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Visa Support

The ILL is dedicated to helping its visiting researchers to make the most of its facilities. Neutron beams and instrument access are provided free of charge for proposers of accepted experiments.

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User guide

User Club

The ILL User Club provides online access to all the information and administrative tools for our scientific visitors, presented in a user friendly environment.

Visa Support

If you think you may need a visa, as soon as you receive your experiment invitation please contact your nearest French Embassy or French Consulate for information on documents you will be required to produce. You may simply need an official invitation letter or a 'convention d'accueil' or sometimes both.

If you require an invitation letter please let us know if you prefer it in English or French; and if you require the pdf or a hard copy by DHL (please provide a mobile phone number - required by DHL).


If you are informed that you need a ‘Convention d’Accueil’ could you please send the following information by email to the User Office:

  • Name (family name)
  • First name
  • Gender (M or F)
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • Status/profession (ie PhD student, Post Doc, Research Assistant, ...)
  • Private address in country of residence
  • Name of employer
  • Employer's address
  • Experiment number & instrument
  • Dates of your stay in France
  • Mobile phone number for DHL to be able to contact you for delivery of the documents


Please note that SCO cannot issue the official visa support documents at short notice. The completed convention d’accueil is taken to the local French authorities (Préfecture) for an official stamp. This service is provided on a weekly basis by ILL’s Liaison Officer. Allow plenty of time before the appointment with the Consulate; the procedure can take from 10 days to a month between the date you request the document and the day you receive it. Your Convention d'accueil will be sent by DHL courier or normal post to your LABORATORY ADDRESS.

Visa fees are not reimbursed by the ILL.