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Foreign student in France: long-stay visa or residence card

Verified 20 janvier 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Additional cases ? For an Algerian

If you foreign and want to study in France, you must first apply for a long-stay visa valid residence permit (VLS-TS) mention student (valid for 4 months to 1 year). After 1 year, you can apply for a temporary residence card student (valid for 1 year) or multi-annual student(valid for 2 to 4 years). You are subject to resource conditions. In some cases, the residence permit may be issued automatically.

First year

You are concerned if you come to France to study at a higher level without having a residence permit for personal or family reasons (for example resident card, residence cardprivate and family life).

You must be registered (or pre-registered):

  • in a public or private institution of higher education or initial training (university, high school, etc.),
  • or in a higher vocational training body.

You must have at least €615 /month.

The resource condition does not apply if you are in one of the following situations:

  • You come to France under an agreement signed between the State and a higher education institution, in which you are enrolled
  • You have passed the entrance examination to a higher education institution that has signed an agreement with the State
  • You are a French government scholarship holder
  • You hold a French baccalaureate prepared in a school under the French Education Agency abroad and have been schooled at least 3 years in a French institution abroad
  • Your country has signed a reciprocal agreement with France on the admission of students to stay.

  Please note : if you come to France to take a competition or an entrance exam in higher education, you must apply for a short-stay student-competition visa..

Before starting your procedure, you should consult the official website France-visas to find the procedure that concerns you:

France-visas - Students

Ministry of the Interior

Foreigners from 43 countries must apply for their visa on the website Studies in France at the time of online pre-registration in French higher education.

Procedure for applying for a student visa by country in large regional areas

Regional area

Nationality

Application procedure

Africa

Benin

Studies in France

Burkina Faso

Burundi

Cameroon

Comoros

Congo Brazzaville

Côte d'Ivoire

Gabon

Guinea

Madagascar

Mali

Mauritius

Mauritania

Nigeria

Democratic Republic of Congo

Senegal

Togo

Other

Apply for a visa

Asia / Oceania

China

Studies in France

South Korea

India

Indonesia

Japan

Singapore

Taiwan

Vietnam

Other

Apply for a visa

Europe

Russia

Studies in France

Turkey

Other

Apply for a visa

America

Argentina

Studies in France

Brazil

Chile

Colombia

United States

Haiti

Mexico

Peru

Other

Apply for a visa

North Africa / Middle East

Algeria

Studies in France

Djibouti

Egypt

Iran

Kuwait

Lebanon

Morocco

Tunisia

Other

Apply for a visa

You are dispensed VLS-TS if you have entered France regularly (under short-stay visa for example:

  • you passed a school entrance exam
  • or if you have been studying in France for at least 16 years and are pursuing higher education, provided that you prove their real and serious character.

You must directly request a residence card in the prefecture.

Within 3 months of your arrival in France, you must validate your VLS-TS and pay a fee in addition to the visa fee.

The online approach allows you to regular stay and to be able to cross the border of the Schengen area..

Validate a long-stay visa valid as a residence permit (VLS-TS) and pay the fee

Ministry of the Interior

€50 (to be paid when validating your long-stay visa as a residence permit)

The VLS-TS is issued for a period of 4 months to 1 year.

After 1 year of stay

You are concerned if you come to France to study at a higher level without having a residence permit for personal or family reasons (for example resident card, residence cardprivate and family life).

You must be registered (or pre-registered):

  • in a public or private institution of higher education or initial training (university, high school, etc.),
  • or in a higher vocational training body.

You must have at least €615 /month.

The resource condition does not apply if you are in one of the following situations:

  • You come to France under an agreement signed between the State and a higher education institution, in which you are enrolled
  • You have passed the entrance examination to a higher education institution that has signed an agreement with the State
  • You are a French government scholarship holder
  • You hold a French baccalaureate prepared in a school under the French Education Agency abroad and have been schooled at least 3 years in a French institution abroad
  • Your country has signed a reciprocal agreement with France on the admission of students to stay.

  Please note : if you come to France to take a competition or an entrance exam in higher education, you must apply for a short-stay student-competition visa..

You must apply for your residence card within 2 months of the expiry date of your VLS-TS.

Online

Between the filing of the application and the delivery of the title, you can consult at any time on your online account the progress of your file. You can also respond to requests for additional information and take note of the decisions made.

It may be necessary to go to the prefecture for a fingerprint if it has not already been taken.

Prefecture

General case

Who shall I contact

If your file is complete, you receive a receipt waiting for the prefecture to respond.

Issuing the card

Répondez aux questions successives et les réponses s’afficheront automatiquement

Your request is accepted

If your application is accepted, you are summoned to the prefecture for the issue of the title.

Your request is denied

If the prefect has notified you of the refusal

The prefect's decision is yours notified by reasoned letter (explicit decision). Such refusal shall be accompanied, unless otherwise provided, by obligation to leave French territory (OQTF) fixing the country to which you will be returned.

You can form a appeal to the administrative tribunal (within 48 hours, 15 days or 30 days depending on the type of OQTF).

No reply from the prefect on your request

If the prefecture has not replied to the expiry of the validity of the receipt, it is an implicit refusal.

You can train within 2 months:

  Warning : if your receipt expires and you do not have a response from the prefecture, the processing time may be extended. In this case, you can obtain the renewal of your receipt at the foreign office of your prefecture.

