Travel.State.Gov > International Travel > Learn About Your Destination > France International Travel Information
2 Avenue Gabriel
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) 42-61-61-40 (Special Consular Services)
Only the consular sections in Paris and Marseille are authorized to issue passports. The other offices provide limited services to U.S. citizens.
U.S. Consulate General Strasbourg
15, Avenue d'Alsace
67082 Strasbourg Cedex
Telephone: +(33)(1) 43-12-48-80
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(33)(1) 43-12-22-22
Fax: (33)(3) 88-24-06-95
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.
Visit the Embassy of France website for the most current visa and entry requirement information.
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 entry into France. If traveling on this emergency passport, you may be refused boarding and/or entry by immigration officials and/or held at the airport until a return flight to the U.S. is available. Direct transit through France for another destination accepting an emergency passport may be permitted. You should check entry requirements of any other country of destination to make sure the emergency passport is accepted for entry.
You may enter the Schengen area, including 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 (including diplomatic or official travel), 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.
All minors (under age 18) traveling without a parent or legal guardian and who are residents in France must have the written consent of at least one parent or legal guardian to leave France. The minor must travel with his or her own I.D., a copy of the parent/guardian’s I.D., and form number 15646*01, executed by the parent/guardian and available here.
If you are transiting through France to South Africa, there are special requirements for minors. See Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements for South Africa for additional information.
Contact the French Embassy in Washington at 4101 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007, tel. (202) 944 6000, or one of the French Consulates 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, 888 17th Street NW, Suite 500, Washington D.C. 20006, Tel: (202) 234-1530, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or the Consulate General of Monaco, 565 Fifth Avenue – 23rd floor, New York, NY 10017, Tel: (212) 286-0500, Email: email@example.com.
Traveling Through Europe: If you are planning to visit or travel through European countries, you should be familiar with the requirements of the Schengen Agreement.
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.
Terrorism: Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad. Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to more effectively target crowds. Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:
For more information, see our Terrorism page.
French authorities have spoken publicly about the heightened threat conditions for terrorist attacks in Europe.
A counterterrorism law enacted in 2017 allows the government to prevent the circulation of individuals and to create zones of protection and security.
The French government has temporarily reestablished border controls at its borders with its Schengen neighbors and movement may be restricted in some areas. Border controls with the United Kingdom, including the Channel Tunnel crossing, have also been reestablished following Brexit.
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.
French police and military routinely patrol public spaces. You should expect security inspections (to include purses, bags, and backpacks) at the entrance to large public venues and businesses.
When traveling or living in France, you should:
Crime: The majority of crimes directed against foreign visitors, including U.S. citizens, involve pick-pocketing (passports, phones, cash, credit cards), vehicle and 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. Rental cars are frequently targeted for break-ins when visitors exit their vehicles and leave valuables behind.
Crimes of opportunity are more likely to involve violence on the street late at night or when the victim resists.
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, which are present in France. The Embassy has assisted multiple victims who appear to have been targeted using these 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.
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 our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Demonstrations occur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events.
Demonstration organizers must obtain prior police approval, and police routinely oversee participants. In case of violence or property damage, French authorities may use chemical agents and water cannons to disperse crowds.
Alerts issued regarding demonstrations are posted on the U.S. Mission’s website.
Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police by dialing 112 (the European emergency number which has some English-speaking staff) or 17 from a landline or cell phone and contact the U.S. Embassy Paris at +(33)(1) 43-12-22-22. French authorities do not generally speak English and communication may be difficult. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules with regard to best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. French authorities will not routinely notify the Embassy unless you request them to do so. 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.
Flying Drones: The use of drones and drone footage in France is highly regulated. It is against the law in France to operate drones over public spaces (including museums, parks, streets) in urban areas and near airports, military bases, prisons, nuclear plants, and large gatherings such as outdoor concerts and parades. The privacy of individuals captured in drone footage is paramount. Violators can be arrested and subject to fines of up to 75,000 euros and/or one-year imprisonment. Review the information sheet provided by the French government concerning hobbyist drone flights.
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:
International Religious Freedom Report – see country reports
Human Rights Report – see country reports
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTQI+ events in France.
Travelers with Disabilities: The law in France prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual or mental disabilities, and the law is enforced. Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is as prevalent as in the United States. Expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation and general infrastructure.
Visitors to France should expect accessibility to be limited in public transportation (subway, specifically), lodging, communication/information, and general infrastructure. Getting around French cities can be challenging for those with mobility issues. Many sidewalks are narrow and uneven, and cobblestone streets make access difficult, though major tourist sites generally 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 and Explore France websites contains additional information specifically designed for travelers with special mobility needs. For further information, e-mail U.S. Embassy Paris, U.S. Consulate General Marseille, or U.S. Consulate General Strasbourg.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Dial 15 to connect to emergency medical services or dial 112 to reach an operator.
Ambulance services are widely available, though English is not widely spoken.
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. Be sure to obtain a “Feuille de Soins” for later reimbursement from your health care provider.
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.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance. Hospital bills are not itemized.
Medical Insurance: 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. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on the type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the government of France to ensure the medication is legal in France.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.
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.
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.
Bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, and electric skateboards are prevalent on streets, crosswalks and sometimes sidewalks. They have legal priority and often do not respect traffic signals.
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.
Highway toll stations may not accept U.S. credit cards. For non-residents, the simplest way to pay is with cash euros at the toll lane marked for that purpose. Do not attempt to use a credit card if it is the only one you have in your possession in case the machine does not return your card.
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. Though bicycles, scooters and electric skateboards must follow local traffic laws, or risk fines, they often do not do so and can pose a danger to drivers and pedestrians. Many paths are clearly marked for this form of transportation in larger cities.
Pedestrian 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. Do not assume cars will stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk.
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 public transportation services, take particular care to retain your used or “validated” ticket until you exit the bus, subway, or train station completely, as it may be checked or required for exit. Children over four years of age must have a ticket.
Inspectors conduct intermittent, random checks and passengers who fail to present the correct validated ticket are subject to stiff and immediate fines. Failing to sign and date or enclose photo (when required) on a tourist pass (Paris Visite) makes the pass invalid and the holder subject to a fine.
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 connects the major cities in France. Many cities are also served by frequent air service. Traveling by train is safer than driving.
See our road safety page for more information. Visit the website of the French National Tourist Office for specific information on French driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax, and mandatory insurance. See Embassy of France’s 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 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. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings website (select “broadcast warnings.”)