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UNESCO statistics revealed that France has the third highest population of international students in the world, with 271,339 calling the country home for academic purposes. Universities in France are incredibly modern and students can benefit from being surrounded by people from all areas of the world whilst being enveloped in the unique French culture.
Whatever your reason for choosing to study in France, getting to grips with the visa application process is key to ensure a smooth transition abroad.
CampusFrance is the French national agency for higher education and international students. Some countries will require international students to apply for study and their visa through this portal and this information can be obtained from the CampusFrance website. Alternatively, students will be required to apply for their desired course via the university website and then get a Visa from the French embassy or consulate in their home country.
Anybody who wants to study in France but is not from Switzerland or a country in the EU or EEA will need to apply for one of the French student visas below:
This visa is mostly applicable to students registering on language courses or any short-term courses as it only spans three months. It is completely free and non-renewable.
Students who need to undertake entrance exams to secure a place at their chosen place of study will need this visa. Upon passing the exams students can apply directly to their local French authority (prefecture) for a one year renewable residence permit.
Students with this non-renewable visa can study in France between three and six months without the need for a residence permit.
If a student is applying for a course that is over six months then a long-stay visa is the answer. This student visa, which also doubles as a residence permit, last for the duration of a course in the country. They are also known as VLT-TS.
Students from any countries in the EU and EEA, or those who live in Switzerland, will only need a valid passport to study in France once securing a place on a course. Your college or university will provide any further details.
British students currently studying in France will not be affected by Brexit. However, those enrolling in the 2018/2019 academic year could face higher tuition rates or new visa requirements. Nothing has been confirmed as of 20/09/18.
Study elsewhere? Check out our other student visa guides below:
An Expat Student Guide to Australian Visas
An Expat Student Guide to South African Visas
An Expat Student Guide to Chinese Visas
An Expat Student Guide to US Visas
An Expat Student Guide to UK Visas
An Expat Student Guide to Canadian Visas
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