I have a friend coming from Brazil to stay with me in Paris for some weeks. Does he need an Attestation d'accueil even if his flight has a connection in another country in the Schengen Zone? (which means that he won't make the immigration process in France, so a simple letter should work, right?)

The definition of this document is:

An "Attestation d'Accueil" is a document required if you are going to France and planning to stay with friends or relatives for a period of less than 3 months.

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    What makes you think proof of accommodation is required in the first place? – JonathanReez Jun 7 '16 at 13:59
  • @JonathanReez Multiple embassy websites imply that it is, as does service-public.fr: L'attestation d'accueil est exigée de l'étranger non européen, qu'il soit d'une nationalité soumise à visa de court séjour ou pas. – Relaxed Jun 7 '16 at 14:53
  • @Relaxed but assuming their friend is a Brazilian citizen they don't need a visa for the Schengen area and therefore different rules apply. – JonathanReez Jun 7 '16 at 16:38
  • @JonathanReez Yes and no. It's true that different rules apply to those who need a visa of course (like the health insurance requirement) but the bit I quoted explicitly applies to people who don't need a visa as do the websites I mentioned. – Relaxed Jun 7 '16 at 17:04
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    And again: You asked why the OP would think it's required, the answer is quite simply that, rightly or wrongly, many official sources claim as much, explicitly. – Relaxed Jun 7 '16 at 17:16

It does not really make a difference. In practice, I can imagine that border guards outside of France might be less familiar with French documents and are a bit more likely to let your friend slip through but Schengen consulates often have lists of all the documents that count as an official invitation (as an example, here is the list from the Belgian embassy in Kinshasa, DR Congo). I don't know for a fact that each and every border crossing point has such a list at hand but in principle the rules are exactly the same and there is no guarantee that they cannot check either.

Note that such invitations are especially relevant for people who need a visa (and in that case you really need the right one because you have to apply to the French consulate and they will check). Third-country nationals who do not need a visa might use the attestation d'accueil to establish the purpose of their trip and explain why they don't have acccommodation but border guards do not always bother to ask for it.

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    I see, but brazilians don't need a visa in order to stay in the Schengen Zone for less than three months, it's only for showing it to the border guards. – Vinicius M. Jun 7 '16 at 13:55
  • @ViniciusM. Yes I know, that's why I added the second paragraph. – Relaxed Jun 7 '16 at 14:00

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