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How to apply for a France student visa

If you want to study abroad in France and are not from an EU or EEA country, you’ll a French student visa.

If you are studying a full-time program that lasts more than three months, like a bachelor’s or master’s degree, you need to apply for an extended-stay student visa with a residency permit (VLS-TS).

You can find out if you need a visa to study in France by using the visa wizard on the France-Visas website.

Types of French student visas

There are different types of student visas for studying in France. Which one you’ll need will depend on how long you will be studying in France for:

  • Short stay visa (visa de court séjour pour etudes)

    This type of visa lets you study in France for up to three months. It is free of charge, and cannot be renewed once it has expired. This visa can be used for things like short language courses or summer school programs.

  • Entrance exam visa (etudient concours)

    This type of visa allows you to travel to France to take an entrance exam at a university. If you pass, you can then apply for a long-stay visa.

  • Extended-stay visa with residence permit (visa de long séjour etudes VLS-TS)

    This type of visa also acts as your residence permit, and allows you to study in France for between four and 12 months. It can be renewed through your university two months before expiry.

How to apply for a France student visa

  1. Accept your offer from university

    Once you’ve received and accepted your offer from a university in France, you can apply for your visa.

  2. Submit your application

    Complete and submit the required documents including visa application forms.

  3. Await a decision

    The processing times for visas vary depending on consulate dealing with your request, but it can take three months to receive a decision.

  4. Validate your visa

    When you arrive in France, you will have three months to validate your VLS-TS. This can now be done online here - you need to provide an email address, information about your visa, your address in France and your arrival date. You will also need to pay the visa fee of €99 using a bank card.

If you are from one of the 43 countries outside of Europe that uses the Études en France platform to apply for study in France, your visa application will be sent to the French consular authorities of your home country automatically.

If you are not from one of these countries, you will need to contact the French consular authorities in your home country - find your closest French consulate or embassy here.

French student visa requirements

When applying for a VLS-TS, you need to provide the following:

  • A passport issued in the last 10 years and valid for at least three months after your planned date of departure from France
  • Long-stay visa application form completed, signed and dated
  • Two passport photos
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Proof of finances
  • Proof of insurance covering medical and hospital expenses up to at least €30,000

Working with a French student visa

You are permitted to work in France for up to 964 hours per year with an extended-stay student visa. This works out to be about 60% of full-time employment for a year, or 18.5 hours per week.

The money you earn should be auxiliary income, which means you should not be your only means of support while you study in France.