Study in France

France is a wonderful country with a cultural heritage that’s unique and admired worldwide. If you are interested in studying France, we can guide you with all the essential information about obtaining a France student visa, including how to comply with each student visa requirement for France. 

Before we get into the details of the technical aspects of procuring a France study permit, let’s warm you up with what you will love about France that will motivate you to study in France. 

France is a cultural influence on the world

Right from the French language to innumerable aspects of French culture, including fashion, food, and art, you will get to explore many wonderful aspects of this amazing country. The country hosts some of the most influential and sizeable businesses in the world. All this makes studies in France worth it in the long run.

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to education

France has over 3,500 educational institutions that offer a wide range of high-quality education in numerous courses/study programs. It’s not possible in every other country to find so many choices when it comes to studying plans for graduation/post-graduation.

France offers the opportunity to explore business opportunities

France is a leading country when it comes to being an active market for business opportunities. The country has access to the large single market of Europe. When you study in France, you get to familiarize yourself with French business. This is possible either via your studies or by being active in a professional capacity.

Some of the world’s best business schools in France make it an ideal destination to launch your career. E.g., INSEAD Business School, Skema Business School, and HEC Paris.

The French government offers a temporary resident permit for non-European students who recently graduated from a French institution. This permit is of 1-year validity. In that period of time, you can search for work in France.

The support for international students is outstanding

France offers a high level of support to international students. If you enroll in a public university in France, you can study for nearly no tuition fees! Considering the high cost of living in certain areas of France the government, as well as the universities, offer financial support to international students. International students can apply to avail of this financial assistance from the French government and sustain themselves during their academic term.

Students are welcome in France!

The fact is that France needs bright international students like you to study at French universities that deliver world-class education. The French government has even simplified the French student visa process to motivate students all over the world to arrive and study in this country. 

The French government even gives grants to attract foreign students to study in France.

About the France student visa

For non-EU/EEA students, it’s mandatory to obtain a France student visa to enroll in study courses that run for over 3 months. There are 2 types of France student visa:

VLS-TS – The Residence Permit type of long-stay visa

This visa requires validation after you arrive in France. With it, you can stay in France for a year without requesting a residence permit. On the basis of your level of studies, this visa is classified into 3 types: 

  • The Student VLS-TS Visa – For Bachelor’s and Master’s studies
  • The Internship VLS-TS Visa – For internships
  • The Talent Passport VLS-TS Visa – For Doctorate studies

VLS-T – The Temporary long-term visa

This visa doesn’t need validation after you arrive to study in France. This visa is non-renewable and is meant to allow you to stay in France for a year for the purposes of education. You can get the benefit offered by the French Social Security. You can travel within the Schengen countries freely.

Steps to follow in France Student visa procedure

The procedure for the VLS-TS visa for 3 different categories is described below.

For internship

The VLS-TS visa can be used to stay in France for an internship in a company/ public hospital for over 3 months. For an internship that runs for under 3 months, a short-term visa is necessary. It must be validated by the OFII (French Office of Immigration and Integration) at the earliest after your arrival. 

The following documents must be submitted for a VLS-TS visa for internship:

  • A valid passport
  • Proof of financial resources like proof of personal funds via bank statements or scholarship grant
  • Residency proof in France like a dormitory or the contract of your rented apartment
  • A 3-party agreement for internship 
    • stamped by the Prefect
    • signed by you, your employer, or the training institute
    • your company, the health institution, or training organization, in France

For Bachelor’s & Master’s Studies

In this case, the visa allows you to study in France for 4 months to 1 year. The visa requires to be subjected to validation after your arrival in France. If your studies run for more than 1 year, then you should file an application for a multi-annual residence permit. 

This visa allows you to travel freely within the countries of the Schengen Area. You can also work as a student in France. You are also entitled to get a subsidy from the French Family Allowance Fund. 

Like in the case of the VLS-T Visa, you must submit your application for registration on the platform known as “Studies in France”. Once that’s done, your application will automatically be submitted for evaluation to the French authorities of your country of residence. 

You have to check out for sure whether your country belongs to the process of “Studies in France”. If not, you must contact the French Embassy/Consulate in your country of origin. 

You must get this type of visa validated online within 3 months after your arrival in France. This can be easily done digitally for which you must have the following things ready with you:

  • The relevant information on your visa
  • A valid email address
  • Your home address in France
  • Your arrival date in France
  • A bank card for the payment of the online validation fee (If you don’t have one, you can approach a kiosk to buy an electronic stamp and make cash payment there)

For Doctorate Studies/The Talent Passport VLS-TS

The talent passport long-stay visa is the one that is meant for you if you want to stay and study in France at the highest academic level. This means pursuing Doctorate degrees or working as a researcher or professor at an institution. The visa is subject to renewal as needed. For eligibility to apply, you must hold a Master’s degree.

You must possess the hosting agreement which will state the duration and nature of your assignment at the institution. This document has to be sent by the host institute to the beneficiary. It also needs to be stamped by the authorities of the Consulate in your home country. This document is not required for European nationals.

If your study is of a duration of less than a year, you can do the online visa validation within 3 months after arrival in France. For studies that will last longer than 1 year, you must file an application for a Talent Passport for researchers (residence permit) issued for multiple years during your initial 2 months in France.

To submit your application for a talent passport and get more information about the requirements for eligibility, consult your nearest French Embassy/Consulate.

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What is the processing time for France student visa? When must I apply?

Campus France takes at least 3 weeks to process a France student visa. The consulate takes around 2 weeks to process the visa. It’s recommended that you apply for the visa at least 90 days before your departure to France or as early as possible.

What's the living cost in France?

Paris has the highest cost of living in France. A monthly budget of €1,000 is advised for students in Paris. Anywhere else, you can make a monthly budget of €800.

How should I enroll in a French university?

The academic year in France begins in September/October and ends in June/July. If you have completed your 12th grade, you can enroll for admission in France. You must contact the French Embassy in your area to procure the admission forms needed to file an application to a French university.

What are the documents needed for a France student visa?
  • A valid passport
  • Letter of registration from a French institute or university
  • 2 passport size photographs (35×40 mm) with white/light background
  • Proof of financial sufficiency
  • Sponsorship letter for accommodation from the city where you stay and supporting documents that show the availability of at least €250 per month to meet your living expenses.
  • Proof of accommodation in France
  • Copies of educational qualifications as asked for by the university/institute you are enrolling in
  • Comprehensive ‘Overseas Medical Policy & Repatriation Policy’ for 3 months
  • A short bio-data

Proof of parental authorization if you are a minor (under the age of 18 years)

Can I work in France while studying?

As an international student, you can work part-time off-campus for up to 20 hours a week. As per government legislation, you will get at least €8.71 per hour for working in France.

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