There are different types of student visas for France:
- Visa de court séjour pour etudes (‘Schengen’ short-stay student visa)
You can come to France and study for up to three months on this visa, without the need for a separate residence visa. This is suitable for those enrolling on a language course or short-term programs.
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- Visa de long séjour temporaire pour etudes (temporary long-stay visa)
This visa allows you to study in France for between three and six months without the need for a residence permit. It is non-renewable.
- Visa de long séjour etudes (long-stay visa)
If you want to study for longer than six months, then you need to apply for this visa. This type of study visa lasts for the duration of your course in France i.e. three years for bachelors, two years for a masters and four years for a Ph.D. Long-stay visas act as residence permits and are called VLT-TS.
Submission of Visa application and collection of passports can be done only by the applicant himself or through a travel agent authorized by the Embassy of France, New Delhi.
Before submitting your application for a student visa at the French Consulate you must create an online CampusFrance registration file. You may contact the closest CampusFrance office for assistance or schedule an appointment through the online file or by calling the CampusFrance office. (CampusFrance is a service of the French Embassy in India to promote higher education in France)
50 euros (Rs 3425 approx.) are to be paid in cash at the time of depositing the application file for the long stay student visa. There is a service charge of Rs 935 (inclusive of service tax 12.36%) and cash handling charges of Rs 60 levied per application on the student visa fees.
Please note the visa fee for applicants applying to the France Visa Application Centre in New Delhi and Kolkata is payable by a Bank Draft. Visa fee for applicants applying to the France Visa Application Centre in Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Goa, Chennai and Puducherry is payable by cash only.
An optional courier facility is available at Rs 300 (inclusive of service tax 12.36%) per application.
You should provide two sets of application photocopies containing the following documents:
- Long stay application form for duration of more than 90 days
- Two passport size photographs
- A copy of Passport
- A print out of your CampusFrance ID number
- Letter of registration from the academic Institution
- Cover letter explaining the study project and a CV/Resume
- Proof of funds - tuition fees + a minimum of 615 Euros/month, for the complete academic term
- Proof of medical insurance with coverage valid in France
- Copy of your round trip airline ticket (if you are studying six months or less) or a one way ticket if you are studying in France for more than six months)
- OFII form (Office Francais de Immigration et de Integration)
- Proof of residency in France such as a lease, electricity bill, title of property etc. for a minimum of three months or a hotel reservation
- Copy of the CV
- Copies of the degree and academic diplomas, certificates
There are several steps to applying for a visa. First you need to appear for an interview with Campus France, then you need to submit your documents with VFS
- Log on to india.campusfrance.org. At the "Register on line" box click on Create Your Account.
- Fill the Academic records, Language skills and CV+SOP sections. Upload documents, photograph, and academic records. Ensure that all fields in the Validation tab indicate “Complete”.
- Send your file number to the assigned Campus France office to get your file reviewed, and to request an appointment.
- You will have to appear in person for the academic interview with the Campus France advisor. You must also carry all the mandatory documents plus one set of photocopies along with the Campus France fee payment receipt.
- You will receive an Interview completion certificate at the end of the interview.
- After the academic interview, schedule an appointment with VFS-France, to submit your documents, photocopies, receipts and passport.
Note: The Embassy of France, New Delhi has implemented a change in arrangements for the collection of processed passport from visa application centres. With effect from 8th December 2014, it will no longer be possible for third parties to collect the documents on behalf of an applicant, except in the following cases:
- Immediate family members (Parent, Child or sibling)
- One member of a group collecting for the entire group
- A person collecting on behalf of Govt. officials if authorized on the Govt. letter head or department
- Representative of a company - Authorization letter on the letter head of the company and the official ID card of the representative.
Spouses and children may be permitted to reside in France while you study, but this is conditional. These conditions include having enough and appropriate financing and a living space. Cases are decided on an individual basis at the France embassy, and special consideration may be given to your case if you are able to explain your situation to the consulate effectively.
If you were accepted by a French university for a Bachelor's degree (which is called a "Licence"), your spouse would not be given a visa to accompany you or be permitted to work in France unless s/he is a European citizen. The case might be different for Research or doctorate students. They may be allowed to take along their spouse or kids, but that depends on various terms and rules.
The French law allows students to do 964 hours of part-time work in a given year. International students are also eligible for student jobs at universities. Students are hired to provide assistance to incoming students, helping disabled students, tutoring, IT support and assistance, working in the career center etc.
Student employees are supposed to follow a work schedule that will not interfere with their studies. The terms and conditions of employment are adapted to the requirements of each student's programme so as to ensure academic success while offering work experience.
Students who have earned at least a masters degree or the equivalent may apply for a one-time non-renewable temporary residency authorisation called APS (autorisation provisoire de séjour). It is valid for 12 months. Students who obtain a job related to their academic programme may enter full-time employment by filing a request for change of status (from student to employee) in their application.
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