four most popular country by international students.

250.000 foreign students studying in France

Who Needs a France Student visa?

Whether you need a France student visa depends on different factors:

  • Your nationality
  • The lengths of your stay
  • Your age
  • Your destination
  • Issuing authority of the travel document

The answer can be a bit tricky. Also, you might get confused by the long explanation. But the good news is you can use the official tool on the France-Visas website. It is the best and most guaranteed way to know whether you need a France student visa or not.

Make sure of the lengths of your stay before you use the tool. It is the key factor that determines whether you need a visa or not. How old you will be at the time of application. If you are going to pass your birthday soon, choose the right age in the tool.

What are the types of France Student visas?

Knowledge is power is true when applying for a France student visa. There are different types of them. Each one of them suits different applicants. Choose one that suits your conditions. It is particularly true with the lengths of stay.

Short-stay student visa Visa

It gets called “de court séjour pour etudes” in France. Its top validity is three months. You can receive it for courses that take up to 90 days.

Temporary long-stay visa

This case gets called “Visa de long séjour temporaire pour etudes.” It authorizes you to stay in France for up to six months. Although you stay for longer than 90 days, you don’t need to apply for a Residence Permit. Bear in mind that you may not extend it.

Long-stay student visa

A long-stay visa also gets called “Visa de long séjour etude.” Its validity is as long as your study course. You may stay longer than 90 days. Yet, you have to apply for a Residence Permit in France.

Infographic Do I have to Apply for a France Residence Permit

How to Apply for a France Student Visa?

The application process for France student visa is as follows:

Step 1. Acceptance letter

The first requirement to get admission to a French university or Institution. You can not apply for France student visa without it. When the French university accepts you, they send you an Acceptance Letter. You use it to apply for the visa.

Bear in mind that for short-stay courses, you might need an Acceptance Letter.

Step 2. Determine the key factors

Do you want to know you need a French student visa? There are a few items that need to make clear:

  • The lengths of your course.
  • Your nationality. Determine the passport you wish to travel with.
  • Your age at the time of application.
  • Your destination.

Read the below part to know why you need to make clear the above factors.

Step 3. See if you need a visa

Not everyone needs a France student visa. There are different rules. You should use the factors determined in part 2 here. Go to the official tool on the France-Visas website. Put the required information in the blanks. The system of the website will tell you if you need a visa or not. If not, you can travel to France with your passport or travel document.

Step 4. Find out where to apply for a France student visa

There are different places you can apply for France student visa. It is up to your nationality.

  • CEF system
  • French embassy or consulate

A few countries can apply online through the CEF website. The process is online and easy to follow. See the below section to see if you can apply or not.

If CEF is not available for you, you can apply to the French embassy or consulate.

Step 5. Application form

Download the application form for the France student visa. Remember that there are two types of application form:

  • Short-stay
  • Long-stay

You must complete the right form, depending on the lengths of your stay. Once you complete the form, print, date, and sign it.

Step 6. Requirements

There are some supporting documents for the France student visa. You have to submit all of them to the French embassy. Bear in mind that this is a strategic phase. Every piece of the document must be complete. Also, they must be according to the given instructions. See the section below to see the list of requirements for France student visa.

Step 7. Visa appointment

Schedule a meeting with the French embassy. You have to submit all the requirements to the embassy’s officials. You can set a meeting through their website or by phone call. Some embassies might require you to make one in-person. Bear in mind that you don’t have to set a meeting after gathering all the requirements. You could do it in the process of collecting documents. The French embassy might not grant you an appointment right away. You could have to wait for a while.

Step 8. Interview

Get to the French embassy on the given date. Bring all the supporting documents. Make everything perfect. Double-checking the document is not enough. I say it from personal experience. Do more than effort for your interview. You could look at the below section to get familiar with some of the interview questions.

There is an interview you have to pass at the embassy. It is a crucial point with the embassy. A French visa officer will ask you a few questions. The questions are related to your past and the purpose of your visit. Find some information about France and the city you will be moving to. The future of your France student visa rides on the interview. So, do as much homework as needed and be prepared.

At the end, pay the fee for visa processing. You might have to pay the fee before the interview. You should know that paying the fee is a must.

Step 9. Processing

You finished everything with the embassy, wait until they process your visa. The processing time depends on various elements. The embassy might give you a date that your visa will be ready on it. If not, they will inform you when the visa is ready. They will post it to you, or you might have to pick it up in-person.

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Do I have to Apply for a France Residence Permit?

Whether you need a Residence permit depends on:

  • The lengths of your stay
  • Your visa type

Almost anyone who wants to stay in France for longer than 90 days needs a Residence Permit. Yet, you might not need it depending on your conditions. When you receive the student visa, the officials will tell you whether you need a Residence Permit or not.

