consulate

Example #2: you arrive in France and stay 2 days, then travel to Italy for 4 days = you must apply for your Schengen visa at the Italian consulate.

If you intend to visit more than one Schengen country for the same amount of time in each country, you must apply at the Consulate of your first entry.
For example: you arrive in France and stay 3 days, then you travel to Italy for 3 days = you must apply for your Schengen visa at the French consulate, as you arrive in France first.

8. May I apply at the visa section without an appointment?
No. The visa section is open to the public on an appointment basis only. You must make an appointment on our online appointment system. No appointments will be given over the phone or by email.
For more information about the online appointment system, please click here.

9. The online appointment system does not work.

To use the system, the following configuration is required :

Firefox 1.0 and higher
Mozilla 1.7.8 and higher
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 and higher
Adobe Acrobat reader and higher
Allow pop-ups

The appointment system is NOT compatible with Mac computers or Chrome browsers

You need to enable your computer to open pop-ups by changing your browser settings.

10. How do I reschedule my appointment?

If you are not able to attend, please cancel your previous appointment and reschedule to a later date.
To cancel or change an appointment, you will need your “HOU” confirmation number and passport number, choose "Appointments" on the top left side, then select "Changing an appointment"
To access the online appointment system, click here.

11. When can I apply for a visa?

Processing time depends mostly on your citizenship and the purpose of your trip. You will find more details in the visa pages.

Applications cannot be processed earlier than 3 months before your departure. With this in mind, we strongly recommend all applicants to apply well in advance.

There is no expedited process and the French Consulate does not issue emergency visas. There are no exceptions.

12. How much does it cost to apply for a visa?

For visa application fees, pleaseclick here.

13. What documents should I bring when applying for a visa?

You will find information on the visa pages, depending on the type of visa you are applying for. Please visit the visa section of our website.

14. How long is the visa valid for?

It depends on the type of visa you are applying for and the type of documents you present. We must first check your file on the day of your appointment before we can estimate the validity of your visa.

15. What must be the validity of my passport? What are the other requirements regarding my passport?

When applying for a visa, the visa section will keep your passport during the processing time, until the visa is issued.
The passport must have been delivered less than 10 years ago (date of first issuance, i.e. your passport CANNOT be older than 10 years). You cannot apply for a visa if your passport is still valid but was first issued more than 10 years ago.
The passport must be valid for at least three months AFTER your stay in the Schengen area or French territory.
The passport must be in good condition (not torn or damaged) and have at least two blank pages left to affix the visa (amendment pages are not suitable for visas).

16. What type of medical insurance do I need to present?

When the visa section requires proof of medical coverage, you must present a written document for your insurance company that indicates coverage of EACH of the following requirements:

-  The coverage is valid for the Schengen States or valid worldwide;
-  The insurance policy covers repatriation;
-  The insurance covers urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospitalization or death;
-  The minimum coverage amount is 50,000 US$;
-  The document indicates your full name as the insured person, and the effective dates of medical coverage.
-  A medical insurance with a 0 deductible is strongly recommended.

Please check carefully whether your medical insurance will pay directly the providers in the Schengen countries for emergency medical expenses, emergency hospitalization and repatriation for medical reasons or death.

Many US medical insurance companies reimburse the costs of emergency medical treatment abroad but do not pay directly the providers. These policies will not be accepted as proof of medical insurance. We invite you to have a letter from your insurer indicating that payments will be made directly to the provider (Schengen States or worldwide).

If your US medical insurance company does not make direct payments to the provider, you can purchase international travel insurance online. The Consulate will request the letter from the insurance company with all the above requirements.

The Consulate does not accept insurance cards or insurance booklet, and will require a written document from the insurance company, indicating all the above mentioned requirements.

17. Do I need to show my plane tickets to France when I come and apply for a visa?

You must reserve your airline ticket under your name and present it on the day of your appointment, but you are not required to purchase it until the visa is approved.

18. Where can I get an “attestation d’accueil”?

This certificate must be obtained at the City Hall by the person you are visiting in France. It is a compulsory requirement for people applying for a visa to visit family or friends. Be advised that you must provide the original certificate as it needs to be officially stamped and might be presented at the border in France.

19. When and how do I get my passport back?
Processing time depends mainly on your nationality and the purpose of your trip. We cannot estimate an exact processing time until you file your application in person. Please apply in advance.

You can come back to pick you passport at the visa section of the French Consulate or we can send it back to you if you provide, at the time of the application, a self-addressed prepaid envelope 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”.

Please keep your tracking number on the envelope so that you can check the status of your package delivery.
You will have to fill out all the information on the prepaid envelope:

From/Sender:
Your full name
Your address

To/Recipient:
Your full name
Your address

Dernière modification : 23/11/2015

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