The appeal before the Commission (CRRV)
Filing a parallel hierarchical appeal
Referral to the Administrative Court

visa litigation


Created in 2000, the Appeals Commission against decisions refusing entry visas to France (CRRV) is responsible for examining appeals against decisions refusing visas to enter France taken by the diplomatic or consular authorities. This commission must be seized in the event of a challenge to a visa refusal, explicit or implicit (after 2 months of absence of response), before the possible referral to the administrative court of Nantes competent in first instance since 2010. The CRRV, through its role as a filter, makes it possible to limit the number of contentious appeals before the court. It is placed with the Minister in charge of Foreign Affairs.

The Visa Refusal Appeal Commission (CRRV) is an amicable appeal commission, which depends on the Ministry of the Interior, and whose purpose is to process appeals against visa refusal decisions. An appeal before this commission must be written in French, and sent to the CRRV within 2 months:

  • from the notification of the refusal decision for an express refusal;
  • from the end of the 2 month period without response, for an implied refusal.


The appeal made to this commission must be argued and supported by supporting documents that will be useful for the contested decision. In case of urgency, this recourse can be doubled by a request in summary procedure before the Administrative Court, if the decision of refusal of visa is manifestly illegal.

The CRRV is seized for opinion and has no binding power, ie it cannot impose any decision. It can:

  • Give a favorable opinion on the appeal, and recommend that the Ministry grant the visa requested. It is he who makes the final decision, without necessarily following the recommendation issued by the CRRV.
  • Reject the appeal, either by a letter of refusal, or by an implicit refusal after two months.


In a majority of cases, the appeal made to the CRRV is unfortunately rejected (implicitly or explicitly). You can still appeal to the Administrative Court of Nantes. Indeed, while letters of appeal to the CRRV are generally successful in 10% of cases, appeals filed with this Tribunal are successful in 40% of the time. Note that it is necessary to first go through the CRRV.



Have you applied for a visa for France and have you been refused?

The graceful appeal is advantageous when the refusal of visa is obviously motivated by a gross error of the administration. In this case, the administration that refused your visa may agree to review its decision within shorter timeframes than a procedure before the CRRV.

The graceful appeal is also suitable if you have forgotten to present certain documents when applying for a visa. In this case, rather than reapplying or entering the CRRV, it is sometimes better to try to obtain a favorable decision directly from the consulate or embassy.

If the administration takes a decision that is unfavorable to you, you can ask it to review its decision by lodging an administrative appeal. You can make a formal appeal to the person who made the decision. You can also make a hierarchical appeal to his superior. Sometimes, the administrative appeal is obligatory before seizing the judge. This is then a compulsory prior administrative appeal.

The contested administrative decision can be written (explicit) or result from the silence kept by the administration on your request (implicit).

The graceful appeal and the hierarchical appeal are both remedies prior to legal action. But they have differences.

The gracious appeal is addressed to the author of the disputed decision (mayor, prefect, academy inspector, etc.).

The hierarchical appeal is addressed to the hierarchical superior of the author of the decision. For example, the Minister of the Interior for a decision taken by a prefect.

It is possible to file a hierarchical appeal without having first made an informal appeal or without waiting to have received the response to the informal appeal.

Prior recourse may be voluntary or compulsory.

When it is free, you can choose to exercise it or go directly to the administrative judge.

When the preliminary recourse is compulsory, you cannot seize the judge without having exercised it.

The prior administrative appeal is addressed to an administration and constitutes a preliminary to referral to the administrative judge.


Finally, in cases of extreme urgency, an informal appeal can be faster than a summary procedure. Indeed, you can obtain a positive response to your appeal within a few days from the embassy or consulate, compared to 15 days to 3 weeks in the case of an emergency court procedure.

If you are in one of these 3 situations, we advise you to make a formal appeal to the consulate. This appeal must be made within 2 months:

  • from the notification of the refusal decision for an express refusal;
  • from the end of the 2 month period without response, for an implied refusal.



Have you applied for a Visa but have been refused by the CRRV? You can still appeal to the Administrative Court of Nantes, the only competent court in this area.

The objective is to bring an action for abuse of power, in order to prove that your visa has been wrongfully refused.

The appeal must be sent to the Administrative Tribunal by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt, with 4 copies of the appeal, within 2 months of the refusal by the CRRV.

The person filing the appeal must have an address in France. Otherwise, the person seeks a lawyer in France to represent him and use his address. The lawyer can formalize the appeal online.

The procedure usually lasts between 6 and 12 months. The appeal and the supporting documents are communicated to the Ministry, which must respond to them in writing. At the end of the exchanges with the Ministry, a date for pleadings is set in order to discuss the case in court. The final decision is generally rendered 2 to 4 weeks after this hearing.

The acknowledgment of receipt of the appeal includes a personal identifier and password on the site which allow the person making the appeal to follow the progress of the procedure.

It is common to go through a procedure at the Administrative Court in order to obtain a visa. Indeed, the CRRV is not required to deal with all visa refusal appeals. Thus, approximately two-thirds of appeals to the CRRV are not processed by the Commission within the 2-month period. These unprocessed appeals are therefore automatically refused (implied refusal).

Therefore, it is often necessary to appeal to the Administrative Court of Nantes, which is required to give an explicit answer. Please note that it is not possible to appeal directly to the Administrative Court of Nantes; you must first go through the CRRV.