1. Travel
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

France Student Visa

Standard Requirements for Student Visas


Below are the standard requirements when applying for a French student visa. Please note that different consulates have variations of these rules, so be sure to check first.

There are three kinds of student visas available, depending upon the length of studies in France as indicated in the letter of enrollment:

  • A Schengen visa , multiple entries, for a stay up to 3 months: the student should use the short stay visa application form.
  • The temporary long stay visa (from 3 to 6 months), multiple entries, is valid for the whole stay. The student does not need a residency card. The student use the long term visa application form.
  • One year-visa (stay over 6 months): the visa is valid 3 months, 1 entry. The student should use the long term visa application form. Within this delay, and after the arrival in France, the students must complete the proper documentation with the French school or university, have to go for a medical check-up to a doctor from the Office des Migrations Internationales. Then they should contact the "Prefecture de police" in order to obtain the student residency card (carte de sejour) and present there the visa, the original documents previously required for the visa, a birth certificate and the medical results.

Requirements for a student visa:

  • Passport signed and valid for a period of three months beyond the applicant's last day of stay in France.
  • The visa application forms signed and legibly filled out (consult your consulate for the number of copies received, and do note that you cannot make a copy of your application. Each application received must be filled out individually). Please print in black. Indicate your phone numbers and e-mail. Indicate the dates of stay.
  • A passport size photograph glued on each form. (Always have extra photos on hand just in case).
  • A proof of resident status in the US for non US citizens.
  • Prepaid self-adressed envelope if you apply by mail. Only Express mail, Priority mail, certified mail (a registered mail) will be accepted, if not the personal appearance will be required. Note that the personal appearance is the basic rule. (Assume you will need to make a personal appearance!)
  • "Student" visa fee: payment by credit card (Visa, Mastercard) (especially for files sent by mail) or money-order made out to "Consulate general of France" or certified checks. Cash is accepted only if you apply in person. Do not assume you can pay by check.
  • You will need to furnish the original and one copy of:

    • A proof of studies in the USA (letter from the school or university)
    • A letter of admission from the school which the applicant plans to attend to in France
    • Financial guarantee such as a notarized statement certifying that the applicant will be provided with a monthly allowance of $600.00 for the duration of his/her stay in France, or a proof of personal income along with a letter from school stating that room, board, and tuition are fully prepaid (+ 1 copy). If the host provides the student with a letter attesting that the lodging will be free of charges, and a copy of his/her pictured I.D., an allowance of $400.00 will be accepted. (Be sure to check on these money minimums, as they can change)
    • Proof of medical insurance. For a stay up to 6 months, the students should present a letter from their insurance company stating that the coverage is valid in France. For a stay over 6 months, students under 28 years old and enrolled in a French school which is affilieted to the French Social Security must join this social security. Students over 28 years old, or enrolled in a French school which is not affiliated to the French Social Security, cannot join and must show proof of insurance valid in France when they apply for the residency card.
    • If you will be under 18 at the date of arrival or within three months of arrival in France, you should have a notarized parental authorization, signed by both parents and indicating the name and occupation of the person appointed as guardian of the minor for the duration of the stay.

    There are special situations with slightly different rules:

    • A scholarship recipient only needs to present the first four items on the requirements list, plus a letter granting and indicating the amount of the scholarship and the length of stay in France. The applicant will also have to go for a medical check-up to a doctor accredited to this Consulate. The medical check up is paid by the scholarship recipient, but the visa is free of charge. To print the medical certificate form, click here.
    • If you will be under 18 up to three months after you arrive in France, there is a whole string of different rules. You must check with your local consulate for details.

    ©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.