HOW DO YOU GET A STUDENT VISA FOR FRANCE?

You are a student hoping to take a course in France? Depending on your country of origin, the duration of your studies in France, and their context, you will have to get a Student visa.

Depending on your situation, different kinds of visa are available.

Here is everything you need to know about getting a student visa for France.

Who needs a long-stay visa to study in France?

Depending on your country of origin, you might need a long-stay French student visa.

European Union, European Economic Union (EU+Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein) and Swiss citizens are allowed to study in France without a student visa. If you are from another country and without a residence permit, you have to apply for a student visa to study in France, no matter how long your course lasts.

Depending on the duration of your studies in France, you will have to apply for a long-stay or a short-stay visa.

Which visa should I apply for?

  1. If you plan to study for more than three months in France:
    1. You first have to apply for a long-stay visa, equivalent to a resident permit (VLS-TS), with a validity of four months up to one year, to allow you to study in France (Bachelor's and Master's degrees). This visa has to be registered when you arrive in France.
    2. After one year, you will have to apply for a temporary residence permit of one year, with the mention “étudiant” (student).
  2. If you want to keep going with your studies in France after that, you will have to apply for a pluriannual residence permit with the mention “étudiant” (student).
  3. If you want to study in France for four months to one year only, you have to apply for a temporary long-stay visa (VLS-T). You don’t have to register it on your arrival in France and it is not renewable.
  4. If you are a doctoral student, you have to apply for a long-stay visa with the mention “passeport talent” (VLS). This visa is not a residence permit and does not need to be registered on your arrival in France.
  5. If you are a trainee for a French company, you have to apply for a long-stay visa with the mention “stagiaire” (trainee).
  6. If you plan to study for less than three months in France, you have to apply for a short-stay student visa Type C, with the mention “étudiant court séjour” (short-stay student). If you are invited to an entrance test by a French institution, you have to apply for a short-stay visa with the mention “étudiant concours” (exam student).

How do I get a long-stay visa to study in France?

First of all, check if you need a visa on France-Visas .

  1. If you are a citizen of one of these 44 countries linked to “Etudes en France”, the platform will guide you during the administrative process: school registration, visa application…
  2. If you are not a citizen of one of these 44 countries, you first have to be enrolled or pre-enrolled at a French university, or a higher or professional establishment, or a higher training professional establishment. You need proof of enrollment or pre-enrollment to apply for a visa.

In any case, being enrolled or pre-enrolled at an establishment of higher education is mandatory to apply for a visa.

Which documents do I need to apply for a French student visa?

The following documents are required for a student visa application:

  • Your passport, delivered less than 10 years ago and with a minimum of two free pages. It has to be valid for at least three months after the expiration of your long-stay visa.
  • Three recently taken passport photographs
  • Your visa application form, dated and signed
  • The France-Visas receipt
  • If your country of residency is different from your citizenship, you have to submit legal proof of residency in this country (residence permit…)

Regarding the documents for your stay as a student in France:

  • Your enrollment or pre-enrollment certificate provided by the application Campus France, with your identification number.
  • If you are enrolled in an establishment that is not a university, the payment receipt for the fees, total amount or not (depending on the rules of the establishment).
  • For students out of the “EEF – Etudes en France” only: your last degree.

Regarding your accommodation for the first three months:

  • A letter explaining your housing conditions, or a hotel booking form, or a certificate from the establishment housing you will be staying in. If you are staying at a relative’s home, they have to provide a declaration stating you will stay at theirs and a proof of address.

Getting a visa depends also on your income: you have to prove you have enough monthly financial resources to live and study in France.

  • The minimum amount is €615 per month (€308 if you do not pay rent).
  • If you are a scholarship holder:
    •  A certificate of scholarship.
  • If you are not a scholarship holder:
    • A certification from your parents stating they are in charge of you, along with their last three payslips, bank statements, work certificate, permanent bank transfer (or unique transfer of €7,380).
  • If you have a guarantor in France: a certificate with the monthly amount provided, their last tax income, three last payslips, and a copy of their ID.

How do I apply for a student visa for France

For the Etudes en France students, follow the process on their platform.

For the students applying from their country of residence to the French consulate:

  • Fill out an application form on the France-VISAS website. Print the form and receipt.
  • Book an appointment with the consulate or an approved organization (VFS Global, TLS, Capago)
  • During the appointment, give all the documents for your application and pay the visa fees
  • An appointment will be fixed for you to take your passport back.

How much does a student visa for France cost?

VLS-TS costs €75. You pay this amount during your appointment at the consulate or the approved organization collecting your application form.

Student visa insurance for France

AXA Schengen Visa Low Cost and Europe Travel insurance cover long-stay trips of more than 180 days (six months). If your stay lasts six months, you can subscribe to a Low Cost or Europe Travel insurance. Learn more about your Schengen visa insurance options.

We do our best to provide the most accurate and up to date information, however, the French consulate in your country, depending on the circumstances, can change the visa regulations at any time. Because of that, we cannot be made responsible for these changes. Please contact the nearest French consulate to find out the exact regulations at the time you apply for a visa.

Related topics:

Visa for France

France work visa

Tourist visa for France