Checklist of important documents to bring to France – originals and copies (for informational purposes only, based on your circumstances and the length of your stay)

Please note: At the airport upon arriving in France, customs officers may ask for all original copies of the documents you brought to the consulate to obtain your visa.

Additionally, it is recommended that you save digital copies of all your important documents.

Civil Status Documents

In addition to your identification documents (passport; for EEE nationals, an ID card is sufficient), you must bring all original civil status documents that concern you (birth, marriage, children, death of a spouse, etc…), including those that concern your family situation, even if your family will not be joining you in France.

Depending on your country of origin, certain documents must be “apostilled” or “certified” before you leave. For more information, please consult :

In all circumstances:

  • Your birth certificate (short-form birth certificate, long-form birth certificate, multilingual birth certificate and all documents issued by a Consulate (official copy of your birth certificate, civil status form…) authenticated by a legible stamp.

Other documents:

  • If you are married, marriage certificate or equivalent (family register…) even if your spouse will not be joining you in France
  • If your spouse will be joining you in France, their birth certificate
  • If you have children, their long-form birth certificate or an equivalent document (family register, family record from the register office…), even if they will not be joining you in France

Translations of Civil Status Documents

If they are not drafted in French (French only or multilingual) by the relevant administration or directly by the Consulate, civil status documents must be translated into French by a certified translator.

How do I choose a translator?

  • If a translation is required to apply for a visa, you can request a list of certified translators from the French Embassy or the appropriate French Consulate
  • For translations that will be used for administrative procedures in France (especially when enrolling for social security), it is recommended that you choose:
    • In France, a translator certified within a French jurisdiction (District Court, Appellate Court, the French Court of Cassation): for example or by the Consulate in the country in which the document was drawn up
    • Outside of France, a translation obtained directly from the French Consulate of the country in which the document was drawn up (except for the Embassy’s certified translators, who are not recognized by the French administration)


  • If you are affiliated with social security in a European country: your European Health Insurance Card (carte européenne d’assurance maladie) (CEAM). If possible, familiarize yourself before you leave with your country’s health insurance and its reimbursement methods during your stay in France
  • A certificate of health insurance coverage in the case of health insurance agreements between France and your home country…
  • Proof of private insurance, if applicable
  • Proof of vaccination for every member of your family (required to enroll children in school)
  • Prescriptions for your medications and your glasses or contact lenses

Proof of income 

Proof of income for your stay

  • Original scientific hosting agreement (if applicable)
  • Certificate of funding for a research stay
    • If applicable, proof of grants or scholarships
    • If applicable, an employment contract from your home country

Proof of income from the previous year (to calculate your income level in order to access certain services)

  • Payslips
  • Tax forms
  • If applicable, those of your spouse

Driver’s license / vehicle permit

  • Valid European driver’s license or international permit if you plan on driving in France
  • Vehicle registration documents: If you are bringing your vehicle, you must have your vehicle’s international insurance card and proof of ownership of the vehicle.


  • Original copies of your high school diploma and/or higher education diplomas ;
  • Students : a detailed transcript with grades from the last two years of your studies;
  • Exchange students or students doing internships: a certificate of registration from your home university;
  • PhD students : a transcript of higher education courses and grades, as well as a detailed research proposal (for certain disciplines) ;

Enrolling children in school

  • Report cards, children’s school reports


Are you unsure of what you can bring with you to France and under what conditions: pets, cash, medicine, vehicles, etc? Consult the French customs office’s official website here