student visa requirements for france
Applying for a visa
If you are staying for less than 90 days, you need to apply for a Schengen visa. You can apply at the nearest French embassy or consulate in your country of residence.
For stays over 90 days, you should apply for a long-stay student visa (visa de long séjour valant titre de séjour). You must apply from your home country before traveling to France; once in France, there is no procedure that will allow you to change from a short-stay to long-stay visa.
You should check with the French consulate in your home country on how much time they require to process visas. In the United States, it can take up to several weeks during times of high demand such as summer vacation or winter holidays
Visa types and categories
There are two different student visas for France that fall under the Schengen visa category: a short-stay visa, also called a Schengen visa, and a long-stay student visa, also called a French residence permit.
The short-stay visa is for stays shorter than 90 days in any 180 day period. If you’re staying less than 90 days in France and then traveling to other European countries during your stay, you will be able to apply for this kind of visa at https://www.france-visas.gouv.fr/start#complete-your-application
Long-stay student visa
A long-stay student visa is required for any program that lasts longer than 90 days.
As a U.S. citizen, you may apply for a student visa from within your country or from France (if you’re already there). Your school will help you obtain the necessary paperwork—all you need to do is give them as much notice as possible (up to 3 months before your program starts) and follow their instructions carefully.
Short-stay student visa
If you plan to study in France for three months or less, it means that you will enter the country on a short-stay student visa or “Visa de Court Séjour pour Etude.” This is the correct visa type if your course of study lasts for less than 120 days. A short-stay student visa allows you to live in France for up to three months without requiring you to get a student residence permit.
Health insurance requirement
To study in France, you will need to prove that you can afford the French healthcare system and have proper health insurance.
If you are from a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) plus Switzerland, as well as Canada, Japan and South Korea, you can use your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) / Carte européenne d’assurance maladie (CEAM) to cover any medical costs. You may also be able to use your EHIC / CEAM if you’re from Andorra, Australia or New Zealand.
For those who do not qualify for the EHIC / CEAM, it is mandatory that students have a French social security number prior to registration with a doctor.
You must have secured health coverage before arriving in France if:
- you are not covered by one of the above options; and/or
- you will be staying in France for more than six months
Documents required during a French long-stay student visa application
Here are the documents you’ll need to apply for a French long-stay student visa:
- Application form
- Valid passport
- One passport-size photo
- Proof of sufficient funds to cover tuition and living expenses
- Proof of health insurance
- A proof of student status issued by one’s educational institution. The document should be signed by an authorized representative. Some organizations have their own internal requirements, so it is important that you consult the school’s requirements before applying.
France welcomes students from all over the world, but you will need to take the time to apply for the right kind of visa.
If you plan on studying in France, you’ll need to apply for a study visa. There are two main categories of student visas: the short-term and long-term. The first applies to students who will rent or share their flat, while the second applies to students who must actually live in your place or one that is similar to it.
You can only get one of these visas if you’ve been accepted into a special program at a French university and if there’s no other student already living in your flat. Otherwise, you’ll need to choose between the shorter-stay (up to 10 months) and longer-stay (up to 12 months) short-term student visas.