Visa Management Process in France
If you are a student from any EU/EEA country, you won’t need a visa. However, if you're a foreign national outside an EU/EEA country, here are some French visa details you need to know about.
Below are the steps and to apply for your french visa to enter France:
Before starting the student visa application process, it is important to decide on where you want to study in France. That is because only after being accepted at a French university, you can start the visa process since it requires the offer acceptance letter along with the other required documents.
1. Select the type of visa you want to stay in France.
a) Visa de court séjour pour etudes (Schengen visa or short-stay visa) which is available up to three months. This type of visa is mainly for short-term study programmes. It is free of charge. Residence permit is not needed and you can apply for a new one when it expires.
b) Visa de long séjour temporaire pour etudes (temporary long-stay visa) which is available between 3 to 6 months. Residence permit is required and it cannot be renewed.
c) Visa de long séjour etudes (long-stay visa) which is available for the entire duration of your course in France (3 years for Bachelor's, 2 years for a Master's and 4 years for a Ph.D.). With this visa, there is no need for a residence permit since it in itself is a residence permit and is called VLT-TS. Work permits need to be applied separately.
2. When and where to apply for the student visa
Student visas application process can take place either through French consulate or Campus France.
Schedule an in-person interview/appointment through the official website of the French consulate in your area.
It is good to schedule the date of the appointment at least 90 days before going to France.
Usually, it takes at least five to seven business days for a visa to be granted, in some cases it may take a bit longer too.
3. Language requirements for study in France
While applying for a degree in French University, for English degrees, you will have to show the proof of your English language proficiency. Accepted tests are: IELTS, TOEFL or Cambridge
If you have an acceptance letter from a French university, the French consulate won’t require additional language requirements for your study visa for France.
4. Required documents for the France visa application are:
a) Visa application form with proof of application fee
b) Two passport type photos
c) Valid passport and copies of your previous Schengen visa
d) Official enrolment or acceptance letter from the university
e) Proof of financial means to cover all your expenses to stay in France.
f) Airline ticket/reservation showing date of departure
g) Medical insurance
h) Proof of accomodation
i) Proof of payment of the visa fee
j) Proof of civil status (if applicable)