French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the South Pacific, is renowned for its stunning turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and vibrant coral reefs. If you’re planning a trip to destinations like Tahiti, Bora Bora, or Moorea, it’s important to understand the visa requirements and other entry conditions. This guide provides comprehensive details on obtaining a French Polynesia visa, including requirements for various nationalities, associated costs, and essential travel information.


Visa Exemptions and Requirements

Who Needs a Visa?Visa and USA flag  

Visa Exemptions:

Citizens from the EU, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and several other countries do not require a visa for short stays of up to 90 days in French Polynesia. These travelers must possess a passport valid for at least three months beyond their intended departure date from French Polynesia.

Visa Requirements:

Travelers from countries that do not have a visa exemption agreement with French Polynesia need to apply for a visa. This includes many countries in Africa, Asia, and some countries in Eastern Europe and Latin America. The specific visa requirements and the type of visa depend on the purpose of the visit, such as tourism, business, or family visits. 


Types of Visas

Short-Stay Visa (Schengen Visa)

For most tourists and short-term visitors who are not exempt, a Schengen Visa is applicable for stays up to 90 days. French Polynesia, although not part of the Schengen Area, uses French embassies and consulates to issue these visas following Schengen rules.


Long-Stay Visa

This visa is required for anyone planning to stay longer than three months. It is appropriate for various purposes, including employment, study, or family reunification.

Transit Visa

A transit visa may be required for passengers passing through French Polynesia en route to other destinations, depending on their nationality.

How to Apply for a French Polynesia Visa

Application Process

Short-Stay Visa

  1. Application Form: Complete the Schengen visa application form, which can be downloaded from France-Visas, the official portal for visa applications to France.
  2. Documents Required:
    • Passport valid for at least three months beyond the return date.
    • Flight itinerary showing a return or onward ticket.
    • Proof of accommodation (hotel reservations or letter of invitation).
    • Travel insurance covering medical emergencies and repatriation.
    • Proof of financial means, such as bank statements or a letter from a sponsor.
  3. Submission: Submit the application and documents at the nearest French embassy or consulate. Some countries may also use visa application centers (VACs).

Long-Stay Visa

  1. Application Form: Obtain and complete the long-stay visa application form from France-Visas.
  2. Documents Required:
    • Passport valid for the duration of the stay.
    • Criminal background check.
    • Medical insurance for the duration of the stay.
    • Documents supporting the visa purpose (e.g., work contract, enrollment certificate).
  3. Appointment: Schedule an appointment to submit your documents and biometric data at the French embassy or consulate.

Visa Fees

  • Short-Stay Visa Fee: Approximately €80 for adults and €45 for children aged 6-12.
  • Long-Stay Visa Fee: Generally around €99, varying slightly depending on the exchange rate and specific circumstances.
  • Other Fees: Additional fees may include service charges if using a Visa Application Center.

Processing Times

Processing times for French Polynesia visas can vary:

  • Short-stay visas may take about 15 days to process, although this can be longer during peak travel periods or if additional documentation is needed.
  • Long-stay visas typically take longer, and applicants should allow at least a month for processing.

Entry and Residence in French Polynesia

Upon Arrival

Upon entering French Polynesia, all travelers should be prepared to present the following at the border:

  • A valid passport.
  • Proof of onward or return travel.
  • Proof of sufficient funds for the duration of the stay.
  • Documentation of accommodation.


Overstaying a visa in French Polynesia can lead to fines, deportation, and bans on re-entry. It is important to adhere to the terms of your visa and seek an extension or modification if your travel plans change.

Health and Safety Protocols

Vaccinations and Health Advice

While no specific vaccinations are required for French Polynesia, travelers are advised to have routine vaccinations updated and to consult travel health clinics about potential risks. It is also recommended to have comprehensive travel health insurance.

Departure Protocols and Customs

When leaving French Polynesia, ensure that all visa conditions have been met and that no goods are taken out of the country that would violate customs regulations, such as protected wildlife items.

Cultural Tips and Etiquette

Understanding and respecting local customs and traditions is important. This includes dressing modestly where appropriate, observing local etiquette, and being environmentally conscious, especially on beaches and protected areas.


Traveling to French Polynesia requires careful preparation, especially regarding visa requirements and entry protocols. By ensuring all documentation is correctly completed and submitted, and by respecting local laws and customs, travelers can fully enjoy the natural beauty and welcoming spirit of French Polynesia. Whether visiting for a few days under a short-stay visa exemption or planning a longer stay with a visa, French Polynesia offers an unforgettable experience for all who visit. The key to a smooth visit lies in thorough preparation and respect for the local culture and environment. With these considerations in mind, French Polynesia’s islands will provide lasting memories of their extraordinary landscapes, culture, and hospitality.


No, US citizens do not need a visa for short stays up to 90 days in French Polynesia. A passport valid for at least three months beyond the return date is required.

Countries exempt include EU member states, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and several others. Travelers from these countries can stay visa-free for up to 90 days.

You can apply for a short-stay visa by completing the Schengen visa application form, submitting it along with required documents like a valid passport, proof of accommodation, and financial means, at the nearest French embassy or consulate.

The standard fee for a short-stay Schengen visa is approximately €80 for adults and €45 for children aged 6-12.

Yes, long-stay visas are available for stays longer than three months and require additional documentation, such as a criminal background check and proof of financial resources.

Upon arrival, you should be ready to present a valid passport, proof of onward or return travel, proof of accommodation, and evidence of sufficient funds for your stay.

If you plan to stay for more than 90 days, you must apply for a long-stay visa, which requires a detailed application including specific reasons for your extended stay and additional documentation.

No, working in French Polynesia with a tourist visa is illegal. Those intending to work must apply for a relevant long-stay visa that permits employment.

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