France Schengen Visa for Saudi citizens: Complete application guide
iVisa | 10 min read | Updated on Oct 05, 2023

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France, renowned for its rich history, captivating culture, and stunning landscapes, remains one of the most popular destinations for travelers worldwide. If you are a Saudi citizen planning to visit France, you must familiarize yourself with the process of requesting a Schengen visa to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.

Complete the France Schengen Visa application process for Saudi citizens easily on our convenient online platform or download the iVisa app for an even smoother experience! Let’s dive in.

Do Saudi citizens need a Schengen Visa for France?

Let's start with general information relevant to all applicants, no matter if this is their first visa application or if they have processed a short-stay Schengen Visa before. As a citizen of Saudi Arabia, you are currently required to obtain a Schengen visa to enter France.

France is an active member of the Schengen Area, a zone of European countries that have abolished internal borders for unrestricted movement. Once you obtain a Schengen visa for France, you can also travel to other Schengen member countries, such as Italy, Germany, Spain, and many more, without additional visas or border controls.

It is important to note that a Schengen visa for France does not grant you the right to reside or work in the country. For more info about work visas for France, check the government website.

Most citizens from Saudi Arabia applying for a Schengen Visa type, must visit a visa center, such as VFS Global, or the French Embassy near them to provide biometric data and attend an interview.

How long can Saudi citizens stay in France with the Schengen Visa?

Once they get their France visa, Saudi Arabia nationals can stay in France and other Schengen member states for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. This means that within any 180-day period, you can spend a total of 90 consecutive days in France and the Schengen Zone.

It's worth noting that overstaying your permitted duration in the Schengen Area can have serious consequences. It may result in fines, deportation, restrictions on future travel to the Schengen Area, and it can lead to future visa applications to be rejected in the future, even for other countries.

If you wish to stay in France for longer than 90 days, apply for a different type of visa, such as a long-stay visa or a residence permit, depending on the purpose of your stay.

Please note: iVisa allows you to apply for a Multiple Entry visa, but the French authorities determine whether you are granted a single entry visa, double entry visa, or multiple-entry visa. Visas with multiple entries can last 180 days to five years.

Benefits of a France Schengen Visa for Saudi citizens

Processing their France Schengen Visa in Saudi Arabia can bring several benefits for Saudi citizens. Here are some of the advantages:

  • Explore France's rich culture and heritage: This country is renowned for its diverse cultural heritage, world-famous landmarks, and artistic treasures. With a Schengen visa, Saudi citizens can explore iconic attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, the Palace of Versailles, and the picturesque French Riviera.

  • Travel freely within the Schengen area: France is part of the Schengen Area, comprising 27 countries that have abolished internal borders. Holding a France Schengen Visa grants Saudi citizens the freedom to travel to other Schengen member states without needing additional visas or border checks.

  • Business opportunities and networking: For Saudi citizens engaged in business or seeking investment opportunities, a France Schengen Visa opens doors to connect with French companies and entrepreneurs. They can attend business meetings, conferences, trade fairs and explore potential collaborations in various industries.

Educational and research purposes: France is renowned for its prestigious educational institutions and research facilities. Saudi students and researchers can benefit from a France Schengen Visa to pursue academic studies, attend conferences, workshops, or engage in research collaborations with French universities and institutes.

Family visits and tourism: A Schengen visa enables Saudi citizens to visit their family members or friends residing in France for personal or family reasons. The visa allows them to create lasting memories with their loved ones and discover the unique French way of life for a short period.

France Schengen Visa required documents for citizens from Saudi Arabia

The visa process is quite straightforward when applying for France visas as a citizen of Saudi Arabia. Still, you must gather several required documents to support your application.

Here is a list of essential documents you should include:

  • Valid passport: Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your intended stay in the Schengen Area. It should also have at least two blank pages for visa stamps.

  • Applicant photo: If you don’t have one, use our handy and affordable digital photo service.

  • Visa application form: Complete and sign the France Schengen Visa application form accurately. You’ll receive this during the online process on our platform.

  • Travel itinerary: Submit a detailed itinerary of your trip, including flight reservations, accommodation bookings, traveler insurance payment, and planned activities. Even if you are planning to stay with a family member while your visit to the country lasts, there are other documents you can present to avoid a rejection letter.

  • Travel medical insurance: Purchase travel medical insurance that meets the Schengen visa requirements. The insurance coverage should be valid for your stay in the Schengen Area and provide a minimum coverage of €30,000 for medical emergencies, hospitalization, and repatriation.

  • Proof of accommodation: Provide evidence of their accommodation arrangements in France, such as hotel reservations, rental agreements, or an invitation letter from a host if they will be staying with family or friends. The document should mention the applicant’s name, the accommodation address, and the duration of their stay.

  • Proof of financial means: Even if you were able to pay the visa fees, it is required to prove you have sufficient funds to cover your expenses during your stay in France. This can be in the form of a bank statement, showing your financial transactions over the past three to six months, or a sponsorship letter if someone else is financially supporting your trip.

  • Proof of employment or education: If you are employed, submit an employment letter stating your job position, length of employment, and permission for your leave. If you are a student, provide a letter from your educational institution confirming your enrollment.

  • Proof of ties to Saudi Arabia: Show evidence of your strong ties to Saudi Arabia to demonstrate your intention to return after your visit to France. This can include property documents, lease agreements, family ties, or employment contracts.

  • Previous visa history: If you have traveled to other countries, especially Schengen member states, include copies of your previous visas and entry/exit stamps before you submit your application to demonstrate your compliance with visa regulations.

