Long stay visa for studies

Applications cannot be processed more than 3 months ahead of time.

1. Long stay visa and residence permit in France

  • From the 1st of June 2009, long stay visa holders will be allowed to reside in France for up to 12 months according to the validity of their visa and purpose of stay. They will no longer be required to obtain a residence permit ("carte de séjour") from the French local authorities ("Préfecture") as long as their visa is valid.
Please note that the new regulations applicable from the 1st of June 2009 will require a longer processing time to issue long stay visas that will serve as first residence permits.
  • You must obtain your Student Visa while in the USA. The visa cannot be issued once the applicant is in France.

2. Do I need a visa ?

Yes except if you are a citizen of Switzerland, Andorra, Vatican, San Marino, Monaco or of the European Economic Area :

Austria Belgium Bulgaria Cyprus
Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland
Germany Great-Britain Greece Hungary
Iceland Ireland Italy Latvia
Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Malta
The Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal
Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain
Sweden

Also special rules apply for family members of an European Union citizen.

3. How to apply for a long stay student visa?

All applicants for a student visa must first register with "CampusFrance". Please visithttp://www.usa.campusfrance.org/en (e-mail: campusfrance@ambafrance-us.org) for more information.

  • STEP 1 : register and obtain an "attestation" from "CAMPUSFRANCE", http://www.usa.campusfrance.org/en, prior to applying for a visa at the Consulate General of France in San Francisco.
  • STEP 2 - Once you complied with CAMPUSFRANCE requirements, please make an appointment.

4. Processing time

  • 2 months for citizens from :
Afghanistan Algeria Bahrain
Burma Burundi Colombia
Congo DRC Egypt Indonesia
Iraq Iran Jordan
North Korea Kuwait Lebanon
Libya Oman Pakistan
Palestinians Philippines Qatar
US Re-entry permit US Refugee travel document Rwanda
Saudi Arabia Sudan Suriname
Syria Yemen United Arab Emirates
Zimbabwe
  • It may take about 21 days for all other nationalities.

Applications cannot be processed more than 3 months ahead of time.

5. Requirements

A missing document or photocopy = an incomplete visa file = high risk of delay in obtaining the visa.
Attention! (a) This simplified list is intended only for students applying through CampusFrance. It is not a substitute for the more detailed information appearing on consular Web sites. (b) Consulates cannot make photocopies for applicants. (c) Applicants are required to appear in person at the consulate only once. The applicant’s passport, containing the visa (visas are never granted on the spot), will be returned to the student using a secure form of delivery provided by the student. The consulate assumes no responsibility in case of loss. This rule does not apply at the consulate in New York, where the visa must be picked up by the student or a designated representative, who then takes possession of the passport, which is not retained by the consulate.

Please note: An extended-stay student visa (for periods of more than 3 months) cannot be combined with a tourist visit of less than 3 months, which does not require a visa. At the discretion of the consular officer, applicants may be required to provide documents in addition to those listed below.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS TO BRING TO YOUR VISA APPOINTMENT. You are also invited to sort your documents in the same order they are listed below in order to facilitate the work of the visa officer that will review your application.

1. One application form (English version) filled out completely and signed by the applicant.

2. COPY: A copy of the student’s official acceptance letter or acknowledgment of enrollment. This letter should :

  • be addressed to the student and mention his or her full name, and be printed on institutional letterhead;
  • specify the beginning and end dates (day, month, year) of the academic program;
  • include full contact information for the individual issuing the offer or acknowledgment, as well as the full address of the educational institution, and be signed and stamped.

Three cases are possible:
(a) Students taking part in an exchange program between an American and a French institution. In this case, the acceptance or enrollment letter may be issued from either institution provided the formal exchange agreement is identified and the information specified above is provided. The letter should include an institutional address in France.
b) Students enrolling directly in a French institution as an independent student. In this case, the acceptance or enrollment letter must be from the admitting institution and include all of the information specified above. The letter should include the address of the French institution.
c) Students enrolling in an American program in France (operated by an American institution with a branch in France). In this case, the acceptance or enrollment letter must come from the American institution and include all of the information specified above. The letter should include an institutional address in France.

