How can I get a visa for my French course in France?
Do I need a visa to learn French in France?
Depending on the country of your origin and the length of your studies, you might need a visa to come to France. You can verify whether you need a visa on France-Visas website. We generally recommend to start visa procedures at least 2-3 months before your arrival. That said, you need to have all documents for visa application already in your possession. You can check all the details with the French Embassy and Campus France agency in your country.
What is Campus France ?
Campus France is the French national agency for promoting higher education in France for international students. They have offices in 126 countries in order to help you to prepare your student visa application and to provide you with useful pieces of information about student life in France. They can also provide scholarships for studying in France.
Can I apply for a student visa in France by registering in your school?
Yes, since our French school in Lyon is recognised as an institute of higher education and we are a Campus France member, you can apply for a student visa when registering for our French language courses. Please note that in order to apply for this type of visa, it is generally required to take an Intensive or a Semi-intensive French course. Please, check more details with the French embassy and Campus France in your country.
When do I need to start visa procedures?
We recommend you to start preparing your stay 6 months in advance (collecting information about school, accommodation, visa, insurance, etc) and to start your visa procedure approximately 3 months before your planning departure to France. That said, you need to have all documents for visa application already in your possession.
What visa do I need to learn French in France?
There are several types of visas that will enable you to learn French in France :
Long stay student visa called VLS-TS “Etudiant” (“Visa long séjour valant titre de séjour étudiant”) can be granted for the period from 4 months to one year. It can be extended in France, so it is the most appropriate visa for the students who would firstly like to learn French and then continue immediately their higher education studies in France. This visa also enables you to have a student job in France, to ask for French government rental subsidy CAF and to travel in Schengen area.
Long stay student visa called VLS-T “Etudiant” (Visa long séjour temporaire étudiant) is a temporary visa granted for the period from 4 months to one year. This visa cannot be extended in France and does not enable you to have a student job or to ask for French government rental subsidy CAF. It is the best visa if you want to spend a gap year in France to learn French, visit other Schengen countries and then go back to your country.
Working holiday visa for France is available for 14 nationalities and is limited by age. It enables you to spend from 3 months to one year in France for learning French and working. It doesn’t allow you to benefit from French government rental subsidy CAF. In general, this visa cannot be extended. This visa is perfect if you want to improve your French and gain some working experience in France.
What is a “student visa”?
Student visa is generally a long-stay visa that you can apply for if you would like to take a French course in France for more than 3 months or if you would like to study at a French university. You will need to contact French embassy and Campus France in your country for exact terms and conditions for visa application. For general information regarding student visa in France, please check the following website : Campus France
Visa procedure seems to be complicated for me. Can your school help me during this process?
We will be glad to help you! First of all, we will provide you with the necessary documents for your visa procedures : certificate of pre-registration and certificate of accommodation (if you book your accommodation with our school) and any additional documents the embassy might request from the school. In urgent cases, we may communicate with your Campus France to see how your visa application goes. Don’t be worried, we will be with you during this process.
What are the useful websites for international students applying for a student visa in France?
Etudes en France – depending on the country of your origin, you can do your online visa application on this website.
Campus France – find your national agency Campus France that will help you with the student visa application for France
French Embassy – find useful details about coming and living in France
France-Visas – check-out whether you need a visa to come to France