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Country Specific Info.

The United States State Department produces Consular Information Sheets with health, safety and other country information for every country in the world. They are one good source of information, though you should look at multiple sources of information and take your own personal situation into account when selecting a country to study in.

The latest Consular Information Sheet for France is below. We do not take responsibility for this information or edit it in any way. You can access the State Department travel site directly at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/

February 3, 2017

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Paris

2 Avenue Gabriel
75008 Paris
France

Only the consular sections in Paris and Marseille are authorized to issue passports. The other offices provide limited services to U.S. citizens.

Telephone: +(33)(1) 43-12-22-22

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(33) (1) 43-12-22-22, enter zero “0” after the automated greeting

Fax: +(33)(1) 42-66-97-83; +(33)(1) 42-61-61-40 (Special Consular Services)
Citizeninfo@state.gov
Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Marseille
Place Varian Fry
13286 Marseille Cedex 6
France

Telephone: +(33)(1) 43-12-48-85

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(33)(1) 43-12-22-22

Fax: +(33)(4) 91-55-09-47; +(33)(1) 43-12-47-54 (American Citizen Services)
Citizeninfomarseille@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General Strasbourg
15, Avenue d'Alsace
67082 Strasbourg Cedex
France

Telephone: +(33)(1) 43-12-48-80

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(33)(1) 43-12-22-22

Fax: (33)(3) 88-24-06-95
USAStrasbourg@state.gov

When calling from within France, drop the country code and add a zero. For example: +(33)(1) 43-12-22-22 becomes 01-43-12-22-22.

Please note that the emergency after-hours telephone number for all U.S. posts in France is: +(33)(1) 43-12-22-22. Ask to speak to the duty officer if you need emergency assistance after business hours.

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on France for information on U.S.-France relations.

Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements

France is a party to the Schengen Agreement. Visit the Embassy of France website for the most current visa and entry requirement information.

Passports must be valid for at least three months beyond your planned date of departure from the Schengen area.

The Government of France does not recognize the 12-page U.S. emergency passport, issued by U.S. embassies and consulates overseas, as a valid travel document for visa-free travel, and, if traveling on this emergency passport, you may be refused boarding and/or entry by immigration officials.
You may enter France for up to 90 days for tourist and business purposes without a visa.
Immigration officers may also request you show sufficient funds for your intended stay and a return airline ticket.
If you are traveling to France or Monaco for reasons other than business or tourism – such as employment, study, or internship – you must obtain the appropriate French or Monegasque (Monaco) visa for that purpose before you leave the United States. You should be aware that it is nearly impossible to obtain or change visa status while in France.
No vaccinations are required for travel to France.
Beginning January 15, 2017, written consent of at least one parent or legal guardian is required for all unaccompanied minors (under the age of 18) departing France. The minor must travel with his or her own I.D., a copy of the parent/guardian’s ID, and form number 15656*01, executed by the parent/guardian and available at http://www.droitissimo.com/sites/default/files/formulaires/cerfa_15646-01_autorisation_sortie_territoire_AST.pdf.

Contact the French Embassy in Washington at 4101 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007, tel. (202) 944 6000, or the French Consulate General in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, or San Francisco for the most current visa information.

Special Note:  Overseas departments and territories of France (i.e. those not located in Europe) are not included in the Schengen Agreement.  Please see Country Specific Information on French Guiana, French Polynesia, and the French West Indies for entry and exit requirements.  For other departments and territories, visit the Embassy of France website for the most current visa and entry requirement information for those areas. 

Monaco: For further information on entry requirements to Monaco, travelers may contact the Embassy of the Principality of Monaco, 3400 International Drive, NW, Suite 2K-100, Washington D.C. 20008, Tel: (202) 234-1530, Email: info@monacodc.org; or the Consulate General of Monaco, 565 Fifth Avenue – 23rd floor, New York, NY 10017, Tel: (212) 286-0500, Email: info@monaco-consulate.com.

HIV/AIDS Restrictions: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of France.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our customs Information page.

Safety and Security

Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.

French authorities have spoken publicly about the heightened threat conditions for terrorist attacks in Europe.

France’s Parliament approved a fifth extension of the state of emergency imposed after the terrorist attacks of 2015. The state of emergency will now remain in effect until July 15, 2017, to cover the French presidential and parliamentary election campaign season.
The state of emergency allows the government to prevent the circulation of individuals and to create zones of protection and security.
The French government has re-established border controls and movement may be restricted in some areas.
The Government of France routinely conducts security and crisis management drills involving deployment of security forces, emergency services, and police to high profile areas that may be near popular tourist sites. U.S. citizens should be aware of the possibility of drills, and should heed instructions of local authorities should they encounter them.

When traveling or living in France, you should:

Be aware of your local security situation, and take appropriate steps to bolster your personal security. 
You should monitor media and local information sources, Paris’ Travel Information webpage, and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
You should address specific safety concerns to French law enforcement authorities who have responsibility for the safety and security of all residents and visitors to France.

U.S. citizens should be aware that demonstrations and large events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational.

You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.
Large public gatherings can affect all major incoming arteries to the city in which they occur.
Demonstrations in one city have the potential to lead to additional public rallies or demonstrations in other locations around the city and country.

Crime:

The majority of crimes directed against foreign visitors, including U.S. citizens, involve pick-pocketing, residential break-ins, bicycle theft, and other forms of theft.

