The French short-term study visa is for foreigners who wish to come to France under study purposes and remain there up to three months. This visa is not suitable for students who wish to come and attend a university or college, since one semester is at least 4 months long. Rather this visa is suitable for students who wish to come to France to:
- Attend a language course
- Attend a course as a student
- Sit for a university entrance exam
- Attend a university entrance interview
- Attend a training as a student
- Trainee caregiver (young au pair)
- School-going minor
Who Needs a France Short-Stay Study Visa?
Whether you need a France short-stay Study visa to go to France or its overseas territories, collectivities, departments and regions under study purposes, it all depends on your nationality.
If your country of citizenship doesn’t have a visa facilitation agreement with France or the EU then you will probably have to obtain a short stay study visa in order to be allowed to enter France or is overseas territories.
France Short-Stay Study Visa Types
The France short-stay study visas are for you if you are planning to go to France to either:
- Attend a language course.
- Attend a course as a student.
- Sit for a university entrance exam.
- Attend a university entrance interview.
- Attend a training as a student.
- Trainee caregiver (young au pair).
- School-going minor.
- Other short-term programmes.
France Short stay Visa to attend a language course
This is a visa for people who wish to come to France to learn a language, mainly French. It allows you to come to France and remain for up to three months without the need to obtain a residence permit. You will not have to pay a fee when applying for this visa. However, you will be unable to renew it, as you can with other types of study visas.
France Short stay Visa to attend a course as a student
Foreigners who wish to come to France to attend a course (i.e. cooking, architecture etc.) need to obtain a France short-stay study visa first. However, they will not need to obtain a residence visa.
France Etudient Concours visa
If you have applied to become part of an educational institution (university, college) in France, but you have to sit for an entrance exam in France first, then you will have to apply for a Etudient Concours visa. This visa allows you to apply for one-year, renewable residence permit, if you pass your exam. You will have to apply directly at the French local authority/administrative office called prefecture for a residence permit in this case.
France Visa to attend a university entrance interview
If you have applied at a university or any other educational institution in France, and you will have to attend an interview in order to be accepted, then you will have to apply for a France visa for the purpose of attending the university entrance interview. This is the same case as with the entrance exam, since if you pass the interview and are officially accepted at the educational institution you have applied at, you will be permitted to apply for a one year, renewable, residence permit.
France Visa to attend training as a student
This visa is for students who wish to come to France to participate
- in a project that is part of a training course organized in applicant’s home country.
- an EU cooperation programme.
- an intergovernmental scheme in the fields of education, training, youth or culture.
Remember that if the training you are planning to attend exceeds 90 days then you will have to apply for a long-stay visa instead. One of the main required documents that you will have to submit when applying to enter France in order to attend a training, is a training agreement that has been established between you, the training establishment and the host in France.
France Young Au Pair Visa
Foreigners aged 17-30 who wish to temporarily stay wish a family in France in order to be able to study French, can obtain a Young Au Pair visa. The main requirement from the applicant and the host family as an au pair placement agreement, which must be submitted to the DIRECCTE by the host family. The agreement must indicate:
- The services that the applicant will be required to provide to the family.
- Applicant’s working hours (five hours maximum per day).
- Details about applicant’s board and lodging.
- Applicant’s weekly rest days (one rest day per week including one compulsory Sunday a month).
- The jointly agreed amount of pocket money the applicant will receive from the host family.
The applicant shall also submit their medical certificate that must be no older than 3 months, translated into French by a sworn translator.
France School going minor visa
If you have a child under the age of 18, whom you are planning to send to France to:
- a public or private teaching establishment or
- a language, arts, cooking or sports center
You must apply on behalf of them for a School Going Minor visa called ‘études’. Remember that you will have to apply for this type of visa only if you child’s stay does not exceed 3 months. Otherwise, you will have to apply for a long-stay visa on your child’s behalf.
France Study Visa Requirements
You will have to submit some documents that are usually required for a French short stay visa but also some visa specific documents as follows:
- Letter from school of university that confirms your dates of leave as well as details about school and your course.
- If employed: working certificate that states the period you have been working there as well as your salary & pay slips for the last three months.
- If self-employed: a letter specifying your personal activity and revenues from your accountant or local Chamber of Commerce and VAT certificate.
- For minors:
- Both biological parents’ passport.
- Proof of Guardianship – in case the child applicant in under 18 and trusted to a third person, then this person needs to possess an official document in the form of an authorization signed by both parents.
- Authorization by parent – if the child is traveling with only one parent.
- Court decision – if only one parent, has the sole custody of the child.
- Valid passport of both parents.
- An up-to-date school letter that authorizes child’s leave from school.
- Travel medical insurance that covers your entire stay in France and the Schengen Area.
The French embassy or consulate in your home country has the right to ask for extra documents, which you will have to submit as soon as possible in the given time.
How to Apply for a France Study Visa?
The France short-stay study visa application process is similar the application process for other French Schengen visas. You will have to follow some certain steps in order to complete the application.
- Collect the required documents for France short stay study visa. After collecting the required documents and then fulfill the application form with correct and honest information that complies with the information in the other documents.
- Book an appointment. You must book an appointment through the website of the French embassy or consulate in your country. If that option is not available, then go and appoint the interview at the embassy.
- Pay the visa fee. If a fee applies to you, since some of the study visas categories do not require you to pay for a visa fee.
- Attend the interview on time. Do not show up late or in a rush. Go there at least 10 minutes before the interview so you can breathe and relax before meeting the consular officer. Try not to be nervous and arrange your documents in advance.
The interview may last around 10 minutes. You will be asked a few questions on your trip to France, what you are planning to do there, etc.
France Short-Stay Study Visa Fee
You will have to pay the visa fee before you attend the interview on the day of your appointment, at the embassy, consulate, or visa application center. French short-stay visa fees differ from each other based on the age of applicant as well as the location the traveler is applying to visit. You will have to pay the fee in euros or the local currency, according to the exchange rates applied by the embassy.
There is a standard fee of 60€ for a French Schengen visa application, however you may fall into a group of people that are exempt from this payment. Visit the following article for details on the French visa fees.
Remember that you will not be reimbursed if your visa application is rejected, or you do not attend the interview.