Study in France: Student Visa Application Process and Checklist
The French Embassy uses an external service provider (VFS Global) to receive visa applicants and their documents. The consular officials nonetheless remain fully responsible for reviewing applications and making visa issuance decisions. The visa cannot be issued once you are in France. Visa applicants living in India would need to apply for their visa at one of the VFS centres in India, regardless of location (consulate jurisdiction no longer applies).
The visa required for you to be able to study in the country is the VLS-TS visa. To apply for the French VLS-TS , you will also have to pay a fee of 99 EUR. Depending on your situation, French authorities will allow you to pay this fee online, on location at a visa application centre in India, or through a bank transfer. Indian students who want to study in France won't need to get health insurance for the French visa.
Process to obtain a France Student Visa:
1. You will need to make an online account on CampusFrance, upload visa documents online, and pay the application fee. You will also have to attend an interview at a CampusFrance location in India to explain your study plans in France.
2. It typically takes about three weeks to receive the approval from CampusFrance; you cannot apply for your visa without this approval.
3. CampusFrance analyses' your file and communicates their decision. If you want to apply to a French university that that is not part of CampusFrance, you will have to contact the university directly.
4. Upon obtaining your CampusFrance approval, you may request an appointment for the consular interview at the French Consulate (for a date after the CampusFrance Interview).
When you apply for your visa, one of the most important things you need to prove is that you can support yourself during your study programme. For France, they require you to prove that you have available 615 EUR/month either from an external source, or already in your bank account.
Checklist of mandatory documents for long stay visa:
- One long stay application form duly filled and signed
- Long stay – for duration of more than 90 days, the “Long stay” visa form should be completed
- Two passport size photographs of the past 3 months meeting set standards – one must be attached to the application form (Size 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm, with clear background)
- Passport: The passport should be issued less than 10 years ago
- A printout of your CampusFrance ID number
- A letter of registration from a French Academic Institution or a certificate testifying that you will follow a European Union Training Programme or proof of scholarship.
- Cover letter explaining the study project and your motivation, including a short curriculum vitae.
- Proof of resources: tuition fees in addition to a minimum of 430 euros/month multiplied by the number of months of stay (living expenses). Only liquid assets will be considered. In the case of family member/friend funding your studies, an undertaking must be provided on plain paper duly signed along with supporting financial documents.
- Bank statements of the last 3 months (of the individual sponsoring the education and the student’s bank statements if he/she has an account in his/her name)
- Note: holders of a scholarship are not concerned. A certificate mentioning the amount and the duration of the scholarship is only required.
- Proof of medical insurance with coverage valid for France
- The “Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration” OFII form duly filled and signed
- Accommodation during the first three months of the stay: Accommodation in an establishment (or in an institution) or provided by an establishment (or an institution): attestation by the establishment or the institution.