Consulat Général de France
Telephone: TLS call center 0845 7300 118 (Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 4.30 pm)
Online: Embassy website
The French authorities have decided to outsource the information of visa applicants and the collection of visa applications to the company TLScontact. This service is available regardless of the nationality, the type of passport, the duration and the purpose of the stay of the visa applicant.
Do I need a visa to visit France?
Some countries have special relationships with other countries which enables their residents to travel freely between the two without a visa. Check if you definitely need a visa to travel by checking the embassy website.
How can I apply?
To apply for a visa, you should first register on the website, and then follow the instructions provided. An appointment will then be made for you to visit the centre.
Suite 18, Exhibition House, Ground Floor,
Addison Bridge Place,
London W14 8XP
You may only submit your visa application 90 days before your date of departure. We recommend that you apply at least 20 working days before the date you wish to depart as certain travel document holders and certain types of travel purpose may take longer than usual to process.
Please note: It may take you several weeks to get an appointment for your visa, especially before the Christmas, Easter and summer vacations. Therefore, you should be making your application at least 8-12 weeks before you intend to travel.
What documents do I need?
For a full list of documentation required, you should check the TLS website.
As a guideline you should expect to provide:
- Completed application form x 1. You will be able to download and complete the application form online when booking your appointment.
- Your passport or travel document which must be valid and in date. This must contain your student visa (which must be valid for at least 3 months longer than the validity of the Schengen visa applied for) and your passport must have a blank page to affix the Schengen visa sticker.
- 1 x passport photo: check the Embassy website for specifications.
- Schengen letter available from your faculty.
- Health insurance to cover the duration of the visit. Insurance is available from the Post Office, large supermarkets or various providers online. The insurance company will provide you with a letter of certificate to include with your application.
- Proof of travel plans: this will be the flight / ferry / train booking for your trip. This country may insist that you pre-book your travel before application so check before application.
- Proof of accommodation: this will be the booking for the hotel or other accommodation you will be staying at. It is easy to find hotels that make bookings either with a small deposit or no fee at all, so book with one of these. See our tips in our travel pages.
- Letter of invitation. If you are visiting friends or family, they will need to write you a letter inviting you to come and visit. This should either be in English or in the language of the country you are visiting. If they are providing you with food and/or accommodation, the letter should state this as well.
- Proof of financial means. You should have approx. £40 per day available to you for the duration of your visit. You should provide bank statements covering the last 3 months or travellers cheques for the relevant amount to prove this.
- Schengen visa fee. This varies from country to country so check the website for updates for charges and method of payment. It is nomally around €60 (£50).
- Self addressed special delivery envelope. This is so that the Embassy can post your passport and / or documents back to you when a decision has been made and is available from all post offices.
- Copies of all documents provided. Generally, you will be expected to take both originals and copies of all your documents to your appointment with you.
How do I get to the TLS Centre?
Information on how to get to the TLS Centre and a map is available here. The nearest underground station is Kensington.
If you have a morning appointment, you will probably have to book overnight accommodation in London to ensure that you arrive in time. Make sure you plan your route across London on a map before you go. If your appointment is early in the morning, try and have a practice walk of the route the day before your appointment. You will not be seen or offered a later appointment if you miss your slot.
A map of the London Underground is available.
See www.megabus.com for cheap bus travel between Cardiff and London, www.nationalexpress.com/coach/index.cfm for National Express coaches to all destinations and www.thetrainline.com for trains between all stations.
See www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-hotels or www.hostelworld.com for cheap hotels and hostels. In London, you may also be able stay at The International Students House www.ish.org.uk/accommodation/. Contact them direct for details.
How long will it take?
You will need to visit the TLS website to find out how long it will take for your application to be returned to you. This varies from country to country and can take up to 8 weeks so make sure you apply in plenty of time.
How can the Immigration & International Student Advice team help me with my Schengen visa?
The IISA team does not offer a service whereby they make your Schengen visa application or appointment for you. This is because generally travelling outside of the UK during your studies is for your personal pleasure. They can however check through your documents before sending/your appointment.
If you would like an adviser to check your documents for you, you should email firstname.lastname@example.org stating which country you are applying to and the date you intend to travel as well as the day you are planning go to London to submit your application or are planning to post it.
You should start making your Schengen visa application at least 8-12 weeks before your proposed travel date.