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Student Visa for France: A Comprehensive Guide

Ever thought about studying in France? Well, now's your chance! Being a global hub for international business and management education, France attracts and hosts a large number of international students given its high-quality education system, low tuition fees, and top-ranking, globally renowned universities. But before you pack your bags, let's crack the code to secure a student visa for France.

Our blog is your one-stop shop for all the tips, tricks, and must-knows to make your dream of studying in France a reality. So, what are you waiting for? Let's dive in. 

Who needs a student visa for France?

french student visa

Whether you require a French student visa or not is dependent on whether or not you are an EU national.

Thus, if you are an EU national or national from the EEA, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you do not need a student visa for France. Instead, all you need to be able to study in France legally is a valid passport or other valid travel ID. Whereas, if you are a national from anywhere else in the world, you will need to obtain a student visa for France to be able to undertake a study program in France.

There are different types of France visas depending on your stay in France. Broadly, the France visa is categorized into the following two duration categories-

1. Stays equal to, or shorter than 90 days

Such a short stay is usually undertaken for purposes like tourism, business trips, or family visits. Thus, for stays which equal to, or are shorter than 90 days, a short-stay visa is issued.

This short-stay visa is also issued to individuals visiting France to take part in short-term training programs, internships, conferences, and corporate meetings, or to participate in remunerated activities of any form.

2.  Stays longer than 90 days

For such purposes that would require you to stay longer than 90 days in France, you’ll need to apply for a long-stay national visa.

However, whatever the exact duration of your planned stay, the span of your long-stay visa must be between three months and one year. If you wish to extend your stay before the period of validity of your visa, you would be required to apply for a residence permit at a prefecture.

During the period of validity of your long-stay visa, it is equivalent to a Schengen visa, allowing you to travel around and stay in the Schengen Area outside France for periods not exceeding 90 days over any stretch of 180 consecutive days under the same conditions if you hold a Schengen visa.

Further, the long-stay visa in France is split into the following categories:

  • Stay for an extended period for tourist or personal reasons;
  • Carry out a professional activity;
  • Pursue education;
  • Join family members.

French Student Visas

french student visa

The different types of student visa for France include the following:

Type of Visa Description
Visa de court séjour pour etudes (‘Schengen’ short-stay student visa)
  • This visa allows you to visit France and study for up to 3 months without the requirement for a separate residence visa.
  • It is usually suitable for students enrolling in a language course or short-term programs.
Visa de long séjour temporaire pour etudes (temporary long-stay visa)
  • This student visa for france would allow you to visit and study in France for a period between three and six months without the requirement for a residence permit.
  • This visa is non-renewable.
Visa de long séjour etudes (long-stay visa)
  • You must apply for this long-stay visa if you wish to study in France for a period longer than six months.
  • This type of study visa persists for the duration of a student’s course in France. The long-stay visa is deemed as a residence permit and is called VLT-TS.

When and where to apply for the French student visa

To apply to your student visa, you can reach out to either a French consulate in your region or apply through Campus France (an institution supporting higher education in France, having a local office in nearly all nations worldwide). Some countries will, thus, first require you to register with Campus France to obtain your student visa.

You will be required to schedule an in-person interview/appointment through the official website of the French consulate in your region; you can check the online calendar, which displays the available dates and hours. Try scheduling the appointment date at least 90 days prior to your departure to France. Additionally, you can check the Visa SOP guide to draft a better statement of purpose for your Visa application.

Usually, a student visa for france is issued in at least five to seven business days, while in exceptional cases, it might take a little longer. If you need further help with your visa applications, you can consult an expert for a better profile analysis.

How to apply for a student visa for France

To apply for your student visa for france, you will first need to contact the French consulate in your home country and present them with the following documentation when requested:

Visa

Working in France with a French student visa

french student visa

Along with a valid residence permit (the VLS-TS functions as such), as an international student, you are eligible to undertake paid work for about 964 hours annually (this equates to nearly 60% full-time employment). This number of specific hours is configured for work between the periods of 1 September to 31 August.

On the other hand, eligible work hours between September and June are up to 670 hours, while for the period of July to August is up to 300 hours. When you apply for a job, you must also inform your employer that you are a foreign student so that they will only consider your application for a part-time position.

Residence Permit in France

During your first year of the study program in France, you only require a student visa for France as proof of your residency status. Within a month of your arrival, you will be required to register at the local French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII) and undergo a medical examination to validate your visa.

And if you plan to stay in France for more than one year, starting from the second year of studies, you will be required to apply for a Carte de Séjour (CDS) or ‘titre de séjour’, an official residency card in France.

Language requirements for your study in France

When you apply for your study program at a university in France, you are required to provide proof of:

French language proficiency

If you apply for French-taught degrees, you will be required to prove your French language proficiency through these accepted tests/DALF or TCF

English language proficiency

If you apply for English-taught degrees, you will be required to prove your English language proficiency through these accepted tests- IELTS, TOEFL or Cambridge

Moreover, if you have received an acceptance letter from a French university, the French consulate won’t require any additional language requirements for your study visa for France.

Conclusion

Thus, more or less, you’d find everything relevant to the student visa for France covered here. However, since the visa rules and regulations tend to vary for residents of different countries, it’s highly recommended to check the country’s student visa requirements and procedures on their official website and prepare yourself accordingly. By staying informed and prepared, you'll be well-equipped to embark on your exciting academic journey in France.

How to get a student visa for France?

Among the core documents, a French student visa requires a few more documents for an application
A passport photograph.
A valid passport.
An acceptance letter to your university of study.
An EEF Admission Certificate (Accord préalable d'Inscription)
An EEF number (ZA21-XXXXX-PXX)
Proof of temporary accommodation in France.

How much money do you need for a student visa in France?

Students are required to show proof of 1 full year's funding while applying for the France student visa. This amount should be greater than your one-year tuition fee in addition to the monthly living cost

Is ielts required in France?

 No, IELTS isn't mandatory in France. There are other alternatives to study in France universities without IELTS such as TOEFL, educational transcripts, admission interviews, etc.

Who can sponsor me to study in France?

Parents, siblings, friends, cousins can be your sponsors or can provide you funds to study in France.
If you are going to use a friend as a sponsor, he or she can provide you with 30% of the total expense only.

Know Your Author
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Abhyank Srinet
Study Abroad Expert
Abhyank Srinet, the founder of MiM-Essay.com, is a globally recognized expert in study abroad and admission consulting.His passion lies in helping students navigate the complex world of admissions and achieve their academic dreams. Having earned a Master's degree in Management from ESCP Europe, Abhyank's expertise in data-driven marketing strategies has driven growth for some of the most competitive industries. As the founder of MiM-Essay.com, he has helped thousands of students get into top business schools with a strong emphasis on research, shortlisting, and applying to schools from a single platform. His dedication to education has also led him to create MentR-Me, a free-to-use social platform that simplifies the study abroad process for students, while providing universities with a powerful recruitment tool. As a leader in the field of admission consulting, he is constantly researching and implementing the latest strategies to ensure that his clients receive the best possible guidance. He leads the Business Development and Digital Marketing side of both companies, and has grown both ventures to 7 figure revenue.His unique insights, experience, and dedication to his clients make him a valuable resource for anyone seeking to advance their education or career.
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