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France Study Visa For Indian Students

France Study Visa For Indian Students

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Know all about France study visa for Indian students. Understand the time to apply, application process, documents required, and the types of French student visas.

GyanDhan
Gurbani Kaur Suri
Updated on:  30 Oct 2023  | Reviewed By: 
Aman 
| 3K | 9  min read

France has a great pool of truly world-class institutions, and Indian students always prefer going over there for higher education. Thousands of Indian student visas are granted every year, enabling Indian students to pursue higher education at France’s world’s top institutions. Students from science, technology, liberal arts, humanities, etc., apply for French Universities. It has always been a favored destination for Indian students when compared with other countries of the European Union. Indian and French governments have worked hard for more collaborations among scientists, researchers, technocrats, managers to boost the India-France relationship.

 


Recently the French foreign minister declared that France aims to grant 20,000 visas to Indian students by 2025. So, it’s a golden opportunity for Indian students to secure a seat at some of the world’s top institutions. In another development, India and France signed an intergovernmental agreement. The French government will recognize CBSE, State Board, or any Pre-University (PU) that the Indian government recognizes. There is no dearth of opportunity, and now is the ripe time to materialize these opportunities by exploring the French Universities’ opportunities to offer to Indian students.

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The Right Time To Apply For Visa

French authorities are fast in visa processing, but the process requires an overall checking of all the credentials and details provided by the students. The ideal time to apply for a French student visa is around three months prior to the date of joining the university. Although the visa processing takes anywhere between two to three weeks, the three-month window is advised to do any course correction that might surface in the visa application. 

After getting confirmation on the acceptance to the desired course from the university, students should apply for the French VLS-TS. This helps save time in getting the visa and gives enough space for taking an abroad education loan

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Eligibility For French Student Visa

The French government has tried to streamline the overall procedure and eligibility criteria for Indian students to encourage more Indian applicants to universities in France. The eligibility varies for different sets of countries and the cost of visa application too. The French government has categorized countries in Etudes en France (EEF) for an online enrolment scheme. Those on the list have the benefit of low visa fees and other benefits that are offered by the French government. 

Territories Eligible Countries as per the EEF

NORTH AFRICA / MIDDLE EAST

Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates.

ASIA

China, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam.

AMERICA

Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Haiti, United States, Mexico, Peru.

EUROPE

Russia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

AFRICA

Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, South Africa, Togo.

 

In a nutshell, the following are the eligibility criteria for Indian students applying for a French student visa:

  • list items The visa applicant must be more than 18 years of age. However, the criteria pertaining to age, enrolment in the first year, one should strictly adhere to the norms and procedures of the “Parcoursup”.
  • list items Before applying for the student visa, an applicant must choose the course or the institution. Numerous French universities are offering a range of courses in different fields of interest.
  • list items The student applying for the French student visa must tender proof of acceptance by the educational institution where they intend to go for higher studies.
  • list items Students have the option of choosing the online enrolment scheme only if they are in the list of countries mentioned above in the EEF procedure countries or territories.
  • list items For non-EEF countries, one can visit the Campus France website and get information on the enrolment process. 

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French Student Visa Application Process

The French student visa program is swift and doesn’t have outrageous criteria that might create issues with the applicants. A student visa applicant can follow these steps and get the visa on time without any issues:

  • list items Create an account on the Campus France website. 
  • list items Then the applicant has to upload visa documents and pay the fee.
  • list items After completing online document submission, applicants have to undergo an academic interview at the nearest Campus France location explaining the study plans with all necessary documents (originals + one set of photocopies).
  • list items Once the interview is over, the authorities consider the application and analyze the file. After the analysis, the decision is communicated to the applicant.
  • list items Certain universities are not part of Campus France, and in those cases, an applicant has to approach the university directly. 
  • list items Applicants also have to attend a visa interview.
  • list items Once all this is completed, the French authorities will finally communicate the decision on the grant of a visa.

For an academic interview conducted at the Campus France office, an applicant has to pay a fee of INR 16,500. The cost of a visa for an EEF procedure country or territory is 55 euros or INR 4781 plus INR 1467 as handling charges since India is in the EEF procedure countries.

