Apply for a visa and residence permit

Before you leave: apply for a visa

To study in France, you must comply with all French entry and residence requirements. We encourage you to use the visa wizard which will help you with identifiy whether you will require a student visa.

Citizens of European Union countries do not need a visa to study in France.

Since the 1st January 2021, British citizens must apply for a visa to study in France.

Our advice:

  • Check if your home country is concerned by the Centre for Studies in France (CEF) procedure and if so, apply through the Campus France website
  • Have a look at the France visas website to see in which consulate you should sublit your visa application
  • Make sure that you make an appointment as soon as you have received confirmation of your admission to Sciences Po.
  • Once you receive your visa, check the exact wording as indicated in the remarks section of your visa (PDF, 88 ko)

If your program includes a compulsory mobility within the European Union, you will need to present to the consulate a certificate from the university allowing you to obtain a student mobility visa. You will then be able to apply for a multi-year residence permit “student - mobility program.”

To certify your address in France, you can use a hotel reservation, a student residence certificate or a housing contract. If necessary, you can also ask Sciences Po’s Student Services team for a certificate to help you with your visa application.

Steps to be taken upon arrival in France according to the type of visa (non-exhaustive list)
The exact wording as indicated in the remarks section of your visa Steps to take
Visa Étudiant-R311-3 6° This is the Long Stay Visa equivalent to a residence permit (VLT-TS) visa that you must validate within 3 months of your arrival through the French Ministry of Interior website.
Visa Étudiant - Carte de séjour à solliciter dans les deux mois suivant l’arrivée Apply for your residence permit, Especially for Algerian nationals through the Prefecture website within 2 months of your arrival
Visa Étudiant mobilité carte de séjour à solliciter dans les deux mois suivant l'arrivée This is the Long Stay Visa equivalent to a residence permit (VLT-TS) visa that you must validate within 3 months of your arrival through the French Ministry of Interior website.
Visa de retour carte de séjour à solliciter dans les deux mois suivant l'arrivée (ex: algerian nationals) Apply for your residence permit through the Prefecture website of your place of residence within 2 months of your arrival
Visa mineur scolarité Apply for a residence permit when you become 18 years old on Prefecture website

When you arrive: transform your visa into a residence permit

Within 3 months of entering France, you must register your ÉTUDIANT– R311-3 6° visa on the website of the French Ministry of the Interior.

To do this, you will need:

  • a valid email address
  • your ÉTUDIANT– R311-3 6° visa
  • your date of entry into France
  • your permanent address in France
  • a credit card to pay the residence permit fee (€ 50)

At the end of the procedure, you will receive confirmation by email of the registration of your ÉTUDIANT– R311-3 6° visa.

This administrative step is compulsory and guarantees your legal status in France. It will avoid you having to pay a fine at a later date.  

Your residence permit gives you certain rights and allows you to work a maximum of 964 hours per year.

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