Bonjour, travelers. I received a Schengen visa from the French embassy in my country. It was a tourist visa and was my first time to receive a Schengen visa.

It looks like this:

Enter image description here

I had to go to the French embassy because I was trying to get the visa to attend an event in Spain. This explains the "R/ES" remark, but please take a look at the pink arrow.

It says "Marsault", and it is not a part of my name. From what I can see, "Marsault" in French translates to "Goat" in English. The biometric information paper (the one they issue after taking your fingerprints and the photo) does not mention the word "Marsault" either.

I'm just noticing this right now, and I had no problems using this visa. If they put "Pig" or "Elephant", I can figure out it was about my overweight body, but "Marsault" or "Goat" is a little bit confusing.

Is it normal for Schengen visas to carry some sort of unique identification, or some valid clue about my physical appearance or the purpose of visit?

  • 20
    Marsault certainly does not mean goat, it's a type of tree and it could be someone's last name too, presumably some visa officer
    – blackbird
    Feb 12, 2016 at 12:46
  • 20
    It is the decision-maker's surname.
    – Gayot Fow
    Feb 12, 2016 at 12:53
  • 14
    If you had looked at the signature, you could have got your answer immediately.
    – DumbCoder
    Feb 12, 2016 at 17:01
  • 42
    Google Translate has been fooled by a coincidence into thinking that "marsault" means "goat". It is in fact a kind of willow tree, also called "saule marsault" (where "saule" means willow). Its common name in English is "goat willow". "Marsault" doesn't derive from goat at all, but when statistical machine translation software sees "goat willow" used to translate "saule marsault", and "willow" used to translate "saule", it infers (wrongly) that "marsault" can be translated as "goat".
    – hobbs
    Feb 12, 2016 at 20:11
  • 4
    Did you honestly believe that visa officials would insert (potentially highly insulting) names of animals such as pig for someone overweight? Feb 13, 2016 at 16:02

1 Answer 1


This is simply the name of the officer. The signature on the visa matches this name.

Furtheron, as @hobbs remarked, his name accidentially means "Goat Willow", which is a certain kind of tree. In fact, Saule des Chèvres is another French name for this tree, which literally translates to "Goat Willow". See here.

However, this is pretty common in France to have names that are common names from the daily vocabulary.

  • My recent one says E-VID***TI &signatures on it. So it is indeed the name or identifier of Visa Officer. My earlier one on Nov-2014 had nothing, but two ones on 2015 has one.
    – DavChana
    Feb 12, 2016 at 15:55

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