My husband is a Sri Lankan national with a Sri Lankan passport. He holds an indefinite leave to remain in the UK (card). Our 3 kids and I have British passports, we are all going to go to France. Does he (my husband) need to apply for a Schengen visa before travelling to France?
Your husband can travel without a visa, provided certain conditions are met. Here's the quote from the French consulate website:
The foreign spouse of a EU national enter France without visa if holding:
- A valid travel document;
- A valid UK residence permit with the endorsement "family member of EEA national" (this endorsement is compulsory to be visa exempted);
- and if they are joining or travelling with the EU national.
Attention: To avoid unnecessary problems whilst travelling it is advisable to carry along evidence of family relationship.
If you do not satisfy the above conditions, you will need to apply for a visa to travel to France (for instance if your residency is not explicit or if you are travelling to France for business).
I'm pretty sure that the first point holds (i.e. he has a valid passport). The third point also holds, as you are travelling together. Therefore it's up to the point number 2. If he does have the endorsement on his residence permit, then no visa is required, otherwise he will need a visa.
The page I linked to above has a link to the information on how to apply and what is needed. Note that in your case the visa application fee is waived.
Yes, your husband does need a visa to enter the Schengen area, including France. Since you are a British citizen and your husband would be travelling with you, do make sure to apply for his visa as a EU/EEA citizen family member (it's a box to fill on the form) as it should be easier, quicker and free.
The main exception would be if he was staying in the UK as a member of the family of an EU citizen but that's unusual for the spouses of British citizens, unless they used the Surinder Singh route. That's not your husband's case because he would then hold a “Permanent Residence Card” instead of an Indefinite Leave to Remain.
See also Does a non-EU Spouse of a UK national need a visa to visit the Schengen area? for a detailed discussion of the rules.