France Visa

France Visa Application Guide for Nigerians 2022

France, officially known as the French Republic, according to Wikipedia is a transcontinental country, located in Western Europe, spanning Western Europe and overseas regions and territories in America and the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.

She is a nation with a Semi-unitarian system of Government with her capital in Paris, the largest city in the country and the main cultural and commercial center.

France is popularly known for monuments like the Eiffel Tower, and art museums such as the Louvre. Quite famous is the country’s vast spread of wines and sophisticated cuisine.

France is classified as a Schengen country (although there are a few areas that are classified as non-Schengen). The Schengen area consists of a group of European countries that possess no restrictions for tourists traveling through their territory. 

The Schengen agreement was signed by all Schengen countries to eliminate every border control along each Schengen country’s border to make it simple for tourists traveling to other Schengen countries.

This simply means all countries considered as Schengen countries act as a single area or country, where you just need one Schengen visa to be able to commute to any country of your choice under the description Schengen.

Why is it called ‘Schengen?’ The agreement binding these countries was signed in a small winemaking town called Schengen in Luxembourg.

That is what brought about the name. This agreement was signed in the year 1985 between five European countries.

The founding signatories are five (5) member countries out of ten (10) in the European Economic Countries (EEC) at that time. They are: 

  • Luxembourg
  • West Germany
  • Belgium
  • France, and
  • The Netherlands 

With time as other countries joined, they were all known as the Schengen area countries and the territory encompassing these countries is called the Schengen areas. Currently, there are twenty-six (26) countries and several other territories that identify with the term, ‘Schengen.’ The countries include: 

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Poland
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Spain, among others.

The summary of this is that if you get a single Schengen visa, with it, you can tour these countries without restrictions. Amazing isn’t it? So, how can you get a Schengen visa as a Nigerian?

Read also:

How to Apply for a Schengen Visa as a Nigerian

There are various steps to follow when applying for a Schengen visa. They include:

1. Identification of Visa types. 

There are different types of Schengen visas. So, before applying for one, you need to know the types of visas and which you need. 

i.Type A Schengen visa or Airport Transit Visa: 

This type A visa allows citizens of non-Schengen states to transit through or wait for their connecting flight in an airport located in a Schengen country. It is compulsory for all those from a non-Schengen country who will fly one way or the other from a Schengen airport.

ii. Type B Schengen visa: 

This visa is for people traveling for fewer than five (5) days. It has been altered to Type C with the condition ‘transit.’

iii. Type C Schengen visa:

This type of visa allows a person to travel to or stay in a Schengen area for less than ninety (90) days over 180 days. Under this, depending on the purpose of the trip, this Type C Schengen visa can be:

  • A single visa entry: 

This type allows its holder to enter any Schengen area once. The minute you leave the area/ territory/county, the visa loses its validity even if the validity period hasn’t expired yet.

  • A double visa entry: 

This visa allows its holder to enter any Schengen area twice within the visa’s validity period. That is, if you enter an area once, you can enter again if your visa is still valid. After the second entry, the visa loses its validity.

  • A multiple entry visa: 

According to the name, this visa allows its holder to enter a Schengen area multiple times within the visa validity period which is ninety (90) days over 180 days.

iv. Type D Schengen Visa or national-long stay Visa

The National visa is for anyone who wishes to stay for a period longer than ninety (90) days (up to a year). It allows the holder to travel to and stay in a Schengen area outside the one originally chosen for a period of ninety (90) days over a 180-day period.

Foreigners wanting to study, work or live for a period of over ninety (90) days are mandated to pick this visa type. The travel purposes that can justify the application for this type of visa include:

  • Tourism or private visits
  • Professional activities
  • Educational purposes (studying, an internship or training program, etc)
  • Family reasons.

There are three (3) types of multiple entry visas:

  • One year multiple entry Schengen visa: 

You can only apply for this visa on the condition that you have used three (3) visas within the last two years.

You would need to show proof of your previously used visas and the Schengen area you traveled to or stayed at during the visa validity period.

  • Three years multiple entry Schengen visas: 

This option is open for people who have previously used multiple entry visas valid for one year within a two-year time frame.

  • Five years multiple entry Schengen visa: 

You can apply for this if you have obtained and lawfully used a previous multiple entry visa valid for at least two years over the past three years.

2. Begin your Application. 

Be sure to search for the document checklist because each visa type has different requirements. You are expected to provide original and photocopied copies of the needed documents which include:

  • A travel document issued not less than 10 years ago, consisting of at least two blank pages, with proof of the validity of at least 3 months longer than your set time of departure from the Schengen area or expiry of the visa requested. 
  • ID photograph
  • Permanent permit if you are not a resident of your country.
  • Purpose of travel or stay. A document containing your planned program and a return airline ticket reservation.
  • Travel medical insurance
  • Accommodation – a hotel reservation of evidence of enough resources to cover hotel expenses.
  • Proof of financial income: Bank accounts statements, pay slips, evidence of pension, etc.
  • Employment contract, certificate of employment (documents showing applicants job), personal documents linked to the country of residence (marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc).
  • Letter of invitation and host’s identity (if applicable).

3. Book an Appointment with the Embassy, consulate, or Visa Application Centre.

4. Pay your fees.

It is a non-negotiable clause to pay your visa fee in your local currency at the VFS center. The amount to be paid is €80 for a short stay and €99 for a long stay visa. The fee cannot be paid back if your application is not granted.

5. Visit an Application Centre. 

You are required to submit your application in person. One of the reasons is that your biometrics information (fingerprints scan) and a photograph will be taken.

Be prompt for your appointment and take all printed copies of the above-mentioned documents with you.

7. Collect your Passport. 

After your passport has been returned to the VFS office, it will be sent to your home address via courier with either ‘accepted’ or ‘rejected’ stamped boldly on it.

Reasons for Visa Application Rejection

In 2018, out of 88,578 Schengen visa applications in Nigeria, 44,076 were denied. That is about 49.8% of visas rejected.

Making Nigeria the highest ranking country in Africa for Schengen visa application rejection. Some causes of visa application rejection are:

  • Unreasonable Travel duration and purpose of the trip.
  • Insignificant financial documents and insufficient funds to support the trip.
  • Failure to produce a valid flight itinerary.
  • Invalid or fake documentation. This can lead to a flight ban.

Conclusion. 

As a Nigerian seeking to travel to France, whether to a Schengen or non-Schengen area, it is important to make sure all your documents are available and valid. I wish you a safe trip!

Leave a Reply