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Types of Student Visa based on the duration of stay

There are three types of visas issued by the French government for international students. The type of visa depends on the duration for which a student will be staying in the country for higher studies. The duration of the course decides the type of visa a student will be getting in furtherance of their studies in France.

The types of student visas are:

Short Stay Visa: Students enrolled in relatively shorter training courses are eligible for short-stay visas. The visa is granted for courses that are of less than three months duration. Short-term vocational or short-term research collaborations warrant these visas, and students utilize this visa type for short stints at French universities. 

Temporary Long Stay Visa: For students enrolled in the training courses of duration more than three months and less than six months come under this category. A temporary long-stay visa is issued for students. In this visa type, there are no formalities that have to be done after reaching France. The process is completed before one arrives in France. There are certain students in small-term courses and research works using the temporary long-term French visa. 

Long Stay Visa: In most cases, students going for master’s and doctoral studies tend to take long-stay visas. This visa type helps students in staying for a relatively long duration and complete long-duration courses. A long-stay visa is equivalent to a residence permit. However, unlike the above visa types, an applicant has to undergo certain formalities after reaching France as the duration of stay is extended. 

So, it summarises that France indeed provides a ton of opportunities for all the students. Whether a student wants a small stint at a French university or completes the doctorate program, there is no dearth of courses. 

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The Documentation Needed For French Student Visa

Like every other visa, a French student visa also needs an elaborate set of documents. The documents must be updated and authentic. Any discrepancy can not only lead to a visa rejection for one time. Instead, it may create problems in future attempts to get a French visa. The documents that are uploaded online have to be verified in-person too, so it’s better to have them handy.

The following list of documents are required for France Student visa for Indian students:

  • list items Visa application form for the French study visa.
  • list items Valid passport with a record of previous visas issued(if any).
  • list items Official Letter of Acceptance/Enrolment from a recognized French University or institution. 
  • list items Visa payment fees document. 
  • list items Two passport-size photographs.
  • list items Original copies of all the degrees and relevant documents related to the academics.
  • list items Evidence substantiating the ability to bear the cost of education in France, which is roughly around 600 euros per month.
  • list items Documents related to accommodation for the duration of studies. 
  • list items Proof of civil status (only if applicable, not required in every case). 
  • list items Those students studying subjects taught in French must produce a proficiency certificate for the French language. 
  • list items A No Objection Certificate from campus France. 
  • list items Office Francais de Immigration et de Integration or the OFII form.
  • list items Students should also have to bring their latest CV, and it must have all the relevant information, achievements, skills, etc. 
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France Student Visa For Those With Dependants

There are different sets of criteria for students from different stages in their academics. For instance, a young student going for a bachelor’s degree might not be able to take the spouse with them. While a student going for masters or doctorate courses has the liberty to bring their spouse with them but even that is conditional. There are no set criteria that let a student visa applicant take their dependents with them. 

French embassy officials make decisions on a case-to-case basis, and if the situation warrants, they let students take their dependents with them. However, applicants have to make a very strong case to substantiate the need for taking the dependent with them. Financial affordability is another crucial factor, and if a visa applicant doesn’t have the means to support the dependants, then they aren’t allowed. 

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The Transition From Student To Work Visa

Those students who went for a master’s or doctorate may change their visa status from student to employee. However, an application has to be made in this regard. Authorization Provisoire de sèjour (APS) is the extension that French authorities provide to international students to extend their visa by one year and let them gain some practical experience by working in France. The extension provided by APS is anywhere from four months to one year, and not everyone gets a visa for one year. Another one-year extension is offered to students from a select few countries, and fortunately, India is one of them, and now Indian students can get one more year extension due to the concerted efforts of the present government. 

Many students sought the extension, but any further extension can only be provided if they apply for a work visa. A visa applicant must bear in mind that not all universities are eligible for getting their student APS visa. It’s better to confirm with the educational institution about the provision of getting an APS visa post completion of the course.

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