Visitors to congested and popular tourist areas (e.g., museums, monuments, train stations, airports, and subways) should be particularly attentive to their surroundings.
Crimes of opportunity are more likely to involve violence on the street late at night or when the victim resists.
Women should exercise extra caution when out alone at night and/or consider traveling out at night with trusted companions.
While the incidence of sexual assault is statistically low, attacks do occur.
Be aware of “date-rape” drugs.
Be cautious in bars and clubs where alcohol is served, and do not leave your drink unattended or accept a drink from strangers, as they may have slipped drugs into the drink. See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
There are high incidences of “smash and grab” robberies in economically depressed areas or on highly traveled thoroughfares such as roads to and from the airport. Thieves on foot or motorcycle will approach a vehicle that is stopped in traffic, smash a window, reach into the vehicle to grab a purse or other valuable item, and then flee. Keep doors locked and valuables out of sight.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:

Report crimes to the local police at 112 and contact the U.S. Embassy Paris at +(33)(1) 43-12-22-22. In Monaco, dial 17 to connect to the Police. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

help you find appropriate medical care
assist you in reporting a crime to the police
contact relatives or friends with your written consent
explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
provide a list of local attorneys
provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
provide the Paris Police Prefecture pamphlet in English, Paris in Complete Safety, which offers practical advice and useful telephone numbers for visitors
provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
Call the Bureau of Consular Affairs in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
See the State Department's travel website for Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts.
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in France are severe.
Convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
In France and Monaco, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol could land you immediately in jail.

See also Public Transportation information.

You should contact the Embassy of France or one of France's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. Please see our Customs Information.

There are strict regulations concerning temporary importation or exportation from France of items such as firearms, antiquities, medications, business equipment, merchandise samples, and other items.

French Foreign Legion: U.S. citizens interested in joining the French Foreign Legion (FFL) should be aware that the cognitive and physical tests for acceptance are extremely challenging.

Ensure you have access to sufficient funds to return home should your candidature be refused.
Successful candidates report that the FFL provides a new identity and retains their U.S. passport during a long probation period.  Lack of access to your passport can complicate routine or emergency travel.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

Faith-Based Travel Information
International Religious Freedom Report – see country reports
Human Rights Report – see country reports
Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in France.

See our LGBTI travel information page and section 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Getting around French cities can be challenging for those with mobility issues. Many sidewalks are narrow and uneven, and cobblestone streets make access difficult, but the major tourist areas have better facilities.

Although the Paris Metro is a very efficient method for traveling throughout central Paris, most stations are not readily accessible for people with disabilities. However, many Parisian buses and tramways are equipped with lowering platforms for travelers with limited-mobility, or sight- or hearing-disabled. Taxis are also a good mode of transportation.
The English-language Paris Visitors Bureau website contains additional information specifically designed for travelers with special mobility needs. For further information, e-mail U.S. Embassy Paris or U.S. Consulate General Marseille.

Students: See our students abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for women travelers.

Health

Dial 15 to connect to emergency medical services, or dial 112 to reach an operator.

Medical care is comparable to that found in the United States.

Except for emergency services, you may be required to pay for service prior to receiving treatment in France.
You may be refused routine care under local law if you lack the ability to pay.
Foreigners with terminal illnesses may be denied treatment if treatment is available in their home country.
U.S. embassies and consulates do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid may not be used overseas.

Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.

For further health information, go to:

World Health Organization
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Travel & Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:  Roads are generally comparable to those in the United States, but traffic engineering and driving habits pose special dangers.

Lane markings and sign placements may not be clear. Drivers should be prepared to make last-minute maneuvers.
Driving is typically faster and more aggressive than in the United States.
Right-of-way rules differ from those in the United States. Unless specifically indicated otherwise, drivers entering intersections from the right have priority over those on the left, even when entering relatively large boulevards from small side streets.
On major highways, there are service stations at least every 25 miles. Service stations are not as common on secondary roads in France as they are in the United States.

Traffic Laws: While French cities actively encourage bicycle rentals through widely available city-sponsored systems, you should be cautious, especially in a busy and unfamiliar urban environment. Helmets are neither required nor readily available near rental stations. If you plan to ride a bicycle in France, you should bring your own helmet.

Pedetrian accidents occur when a pedestrian steps out into the street, often when a car or motorcycle is making a turn through a pedestrian crosswalk. Pedestrians should be cautious and aware of traffic even when they have a green walking signal since this is no guarantee against aggressive drivers.

Public Transportation: Paris has an extensive and efficient public transportation system. The interconnecting system of buses, subways, and commuter rails is comparable to or better than that found in major U.S. cities. Similar transportation systems are found in all major French cities.

If you use any of France’s excellent public transportation services, take particular care to retain your used or “validated” ticket, until you exit the bus, subway or train station completely.
Inspectors conduct intermittent, random checks, and passengers who fail to present the correct validated ticket are subject to stiff and immediate fines.
Inspectors may show no interest in explanations and no sympathy for an honest mistake. Failure to cooperate with inspectors may result in arrest.

Between cities, France has extensive rail service which is safe and reliable.  High-speed rail links connect the major cities in France. Many cities are also served by frequent air service. Traveling by train is safer than driving.

Please refer to our road safety page for more information. We suggest that you also visit the French National Tourist Office’s website for specific information on French driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance. See U.S. Embassy Paris’ driving in France webpage for information on using U.S. driver’s licenses in France.

Aviation Safety Oversight:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of France’s ’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of France’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to France should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at www.marad.dot.gov/msci. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website (https:homeport.uscg.mil, and the NGA broadcast warnings website http://msi.nga.mil/ngaportal/msi.portal; select “broadcast warnings.”

University of the Pacific Education Abroad Office