Student Visa France – France attracts around 300,000 international students across the globe each year. As the country is becoming one of the most popular destinations for international students, the major advantages of studying in France are high quality of education, low tuition fees and great French living style. Most popular UG/PG courses in France are: International Business, Data Science, Business Analytics, International Management, Luxury Management, Global Management, International Finance, etc. International students opt for these courses to make a career abroad.
In this article, you can find detailed information on the types of student visa, eligibility conditions, visa application procedure, working on a student visa, etc.
Student Visa France – Do you need a student visa?
If you are a non-EU student, you will need to obtain a student visa for France in order to pursue higher studies there. If you are an EU national or a national from the EEA, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you will not need a student visa for studying in France.
Explore “French Course Programmes” on our portal here.
Student Visa France – Types of student visa for studying in France
Depending on how long you want to stay in France, different visa needs to be obtained by the international students.
a) Schengen Student Visa
If you are planning to take up study in France that will last less than 3 months and you are sure to not be spending any longer in the country, then you should apply for the court séjour pour étude also known as the short-stay or Schengen student visa.
b) Visa for entrance exam
Applicants who need to travel to France in order to sit for the university entrance exams, can apply for the visa de court séjour étudiant concours which means visa for sitting entrance exams. If you pass the exam, then you are eligible to apply for a renewable one-year residence permit.
c) Temporary long-stay visa
The visa de long séjour temporaire pour études is a temporary student visa that allows you to study in France for a period of up to six months.
d) Long-stay visa
Visa de long séjour pour études or the VLT-TS, the long-stay visa is what student’s need if they wish to study in France for longer than six months. This visa is a residence permit and lasts for the duration of the study period (normally three years for a bachelor’s degree, two years for a master’s program and four years for a PhD).
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Student Visa France – Student Visa Eligibility
Students are eligible to apply for study visa based on the following criteria:
- You must be over 18 years of age
- You must have already chosen your training course or studies
- You must be accepted by a higher education establishment
To know everything about pursuing higher studies in France, read our “Study in France” article.
Student Visa France – Visa Application Guidelines
Visit the Campus France to know everything about studying and living in France.
Follow the procedure below to apply for a student visa to study in France. To apply for a long-stay student visa, you must follow the step-by-step procedure mentioned below.
STEP 1: Online Registration
- Create an account at www.india.campusfrance.org
- Fill the Campus France form with information about academic records, language skills, CV, etc.
- Submit your file online. Campus France will review the file and give you an appointment date.
- For paying Campus France fees, visit the payment page here.
STEP 2: Academic Interview
Students will be asked to appear in person with all necessary documents (originals and one set of photocopies) for an academic interview with Campus France advisor. During the interview, they will be asked why they chose France as study abroad destination and the institution where they have been granted admission.
STEP 3: Online visa application and scheduling
Once you have given the academic interview, complete your application on the online portal: https://france-visas.gouv.fr/
You will be asked to create a France-Visas account, which you will need at every step of the application process. An appointment with VFS-France will be scheduled for document submission. All visa applicants have to go in person at the listed VFS centres to register biometric data.
STEP 4: Validation of Long-stay Visa/ Residence Permit (VLS-TS)
Within the first three months after arriving in France, you must register and validate your visa in the nearest government body (which issues residence permit) as guided by the officers at the arrival point in France. It is a quick and simple process which will ensure that you are registered as a legal resident in France.
STEP 5: Apply for your residence permit
Students who wish to stay in France at the end of the validity period of their VLS-TS, must apply for a residence permit at their place of residence two months prior to the expiry date of their visa.
Student Visa France – Documents Required
International students can apply for the visa by submitting the following documents along with the application online:
- Valid passport
- Cover letter
- Proof of funding
- Proof of accommodation
- Medical insurance
- Flight ticket
Student Visa France – Arrival in France
After you have arrived in France, you need to present the following documents at the Border Police:
- Valid passport and visa
- Proof of accommodation covering the whole duration of the stay
- Sufficient financial means.
- Return ticket
- Document providing details on the traveler’s profession
After the approval of your documents, you need to visit at the prefecture of your place of residence in France (visiting the nearest police station) to convert long stay visa to residence permit under any obligation.
Student Visa France – Working under student visa in France
An international student in France can undertake paid work of up to 964 hours per year. International students must have a valid residence permit and work contract and be paid at least 1 ½ times the minimum wage of 2,220 EUR gross per month to stay in France after completing their studies.
Also, an international graduate in France may request for an Autorisation Provisoire de Séjour (APS – temporary resident permit) which remains valid for 12 months and is non-renewable. To be eligible for this permit, they must have a professional Bachelor’s or Master’s-level degree or be in the process of starting their own company.