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How to Get Your French Student Visa in Easy Steps

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Got into a French university and determined to use the word “bonjour” on a daily basis? Studying in a foreign nation is going to be an incredible adventure for you.

Make sure you have the appropriate documentation to study in France before you set out with your French grammar book. If this is the case, you need to start immediately compiling the required information and documents and learning as much as possible about the procedure.

1. Find out what kinds of visas you’ll need to enroll in a French university.

  • Short-stay student visa (Schengen) for studies under 3 months. Short-term language or study programs use this visa. It’s free, doesn’t require a resident permit, and can be renewed.
  • Temporary long-stay visa for study: 3–6 months.
  • Long-stay visa: for studies lasting over 6 months. If you want to stay longer, you will require a residence permit when this long-stay visa expires (one year).

 

Find out if you need a student visa by using the official tool on the France-Visas website.

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2. Student visas: when and where?

Campus France or French embassies abroad can issue student visas (an institution promoting higher education in France, having a local office in almost all countries worldwide). Some countries require Campus France registration for student visas.

Just follow this:

  • Book an in-person interview on the French consulate’s website.
  • Online calendars list dates and times.
  • Book the appointment 90 days before leaving for France.
  • Visas cost 50–100 EUR.
  • Visa pending. Visa processing time varies on your nation, how many students apply, etc. Pre-apply.

 

3. Language prerequisites for French courses

French universities require documentation of:

  • French-taught degrees: DELF/DALF or TCF
  • English proficiency—English-taught degrees (accepted tests are: IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or C1 Advanced)

If you have a French university acceptance letter, the French consulate will not evaluate your language skills.

4. France student visa documentation

  • Visa form.
  • Two Passport photographs
  • Passport and visas
  • University acceptance letter
  • Financial proof (615 EUR each month) to cover all school costs.
  • Airline ticket/reservation with departure date
  • 300–715 EUR/year medical insurance (Read about French international student insurance)
  • Student housing documents
  • Francophone certification (if you have enrolled in a French-taught course)
  • Visa fee receipt (50–100 EUR)
  • Civil status proof (if applicable)

 

5. France residence permit

The long-term student visa establishes first-year residency. You must register at the local French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII) and get a medical checkup within a month of arrival to verify your visa.

Starting in your second year of education, you’ll need a Carte de Séjour (CDS) or “titre de séjour” to stay in France longer than a year.

 

6. France international student work

All international students can work under specific conditions.

Work over 60% of full-time requires a residence permit. Tell your potential employer you are an overseas student seeking part-time work.

If you don’t want work to interfere with your education, use on-campus jobs during semester breaks.

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