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The Student Visa

Do you need a visa?

1. You are a citizen from a European Union Country:
you don’t have to request a visa.

2. You are a citizen from one of of the following countries:
Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, South Korea, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, Serbia, Vatican City, Seychelles, Singapore, Uruguay and Venezuela
> If you come for a stay of less than 3 month: you don’t need to request a visa.
> If you come for a stay of more than 3 month: you must request a visa.

3. You are a national of another country:
You must imperatively obtain a student visa before arriving in France. The request must be made at the French consulate in your country.

 

What kind of student visa?

1. The short-stay student visa (visa C): it allows you to come to study in France for a period that does not exceed 3 months. This visa is not renewable.

2. The long-stay student visa (visa D): it allows you to come to study in France for a period of more than 3 months.

Please note that you mustn’t come to study in France with a tourist visa: it is impossible to transform a tourist visa into a student visa. 

 

Where should you apply for a student visa?

To obtain a visa, you must make an application a file at the Consulate of France (or at the visa service of the French Embassy) in your country. A list of the necessary documents will be given to you when you pick up your file.

The main documents to supply:

  • Your passport. The validity of the passport must correspond to the duration of the visa requested.
  • a Proof of enrolment or pre-enrolment in a higher educational institution.
  • a Proof that you have sufficient income to live in France during your stay. The French law demands a minimum monthly income of 600 euros.

Depending on the country, other documents may be required. 

Working in France during your studies

You may be planning to work during your stay in France to help finance your studies. Work regulations for foreign students in France can vary from one situation to another. 

1. If you are a citizen of Algeria:
In accordance with the Franco-Algerian agreement, you must apply for a temporary work permit (“autorisation temporaire de travail”) from the DIRECCT (Direction Régionale des Entreprises, de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et du Travail et de l’Emploi). You may not work more than 822.5 hours annually (= 18.5 hours per week).

2. You come from Romania or Bulgaria:
To be able to work in France, you must apply for a student residence permit (“titre de séjour étudiant”) at the Préfecture de Police de Paris.

3. If you are a citizen of another country:
> You come from a non-EU country with a short-stay student visa (visa C)
You must apply for a temporary work permit (“autorisation temporaire de travail”) from the relevant DIRECCT.
> You come from a non-EU country with a long-stay student visa (visa D)
To work in France, you will need to show to your employer your student residence permit (“titre de séjour étudiant”) or your long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (“visa de long séjour valant titre de séjour”).

Conditions

You have the right to work up to 964 hours per year (472 hours for a 6-month stay), i.e. 20.5 hours per week.
The minimum wage in France is 9.61 euros/hour (in 2015).

If you wish to work as an intern: students working under internship agreements do not need to apply for work permits. 

Health Care

France has a very comprehensive social security system, which provides for excellent medical care and allows you to be reimbursed (or partially reimbursed) for most health related costs, as well as prescription medication.

Student Social Security (“Sécurité Sociale étudiante”)

 To be entitled to Student Social Security, you must:

  • Have enrolled in a higher educational institution recognized by the Social Security;
  • Be less than 28 years of age on 1st October of the academic year that is beginning;
  • Present a document proving that you have a valid residence permit, visa, etc…

Student Social Security is mandatory for all students (except in the few particular cases mentioned below).

How to register?

You don’t have to do it yourself. You will be registered at a students' Social Security center at the time of your administrative enrolment in our school.
You must also choose one of the two student insurance programs that manage Social Security refunding: SMEREP or LMDE. The two options are approximately the same, and the price and services are equal.

Specific cases

1. You are a citizen of the European Union or the European Economic Area 
(Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Romania, United Kingdom, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland):
Prior to your arrival in France, request a European Health Insurance card from your social security center. It proves that you have social security coverage in your country. In this case, you will not have to be registered at the Social Security in France.

2. You come from Quebec:
Prior to your departure, pick up the valid and updated SE 401 Q102bis form that proves that you have Social Security coverage in Quebec. In this case, you will not have to be registered at the students Social Security in France.

3. You are more than 28 years old and you are not a citizen of a European Union Country:
You cannot be registered with the Social Security. You must take out a private insurance, or if your income is low and if you’ve been living in France for more than three months, you can apply for the CMU (Universal Health Coverage). Registration at the CMU is made at the CPAM (Health Insurance Offices) of the district of Paris where you live. CPAM’s addresses are available on the website of: http://www.ameli.fr/assures/votre-caisse-paris/index_paris.php

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