Student Visas for France: Type, Process and Work Permissions for International Students

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Piyush
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Apr 7, 2020 16:42 IST

France, as a study abroad destination, offers a wide variety of rather well-known options for international students. From world-renowned B Schools like HEC Paris and INSEAD to top-rated universities like École Normale Supérieure and École Polytechnique, France offers the very best in higher education. Along with the many university programs for masters and bachelor degrees, the country also offers different certificate programs in special courses ranging from Luxury Management to Design to Culinary Arts. With the variety comes the question, which student visa do I apply for? And how to apply for a Student Visa for France? With this article, we aim at providing you with that very information.

Types of French Student Visas

The French Student Visas are broadly classified on the kind of stay expected out of you. Depending on the duration of your stay (or duration of your course), you can apply either to a Short Stay visa, a temporary long-stay visa or a long stay visa. Here’s a quick look at them.

Name

Visa de court séjour pour etudes

Visa de long séjour temporaire pour etudes

Visa de long séjour etudes

Type

Short Stay Student Visa

Temporary long stay student visa

Long stay visa (also called the residence permit - VLT-TS

Duration of Stay

Maximum of 3 months

between 3 to 6 months

longer than 6 months to a maximum of the course's duration; for instance 3 years for a bachelors course, 2 years for masters and 4 years for Ph. D

Ideal for

Students planning to take up short language programs in France or summer courses which are less than 3 months long

Students planning to take up short programs that are longer than 3 months but not more than 6 months

Students taking up courses that are longer than 6 months. This is for students planning to take up bachelors, masters or a research program in France.

Renewable

No

No

Yes

Students who are required to take an entrance exam prior to being admitted to a university have to apply for an Etudient Concours (visa for sitting entrance exams). This visa permits you to sit for an entrance exam of a higher education institute. Once you clear the exam, you can apply for either of the above-mentioned visas according to the course applied for and get the same easily.

Documents Required for Applying for a French Visa

International students who wish to apply for the French Student Visas must provide:

  1. Admission Letters from the polytechnics, Universities/ higher education institutes
  2. French Language Proficiency Certificate
  3. Language Proficiency Certificate (as desired by the course)
  4. Academic Transcripts
  5. Medical Insurance (with a cover of €30,000)
  6. Proof of Funds
  7. Proof of Accommodation

This is along with the essential copies of passport, residence and Id proof as well as age proof.

For the proof of funds, the candidate has to show documentary evidence that s/he is capable of taking care of the living expenses in France for at least the first year of studies. The figure is decided by and shared by the immigration authorities and averages at about €615 per month. This is over and above the tuition fee (if applicable).

How to apply for a French student visa

Indian Students can apply for a French Student Visa via Campus France. Campus France is a national agency for higher education in France for international students. Set up for the sole purpose of facilitating the travel of international student to France, the organization also assists with visa processing. Indian nationals fall under the CEF Procedure and can accordingly apply.

In order to apply, Indian students can log on to Campus France Website and register there. This is done for universities that admit students under the CEF Procedure. In case you are applying to an autonomous university in France that is not catered to by Campus France, you can also go via the French Consulate. Once you submit the documents, the organization would screen the same and accordingly process your visa.

Work Permissions on Student Visa

The Long Stay Student Visas permit you to work for 964 hours in a year as long as your course is not affected. Usually, students work at the universities or other educational institutes that offer a yearly contract of employment. These jobs are often adjusted to accommodate your academic calendar. International students are eligible for the minimum wages offered in the country.

After completing a master’s degree, a student can apply for and is granted a permission to stay in the country for two years now. The residence permit offered is a non-renewable temporary visa. This, however, does not allow you to take up full-time employment and limits the hours you can work to 60 hours a week. This can then be converted to a Work Permit if you have full-time employment offer (more than 1.5 times of the minimum wage guarantee) in the country. Recent changes in the policies now allow Indian students to obtain visas lasting up to five years if they have graduated from a Master’s or Ph.D. course from a French higher education institution.

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About the Author
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert

With a plethora of knowledge of the education domain, Piyush Kohli has been involved with study abroad for over 5 years and counting. He comes with prior experience on the complexities of the study abroad applicatio... Read Full Bio

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