Entry and Exit
France is part of the Schengen Area and Singaporeans are allowed visa-free entry for short stays up to 90 days in any 180-day period, provided that no employment is sought. Passports should be valid for at least three months from your planned date of departure from the Schengen Area. As visa requirements often change at short notice, we advise you to contact your travel agency, or the French Embassy in Singapore for up-to-date information.
Please note that Singaporeans can only apply for French visas from the relevant French embassy or consulate in the applicant’s country of residence. It is not possible to arrive in France on a short-term visa and seek to convert this into an employment or student visa thereafter.
As a general rule, all foreign nationals entering France must be able to produce documentary evidence of the reasons for their stay, their means of support, and accommodation arrangements.
Safety and Security
France was placed under a state of emergency following the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. The state of emergency was extended six times until 1 November 2017, when it was replaced by a new set of counter-terrorism laws, which provide law enforcement agencies more authority to, inter alia, conduct searches and establish extra security measures for certain places. Although France is no longer technically under a state of emergency, we advise Singaporeans travelling or living in France to take the necessary precautions and exercise personal responsibility at all times.
Singaporeans travelling or living in France should exercise a high degree of caution and take all necessary precautions to ensure their personal safety, including purchasing travel insurance. Those visiting crowded and popular tourist areas (such as museums, monuments, shopping areas and public transportation) should be particularly attentive. They should also monitor the news and other sources for updates on local conditions.
Terrorism: France’s national security alert system – Vigipirate, has a three-tiered threat level as outlined below. The current threat level is “Heightened Security/Risk of Attack” (Tier 2).
3. Attack Emergency - Vigilance and maximum protection in the event of an imminent threat of a terrorist act or directly after an attack.
2. Heightened Security / Risk of Attack – Confronted with a high level of terrorist threat.
Security measures such as increased surveillance and bag checks at transportation hubs, shopping centres, major tourist attractions, schools and government buildings are in place.
Crime: Petty crime such as theft, pick-pocketing and tourist scams are increasingly common. Singaporeans are advised to be vigilant and keep their belongings close to them at all times, and avoid carrying large amounts of cash. The Paris Prefecture de Police publishes a useful guide on how visitors can avoid commonly-encountered petty crimes (https://www.prefecturedepolice.interieur.gouv.fr/English/Advice/Advice/Advice-for-tourists-FAQ).
Demonstrations: Public demonstrations and strikes for political, social, or economic reasons occur regularly in France. They may sometimes affect traffic and public transportation. Singaporeans are advised to avoid large crowds and demonstration areas.
Floods: Floods occur occasionally, and can be monitored from the flood forecast service Vigicrues (www.vigicrues.gouv.fr). In the event of a flood, heed the advice of local emergency services and avoid these areas.
The French Alps: The French Alps, which are located in the Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regions, are a popular destination for hiking, mountaineering and winter sports. Research thoroughly on weather conditions, routes, and access to emergency services if planning to engage in these activities. Do not move off marked trails. Purchase comprehensive travel insurance that includes cover for medical evacuation.
Forest Fires: Forest fires can occur during the summer months, particularly on the Mediterranean coast and in Corsica. In the event of a major fire, heed the advice of local emergency services and stay away from affected areas. Monitor local news for updates.
General Travel Advice
Overseas Travel – Be Informed & Be Safe [13 November 2019]
In view of the upcoming school holidays, Singaporeans planning overseas travel are reminded to take the necessary precautions, including being prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Singaporeans are also reminded to be familiar with your destination’s local laws and customs restrictions, including immigration procedures and entry requirements.
Singaporeans travelling to and from Malaysia, in particular via the land checkpoints, are reminded to ensure that your passport is presented to a Malaysian immigration officer and stamped correctly before leaving the Malaysian immigration booth. Failure to do so is an immigration offence in Malaysia and the penalties can be severe, including detention, a fine, and a ban from future entry into the country.
In 2019, demonstrations have occurred in several major cities across the world. Such demonstrations can sometimes escalate into violence. It is important for Singaporeans to keep abreast of local news, avoid any protests or demonstrations and heed the advice of the local authorities.
When participating in outdoor leisure activities overseas, Singaporeans should be mindful that certain sporting activities, especially in open seas, may carry risks. Besides ensuring that one has the physical competencies and appropriate condition to undertake the activity, every effort should be made to ascertain if the trip organiser or guide is reliable and competent, and that appropriate safety and contingency plans are in place. When in doubt, Singaporeans should consult the relevant professional bodies or sporting associations for specific advice.
For those planning to travel, here are some tips:
· Familiarise yourself with our network of overseas missions.
· Purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.
· Equip yourself with research about your destination’s entry requirements, current situation, local laws and customs.
· eRegister with us on our website (https://www.mfa.gov.sg) so that we may reach out to you during an emergency.
· Always take care of your personal safety, remain vigilant and monitor local weather news, advisories, and security developments.
· Exercise caution around large gatherings and avoid locations known for demonstrations or disturbances.
· Be prepared for possible delays and last-minute changes in travel plans especially during unforeseen events such as natural disasters, social unrests or terror attacks.
· Stay connected with your friends and family. Inform them of your whereabouts and provide them with your overseas contact details.
In the event that you require consular assistance, please contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.
Advisory: Email Scams [Updated: 12 May 2016]
There has been an increasing number of reports in recent years of individuals receiving scam emails purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas. These emails typically originate from an email address known to the receiver bearing claims of the sender getting into trouble overseas and urgently requesting financial assistance. The sender would also claim to have approached a Singapore Embassy/Consulate and the local Police for help to no avail.
MFA takes the safety of all Singaporeans very seriously. Singaporeans in distress approaching our Overseas Missions for assistance will be rendered with all necessary consular assistance. If you receive such emails from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails before responding to their request. It is also not advisable to give out any personal information such as NRIC/passport nos., address, telephone number, etc. Any form of reply, even one of non-interest, could result in more unsolicited emails. Members of the public who suspect that they have fallen prey to such scams should report the matter to the Police immediately. Should Singaporeans abroad require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24-hr Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.