The long stay student visa
- Since June 2009, long stay visa holders are allowed to reside in France for up to 12 months according to the validity of their visa and purpose of stay. They are no longer required to obtain a residence permit ("carte de séjour") from the French local authorities ("Préfecture") as long as their visa is valid.
- However, long stay visa holders who intend on staying in France for more than six months have to register to the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII) during the first three months of their stay in France.
- You must obtain your Student Visa while in the USA. The visa cannot be issued once the applicant is in France.
Yes, except if you are a citizen of Switzerland, Andorra, Vatican, San Marino, Monaco or of the European Economic Area:
All applicants for a student visa must first register with "CampusFrance". Please visit www.usa.campusfrance.org (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
STEP 1 : register and obtain an "attestation" from "CAMPUSFRANCE", www.usa.campusfrance.org, prior to applying for a visa at the Consulate General of France in Houston.
STEP 2 - Once you complied with CAMPUSFRANCE requirements, please make an appointment. For more information on how to make an appointment at the Consulate, please click here. (http://consulfrance-houston.org/spip.php?article468)
Processing time depends on your citizenship. It takes 2 to 3 weeks to receive the approval for your visa. If you are a passport holder of one of the following countries, the process can take up to 2 months:
When applicants come to the Consulate to apply for the visa, they need to bring the original and a copy of each document in the list of required documents. Original documents must be presented and the Consulate will not make copies. If these conditions are not met, the visa will be denied.
Please click on the following documents to download:
List of required documents for a long stay student visa:
OFII form (optional)
Long stay application form
Financial guarantee statement
You can apply at the French Consulate in Houston only if you reside in: Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma or Louisiana.
Financial guarantee requirement: please keep in mind that the letter/statement from your financial sponsor (parents or other) needs to be NOTARIZED. The minimum amount needed per month is $820 (not $800 or less). We also ask for a RECENT bank statement from the person supporting/sponsoring you (the bank statement itself does not need to be notarized).
If you provide a self-addressed prepaid envelope, it must be labeled at your name and address, both as sender and receiver. The French Consulate should not appear as the sender.
American citizens DO NOT NEED visas if they stay less than 90 days.
Applications cannot be processed more than 3 months before the departure.
The consular administration has full authority to evaluate and request more documents than those submitted by the applicant.
Please be aware that submitting the aforementioned documents does not guarantee the approval of the visa.
Please note that holders of visas are still subject to immigration control upon first entry into France. The visa itself does not grant the right to enter France.
Please be aware that the visa application process (between CampusFrance and the Consulate) can take up to 4 weeks.