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Obtaining a student visa

3 very important advice

Obtaining a visa
  • A tourist visa cannot be converted into a student visa in France or in any other country of the European Union.
  • If you plan to complete two programs in succession (such as a program in French as a foreign language, followed by an academic program), obtain admission to both programs before applying for your visa so that your visa will be valid for the duration of your period of study. French visas cannot be extended in France.
  • International students of all nationalities residing in France for more than 3 months must obtain a student residency permit (which is distinct from a visa), within two months of their arrival in France.

Students from outside Europe (that is, students from countries other than the 18 countries of the European Economic Zone, plus Andorra, Monaco, Switzerland, San Marino, and the Vatican) must obtain a long-term visa marked “étudiant” if they intend to study in France for more than 6 months.

After the first year of study, visas are automatically renewed, provided the student holding the visa is able to produce the required documentation.

If your program is shorter than 6 months, you will receive a temporary student visa. Under no circumstances may temporary student visas be renewed or converted into long-term student visas.

A special 3-month visa (marked étudiant-concours) is granted to students travelling to France to sit for an entrance examination or receive preparatory training.

Students who pass the examination and are admitted to an institution are entitled to apply for a long-term student visa without returning to their home country. The "étudiant-concours" visa may be used in cases where the student must complete a short period of preparatory training before being admitted to an institution.

To obtain a visa, make an appointment with the nearest French consulate or with the visa service of the French embassy in your country. Neither EduFrance nor any other organization, individual, or entity has any role in the visa-granting process, which is the responsibility of the French consular service.

We urge you to make early contact with the French consulate in your area. Familiarize yourself with the list of documents to be submitted and note whether they need to be translated or authenticated. Submit only one file, and make sure it is complete in every way.

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