Students whose habitual country of residence is one of the 27 countries in the European Union will only need their identity card or passport while in France. Students who are not European citizens will have to apply for a visa and present a valid passport. To apply for a visa, students must contact the Center for Studies in France (CEF) through the local Campus France office, if present, or directly the French Consulate or Embassy. Application documents may include, but not limited to, the following:
- Pre-registration certificate or enrolment certificate;
- Scholarship certificate or bank certificate proving deposits in a French bank account of at least 615 euros per month, or proof of sufficient, reliable and regular funds, or coverage of costs by a sponsor who must provide evidence of sufficient, reliable and regular funds;
- Passport, valid for at least three months after the planned date of return;
- Academic records.
"Uniform Schengen" short-stay visa
Limited to 90 days, this visa cannot be renewed. Students have to return to their habitual country of residence before applying for a new visa.
Student examination visa
Limited to 90 days. Students will be issued a short-stay visa, i.e. a étudiant-concours ("student examination") visa, authorizing their stay in France for 90 days during a 180-day period. Passing the entrance examination will allow students to regularise their situation at the prefecture of residence in France without having to return to the habitual country of residence.
Temporary long-stay visa
Valid for three to six months. This visa may not, barring exceptional circumstances, be extended. This visa will not make students eligible for social benefits during their stay in France.
Long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (VLS-TS)
Valid for a year. The French Consulate will grant a visa and a OFII certification application (French Office for Immigration and Integration). Once in France, the student must contact OFII for the validation of the visa, so it will acquire residence permit status.