Visit the Immigration and Integration Office (OFII) within the first two months of your arrival. They require some documents. Prepare everything and pay another visit to them. You might have to pass a medical test.

Bear in mind that you have to extend your Residence Permit when you want to stay after one year.

What are the Requirements for a France Student visa?

The requirements for France student visa depending on the type of visa. There is a difference between short-stay and long-stay visas. The standard set of requirements for a French student visa are as follows:

Acceptance letter

An official enrolment or acceptance letter from the French university or Institution is mandatory. The letter must be in the university or institution’s letterhead. It must state:

  • Applicants’ full name.
  • Detail of the French university or Institution.
  • Starting and ending dates of the course.
  • Study plan of the applicant
  • Any relevant information

Proof of paid tuition

Provide the receipt or proof that you have paid part or all of your tuition.

Application form

Download the application form from the French embassy’s website in your home country. You should complete its digital format. Pay extra attention while you complete it. The provided information on the blanks must be identical to your documents. Print, date, and sign it at the end.


Thaw photos are required. They must be identical and obey the passport rules over a photo. Your face must cover 70%-80% of the photo. The photo could not be older than three months to the date of application.


The passport you submit to the embassy can not be older than ten years ago. Its validity must be at minimum three months over the date you will leave France. The embassy needs two blank pages in the passport two to stick the visa on it.

Health insurance

You need health insurance valid in France and the entire EU. The type of sort of insurance doesn’t matter. It is accepted as long as:

  • Hold validity in France and the EU
  • Cover your medical expenses

The insurance must cover all of your medical expenses for 30.000 EUR.

Proof to have enough funds

Make it clear how you will pay your expenses in France. The authorities need to make sure of it. You could provide bank statements or sponsorship letters. If a sponsor will cover your expenses, provide a formal letter signed by him/her. The current financial requirements are €615 per month.

Clean record

Receive a clean record certificate from the Police in your home country. It will show you have done no criminal activity.

Proof of accommodation

It must state where you will stay in France during your visit. If you stay on campus or student housing, provide an official letter from the university to confirm it. In case you will be sharing a house with a friend or stay with a friend or relative, provide confirmation.

Copy of previous visas (if applicable)

The university’s dormitory or a rental contract will be fine.

Proof of paid visa fees

NOTE: The French authorities might require additional documents. Bear the point in mind. It could lead to longer processing time.

What are the Requirements for students under 18?

If the under 18 children will be studying in France, he/she needs to provide the following requirements:

  • Acceptance of registration letter
  • Reports of previous studies.
  • Proof of language proficiency.
  • Proof of accommodation.
  • Birth certificate.
  • Passport of both parents.
  • Consent letter from both parents.
  • Certificate of vaccination.
  • Receipt of paid tuition fees.
  • Proof registration at the French Institution or school.
  • Reports of the latest school year.

What are the Language Requirements for France Student Visa?

There are no language requirements for France student visa. The requirement is with the French university or Institution you apply to. They have the language proficiency requirement that you must comply with. It could be English or French. It depends on the type of course or the Institution. However, accepted certificates are as follows:


  • DELF
  • DALF
  • TCF


  • PTE Academic
  • C1 Advanced (Cambridge test results are accepted).

What is CEF Application Procedure for a France Student visa?

CEF is a platform to apply for France student visa. The French government introduced CEF to ease application for foreign nationals. The process is online and easy to follow. If you are from one of the below countries, you can apply to the Etudes en France portal.

AlgeriaChinaGabonMadagascarDemocratic Republic of Congo
Saudi ArabiaColombiaGuineaMaliRussia
BrazilSouth KoreaIndonesiaMauritaniaTaiwan
Burkina FasoIvory CoastIranMexicoChad, Togo
ChileUnited StatesLebanonPeruVietnam

Do I have Permission to Work under a France Student Visa?

Yes, all international students have the authorization to work in France. Yet, they have permission to take only part-time jobs. The maximum allowed time is 964 hours in one year. The permitted work time is only 60% of the usual working time in France.

When you take a job, inform your employer that you are a foreign student. He/she must know to offer you a part-time job. The authorities permit you to work at a French university or Institution if they need you.

France Student Visa Fees/Cost

The fee or cost for a French student visa depends on the country you apply in. The French embassy could charge you more or less than the standard cost. Also, whether you apply for a short-stay or long-stay is a factor. The standard cost for a French student visa is as follows:

  • Applying through the CEF – 50 EUR.
  • Long-stay student visa – 99 EUR.

Bear in mind that you might be exempt from paying fees.

Can I stay in France after Graduation?

There are different possibilities for you to stay in France after graduation.

First, it is when you have one of the below options:

  • A professional Bachelor’s degree.
  • A Master’s-level degree.
  • Be in the middle of establishing a company.
  • A professional license.

