Whether or not you require a student visa in France is determined by whether or not you are a member of the European Union. If you are a citizen of the EU, the EEA, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein, you do not require a student visa to study in France. However, you will only need a valid passport or another kind of travel ID to study lawfully in France.
You’ll also need a student visa to study in France if you’re a foreign national from anywhere in the world. If you are interested in obtaining a student visa in France and are unsure how to go about doing so, this guide will help you.
Types of Student Visa in France
There are several sorts of French student visas available, and the one you require will be determined by the duration of time you plan to study in France.
If your studies will last less than three months and you are certain you will not be staying in France any longer, you can apply for a short-term student visa in France. The Schengen student visa is not renewable and is not free to obtain.
If you need to travel to France to take one or more university admission examinations, you can apply for a visa for taking entrance exams.
The Visa for Temporary Long-Term Stay is a temporary student visa that allows you to study in France for six months. Furthermore, with this student visa, you do not need to apply for a residence permit separately.
A long-term visa is sometimes known as an extended-stay visa or a visa de long séjour pour études. If you plan to study in France for more than six months, you’ll need VLT-TS. This visa acts as a residence permit and is valid for the duration of your programme, which is usually three years for a bachelor’s degree, two years for a master’s degree, and four years for a doctorate.
Algerian nationals, on the other hand, do not require the VLS-TS, but they are subject to various rules. Contact your university or the French consulate/embassy in your native country for additional information.
Importance of Student Visa in France
This visa allows third-country nationals to travel and stay in any of the member states for a certain length of time in order to study. The holder of a student visa in France can stay in the country for a minimum of three months. However, if your study or training course is longer than that, you must apply for a Long-Stay Study Visa at the embassy of the corresponding nation.
A Student Schengen Visa is also required for third-country nationals who have not signed a visa-free agreement with Schengen Area member states. Your Student Schengen Visa Application must also be submitted to the Embassy / Consulate / VAC of your principal Schengen destination in your home country.
Requirements for Student Visa in France are:
- Two visa application forms must be completed in their entirety, with correct and honest answers. Print it and sign it at the end.
- Two identical photographs need to be taken within the last three months.
- A current passport issued within the last ten years, with a validity period of at least three months after the end of the planned journey.
- You need a copy of the biometric data on the passport to apply for a student visa in France.
- Prior passports. With a rubber band, to hold them together. Please do not staple them!
- A proof of residency that you are a citizen or resident of that country.
- A round-trip reservation or travel plan specifying the dates and flight numbers for entering and leaving the Schengen area.
- Medical travel insurance to confirm you have insurance for the entire Schengen territory for the duration of your stay, with coverage of €30,000 for emergency medical situations.
- An Invitation Letter to confirm their willingness to host you in their home for the duration of your stay.
- An acceptance letter from an EU University/College/School like a recent, official, and signed letter stating your name/study type/length of studies/participation in a European program, if applicable/number of hours per week.
Furthermore, Nationals of a variety of countries will apply for a French student visa through Campus France, the country’s official national agency for higher education and international students. Those recipients would have also been required to use Campus France to apply to their preferred French institutions using the CEF procedure.
With a valid residence permit (the VLS-TS functions as such), as an international student you are eligible to take on paid work for 964 hours annually (this equates to about 60% full-time employment). This number of hours is configured for work between the periods of 1 September to 31 August. Eligible work hours between September and June are (up to) 670, while July to August is (up to) 300 hours.
When you arrive in France with an extended stay VLS-TS, you will need to send the official form which was presented to you along with your visa to the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII). This can be by registered mail, or in person if you reside in Paris. In the same letter, you should also provide a copy of your valid passport, including pages showing your identity and the stamp issued upon entry into France.
On arrival in France
Once your form and copied passport pages have been received, you will be sent a receipt of confirmation with further instructions on your next steps if required. This may be an instruction to obtain a medical examination if you have not previously received one in your country of origin.
Often your institution of study will help you with this part of the process. In some cases, an agreement exists between the OFII and the school in question, meaning documents can be submitted to the school instead of the French authorities.
In all instances, you will be expected to pay a tax of €58 (US$78) to handle administration costs.