  • Passport (pages on civil status, validity dates, entry stamps and visas)
  • Extract of birth certificate with filiation or complete copy of birth certificate
  • If you are married and/or have children: your spouse's residence card, marriage certificate or birth certificate with filiation of your children
  • Long-stay visa (or visa) student competition accompanied by the certificate of passing the examination or competition)
  • Proof of domicile
  • 3 photos
  • Registration with your educational institution (pre-registration may be sufficient at the time of filing. Final registration must be made at the latest when the title is handed over.
  • Justifications for your resources that must be at least €615 /month:
    • Banking certificates of regular transfer or sufficient credit balance and, in the case of resources provided by a third party, certificate on the honor of payment of the sums enabling €615 /month
    • Payslip if you work
    • Certificate of award from the paying agency of your country of origin specifying the amount and duration of your award
    • Certificate of award or beneficiary of a European program, if you benefit from one of these schemes (you are considered to fulfill the condition of sufficient resources)
  • Proof of coverage if you are under 28 and registered in a private institution not affiliated with Social Security or if you are over 28 (non-Canadian)
  • Proof of payment of the tax and stamp duty (requested at the time of delivery of the card)

  FYI : civil status documents must be accompanied by their translation into French by a certified interpreter..

You must pay a tax and stamp duty €75 by tax stamps..

  Warning : if you apply for a renewal of your certificate after the deadline, you will also have to pay a visa fee to regularize €180 (except in cases of force majeure or presentation of a valid visa).

The card is valid 1 year and renewable.

After 1 year with a long-stay visa valid as a residence permit (VLS-TS) or a temporary residence permit student, you can benefit from a multi-annual residence card student.. Its duration is equal to the number of years remaining in the course of study in which you are enrolled.

For example, if you have completed your 1re year of license in France, you will receive a card valid for 2 years.

If you are pursuing studies at a major school, you will receive a card at the time of renewal covering the end of your training (until you obtain your engineering degree for example).

Terms

You must comply with the initial conditions for issuing the temporary residence card student, i.e.:

  • be enrolled in an educational or initial training institution (public or private),
  • justify monthly resources at least equal to €615..

You must justify the real and serious nature of your studies. All your courses since your entry into France are taken into account.

The real and serious nature of your studies is verified by means of:

  • your attendance,
  • your test results,
  • the degrees you get,
  • explanations that you provide if you change course.

  FYI : a repetition by course of study does not in itself call into question the seriousness of the studies.

Request for multiannual card

You must apply within 2 months of the end of your VLS-TS or your temporary residence card.

Check with the higher education institution where you are registered to find out if it is possible to do the procedure on the spot..

Prefecture

General case

Who shall I contact

  Warning : some sub-prefectures cannot do the paperwork. Find out more on the website of your prefecture.

If your file is complete, you receive a receipt waiting for the prefecture to respond.

Issuing the card

Répondez aux questions successives et les réponses s’afficheront automatiquement

Your request is accepted

If your application is accepted, you are summoned to the prefecture for the issue of the title.

Your request is denied

If the prefect has notified you of the refusal

The prefect's decision is yours notified by reasoned letter (explicit decision). Such refusal shall be accompanied, unless otherwise provided, by obligation to leave French territory (OQTF) fixing the country to which you will be returned.

You can form a appeal to the administrative tribunal (within 48 hours, 15 days or 30 days depending on the type of OQTF).

No reply from the prefect on your request

If the prefecture has not replied to the expiry of the validity of the receipt, it is an implicit refusal.

You can train within 2 months:

  Warning : if your receipt expires and you do not have a response from the prefecture, the processing time may be extended. In this case, you can obtain the renewal of your receipt at the foreign office of your prefecture.

  Warning : if you apply for a renewal of your certificate after the deadline, you will also have to pay a visa fee to regularize €180 (except in cases of force majeure or presentation of a valid visa).

Parts to supply

You must present the original + a photocopy of the following:

  • Your passport (pages relating to civil status, validity dates, entry stamps)
  • Extract of birth certificate with filiation or complete copy of birth certificate
  • Proof of domicile
  • Your expired residence card
  • 1 photos
  • Registration with your educational institution: pre-registration may be sufficient at the time of filing. The final registration must be made at the latest when the title is delivered
  • Proof of coverage:
    • if you are under the age of 28 and enrolled in an educational institution affiliated with the social security, your certificate of registration constitutes proof of affiliation with the student social security
    • If you are under 28 years of age and enrolled in a private educational institution not affiliated with Social Security, you must provide 1 proof of enrollment in voluntary insurance (unless you are a Canadian or an employed student)
    • If you are over 28 years of age, you must provide 1 proof of your continued entitlement to health insurance or voluntary health insurance or universal health coverage (UAM) (unless you are a Canadian)
  • Proof of the reality and success of your studies: transcript of academic year, attestation of attendance and examination presentation,
  • Justifications for your resources, which must be at least €615 /month:
    • bank attestations of regular transfer or sufficient credit balance and, in the case of resources provided by a third party, certificate on the honor of payment of the sums enabling €615 /month
    • payslips if you work
    • certificate of award from the paying agency of your country of origin specifying the amount and duration of your award
    • proof of award or beneficiary of a European program, if you benefit from one of these schemes (you are considered to fulfill the condition of sufficient resources)
  • Proof of payment of the tax and stamp duty (requested at the time of delivery of the card)

  FYI : civil status documents must be accompanied by their translation into French by a certified interpreter..

Cost

You must pay €75 (€50 tax + €25 stamp duty) by tax stamps..