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To study in France, certain conditions of entry and stay on the territory need to be respected. Hereafter, a breakdown of the different visa and residence permit procedures.
Preparing your arrival
Please visit the French consular authorities to know which type of visa is best suited for your stay. Among the different visas, two permit you to study in France. The visa VLS-TS and the visa "long séjour temporaire. Beware, if your stay in France exceeds one year, you must get the student visa VLS-TS. The procedures for visa applications can be lengthy, please plan ahead and apply about two months before your scheduled date of arrival.
European Union nationals do not need a visa to study and reside in France.
Since 2009, international students are exempt from soliciting a residence permit for their first year in France with the exception of Algerian students. Nevertheless, once in France, holders of the VLS-TS must begin, within two months of arrival, the OFII procedure. Holders of the "long-séjour temporaire visa are exempt from this procedure.
By standard letter or registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt, submit to the OFII:
- a photocopy of your passport
- a photocopy of your visa
- a photocopy of your stamp of entry in France or in the Schengen space
- the OFII form submitted to you by your consular authority.
Upon receipt of your documents, the OFII will send you a convocation. On the day on the convocation, present yourself with:
- your passport and adequate visa
- proof of residence
- an ID picture
- an OMI (or ANAEM) stamp worth 58 euros. It is purchasable on the OFII stamp website, in certain tobacco shops or in tax offices.
You will be able to travel in the Schengen space without the OFII visa within the three months following your arrival.
Students applying for e Renewal
If you wish to prolong your studies in France, two (up to three) months before the expiration of your visa you must begin the renewal process of your residence permit. Henceforth, a liaison service between the Préfecture of Police and Sciences Po permits you to complete your permit renewal directly at Sciences Po. However, make sure to respect the time frame in order not to be caught off guard.
N.B: Procedures which have already been started with the Préfecture cannot be passed over to Sciences Po.
Once your documents have been sent to the Prefecture, a convocation will be sent to you to pick up your récépissé. On the day of the appointment you will receive a second convocation to pick up your new residence permit. Make sure you respect the date and time indicated. You will then be able to travel freely in the Schengen space. If you wish to travel outside the Schengen space, you need to enquire before-hand on the conditions of entry of the desired destination. It is possible to travel in the Schengen space or to return to it with a récépissé of renewal request. However, the récépissé of first application does not permit movement outside French territory.
If you are unable to proceed to the renewal of your permit on the sport, you will have to ask for a visa de retour by the French consular authorities of the country of your actual residence.
Working in France
To work in France as a foreign student, you need your student card and your student visa with the adequate label.
You will be able to work up to 964 hours per year in France. The minimum hourly salary in France is 9,61 euros gross.
Your employer will have to make a declaration before-hand by the Préfecture who delivered the residence permit.
The residence permit office is located at:
Office S06 – garden level
9 rue de la Chaise – 75007 Paris
- Monday to Thursday from 9:30am to 12:00pm and 1:30pm to 4:00pm
- Friday from 9:30am to 12:00pm
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- French Office of Immigration and Integration
- Public service – Official website of the French administration