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I need some help in terms of info for applying for a Schengen Visa. I am in Cape Town and I want to visit my friend in Paris, but I've heard it's so complicated to get a Attestation d'Accueil. She has tried before and she doesn't have the right documents etc so would it be better applying at a different consulate (even thought I'm planning to stay most of the time in Paris). I've heard the Spanish consulate in Cape Town is better than the French one?

I'm so confused about this whole process. Has anyone managed to get a visa just with a regular letter of invitation?

And they ask for a detailed itinerary. I don't have one, I plan to just take it one day at a time. Is it just your plane tickets they want to see?

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If France is your main destination, you can't chose which consulate you apply to, see…. Regarding the itinerary, see… and…. – Relaxed Apr 27 '14 at 23:02
Regarding the attestation d'accueil, see also…. – Relaxed Apr 27 '14 at 23:03
If your trip includes multiple Schengen countries, you might be able to adjust it a little bit and apply to some other consulate but if France is really your destination, there is no way around all this (applying to the French authorities, having a proper attestation d'accueil and submitting as detailed an itinerary as possible). – Relaxed Apr 27 '14 at 23:08

There are probably some Schengen countries that are easier to get the visa at however you will need to visit that country first. To apply for a Schengen for France you will need the Attestation d'accueil. To be exempt of that requirement you would need a 1 year multiple entry Schengen visa.

If you are planning to stay in Paris with you friend, then the best course of action is get your friend to apply for the Attestation d'accueil by going through the proper channels as shown on the French Services Public website.

share|improve this answer
You don't need the attestion d'accueil to stay in France but you if you only go to France, you can't apply to any other consulate. – Relaxed Apr 27 '14 at 22:53
@Annoyed It seems you would need the Attestation d'accueil according to the French Services Public website. – Vagish Apr 27 '14 at 22:57
If that's the main purpose of the trip, you need it to apply for the visa and it might be checked at the border too, that's what this page is about. But once you have a visa and a Schengen entry stamp, you're fine, it's not illegal to be in France or visit people without such an attestation. – Relaxed Apr 27 '14 at 23:00
@Annoyed Updated my answer to include that. Thanks! – Vagish Apr 27 '14 at 23:02

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