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French student visas

Last update, Sept. 2021 5-min read

| Everything you should know about French student visas

That’s it, you’ve decided to go studying in France and here you are, with a lot of questions..

Do I need a VISA? And, if so, how to apply for one?

To get your French Student VISA, know that there are 3 different procedures depending on your country of origin:

  • A procedure for countries of the EU.
  • The “Études en France” (Studies in France) procedure, which concerns 43 countries.
  • Procedures on a case-by-case basis, for other countries.

Don’t worry, we walk you through everyone of them. If you don’t have time to read now, we have summarized everything for you in a downloadable PDF.

French student visas

Where do you come from?

Visa applications vary depending on your country of origin.

You are part of the European Union

Good news, you don’t need a VISA to enter the territory and study!

Countries covered by the "Études en France" procedure

43 countries are part of the “Études en France” procedure (EEF), which allows you to register easily in French institutions, to dialogue with your French Campus space, and finally to get the certificate for your VISA application. Procedure is divided in 2 steps:

1. I create my “Études en France” account to apply for enrolment and to get my certificate

  • I create my account on the platform “Études en France”.
  • I complete my application and choose the institutions and training courses that interest me.
  • Once my application is complete, I validate it and it is automatically transferred to Campus France.
  • The requested institutions accept or reject my application.
  • Among the positive feedback, I choose the University/ institution I want to join (be careful, your choice is final!).
  • I can now retrieve the certificate that will allow me to apply for a French Student VISA.

2. I validate my VISA

Keep it mind that not everything is finished when you get your VISA: you also need to validate it as soon as you arrive. You have 3 months to do so, otherwise it will be automatically cancelled.

The validation is 100% online via the government website. You will be asked for the following documents :

  • An email address.
  • The information on your VISA.
  • Your date of arrival in France.
  • An address in France.
  • Finally, you will have to pay a tourist tax of 60€.

You now hold a French Student VISA – valid for 1 year – that will allow you to travel freely throughout Europe, work and to apply for the student housing aid.

Other countries

You are also eligible to obtain a VISA but there is no specific procedure, it is up to you to contact the French embassy or consulate in your country.

Get your student VISA through these 4 steps:

1. I go to the embassy / consulate, where I will be delivered:

  • A VISA, which costs 99€ in most countries.
  • The OFII form, from the French Office of Immigration and Integration.

2. Upon my arrival in France, I send the following documents to the OFII of my city (by registered letter):

  • The request for a certificate that was issued to me at the embassy / consulate.
  • A copy of my passport’s pages showing my identity and the stamp of entry into France.

3. I receive a convocation to the OFII and I go there with the following documents:

    • My passport
    • My VISA
    • A proof of residence in France
    • A passport photo

60€ worth of tax stamps, on sale online at the government website, as well as in tobacco shops.

4. The OFII gives me a AGDREF number and a OFII label, which will be affixed to my passport.

You now hold a French Student VISA – valid for 1 year – that will allow you to travel freely throughout Europe, work and to apply for the student housing aid.

| Our summary