Visas and residence permits

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You do not need a visa to study in France, your passport will be enough, unless you have special citizenship status or a residence permit from your country of residence. In this case, you should contact the French consulate or embassy nearest you or in your town to find out whether a visa is required. Please consult France Visas website. It is your responsibility to obtain this visa before arriving in France.


If you are studying in France for 3 months or less, you will need a short stay visa :

This type of visa is issued to people entering France to take part in short-term training programmes, internships, conferences and company meetings not exceeding 90 days. This visa does not entitle you to the benefits of a long-stay visa (access to employment, social security, housing subsidy). You will not be able to stay in France beyond its expiry date. This visa does not allow you to apply for a French residence permit. If you wish to extend your stay, you must apply for a new visa from your country of origin. For more information, please visit the France Visas website.

I have an “student-in-competition” short stay visa (visa court séjour “étudiant concours”), do I need to go back to my country and resquest a long stay visa?

If you have obtained a “student-in-competition” short-stay visa and have passed your entrance exam after coming to France to sit it, you can apply directly to the préfecture for a student residence permit. Find out more about the procedure on the website of the prefecture in your place of residence.

If you are studying in France for more than 3 months to a year, you will need a long-stay student visa with a residence permit (VLS-TS)

To apply for a visa, you need the following documents:

  • Passport photos (according to the criteria of the consulate)
  • Documents proving that you have sufficient financial means for the entire period of study, i.e. 615 € / month (as of July 2022). Please consult the France Visas website as this amount can be modified
  • Proof of accommodation for the first three months of your stay.
  • Proof of enrollment from the institution of higher learning: letter of acceptance or registration.
  • Valid passport.

If your country is subject to the “Etudes en France” procedure :

The “Etudes en France” procedure has become the reference procedure for non-EU countries. Students living in one of the 66 countries covered by the “Etudes en France” procedure must make a specific application to enrol in a higher education establishment via the “Etudes en France” platform and apply for a visa.

To find out, if your country is part of “Etudes en France”, procedures, click here.

On the platform, you need to :

  • Submit your documents
  • Fill in your educational background and diplomas
  • Submit your application to Campus France and pay the fees. You will need to specify the Campus France agency that applies to you. This depends on where you live. Example: you are Senegalese and live in Cameroon. You must register with the Campus France area in Cameroon.
  • You will then have an interview with Campus France and you will take a French test.

(All resources available in the “Resources” section)

If your country does not have Campus France’s “Etudes en France” procedure, contact the French consulate closest to your city or check the official France Visas website to obtain information about your visa application.

Please note that the process can take some time, so applying for a visa as soon as you receive your official acceptance letter from OMNES Education is encouraged.

Upon arrival, validate your visa

You arrived in France with a VLS-TS visa (a long stay visa valid as a residence permit), ” ETUDIANT “, ” ETUDIANT-MOBILITE ” or ” ETUDIANT-MOBIL “, you need to validate your visa online within 3 months following your arrival.

How to validate your visa online?

To study in France, all non-European students need a student visa. Watch this short video to find out everything you
need to know about the procedures for
validating your visa as soon as you arrive
in France.


Go to the government website ANEF (Administration des étrangers en France) and click on “Validate your VLS-TS long stay visa“.

Have with you your passport, visa and a debit or credit card with you. It only takes 10 to 15 minutes to validate.

It is mandatory to validate your visa within the time limit, because it will allow you to stay in France legally and benefit from social advantages which offer the visa.

It is very simple:

  • Enter your visa number
  • Indicate the date of validity, the date of issue, and the reference number “CESEDA R311-3 6”
  • Fill in additional information: family situation, phone number, e-mail address
  • Indicate your date of arrival and the details of your address in France
  • Check that all the information you have given is correct.
  • Pay the tax for your visa. You can buy an electronic stamp online. You can do so directly on the website.

Once validated, you will receive on your email address:

  • Your ANEF login details
  • The confirmation of validation your VLS-TS to download. You can also download it later when connecting to your ANEF account.

You should always carry this document with you, along with a copy of your passport. And once your visa has been validated, you are entitled to apply for housing subsidy, register for social security and work for a maximum of 20 hours a week (964 hours a year).

If you do not validate it within 3 months, you will have to go back to your country of origin and apply for a new visa.

If you need help with validation, please contact or

I have obtained a long-stay visa for school-going minor (visa mineur scolarisé), do I need to validate my visa online?

If you have a long-stay visa for school-going minor (Visa long séjour “mineur scolarisé”), you do not need to validate your visa online. You can apply for a residence permit, within the 2 months following your 18th birthday.

  • If the starting date of your visa does not exceed 3 months when you try to connect to the ANEF website, you can create an account and submit your application online.
  • If the starting date of your visa exceeds 3 months at the time of your application for a residence permit, contact your local prefecture to find out about the procedure and apply for one.
During your studies, renew your resident permit/visa

Don’t forget to apply for or renew your residence permit!

When to renew it?

You must apply within 4 to 2 months before your residence permit expires. 

It is your responsibility and your duty to renew your residence permit within the time limit. If you do not respect the deadline, you risk finding yourself in an irregular situation on French territory. In addition to compromise the success of your studies at your school, you won’t be able to benefit from the advantages of the permit.

How to renew your student resident permit?

All students holding a one-year visa or residence permit must renew their permit
in order to continue studying in France.
Watch this short video to find out everything you need to know about renewing your permit.


You must go to the government website ANEF (Administration des étrangers en France) and click on “I am applying for or renewing a residence permit”.

It’s very simple, you must first gather the following documents:

  • A valid residence permit or VLS-TS
  • A valid e-photo and digital signature
  • A copy of your passport
  • A proof of residence less than 3 months old
  • A document proving that you have the financial resources necessary to continue your studies for one year in France (i.e. 615 € per month)
  • A certificate of enrolment provided by your school or pre-enrollment.
  • A completion certificate.
  • A academic transcript of the previous year

Once you have collected the documents, you can apply online:

  • Fill in your personal details
  • Fill in the reason for your stay (current school year, school, degree)
  • Declare your resources and its origin
  • Attach the supporting documents you have collected
  • Check that all the information you have given are correct.
  • Validate your application

Our advice: Even if you have not yet gathered all the required documents, we strongly advise you to apply first for renewal within the time limit. You will be able to submit the missing documents at a later stage.

Once validated, you will receive a PDF confirmation of your application by email, or you can download it from your ANEF account.

  • If the processing time of your application exceed the expiry date of your current residence permit, the government services can issue an “attestation de prolongation d’instruction” (certificate of extension of processing) which – together with the previous expired permit – allows you to maintain your rights and stay legally in France.
  • As soon as your application is validated after your file assessment, you will receive a “attestation de décision favorable” (certificate of approval) with the new validity dates of your permit.

Please note, that it is essential that you are covered by the French health Insurance, the Sécurité sociale when you apply.

If the government services ask you for additional documents, you must submit them within 30 days of the request.

Resources and advice

All students are encouraged to consult the Campus France website for detailed information on how to apply for a study visa:

Please find below Campus France’s video tutorials on visa application procedures:

Updated 14 September 2023