Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 02052241 (posted May. 22, 2002)"
Visa Application Fee Increase
As of 01 June 2002, the visa application fee (MRV fee) is increasing to $65. This is a worldwide increase effected by the Department of State for all American consular sections around the world. In Paris, this means that all mandat compte dated 01 June 2002 or after must be for EUR 78. Any application including a mandat compte dated 01 June 2002 or later with a lower amount will be returned without action.
Visas for Children
We continually have seen problems arising from the following scenario: French family travels to the United States on long-term visa (E, H, L, etc). Two or three young kids are included on Mom's passport and their visas get put in that passport. They get to the U.S. and get settled and then little Jean-Jacques or Nathalie goes back to France with a school group or with Grandma or with Dad for an emergency. Mom and dad are able to get an individual passport quickly enough from the nearest French Consulate and off they go. The problem is that the visa is still in the U.S. in Mom's passport. Everything is tres jolie in France but when they try to board the plane to go back to the U.S. the crisis erupts. The kid can't board because he or she doesn't have a visa. This of course always happens on the weekend or holidays and involves a lot of weeping and sobbing before it is resolved - usually at great expense to the family.
This obviously is not a good thing. With this in mind, the Embassy strongly encourages all applicants to present their individual passports for United States visas. With each kid having his or her own passport and visa, the family has maximum flexibility on arranging travel - especially in emergencies. The United States has stopped putting American citizen children in their parents' passports since at least 1980. All Americans, regardless of age, have their own individual passports. And contrary to popular belief, the French government will issue passports to children of any age. So, may I ask you (even beg you) to warn your clients about the risks of including their children in their passports and advise them to obtain individual passports for all family members?
NIV Visa Processing in Paris
As of 01 June 2002, the Visa Application fee will be $65 or EUR78. What this means is that any mandat compte dated after 01 June 2002 must be in the amount of EUR 78. Applications with mandat compte dated after 01 June 2002 for lower amounts will be returned without action.
All applicants must pay a nonimmigrant visa application. This fee must be paid at any French post office. Applicants deposit the money in the mandat compte account 5013E They receive a receipt that they must include with their mailed application. The fee is the equivalent of $65 at our exchange rate (EUR78 @ EUR1.20/$). Mandat comptes therefore must be in the amount of EUR 78.
Comprehensive information about our services can be found on the embassy website at
http://www.amb-usa.fr or, in France, at the user-pays telephone number: 08.99.70.37.00. Due to security requirements our procedures may change with little notice. Please check our website often for up-to-date information.
Every applicant must submit a Form DS-156 (NONIMMIGRANT VISA APPLICATION). This form is an update of the old OF-156. The OF-156 will no longer be accepted and applications made on this old form will be returned without action. An easy way to distinguish the two forms is that on the DS-156, the applicant's picture appears on the front of the form. This form is available on our website (English
or French www.amb-usa.fr/consul/forms/ds156f.pdf)
Every male applicant between the ages of 16 and 45 (has not reached his 46th birthday) must also complete Form DS-157 and submit it with his application. The form is available on our website (English
www.amb-usa.fr/consul/forms/ds157.pdf or French
Effective 01 January 2002, the Consular Rate of Exchange will be EUR 1.20 /$1 for all consular fees.
Due to security considerations, we will only accept applications by mail. (A mail applicant may be asked to present himself or herself for a personal interview at a specified time and date at the discretion of the Consular officer)
We require all applicants to send their applications by courier (Chronopost, FedEx, DHL) envelope and provide a courier envelope (Chronopost, FedEx, DHL) for the return of the passport and visa. The applicant is responsible for recording the envelope's tracking number and contacting the delivery company if the envelope does not arrive. Applications received by other means will be returned to the sender.
All applications and correspondence must be sent to:
* NIV Unit
* Ambassade des Etats-Unis
* 18, avenue Gabriel
* 75008 Paris
We have a 100% mail back policy. Applicants cannot pick up their visa'd passports at the Embassy. Processing time is four working days. We guarantee that an application received and favorably adjudicated on Monday will go in the mail by Thursday evening at 6:00 PM. Holidays will of course affect this time frame.
In the near future, the Consular Section will be closed for French or American holidays on 27 May, and 04 July, 2002.
Beneficiaries of approved petitions must include with their application evidence that the petition has been approved. We accept faxes or cable notification directly from the INS Service centers to the Embassy or the original I-797. We return the original I-797 to the applicant.
Refused applicants may reapply at any time and any number of times.
For certain nationalities, there may be an additional visa fee based reciprocally on what the applicant's government charges American citizens. For French citizens, the reciprocity fee for B, E, H, I, L, O, P, Q and R visas is $75 (EUR 90). For C1/D, F, J and M visas, there is no reciprocity fee. (Visas based on petitions valid less than 90 days are also no fee). For the following countries, there is no reciprocity fee for any visa (this is not an exhaustive list): Andorra, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Haiti, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, Senegal, Spain, Tunisia. To check a specific visa category for a specific nationality please go to
We accept payment of reciprocity fees French postal money orders (mandats cash) or by credit cards (download the authorization form from our website:
http://www.amb-usa.fr/consul/niv_costcb.htm). Please do not confuse the mandats cash used for these fees with the mandats compte used exclusively for the application fee that all applicants must pay regardless of nationality. Any visa fees deposited via mandat compte cannot be refunded and are lost. The applicant still has to pay the visa fee.
France falls under the Visa Waiver Program (http://travel.state.gov/vwp.html) and therefore most French citizens traveling to the United States for tourism or business do not need visas at all. Briefly, the visa waiver program requires: stay of less than 90 days, no work/study, a round trip ticket, and entry on signatory carrier. Those who do need visas would include: those traveling on private plane or boat (so far we have not had anyone traveling by balloon but we are open to that possibility), those requiring annotated visas (prospective students, voluntary workers, etc).
Per the law, we accept applications from anyone who is physically present in our Consular district (which is now all of France since Marseilles ceased visa operations in Oct 1999). Of course, application does not equate to an issuance.
Children born in the United States to B, C, D, E, F, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q or R visa holders or Legal permanent Residents (green card holders) are American citizens. Therefore, if the family goes for a vacation to France, the U.S.-born child needs an AMERICAN passport to return to the United States. Citizenship is a matter of law (actually the Constitution - 14th amendment) and does not depend on the wishes of the parents. Parents may not renounce the American citizenship of their children. Some children born to A and G visa holders may qualify for American citizenship. These parents should check with the Department of State.