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The French visas


It is absolutely essential that you find out information in advance concerning the formalities for entering, living and working in France.

Depending on your nationality, you are exempted from obtaining a visa to enter metropolitan France and the Schengen Area.
This is the case, for example, for nationals of other countries in the European Economic Area, and also Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland or the Vatican, regardless of the duration of the stay.

Puce indiquant un lien externe The complete list can be found on the official visa website for France.

Generally, a visa is mandatory in order to come to France.

To apply, contact directly the French embassy or consulate of your country of residence. For a student visa, you have to contact the Centres pour les études en France (CEF)' inside the  Campus France' offices, if present in your country.

Puce indiquant un lien externe

 For any visa application, you have to specify the reasons motivating your arrival in France.

The different types of visa

The Schengen short-term Visa (Visa court séjour)

Issued for a maximum stay of three months, this visa can in no way be renewed or prolonged. You must return to your country of origin to request a new visa.
Puce indiquant un lien externe The complete list can be found on the official visa website for France.

Student Visa Type C' Concours (Visa Etudiant Concours type C')

This visa is issued for a maximum period of three months. It is intended to allow you to come to France to pass a competitive examination (concours). If you pass, you can request a residence permit from the nearest prefecture to your place of residence, without having to return to your country of origin.

Temporary long-stay visa (Visa de long séjour temporaire)

This visa can be issued in specific situations for stays between 4 and 12 months.  You do not have to validate this visa or request a residence permit upon arrival, but it cannot be renewed.

Long-stay Visa and Residence Permit VLS-TS (Visa de long séjour - titre de séjour VLS-TS)

 This visa, issued usually for one year, is given for students, researchers and their families.
Within the first 3 months following your arrival in France, and as soon as you have a fixed address, go to the website of the General Directorate of Foreign Nationals to validate it.

To find out more, please consult the section dedicated to the visa validation on our web portal.

Updated on February 13, 2020

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