Getting a student visa

General information :

The consular services are in charge of delivering visas.

Your passport must be valid long enough to cover your stay in the Schengen Area.

Application or “visa” fees are payable on submitting your application; these application fees are not refunded if the visa is refused.

When the visa application is being processed, certain formalities such as the making of appointments or submission of the application may be entrusted to service providers. You should allow additional costs for this. Information is available from the relevant French consulate.]




The different types of visas :

Some nationals don’t need to apply for a short stay visa. To know if you exempted from applying for a short stay visa, click on this link :

If you are a national of a European Union (EU) Member State other than France, of the European Economic Area (EEA) or of Switzerland, or a family member of a national of an EU Member State other than France, the EEA or Switzerland, specific provisions of EU law apply:

  • Nationals of EU Member States, the EEA or Switzerland are not subject to the entry and stay visa requirement, whatever the duration of their stay;
  • Members of the family of a national of Member States of the EU, EEAor Switzerland (spouse, children under 18 or dependent children, dependent parents) are subject to the same regulations governing the movement of persons as other foreigners of their nationality. Family members of a Union national who does not require a short-stay visa, or holding a residence permit for family members of Union citizens, do not require an entry and stay visa, whatever the duration of their stay.


Short-stay visas (“Schengen visas”)

Short-stay or “Schengen” visas allow holders to move freely in countries in the Schengen Area for stays not exceeding 90 days per period of 6 months from your first entry to the Schengen Area. Schengen visas may be issued for one or several entries.

This type of visa is generally issued for tourism, business travel or family visits; it also allows holders to come to France for short training courses, internships or to exercise a salaried occupation, subject to getting a temporary work permit (e.g. for artists on tour, sportspeople playing in championships, employees seconded for the provision of services, etc.)

You can also apply for a Schengen visa to simply transit through France.

Long-stay visas

Long-stay visas are issued for stays exceeding 3 months. The main reasons for issuing this type of visa are study, work and family reunion.

Temporary long-stay visas for studies :

This visa will allow you to study in France from 3 to 6 months. It is not renewable and you will not need to seek a residence card for the duration of your stay. You may not stay in France for more than 6 months.

Long-stay visa for studies :

This visa is granted to students who wish to study in France for more than 6 months. It allows you to ask for a residence card within two months after your arrival in France. You will get a 1-year residence card at the prefecture.

Where a long-stay visa is issued, you must, on arriving in France, register with the French Immigration and Integration Office (OFII) or, in some cases, apply to the relevant prefecture for a residence permit.

Holders of an entry and long-stay visa marked “carte de séjour à solliciter” (residence permit to be applied for) are required to contact the French prefectural authority in their place of residence, in order to apply for a residence permit within two months of entering the French territory.

Holders of a long-stay visa marked “CESEDA R.311-3” are required to contact the French Immigration and Integration Office (OFII) immediately on arrival in France.

Once the visa holder has entered the French territory, no visa modification or change of status may be obtained. In addition, exercising a salaried occupation is subject to specific procedures that require getting a work permit prior to applying for a visa.

For more information about applying for a visa, do not hesitate to contact France-Diplomatie (

or Campus France (

Click on this link to find a list of French consular services in the world :


How to apply for a visa :

Here you will find the visa application forms and requirements :

Here the requirements concerning the identity pictures you will have to provide along with your application :

Sources :

France Diplomatie :

Campus France :