So, you have a UK visa that allows you to visit the UK. You've always dreamed of visiting Paris and getting there from London only takes a few hours. You're probably asking yourself "Can I visit Paris with a UK visa?" I know how confusing visa requirements can be, so hopefully this information will help you. Read on to find out how you can get to your final destination.
To put it simply, you cannot visit Paris with only a UK visa. Although traveling throughout Europe is much less complicated than it used to be, individual countries still have certain requirements. You will need one of the following:
1. A valid passport from a country that does not need a visa to enter France
2. A Schengen Visa that allows you to travel within the Schengen Area for up to 90 days.
What nationalities do not need a visa to enter France?
If you do have a UK visa and want to travel to anywhere outside of the UK, like Paris for example, you can do so quite easily. In some cases you do not need a visa. Below I have listed the nationalities that do not need a visa to enter France.
The following nationalities do not need a visa to enter France:
- EU member countries
- Albania*, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina*, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, East Timor, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Grenada, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Israel, Malaysia, Mauritius, Monaco, Montenegro*, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Serbia*, Seychelles, Taiwan (passport bearing identity card number), Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, and Vanuatu;
*bearers of biometric passports only
If you hold a passport from one of the aforementioned nations, you can visit the Schengen area for a short stay of up to 90 days. This means, that you can visit Paris, provided that you have the passport from your nation of origin.
My country isn't on the list, how do I get a Schengen Visa?
If your country does not appear above, don't worry. All you have to do is apply for a Schengen Visa. The UK is still considered part of the European Union, although the Brexit referendum may change that status at some point in the future.
Despite this, the UK is not part of the Schengen Zone, a 22-country area that allows free movement of nationals from member countries. This means you will need to apply for a separate Schengen visa if all you have is a UK visa.
Here's how to visit France specifically:
1. Download the application form
2. Have a valid passport for at least three months, with two blank pages, and one passport photo (Read the details for passport photo)
3. Get a travel visa insurance policy
4. Provide proof of round trip flight
5. Provide proof of accommodation/hotel booking
How much does this cost?
The 90 days short stay Schengen visa is 66 EUR. For an extended stay it is 99 EUR.
Where should you apply?
The official law states that the applicant must apply to the consulate of the country that they are going to be visiting. If visiting more than one Schengen area country, then you need to apply at the consulate of the country you will be spending the most time in.
For the French consulate nearest you, follow this link.
How long will this take?
It is recommended that you apply at least six weeks prior to your planned departure. The process can take anywhere from three days to three weeks, so you definitely do not want to leave this until the last minute.
Ready to Go?
So, can you visit Paris with a UK visa? As you have read, your UK visa will not get you into France. However, you may not be required to have a separate visa if your nation has a special agreement with France (see above list). In the case that you do need to apply for a Schengen visa, remember to follow the steps listed above and give yourself plenty of time for the application process to be completed.
Are you planning on visiting Paris soon? Check out these great money saving tips for this amazing location. Let us know about your travel experience and if you have any specific visa tips for us. Feel free to comment and share! Be safe and happy travels!