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France Visa System
Long-stay visas for students
Visa requests should be made to the French consulate or embassy in your country of origin. There is a minimum two-week waiting period. All non-European students (i.e. those not from the countries of the European economic area, Andorra, Monaco, Switzerland, San Marino, or the Vatican) planning to stay for more than six months must obtain a student long-stay visa in order to study in France. This visa must be presented within two months of the student's arrival in France in order to obtain a student residence permit.
Documents usually required when applying for a visa:
• Proof of admission to an educational institution.
• Proof of financial resources for one year.
• Proof of the existence of a bank account from which funds will be transferred.
• A valid passport whose period of validity encompasses the entire length of the visa period requested.
• Proof of health insurance coverage is required for students over 28 years of age enrolled in an institution not covered by the French social security system. No proof is required for those under 28 who are enrolled in a recognized institution.
• Depending upon the country, other documents may be required.
For more details contact us :
The consulate may require proof of vaccination against certain diseases (such as yellow fever and cholera) before granting a visa if health conditions in the student's home country merit such a requirement.
Procedure After Getting Visa
• Proof of admission to the chosen institution: this is mandatory for obtaining an entry visa for France.
• Administrative enrolment that validates the admission: this is completed at your institution when you arrive in France, upon payment of registration fees. A certificate de scolarite [study certificate] and a French student ID card, which are proof of this payment, must be produced when you request a residence permit.
• Educational enrolment (free of charge): this completes your admission by structuring the training you will receive (schedule for required courses, choice of optional courses, and types of examination). Once you have completed administrative enrolment, you will be notified by mail as to when this step should be completed.
There is no standard regulatory procedure in France for recognizing foreign qualifications. The request for a determination of equivalency – which evaluates the number of years of French higher education that correspond to the studies undertaken in the applicant's home country – is considered when an institution receives an application for admission. Professional experience in the chosen area may also be taken into account. Both the admission and the student's starting level are determined by the educational institution alone.
3 very important pieces of advice :
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 can not be extended in France.
International students of all nationalities (except European Union nationals) 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.
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