If you qualify, you can apply for a short-term Residence permit. It permits you to stay for one year. You can work part-time and look for a full-time job. However, you may not extend this Residence Permit.

Second, it is the time when you find a job offer. If you find one, you can stay in France. The proposed job must pay 1.5 times the minimum wage. Bear in mind that only having a job offer will not suffice. The job offer must lead to a work contract. If so, you could contact the local Immigration Authorities and change your Residence Permit.

The third option is the France freelance visa. You could apply for an “auto-entrepreneur” or freelance visa. It is when you wish to set up your own company or business in France. Remember that the work you want to do must be related to your studies. The French authorities must approve their business viability as well. It must make an outstanding contribution to the French economy too.

The fourth option is a France talent passport visa. It is for people who can make a remarkable contribution to France through your skill or talent. A talent permit allows you to stay in France for four years.

France Student Visa Processing Time

The processing time for the France student visa dependencies on various elements. The first one is that you apply for a short-term or long-term student visa. The second is the country you apply from. The French embassies require different time to process your visa.

Some factors are in your control; a few are not. The process will be shorter if:

  • You complete everything and the instructions
  • Your documents are complete, and the embassy does not ask for more.
  • Prepare yourself for everything to stop any delay.

You might have to wait for more than one month to get your visa. Yet, you can ask the French embassy about the average processing time.

France Student Visa Interview questions

When submitting the requirements to the French embassy, you have to go through an interview. The authorities will ask about the purpose of your visit. They want to make sure your pure intention is to study. Also, they investigate to know you do not have any criminal intention. So, it is essential that you give true and honest answers. Successful applicants say knowing a bit French would help. It would make a good first impression. Even if your course is in English, try to learn how to greet in French.

The authorities will ask various questions. A few samples of them could be as follows:

  • Where do you live?
  • Your family
  • Parents
  • Your parents’ job
  • Siblings (if any)
  • The city you live in
  • Interests and hobbies.
  • Education background
  • Certificates or diplomas you have achieved.
  • Your work experience.
  • Who don’t you continue your education in your home country?
  • Can you provide your CV/Resume?
  • How do you intend to pay for your expenses in France?
  • Do you have any scholarships?
  • Who will pay for your expenses in France?
  • What is your sponsor’s occupation?
  • How much does your sponsor earn?
  • How much should you have for your studies in France?
  • Your tuition fees?
  • Your current bank statements.
  • Do you have anyone living in France or any EU country? If yes, give some information about them.
  • Your language proficiency certificates.
  • Do you have anyone to sponsor you in case you need help?
  • Have you ever been to France or the EU?
  • Why have you chosen France to continue your education?
  • What was your reason to choose this French university (or Institution)?
  • How did you hear about this French university?
  • What do you know about this French university?
  • Have you applied to any other French university? What was their answer?
  • Have you applied to a university in other countries?
  • Do you know anyone in the French university you have applied to?
  • Do you need to work in France while studying?
  • What will you do during your summer vacation? Will you go home or will you stay in France?
  • What impact does this course have on your future career?
  • What do you wish to do after finishing your education in France?
  • Do you work? If yes, why do you wish to leave your current job?
  • Why do you think the French authorities should let you study in France?
  • Do you think you deserve to study in France?

Note: The provided questions are only a sample. The embassy’s officials might ask more. Leave a little possibility for it. The officials could ask any questions. The essential point is the answer you give them. Work on your answers. You should give them smart-wise answers. Bear in mind that you have to convince them to grant you a visa.

How long is the France Student valid for?

Look at the type of visa you have or want to apply for to answer this question. As explained, there are various types of France student visas. The validity depends on the type of visa as follows:

  • A short-stay student visa Visa is valid for 90 days.
  • A temporary long-stay visa is valid for up to six months.
  • The validity of a Long-stay student visa is as long as your course.

Let’s sum up…

This text brought you all you should know about the France student visa. It covered whether you need a visa, requirements, the application process, validity, fees, FAQs, and more.

Do you need to know more about other types of France visa? Visit the left-sidebar.

If you wish to gain more information about other country’s visas, visit the home page of the Visa Library.

Visa applicants would love to know your experience or knowledge about visas. If you have any, share them with us in the comment section below. Your comments are worthy tips for candidates.

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  1. Brie says:

    Hey there. I need to pass a short course which does not last more than two months. Is the student visa the best alternative?

    • Support says:

      Hey there. Thanks for leaving a comment on our website. You can apply through a “De court séjour pour etudes” or a short stay student visa. Good luck with your course!

  2. Andy Dunmore says:

    Hi There,

    Can you bring children with you on a student visa? I’ve seen the family visa which requires you to live in france for over 18 months, but I would like to bring my children (8 and 6) with me for obvious reasons.

    • B Rajabali says:

      Dear Andy Dunmore
      You can bring your family and children to France but you need to have enough funds and a place suitable for them to stay.

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