Before you go to France
Tips, advice and essential travel information you should know
before you travel to France.
Passport & visa requirements for France
Passport and visa requirements are liable to change at short
notice. Travellers are advised to check their entry requirements
with embassies or consulates well in advance of travelling.
France is a signatory to the 1995 Schengen Agreement.
British nationals must have a valid passport. A visa is not
required for a stay of up to 3 months for travellers holding a
passport endorsed British Citizen or British Overseas Territories
Citizen. In all other cases, a visa is required.
Embassy in London, United Kingdom: +44 (0)20 7073 1000
Embassy in Paris, France +33 (1) 44 51 31 00
Irish nationals must have a valid passport. No visa is required
for a stay of up to 3 months. French Embassy, Dublin, Ireland: +353
(0)1 277 5000
US citizens must have a valid passport. A visa is not required
for a stay of up to three months. French Embassy, Washington DC,
United States: +1 202 944 6000
Canadians must hold a valid passport for entry to France. A visa
is not required for stays of up to three months. French Embassy,
Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 789 1795
Australians must have a valid passport. No visa is required for
a stay of up to 3 months. French Embassy, Canberra, Australia: +61
(0)2 6216 0100
New Zealand nationals must have a valid passport. No visa is
required for a stay of up to 3 months. French Embassy, Wellington,
New Zealand: +64 (0)4 384 2555
South Africans must have a valid passport and a visa for travel
to France. French Embassy, Cape Town, South Africa: +27 (0)21 422
Note: Passport/Visa Note: Visitors are advised to hold a return
or onward ticket and proof of financial means. The borderless
region known as the Schengen area includes the following countries:
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece,
Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal,
Spain and Sweden. All these countries issue a standard Schengen
visa that allows the holder to travel freely within the borders of
Extra Health Precautions & Vaccinations
Health care in France is excellent, the hospitals and health
facilities are first class. Visitors from EU countries are entitled
to reduced cost medical treatment and medicines. British visitors
should present a completed and stamped E111 form. An E111 however
does not cover all medical fees (you will still have to pay for
treatment by the French State health service, but you can claim
back up to 70% on return to the UK), or medical repatriation, or
on-going medical treatment of a non-urgent nature. We therefore
recommend that you also obtain comprehensive travel and medical
* The E111 form is no longer valid. You will need a European
Health Insurance Card (EHIC)to receive necessary healthcare during
a visit to an European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland.
UK travellers can apply online from the Department
of Health website.
Cases of rabies occur occasionally and there are reports of an
increased occurrence of hantavirus (caused by rodents) particularly
in the Ardennes, Aisne and Jura regions. More information can be
obtained from the French Ministry of Health.
Currency in France
The Euro (€) is the official currency in France. Currency can be
exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and some large hotels, though
you will get a better exchange rate at the ATMs. Major credit cards
are widely accepted, as are Euro travellers cheques, particularly
in major tourist destinations.
Travel Advice for All Countries
- Ensure that your passport and/or visa is valid and in good
- Obtain comprehensive medical and travel insurance with an
appropriate level of cover.
- Make copies of your passport, visa and insurance policy and
leave them with someone at home along with an itinerary and contact
- Familiarise yourself with your destination and its local laws
- Ensure you have sufficient funds for your stay.
- Check if vaccinations are required at least 6 weeks prior to