French Student VISA: What happens after your VISA is granted?

By Meet University

You may be given date during your interview at which you can visit the French embassy or consulate to collect your passport. If your French Student VISA is granted then you will see a French VISA sticker in your passport. You should check the date given on the sticker. This is because you cannot enter France before this date. On the other hand, if your French Student VISA is rejected then you will be debriefed about the reasons for the refusal upon your visit. In case of rejection of your French Student VISA application, you can submit a request for a re-evaluation of the to the French embassy in your home country. This request should be submitted within 2 months of visa decision by attaching the supporting documents to your case file. Your request for re-evaluation should only be filed if you have thorough reasons to believe that the refusal was not fair.

You can get a French Student VISA either at a French consulate in your country or through Campus France (an institution promoting higher education in France, having a local office in almost all countries worldwide). Some countries require you to register first with Campus France in order to get a French Student VISA.

Further information associated with your French Student VISA

Upon scrutinizing your visa further, you will learn that you may either have a visa de long séjour valant titer de séjour VLS-TS (fr.) (long-stay visa combined with residence permit) or the visa, “dispense temporaire de carte de séjour” (temporary dispensation that requires a residence permit). Students are obligated to register themselves at the Immigration and Integration Office (OFII) within the first 2 months of their arrival into the country or apply for a residence permit at a French prefecture right after their arrival. You may have to undergo a medical examination and pay the residence fees. The residence permit can be renewed after one year but the renewal should be done not later than two months before the expiry of the visa period.

Rights of Students

International students are allowed to take on paid work or employment for 964 hours annually while they are registered for their courses. Students should also have a valid residence permit in order to be legally employed. Full-time employment is permitted during breaks while part-time employment can be taken up during term times. In either case, it is important to ensure that academic performance is not affected in a negative manner.

Students can’t just take up jobs randomly in the labor market; they need an APT (Autorisation Provisoire de Travail), which authorizes temporary employment. The procedure is required for non-European students. Students should personally visit DDTEFP (Direction Départementale du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Formation Professionnelle) office in order to complete this application. Their application should be accompanied by the following documents (both original and photocopies):

  • Passport with visa and the residency permit
  • Student card valid for the current academic year
  • Attestation of the affiliation of one’s college or University to the French Student VISA social security system
  • Work contract that specifies the nature of contract, qualification, salary, start and finish dates, workplace and work hours
  • Self-addressed stamped enveloped
French Student VISA
French Student VISA

Non-European students are advised to buy an appropriate student health insurance scheme as the Social Security reimburses only 60% of medical costs. Non-European students have registered automatically with the ‘Student Social Security System’. The registration procedure is managed by Universities at the time of enrollment. This registration is compulsory for students under 28 years of age.