Study PHD in France 2023
Basic monthly living cost
Rent in a shared flat487
Share of utilities55
Sample lifestyle cost
Fast food combo10
Pint of local beer6
There are different types of student visas, depending on how long you plan to study in France:
- Visa de court séjour pour etudes (‘Schengen’ short-stay student visa) - If your studies will last less than three months, then you should apply for the so-called Schengen student visa. It is issued free of charge and cannot be renewed. 41 countries may not need a visa for a stay of less than three months.
- Etudient concours (visa for sitting entrance exams) - On this visa, you can come to France to take an entrance exam at an institute of higher education. If you pass, then you can apply directly to your local prefecture (French local authority/administrative office) in France for a one-year, renewable, residence permit.
- 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 the long term student visa in France. From 2013, this type of study visa now lasts for the duration of your course in France. Long-stay visas act as residence permits and are called VLT-TS.
- Extended stay research scholar visa - If you have a Master’s degree or higher and want to come to France to take part in research or teach at the university level, then the institution can bring you over on an extended stay research scholar visa VLS-TS.
What type of Visa do you need?
Price and currency
Student visa fees range greatly, depending on the type of visa and the country where you come from. For students from the Schengen area, costs vary from 50 to 99 EUR. The short-term Shengen student visa is free of charge.
Who can apply for the visa?
If you are an EU national, or national from the EEA, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you do not require a French student visa.
If you are a national from anywhere else in the world, you will need to obtain a student visa for France. You need to have secured a place on a course at a French educational institution before applying for a visa.
Where can you make the application?
French embassy / consulate
Some countries require you to register first with CampusFrance, the French national agency for higher education, and international students, in order to apply for admission and get a student visa through the CEF procedure. Otherwise, you should get your visa at the French embassy/consulate in your home country.
How to make the application?
In order to apply for your visa, you will need the following:
- An official acceptance letter onto an accredited program at a French institution. This should be on officially headed paper, stating your full details, details of the French institution, and specifying the start and end dates of the academic program.
- Proof that you have sufficient funds (currently EUR 615 per month), for example, bank statement, guarantor’s letter, or notice of a grant or funding from an official source.
- Proof of return ticket home. Often this is in the form of the actual ticket or reservation showing the date of departure, but can be a handwritten statement of intent, including intended departure dates.
- Proof of medical insurance (minimum cover EUR 30,000).
- Proof of accommodation. Can be shown in the form of student housing confirmation or a certificate of board and lodging or ‘attestation d’accueil’ (if you’re living with friends or relatives).
- Proof of proficiency in French, if you are studying a French-language course.
There is a charge for the Visa application and you must also have a passport that is valid for a period of three months past your expiration date of the requested party. You must complete an application that you sign and must submit three photographs with the application.
When should you apply?
It can take up to two months for a Visa application to be approved, so you should submit all of the necessary information as quickly as possible before you plan to leave. ‘Schengen’ short-stay student visa lasts for 90 days, a temporary long-stay visa for three to six months, and a long-stay visa for the duration of your course: three years for bachelors, two years for a Master's, and four years for a Ph.D.
As an international student with a study visa in France, you can work up to 964 hours in a single year (about 60 percent of full-time employment for a year) – while you are on the course, and as long as you have a valid residence permit.
Hours per week
Why do you need this type of visa?
When completing your application for a France Visa it is essential that you complete the application in its entirety. You shouldn’t leave anything blank as this can greatly delay the application process. You also need to make sure that you have all of the documents that are needed and submit them with the application.
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