In continuation of our previous article on how to apply for admission and registration at a French university, we are speaking today about how to obtain a student visa in France.
Types of Student Visa for France
There are several types of student visa for France. And the one you need to apply for depends on your nationality and the length of your study stay in France.
Short stay: Schengen student visa
If you plan to study a program that lasts less than 3 months and know for sure you won’t be staying any longer in the country, you need this visa. The short stay student visa is free of charge and can’t be renewed.
Short-term visa to take entrance exam
In case you plan to sit one or several university entrance exams in France, you need a “visa de court séjour étudiant concours“. This student visa is renewable under the condition you take your exam and pass.
Temporary long stay visa
If you plan to stay in France to study for a period up to six months, you need this type of visa. Moreover, with this study visa, you do not need to apply for a separate residence permit.
Long-stay student visa in France
For a study stay that lasts more than 6 months, you have to apply for a long-stay visa for study purpose. This visa is also known as extended-stay VLT-TS and acts as a residence permit to stay in France for the duration of your study program.
What are the student visa requirements for France?
There are several documents and requirements that students must provide to apply for a long-term residence visa for university study in France. They are as follows:
- Application fee, which is an amount of one hundred euros or the equivalent in the currency of the mother country.
- Two forms filled in correctly with all the information of the long-term residence visa applicant.
- Official admission document at a French university.
- An updated disease-free certificate in the name of the visa applicant.
- A certificate of good conduct that includes a list of the criminal records of the applicant. It also must prove the absence of any current legal provisions on him.
- Two photographs: white background, measuring 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm, the applicant’s face must be exposed.
- A true copy of the first four pages of a valid passport.
- A letter of recommendation from the France Cooperative Cultural Center. This letter must state that the student has submitted the required language tests and passed one of them.
Other documents that are also mandatory
- A letter of recommendation from the France Cooperative Cultural Center, stating that the student has completed the initial registration stage.
- The student’s CV. It must include a letter of recommendation from the school where he finished high school. It states his good conduct and behavior.
- A true copy of the high school diploma translated into French.
- An official document of the student’s financial resources. These documents can be in the form of bank statements as well as proof of regular income. Also, it can be a scholarship proof document for scholarship students with a statement from the granting authority. This document should prove that the scholarship will cover all student expenses during the study period in France.
- An official document on the student’s address in France, such as hotel reservation or hosting, that he obtained. On the other hand, if he owns a home, a document of ownership must be provided. It can also be a lease if the apartment is rented. In case one of the previous documents is not available, the student must submit a document of honorary commitment. This obliges him to rent a place to live in.
- Proof document stating that the student is subscribing to health insurance program.
- Student’s birth certificate.
Follow us in our next article, which will address the Types of scholarships in France and how to apply for them.
How long does a French student visa take to process?
The short-term Schengen student visa for France will take around 15 days to process. The other types of visa require between 14 and 21 days to process. But for a French VLS-TS visa, you should send your application at least 3 months before the beginning of the academic year. The processing time also can vary depending on the number of entries and applications at the embassy or consulate, as well as if the embassy needs you to produce any additional document.
France student visa cost
The visa processing fee in France costs between 15 and 100 euros, depending on your nationality, and on the type of visa you apply for. Non-EU applicants who apply for the long-stay student visa are required to pay a fee of 99 euros. Along with the visa fee, also expect to pay an insurance subscription fee covering the entirety of your stay in France.
Can you work on a student visa in France?
All international students in France are legally allowed to work during their studies, but under certain conditions. Firstly, only part-time jobs are allowed, with an annual paid work for 964 hours only. This represents around 60% of the full-time employment. Moreover, students must have a valid residence permit, as the VLS-TS can be used for.
Furthermore, when you apply for a job, make sure to let your employer know you are a foreign student, so they will only hire you for part-time positions.
How to apply for admission and registration at a French university