Do I need a visa to study in France?
There exist different types of visas for studies, depending on your nationality, situation, and the length of your studies in France.
To get more specific information on the requirements for your home country, a list of supporting documents, and applicable fees, visit the official website for visa application.
You do not require a visa to study in France if you are a citizen of a state in the European Economic Area (EEA). It includes the European Union (EU) countries plus Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein, as well as Switzerland. No matter how long you want to stay or what programme you have chosen, you are free to enter French territory.
However, you must have maternity and health insurance, as well as enough money to cover your living expenses.
Short stay student visa
International students from outside the European Economic Area need to apply for a visa to come to France for their studies.
You must apply for a short stay visa if your training course or exchange programme does not exceed three months.
There are two types of short stay visas:
- The "short stay for studies" visa;
- The "student in competition" visa, requested if you have been invited by a French higher education institution to take an exam or interview.
Such visas are not required for citizens of certain non-European countries if their stay does not exceed 90 days. To verify whether you have to obtain a short stay visa for your studies in France, check the list of countries in the Campus France article.
Long stay student visa
You must apply for a long stay visa if your training course or exchange programme exceeds three months.
There are two types of long-term visas:
- The long-term visa equivalent to a residence permit (VLS-TS): You can remain in France for one year without needing to apply for a residence permit. You must validate it within 3 months of arriving in France. The procedure can be completed online. To learn more about the online validation of your visa, go to the Campus France page.
- The temporary long-term visa (VLS-T): It allows you to stay in France for 4 to 12 months to obtain a higher education diploma. You will not need to validate it upon your arrival. However, it cannot be renewed and does not grant the same rights as VLS-TS. To learn more about this visa, read the following article.
How long does it take to get a student visa for France?
The duration of the administrative procedure depends on your situation, the type of visa you wish to obtain, and the French Embassy requirements for your home country.
To begin the process, visit the official website for French visa applications to create an account and fill out the application form. After you have attended an appointment at your local French Embassy/Consulate/VAC, the procedure could take a minimum of 2-3 weeks.
The process can begin no sooner than 90 days and no later than two weeks before the departure date. It is strongly recommended that students begin the procedure at the earliest possible time in case of unpredictable delays.
How to get a visa to study in France?
There are two possible ways to apply for your French visa:
- Case 1: For students from the countries mentioned in the list, you must follow the compulsory "Study in France" procedure, implemented by the Campus France office for your home country. To learn more about the procedure, read the article on Campus France.
- Case 2: If you come from other countries, you should apply for a visa at your local French Embassy/Consulate/VAC or on the French visa website.
Visa requirements to study in France
To obtain a student visa for France, you need to meet the following conditions:
- You must be over 18 years old;
- You have already selected your training course or programme in France;
- Your application has been accepted by a higher education institution.
Student visa for France: document checklist
Depending on the procedure relevant to your home country, you may need the following documents:
- Valid passport.
- Completed application form.
- Two passport-type photos.
- Official enrolment letter from the school or university.
- Proof of your financial ability to cover the living expenses during your studies in France (around 615 EUR per month).
- Airline reservation or ticket showing the date of departure.
- Health insurance.
- Proof of your accommodation arrangement or booking.
- Proof of your civil status.
- Payment of the visa fees (50-100 EUR).
Details on the “Study in France" process
This is a compulsory procedure for international students who reside in one of the countries. You should make a specific request for enrolment in a higher education institution. The French Consulate will refuse all requests if you contact them directly.
There is a single online platform that manages all the enrolment procedures until the visa request. The “Study in France” process has several steps and is similar to a recruitment procedure. You just have to create a private electronic file and follow further instructions on the platform. Even if you are already accepted by KEDGE Business School, you should follow all the steps leading to your application for a student visa.
The “Study in France” procedure is compulsory and not free of charge. You will be asked to pay a fee for this service.
The steps to follow:
- To start the procedure, click on the link to the official website and then on “Sign up”.
- Select the Campus France office in your home country and fill in the form to create an account on the platform; you will obtain an identification number and then follow different steps (verification of documents, payment, interview, etc.).
Should you have any additional questions about the "Study in France" procedure, contact your local Campus France office. You can find the contact details here.
In case of unpredictable delays, we advise you to start this procedure as soon as you have been informed of your admission to KEDGE. Visa applications are processed three months before the date of departure, so do not wait until the last minute, or you may not get your student visa in time.
KEDGE complementary process
If you need a visa for your studies in France, KEDGE can validate your school registration file and issue your student ID only after receiving a copy of your French visa.
To get your French visa, KEDGE can help you with:
- an acceptance letter (admission certificate): you will find it in the registration form (usually page 11) that you will receive from us by email once you have been accepted.
- a housing certificate: for this, you can contact our housing advisors:
Note that if you need a certificate with a specific address of your student accommodation, you have to book a housing first and then send us your request with a booking confirmation.
As soon as you get your French visa, please log on to our Virtual campus platform and upload a copy of your French student visa under the following section: Administrative Information > Submit your documents.
NB: a workshop dedicated to visas and other administrative formalities will take place during the Orientation Session.