MBA France

France Visa information


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Before leaving to come to France, make sure you know your legal situation.
Depending on your nationality, you might need a visa, residence permit and/or work permit.
Here you will find legal requirement info for coming to France.

Who requires a visa?

Depending on the length of the stay, as well as nationality, a visa may not be required.
France is a member of the Schengen countries. Nationals of the following "Schengen Agreement" countries may not require a visa: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. With a Schengen visa, you may enter one country and travel freely throughout the Schengen zone.

  • For a stay of up to 90 days, nationalities exempted from a short stay visa are also exempted from requesting a student visa if the total stay in France does not exceed 90 days.
  • However, if a student decides to stay one day longer or more after the end of the school period, he/she must apply for a temporary long stay visa (up to 6 months) BEFORE leaving for France.
  • • If you are studying for longer than 6 months, you'll need a long-stay visa:
    This type of visa allows its holder to request a temporary residence permit ("Carte de séjour") at a French Prefecture. You must apply within two months after the date of your arrival to France. Living in France for longer than 6 months without a residence permit is illegal.

What documents will be required?

  • A passport or official travel document, valid for at least 3 months longer than the validity of the requested visa.
  • One completed application form signed by the applicant (or the legal guardian in the case of minors)
  • A passport-size photograph (more application forms and photographs may be required).
  • Evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover the cost of your intended stay (recent bank statement or traveller's cheques).
  • A confirmed return ticket to France or a confirmed booking from your travel agent (plane, train, ferry or Eurotunnel tickets).
  • A confirmation of your hotel reservation or a certificate of board and lodging ("Attestation d'Accueil") to be obtained by the person you are visiting in France from the local Townhall ("Mairie") or Police Station ("Gendarmerie" or "Commissariat de Police").
  • If you are a student please submit a recent letter from your school, college or university confirming attendance.
  • Evidence of medical insurance.

Time required issuing a visa:

Depending on nationality, for most nationals, 1-3 days.
However, nationals of some Eastern European, Middle Eastern and some other countries should allow at least 28 days for processing.
Please note that if you are a citizen of Afghanistan, Algeria, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo or ex-Zaire, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, North-Korea, Palestine, Rwanda, Sudan, Surinam, Syria, Yemen, or you are the holder of a travel document for stateless persons or refugees, the processing of your application will take several weeks.

Student Visa

Students planning to study in France must check out information about conditions of entry into France and obtain a student visa at the French Consulate.

International students who are not from Europe (that is, students who are not nationals of the countries of the European Economic Region plus Andorra, Monaco, Switzerland, San Marino, and Vatican City) must obtain a long-term visa marked "student" in order to study in France for longer than 3 months.

International students of all nationalities enjoy the right of multiple entries into France. Once granted, their visa is automatically renewed for the duration of their studies in France.

There is a special type of visa for student prospects: The so-called étudiant-concours visa is granted for stays of no more than 90 days for the purpose of taking an entrance examination or visiting institutions of higher education. Prospective students who pass their examination receive a full student visa without returning to their country of origin. The prospective student visa also may be granted to students whose admission to a higher education institution is contingent upon their completion of a short course of remedial or refresher work.

Visa for minors of 18 year

Minors of 18 year applying for a visa without the company of his parents must have a letter from their parents or legal guardian authorizing them to travel to and stay in France, and appointing the person who will be responsible for them.
This letter should be duly authenticated by a solicitor or commissioner for oaths, or by a Consular Officer of the applicant's nationality.
Finally, one of the parent's passports must be enclosed with the application.

Other information

France is a signatory to the 1995 Schengen Agreement

Embassy contact information:
French Embassies

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