How to Apply and Get France Study Visa – A Complete Easy to Understand Guide

France, a country in Western Europe, always attracts the eyeballs. People from all over the world come to visit it. The capital city Paris, the metropolitan city, is the hub of travelers and the fashion industry. Students too would love to attend the universities and colleges in France. This is the reason that the information about the France study visa is needed all the time by the students, who are accepted by the universities or colleges. Before filing for the visa application, detailed information is needed high particularly when you are from the developing countries.

French study visa depends on your nationality in short. Besides, various applications procedures apply depending upon what program of study you are going to do in France, and how long you plan to stay there. This could be applicable to students going to study a degree program, taking a short course, or going to enroll to a study French language in France.

Do You Need a France Study Visa?

This question is simply answered when you think about your nationality. If you are from EU countries (citizen of the member countries of European Union), then you do not need France study visa to enter to France for study purpose. Apart from EU citizens, the students from EEA, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein are not required to obtain study visa to enter France for study purposes. Students from these countries just need to study legally in France on their valid passport or other valid travel ID.

Students from the rest of the world need study visa, and need to fulfill France study visa requirements to obtain study visa so that they can enter France, stay there and study.

Types of France Study Visa

There are multiple types of France visa i.e., French study visa for international students. It all depends on your stay there meaning that how long will you stay in France? Check out the visa types for the students as under.

     Schengen Student Visa (Short Stay)

Since France is in Schengen state, you need to follow the requirements for your short stay as a student. If your study needs to last less than three months in France, and you are certain that you will no longer stay in the country, then you have to request for a Sejour pour étude from the court (also popular as a short-term student visa or Schengen student visa).

With this short-term visa, the students can arrive France to study for up to 3 months without a separate residence visa. This visa suits the best to the ones who are interested in a language program (course), or other short-term programs. This visa is issued free of charge and is not renewable. Below mentioned-countries do not require a visa for a stay of less than 3 months.

  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Andorra
  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Australia
  • Bosnia
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Canada
  • Croatia
  • Costa Rica
  • Bahamas
  • New Zealand
  • Honduras
  • Italy
  • Israel
  • United Kingdom
  • South Korea
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Denmark
  • Norway
  • Lithuania
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Moldova (visa could only be waived if the holders have biometric passports)
  • Switzerland
  • Sweden
  • Poland
  • Taiwan
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • El Salvador
  • Venezuela
  • United States
  • Slovenia
  • Vatican City

     Sitting Entrance Exams Visa (Etudient Concours)

As for the questions often hits the minds that what is France student visa success rate? Well, there is not accurate and exact answer to this, as the success rate is based on the documents, originality and the authenticity of the documents in addition to other elements a visa officer checks while interviewing the student.

Using this visa of sitting entrance exams, the student can come to France to take an entrance exam at any higher education or institute in France. If the student successfully passes the exam, he or she can then apply directly to the local prefecture in France for a one-year renewable residence permit.

     Temporary Long Stay Visa (Visa De Long Séjour Temporaire Pour Etudes)

With this visa status, the students can study in France for between 3 to 6 months without any need of a residence permit. You cannot renew this visa. If your intention is to study longer than 6 months, then you will have to apply for a long-term France study visa. This France study visa lasts till your study goes on (it is also a residence permit of the students). The duration of the programs could be 3 years for Bachelors, 2 years for Masters and 4 years for PhD programs. In short, long-stay visa act like a residence permit and are called VLS-TS.

VLS-TS, the extended-stay or long-term visa is for all international students (exception is only for Algerian students who do not require it). The students, interested in this visa, will have to provide information regarding their academic background, adequate financial resources (around €615 per month), and proof of proficiency in French language.

Once a student arrives in France, he or she needs to contact the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII). Send the official form issued by your consulate to OFII. You could possibly be asked for a medical examination. If it is done, you need to pay a fee of EURO 58 in the form of a tax stamp. Often the universities or colleges do the medical examination themselves, as they are in agreement with OFII, you need to check with your college or university.

     Extended Stay Research Scholar Visa

If you are a holder of a Master’s degree or higher, and your intention is to come to France to participate in research activity or to teach at the university, your university of institute can bring you there on an extended stay research scholar visa called VLS-TS. To get this particular visa, all you need to have is a hosting contract (agreement) issued from the university or institute mentioning the work you will do over there and the duration of the task. This document needs to be embossed with a stamp from the local prefecture. Once it is done, you then need to send this document to a French embassy or consulate in your home country coupled with the visa application.

Just like the normal extended visa, the applicant then needs to report to the OFII on his or her arrival in France. Two months prior to the expiration of your visa, you should then apply for a residence permit that lasts around 1 to 4 years. There is another benefit of this visa namely your family members (spouse and minor kids) will automatically be entitled for a residency permit titled vie privée et familiale.

Work While You Study in France

France study visa allows you to work part time during your study. International students can work while they study in France. There are many queries happened about France study visa IELTS requirements. Well, the answer to this question is pretty simple – contact the university, college or the institution you are applying for your study, as every institute has its own requirements. If you are an international student and you are on a study visa over there, you are entitled to take on paid work legally in France for 964 hours in a year (it becomes approximately 60% of full-time employment for a year) while you are studying (as long as you are in possession of a valid residence permit).

The students are also allowed to work at their institutions, or at the university they are studying with agreements (contracts) of up to one-year between 1st September to 31st August (it becomes up to 670 hours September to June and up to 300 hours July to August). They should keep in mind that the work does not affect their studies.

How to Apply for France Study Visa

It is often sought-after student visa France cost. Well, for the visa cost, it varies from country to country. Thus, it is best if a student check with the updated cost with his or her relevant French embassy or consulate.

There are few countries which require the students to register first with CampusFrance (the French National Agency for Higher Education and International Students) to get admission and a student visa through the CEF procedure. First, the students should check it on its website if they are required to do so? Else, you need to make your application for the admission through the university or college website, and then file your visa application to get the visa at your nearest French consulate or embassy.

In order to apply for a France study visa, you need to provide the consulate or embassy with the following documents:

  • An unconditional or acceptance letter issued on the university or college’s letterhead, mentioning student’s complete details such as name, details of the institution or university, and start and end dates of the academic program.
  • Proof of financial stability by showing the sufficient funds to bear the study and living expenses in France. This can be shown in the form of a bank statement, guarantor’s letter or other funding source, etc.
  • Air booking showing the departure date or you can supply a handwritten statement issued by you mentioning the intended date of departure.
  • Proof of medical insurance around Euro 30,000 (cover).
  • Proof of accommodation – on campus or off campus.
  • Some other relevant documents.

What Happen After You Graduate in France – Will You Able to Stay in France?

If you have a Master’s degree (which is equivalent to five years studies program) or if you have a professional license, you have the option to apply for a further 1-year temporary residence permit (non-renewable). This permit will let you work (any job) for up to 60% of a normal working week. With this, you will be able to support your expenditures while you keep searching for a full-time job.

If you are offered a monthly salary (1.5 times the minimum wage), it will help you further. You can then contact your local prefecture for the change of your visa status from student to employee and then you can work full-time with ease. There are other options as well like going for an auto-entrepreneur (freelance) visa, or starting your own company. But the work needs to be relevant to studies, and the viability of the business has to be proven.

There is another option called post-study work visa. The students are eligible to apply for a one-year post study work visa to look for jobs. Once you are able to find a job, you may then file your application for a work permit by attaching the work letter from the employer stating the position offered to you at the work place.

There is a Talent Passport Visa as well, for which the recent graduates can apply for. This visa is issued to company creators, specialized graduates, artists and more others.

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