3. COPY: An e-mail message from CampusFrance (entitled “confirmation e-mail”) informing the student that he or she may begin preparations to apply to the consulate for the visa (make appointment, collect documents). Attention! This message should not be confused with the earlier message from CampusFrance notifying the student of the creation of his or her CampusFrance account, or with the message indicating that a receipt for payment was available for download.

4. COPY: Receipt for payment issued by CampusFrance (does not apply to exempted students).

5. 1 recent photograph in U.S. passport photo format. Look at ID pictures requirements.

6. ORIGINAL + 1 PHOTOCOPY:

  • U.S. citizens: (i) Passport in good condition, with a date of expiration at least 3 months after the end of the student’s proposed stay in the Schengen area, issued within the past 10 years and containing at least 2 blank pages. (ii) Photocopy of the pages containing the passport holder’s personal data.
  • Citizens of third countries: (i) Passport in good condition, with a date of expiration at least 3 months after the end of the student’s proposed stay in the Schengen area, issued within the past 10 years and containing at least 2 blank pages. (ii) Photocopy of the pages containing the passport holder’s personal data plus proof of legal presence in the United States (green card, visa, I-20, etc.).

7. Visa application and processing fee (nonrefundable) in the U.S. dollar equivalent of €50 (check your local consulate’s Web site as the rate of exchange changes frequently). Preferably payment by Master or Visa card.
Exceptions:
Recipients of scholarships from the French government or European Union (Chateaubriand, Eiffel, Franco-American Fulbright Commission, Erasmus Mundus, Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie) are not required to pay the application and processing fee.

8. ORIGINAL + 1 PHOTOCOPY: Proof of sufficient means of support

  • Nonscholarship students must prove that they have access to at least $820 per month. Proof may be provided in the form of (i) a bank statement showing a balance of $820 multiplied by the number of months to be spent in France, or (ii) a notarized statement from a guarantor declaring that the guarantor will provide the student applicant with at least $820 per month, accompanied by the guarantor’s most recent bank statement.
  • Scholarship and financial aid students: Letter of scholarship award specifying amount and duration of award, issued by the financial aid office of the student applicant’s home institution. Visa services at the Consulate also need a specific breakdown of the available financial resources (remaining aid) of the student once the tuition fees have been paid for.

9. AIRLINE TICKET OR RESERVATION: An airline reservation showing date of departure or a handwritten and legible statement from the applicant indicating the intended date of departure, as well as a formal commitment not to depart before that date. It is not possible to modify the start date of a visa once the application is made.

10. ORIGINAL + 1 PHOTOCOPY: Positive proof of residence in the geographic area for which the consulate is responsible.

  • Lease or rental agreement in the applicant’s name or a notarized statement from the owner or leaseholder plus a recent (utility) bill in the applicant’s name
  • or the applicant’s driver’s license issued by a state falling within the consulate’s jurisdiction
  • or a valid student ID card (or a statement issued within the past 2 months from the registrar of your university, which must be located in the consulate’s jurisdiction.

11. The residence form form should be filled out by the following students:

  • ALL students who will be staying in France for more than six months (180 days);
  • Students who will be staying in France for a period of time between four and six months (for a total duration of 91-180 days) who wish to be allowed to work in France while studying;
  • Students who will be staying in France for a period of time between four and six months (for a total duration of 91-180 days) who wish to be able to extend their visa once they are in France.

The French immigration (OFII) form is available online on the Web sites of all French consulates. Students should bring the OFII form to their consulate appointment, and should make sure to print their e-mail address very carefully on the form to avoid any risk of confusion or error.

12. A self-addressed prepaid envelope with a tracking number from USPS OR FEDEX ONLY. You may use one envelope per family. You don’t have to provide an envelope if you prefer to pick up your passport when it is ready. For FedEx, you must choose the option “BILL RECIPIENT”, not “BILL SENDER”.
Please keep copy of your tracking number (as we are not going to do so), stick the mailing label on the envelope and fill out like this :

FROM:
YOUR NAME
88 Kearny Street #600
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94108

TO:
Your full name
Your address

6. Important information

  • The consular administration has full authority to evaluate and request more documents than those submitted by the applicant.
  • Please be aware that submitting the aforementioned documents does not guarantee the approval of the visa.
  • Please note that holders of visas are still subject to immigration control upon first entry into France. The visa itself does not grant the right to enter France.

Dernière modification : 01/09/2016

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