In some cases, an in-person appointment at the Embassy or another processing center might be required to gather biometric information that can not be submitted online or sent by letter, such as fingerprints, for example.

France Schengen Visa: Eligibility criteria for Saudi citizens

Saudi Arabia online applicants who wish to get their France Schengen Visa must meet certain eligibility criteria. Here are the essential requirements, and some insight on what applicants should be bringing to their in-office appointments to maximize their chances of success:

1. Residence in Saudi Arabia: You must be a legal resident of Saudi Arabia and hold a valid residence permit or any other document allowing you to reside there.

2. Purpose of travel: You must clearly state the purpose of your visit to France and the Schengen Area. Everyday purposes include tourism, business meetings, attending conferences or cultural events, visiting family or friends, or medical treatment. Your intention should align with the permitted activities under a Schengen visa.

3. Travel history: It is generally preferred to have a history of international travel, including previous visits to Schengen member states. It is highly advised to submit a document of this kind because a good travel history demonstrates your compliance with visa regulations and strengthens your application.

4. Financial means: You should provide evidence of sufficient financial means to cover your expenses during your stay in France. This includes bank statements or other financial documents showing regular income, savings, or sponsorship if someone else supports your trip.

5. Travel insurance: It is mandatory to have travel medical insurance that meets the Schengen visa requirements. The insurance should be valid for your stay in the Schengen Area and provide coverage for medical emergencies, hospitalization, and repatriation with a minimum coverage of €30,000.

6. Intention to return: You must demonstrate strong ties to Saudi Arabia and a genuine intention to return after your visit to France. This can be shown through documents such as property ownership, lease agreements, family ties, employment contracts, or evidence of ongoing studies.

7. Compliance with laws: You must have a clean criminal record and not be associated with any activities that could raise security concerns or affect public order.

It's important to note that meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee the issuance of a Schengen visa.

How to complete the France Schengen Visa application

To get the France Schengen Visa fast and efficiently from Saudi Arabia, follow the three simple steps below:

  • Step 1: Provide your personal details and travel information using the simplified iVisa application form on our platform online or by downloading the iVisa app. A PDF guide will be sent to you, and you can always contact your iVisa Expert if you have questions.

  • Step 2: Double-check all info and pay the iVisa service fee with a debit, credit card, or PayPal. The government visa fee must be paid separately at the embassy, consulate, or Visa Application Centre (VAC).

  • Step 3: Make an appointment at the visa centre and attend the visa interview. Bring the required documents. Don't worry! We will send you a document checklist and step-by-step instructions to make an appointment and fulfill the rest of the requirements.

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Costs and processing times for the France Visa

For France Schengen Visas, iVisa currently offers one processing option: *iVisa processing:** This takes up to 30 days and costs USD $160.99, excluding government fees.

The government processing costs about US$84.85 and must be paid in cash at the VAC or consulate (half-price for minors between the ages of 6 and 12 and free for minors under 6 years old).

The processing time varies per application center and is separate from our processing time.

Common reasons for France Schengen Visa refusals in Saudi Arabia

While every visa application is evaluated case-by-case, some common reasons exist for France Schengen Visa refusals in Saudi Arabia. These reasons include:

  • Insufficient or inconsistent documentation: One of the most common reasons for visa refusals is the failure to provide complete, accurate, consistent documentation.

  • Lack of travel history: It is beneficial to have a travel history that demonstrates compliance with immigration laws and previous adherence to visa conditions.

  • Inadequate financial means: You should provide clear and credible evidence of your ability to cover all travel expenses, including accommodation, transportation, meals, and other related costs.

  • Lack of ties to Saudi Arabia: It may raise concerns about your intention to return if you fail to demonstrate strong ties to Saudi Arabia, such as stable employment, family connections, or property ownership. Providing sufficient evidence of your commitments and connections to your home country is crucial.

  • Previous visa violations: If you have a history of visa violations, overstaying in a Schengen country, or any other immigration-related issues, it can negatively impact your visa application.

  • Inadequate travel insurance: Not having travel medical insurance that meets the Schengen visa requirements, including insufficient coverage or not providing the required documentation, can lead to visa refusals. Ensure that your insurance policy fulfills all the specified criteria, such as minimum coverage amount and coverage of medical emergencies.

  • Security concerns: If you have a criminal record, are associated with activities that raise security concerns, or are considered a threat to public order, your visa application may be refused.

If your visa application is refused, you will typically receive a letter explaining the reasons for the refusal. It is advisable to carefully review the feedback provided, and consider reapplying, addressing the issues that led to the initial refusal before you submit your application again.

Tips for a successful France Schengen Visa application in Saudi Arabia

When applying for a France Schengen Visa in Saudi Arabia, several tips can help increase your chances of a successful application. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

  • Start the application process early: This will give you ample time to gather all the required documents, necessary information, and address any potential issues that may arise during the application process.

  • Understand the requirements: Applicants must familiarize themselves with the specific documents, financial criteria, and application procedures. Ensure you meet all the requirements and provide all the necessary supporting documents to avoid potential delays or refusals.

  • Complete the application form accurately: Fill out the visa application form carefully and accurately, providing all the required information. Double-check for any errors or omissions before submitting the form.

  • Provide sufficient supporting documents: Submit a comprehensive set of supporting documents to establish the purpose of your visit as described in this article.

Contact us for more information about the France Schengen Visa

If you have more questions about France Schengen visa applications, don’t hesitate to contact our expert customer service team. They are available via online chat or email at [email protected] to assist!

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