Tourism / Transport
In 2013, the GDP of Réunion was estimated at 16.7 billion euros (US$22.2 bn) and the GDP per capita was 19,854 euros (US$26,369). Sugar was traditionally the chief agricultural product and export. Tourism is now an important source of income. The island's remote location combined with its stable political alignment with Europe makes it a key location for satellite receiving stations and naval navigation. Unemployment is a major problem on Réunion; the rate stood at 30 percent in 2014 and 60 percent among young people. According to Le Monde, 42 percent of the population lived below the poverty line in 2010.
Rum distillation is a sugar-based process that contributes to the island's economy. Réunion Island rum (e.g. Tank Rum, Isautier, Savanna, etc.) is distilled on Réunion and shipped to Europe for bottling, then shipped around the world.
In 2005–2006, Réunion experienced an epidemic of chikungunya, a viral disease similar to dengue fever brought in from East Africa, which infected almost a third of the population because of its transmission through mosquitoes. The epidemic has since been eradicated. See the History section for more details.
Roland Garros Airport serves the island, handling flights to mainland France, India, Madagascar, Mauritius, South Africa and Thailand. Pierrefonds Airport, a smaller airport, has some flights to Mauritius and Madagascar.
Depending on the purpose of your travel to France, there are different types of visas that will apply to the occasion. Whether you are planning to go on a visit, study or work and reside there permanently, you will have to apply for a different France Schengen Visa, accordingly.
You can apply for the France Visa since 1997 when France, as a Member of the European Union, also became a member state of the Schengen Area. Monaco – a European microstate/city-state located within France – is considered part of the Schengen Area although it did not officially sign the particular documents of the agreement. Besides, no border control is performed for the Schengen countries surrounding it!
On the other hand, Andorra as another microstate located between France and Spain performs border controls, therefore to enter it you should obtain a multi-entry Schengen visa since you should enter the Schengen Area while going or leaving Andorra.
Stat: As per 2014, France has issued a total of 2,613,995 uniform Schengen visas.
Stat: As per 2015, France has issued a total of 2,997,410 uniform Schengen visas from 3,356,165 visa application received. The Visa rejection rate was 9.9%.
Who does and who don’t need a Visa to enter France?
Not to every foreigner and not for every territory of France applies the same visa policy. As such, visa exemptions are greatly influenced by dissimilar factors, where the major ones are: foreigner’s nationality, the territory of the France that the applicant seeks to visit, foreigner’s residence status in Schengen Area or specifically in France, the purpose of visit, as well as duration of stay.
- French European Territory
- French Overseas Départments or Regions (DOM)
- French Overseas Territories (TOM)
Who Needs a French Visa to Enter and Stay in European French Territory?
France is part of the Schengen Area. Therefore, its European territory is a complementing part of other territories: of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, also members of the Area.
Learn HERE who CAN travel to the European French Territory without a French Visa and who NEEDS to get one for entering and staying there.
Who Needs a French Visa to Enter and Stay in French Overseas Départments or Regions?
The following foreign nationals are FREE to travel WITHOUT French Visa for a short stays (up to 3 months) to Guadeloupe (and its dependencies: Saint Martin, Saint Barthélémy), French Guyana, Martinique, Réunion:
- Schengen Area member countries,
- Costa Rica,
- El Salvador,
- Hong-Kong (titulaires du passeport de la Région administrative spéciale seulement),
- Macao (titulaires du passeport de la Région administrative spéciale seulement),
- New Zealand,
- South Korea,
- The Holly See,
- United Kingdom,
- United States,
- Uruguay and
*Note: Nationals of the above listed countries CAN enter and stay in French Overseas Départments or Regions WITHOUT a French Visa, except for the following categories of foreign nationals, who MUST have a French Visa to stay in those territories:
- Nationals of the United States, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Venezuela or Singapore who aim to work in these territories,
- Nationals of the United States who: aim to study there, hold a diplomatic or official or other service passport and aim to stay in these French territories in a diplomatic or official mission there, as well as those who aim to stay there for journalism purposes
All other foreign nationals of the excluded countries from the above list, CANNOT enter or stay in French Overseas Départments or Regions WITHOUT undergoing the French Visa Application procedure and getting the appropriate French Visa.
Who Needs a French Visa to Enter and Stay in French Overseas Territories?
The following foreign nationals are FREE to travel without a French Visa for a short stays (up to 3 months) in French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna, New Caledonia and its dependancies, (Terres Australes et Antarctiques françaises (TAAF)), Mayotte, Saint Pierre et Miquelon:
- Costa Rica,
- El Salvador,
- Hong-Kong * (passport holders of the special administrative area exclusively),
- Macao* (passport holders of the special administrative area exclusively),
- New Zealand,
- South Corea,
- United States and
Nationals which can enter in the French Overseas Territories WITHOUT a French Visa but CANNOT stay more than three (3) months or ninety (90) days there, come from the following countries:
- Schengen Area member countries,
- Saint Marin,
- The Holly See and
- United Kingdom.
General required documents for a France Visa Application:
- Download the France Visa Application form, fill it completely and with sincerity. You can also fill the France Schengen Visa application form electronically and then print a hard-copy.
- 2 photos must be attached; the photo should be of passport format – a recent whole-face capture with a light background. Learn more about photo requirements and specifications for a French Visa.
- Your passport and copies of your previous visas – valid for at least 3 months beyond return date – are required. Your passport must have at least two blank pages.
- A copy of your return-ticket reservation. It is not recommended to purchase the ticket before obtaining the visa – if not otherwise required
- Travel visa insurance confirmation of minimum 30,000 € coverage within France and the entire Schengen area
- A cover letter stating the purpose of a visit to France and itinerary
- Flight ticket reservations. Find out how to get a flight reservation for France Visa Application without paying the actual flight.
- Proof of accommodation for your entire stay in France. Book a hotel in France online!
- Proof of civil status (marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, death certificate of spouse, ration card if applicable)
- Means of subsistence – Proof of sufficient financial means for the period of stay. As the European Commission specifies, any foreigner seeking to enter France, since 19 June 2014, when applying for France Visa must be able attesting to the France Embassy or Consulate possessing the daily money amount of 120€ if holding no proof of prepaid accommodation. If the applicant has a prepaid hotel, then this amount reduces to 65€/daily for the period of covered hotel accommodation, while the rest is 120€. Also, in case the applicant proofs cheaper forms of accommodation the amount decreases to 32.25€/ day.
- Employment contract
- Current bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Leave permission from the employer
- Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary
- A copy of your business license
- Company bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
If a student:
- Proof of enrolment
- No-objection certificate from school or university
- Pension statement of the latest 6 months
- Regular income generated by property proof of the latest 6 months
List of additional documents required for the most frequent purposes of the France Visa Application:
French Tourist Schengen Visa:
- Invitation letter with the address and phone number from family member or sponsor – if applicable
- Bank statement of the last 6 months
- Passport copies
France Visa for Business Purposes:
- Invitation letter from the French company you will be visiting and their detailed address accompanied with the dates of your visit
- A certificate from your employer stating/allowing your business travel
- If there were previous trade relations between the two companies, proof of such events must be provided
- Business bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Memorandum and Article of Association in original certified copy (registered with joint stock companies) Trade License (first issued and present renewal), Proprietorship/Partnership documents
- Regarding the applicant’s expenses during stay in the Schengen zone, either the employer or the partner company must state coverage of expenses on the letter or invitation.
French Embassy Information
French General Consulate
6A Cromwell Place
Telephone: 020 7073 1250
Fax: 020 7073 1246