Do you need a French student visa?
Whether or not you need a student visa for France depends on whether or not you are an EU citizen.
If you are an EU citizen or EEA national, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you do not need a French student visa. Instead, all you need to legally study in France is a valid passport or other valid travel ID.
If you are a citizen of any part of the world, you must obtain a student visa for France to study.
Types of French Student Visa
There are several types of visas for French students, and what you need may vary depending on how long you plan to study in France.
Schengen student visa (short stay)
If your studies last less than three months and you are sure that you will no longer be in the country, you must request a Sejour pour étude from the court, also known as a short-term student visa or Schengen.
Visa to take the entrance exams
If you need to travel to France for one or more university entrance exams, you can apply for a séjour étudiant Concours court visa, which simply means an entrance exam visa. If you take the exam and pass it, you will be eligible to apply for a one-year renewable residence permit. For more information, contact the admissions department of the French institution where you wish to study.
Long term temporary visa
A long-term temporary study visa is a temporary student visa that allows you to study in France for up to six months. With this student visa for France, you do not have to apply for a separate residence permit.
Long term visa
Known as a long-term study visa or VLT-TS for extended stays, a long-stay visa is what you need if you want to study in France for more than six months. This visa acts as a residence permit and lasts for the duration of the study period (usually three years for a bachelor’s degree, two years for a master’s degree program and four years for a doctorate). Algerian citizens do not require VLS-TS but are subject to different provisions.
How To Apply For France Student/Study Visa?
These students would also have to use Campus France to enroll in the French institutions chosen through the CEF procedure.
If your country of origin is not listed in the CEF list, you will be responsible for your university application and student visa. Only after accepting a program at a French institution you can apply for a student visa to France.
To apply for your visa, you must contact the French Consulate in your home country and provide the following documents upon request:
- An official letter of acceptance of an accredited program in a French institution. This must be an official document, which provides full details, details of your curriculum and dates of commencement and completion of the study.
- Proof of sufficient funds to live in the country. The current amount required is € 615 (the US $ 820) per month, which can be shown with a bank statement, guarantor letter or notice of financing a loan, scholarship or grant.
- Proof of return home. This usually occurs in the form of the actual ticket or reservation that shows the date of departure, but maybe a declaration of intent written by hand, including the planned departure dates.
- Proof of medical insurance (minimum coverage of € 30,000, $ 40,150)
- Proof of accommodation. It can be displayed in the form of a student’s accommodation confirmation or a lodging and accommodation certificate or “Accueil certificate” (if you live with friends or family).
- French proficiency test if you are studying a French course.
Upon arrival in France
When you arrive in France with an extended-stay VLS-TS, you must send the official form submitted along with your visa to the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII). This can be done by registered mail or in-person if you live in Paris. In the same letter, you must also provide a copy of your valid passport, including pages that show your identity and the stamp issued when entering France.
Upon receiving the copied form and passport pages, you will receive a confirmation receipt with further instructions on the following steps, if necessary. It may be an instruction to obtain a medical examination if you have not yet received it in your home country.
Often, your study institution will help you with this part of the process. In some cases, there is an agreement between OFII and the school in question, which means that documents can be sent to the school instead of to the French authorities.
In all cases, you will have to pay a tax of € 58 (the US $ 78) to meet the administrative costs.