Student Visa and Visa Interview - International Students

Foreign students who are not residents from the European Economic Area must obtain a student visa to enter the country for further studies. Depending upon the length of stay and the duration of the degree program, different types of student visas are issued. To apply you must need to fulfill following primary conditions
  • You must be over 18 years of age;
  • You must have already chosen your training course or studies. 
  • You must be accepted by a higher education establishment. Enrolment conditions differ depending on your nationality, please check the Etudes en France  website to see if your country or territory is included in the online enrolment scheme. For other countries or territories, check the enrolment conditions in terms of specialities and level of education on Campus France .
  • Important: under certain conditions (age, enrolment in the first year of studies), you must follow the “Parcoursup ” (in French only) procedure and respect the schedules.

Type of Student Visas

Short-stay visas

Short-stay visas are issued under European regulations. The new community visa code provides for short-stay visa regulations for students within the Schengen area. Two types of short-stay visas are issued namely:
  • Airport Transit Visas:  they allow the holder to arrive at the international terminal of the airport only.

  • Uniform Visa: this is valid within the Schengen area. It authorizes the visa holder to stay for up to 3 months within a 6 month period. The number of days a visa holder can stay is specified on its sticker with the dates of the validity as well. The validity is up to 5 years given that the passport is valid for that period as well.
Consulates also grant visas valid for one Schengen country.  The uniform visa is provided for one, two or multiple entries. The issuance of the short-stay visa is free of cost for students, according to community visa code, article 16.  Students who have enrolled in short-term study programs should apply for this visa.

Student Examination Visa

The student examination visa is for those holders who need to be in France for entrance examinations or any other test for the purposes of applying to public or private higher educational French institutions.  Students who pass the exam must then apply for a renewable one-year residency permit at the prefecture relevant for the area in which the host institution is located. International students who apply for this visa must opt for the CEF procedure if it is in effect within their country.

Schengen Visa

The consular authorities at France are in-charge for examining applications for visa. The application form must be completed and submitted with a passport and photograph. The visa fee must be paid and biometric identification data of the students is also recorded. Applicants must give proof of purpose and circumstances of the visit to consulates. They must also demonstrate that they have the financial means for completing their studies.

Study Visa Interview

International students are required to attend a visa interview at the consulate. They also have to pay visa processing fee. You also have to carry all the required official papers and photocopies when you come for the visa interview.  The visa section of the consulate does not make any copies, so you need to ensure you have all the requisite documents with you. If you applied for two programs, check if you have been admitted to both before applying for the visa. Campus France emphasizes that students should dress appropriately for the interview and they should respect the policies of the consulate. 5 to 7 days of processing are required before the visa is issued.

For latest guidelines click here.
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