There are a number of student visas for France. There are as follows:
- Visa de court séjour pour etudes (‘Schengen’this is short-stay student visa): This visa allows you to travel to France and study for a period of three months, without the need for a residence permit. This type of visa is suitable for students participating in a language program or short-term course.
- Visa de long séjour temporaire pour etudes (i.e temporary long-stay visa): With this type of visa, you can study in France for a period of three and six months without having to apply for a residence visa. This type of visa is non-renewable.
- Visa de long séjour etudes (long-term visa): Assuming you want to study for a period longer than six months, then you have to apply for this visa. This type of study visa will typically lasts for the entirety of your program in France i.e. three years for bachelors, two years for masters and four years for a Ph.D program. Long-term visas serve as residence permits and are known as VLT-TS.
Note that the submission of Visa application and collection of passports should be carried out only by the applicant himself or via a travel agent duly authorized by the Embassy of France, in the applicant’s country. Interestingly, French Student Visa application can be done in two ways. One can be done at the Campus France and the other at the embassy. The exact documents required can vary for both of them. You would be required to submit original copies of your documents at Campus France and Photo-copies at the embassy/ consulate/ Visa Application Centres.
The cost of visa for Long Stay National Visa for academic purposes is €50 for students applying for bachelors/ masters programs. For double degree course applicants as well as exchange students, the amount charged is the same. Note that this amount has to be paid at the nearest designated bank branch . Once you re at the bank branch, you would have to show your Identity card. Payment can thus be made in cash and in the name of INSTITUT FRANCAIS EN INDE, Account N0. 0906506003400137. Please do well to get on a call with the nearest branch before you proceed to make payment.
Besides this charge, you would have to pay Visa processing charge of €50 in addition to VFS Service Fees and handling charges as exchange rates are subject to change.
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You will be required to provide two sets of application photocopies which should contain the following set of documents:
- Long term visa application form for the period of more than 90 days
- Two passport size photographs
- A copy of your international Passport
- A hard copy of your CampusFrance ID number
- Official letter of registration from the tertiary institution
- Your cover letter detailing the study project and a CV/Resume
- Proof of sufficient funds – tuition fees and a minimum of 615 Euros/month, for the complete academic semester.
- Proof of purchased medical insurance with coverage valid in France
- Copy of your round trip airline ticket (if you intend to study for six months or less) or a one-way ticket if you seek to study in France for more than six months)
- OFII form (Office Francais de Immigration et de Integration)
- Proof of residence permit in France such as a lease, electricity bill, title of property etc. for a period of three months or a hotel reservation
- Copy of your CV
- Copies of your degree and academic diplomas plus certificates if applicable.
When you attend the visa interview, you would have to carry all your documents in original plus a copy of all the documents in addition.
How to apply
There are a number of steps on how to apply for a visa. First, you are expected to attend an interview with Campus France, then you would have to submit your documents with VFS
- Log on to campusfrance.org. At the “Register online” box, select Create Your Account.
- Fill out your Academic records, Language skills, and CV+SOP sections. After that, do well to upload documents, photograph, and academic records. Make sure that all fields in the Validation tab show “Complete”.
- Submit your file number to the designated Campus France office inorder to get your file reviewed, and to get an appointment.
- You will be required to appear in person for the academic interview with the designated Campus France advisor. Do well to carry all the required documents plus one set of photocopies in addition to the Campus France fee payment receipt.
- You will be given an Interview completion certificate at the end of the interview.
- Once the academic interview is done, do well to schedule an appointment with VFS-France, submit required documents, photocopies, receipts, and passport as necessary l.
Students who have obtained at least a masters degree or the equivalent are able to apply for a one-time non-renewable temporary residency authorization known as APS (authorization Provisoire de séjour). This is vaid for 12 months. Note that students who are given a job that’s similar to their academic program may qualify for full-time employment by filing out a request for change of status (from student to employee) in their application form.