Travel arrangements: apply for a French long-stay student visa

European students

If you are a national of a member state of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) –  Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway –  or of Switzerland, you are not required to have a specific visa to study in France, a passport of ID card is sufficient. Do not forget to apply to before arrival and bring your European Health Insurance Card that will allow you to benefit from heath insurance in France at no costs if you’re under 28 years old.

Non-European students

While we’ll follow-up and provide any possible support during your visa application (notably by communicating directly with your consulate to advocate for your application and detail compliance of your application with legal criteria as detailed here) please note that this procedure is ultimately your own and sole responsibility and that the granting of the visa is the prerogative of the French government; the Consortium is not able to guarantee successful award of the French visa.

Based on our previous experience, visa issues demand much time and attention. Sometimes it might take up to 4 months. For a more effective result, please start with the visa paperwork as soon as possible, (i.e. as soon as you’ve received the certificate of admission and certificate of admission). Pay attention to small details, such as photos format or amount of passport pages to be copied; double-check all your forms and the data you fill in. Always have copies of originals (good idea to have them in a digital form, too) for your own administration, as well as when submitting applications, since sometimes consulates do not return any documents (make sure you make several copies of the certificate of admission, of the official scholarship confirmation letter from the European Commission; of the insurance policy statement and the insurance card, etc). Rules at embassies change often, so be sure you get the most updated information on the required documents. You should keep your Administrative Coordinator informed if you face visa problems.

It may be better if your passport is valid for at least 2-3 years before your planned date of arrival to avoid problems with receiving passport while you study and with lack of pages in your passport if you already had a lot of visas in. Some countries require it to be valid for at least one year to issue a visa.

You need to apply to an Extended-stay student visa, with residency permit (VLS-TS)It is important that you request a visa valid 1 year, irrespective of the in-built mobility scheme of the Programme. This visa will serve as a residence permit after completed the right procedure upon arrival, or, for citizens of Algeria only, a “visa “D” Long séjour“.

Check first if you’re a citizen of one of the following 33 countries (so-called “countries using CEF procedure”).

> If so, you will have to register with your local Campus France office to apply for admission and obtain a student visa, using the online CEF procedure. Your local Campus France office will be your main contact person during your visa application. Please indicate clearly to Campus France that you have already been selected by Universty Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (by enclosing to your online file your certificate of preliminary admission and certificate of residence).

> If not, you need to submit to the nearest French consulate of place of residence your application for an extended-stay visa, along with any supporting documents required by the consulate. Supporting documents are generally the following (this list varies from one country to another; you should always contact and consult the relevant consular authority pf your place of residence):

Cost of the visa itself may vary depending on your home country, from 50 €  to 200 €.

N.B. 1. The same process must be undertake and type of visa requested in case you plan to work in France during the work placement to complete the Master Thesis in Semester 4. A 1 year Extended-stay student visa, with residency permit (VLS-TS) is better even if you plan to stay less than six months because it makes you eligible to the housing allowance.

N.B.2. French consulate in Syria has been closed. Syrian nationals must therefore, when possible, consult French consulate in Jordan, Lebanon or Turkey.

N.B.3. If you live in an EU country but are not a citizen, you will have to apply for a student visa at the French consulate in the country in which you reside. Even if the CEF procedure is used in your country of origin, you do not have to return there in order to apply for admission to a French institution of higher education.

Visa renewal

LIVE students might need to required a renewal of their visa, in case their visa expire before their stay in France or if they plan to come back during fall semester 4 in France to undertake their Master Thesis.

Application for a visa renewal must be submitted to and with the guidance of the UCBL International Office – Incoming mobility for administrative check before submission to French Immigration Office. Renewal application must be submitted to the Prefecture, two months before the expiry date of the residence permit in force.
Supporting documents to be enclosed with the application are: