Since 2007, France has eliminated short-stay visas for students who wish to stay in France for fewer than 90 days. If you’re completing a summer study-abroad program, you will not have to go through the CampusFrance procedure or obtain a visa, provided that you have the right to enter the Schengen Space without one. Students planning to stay in France longer than 90 days still need to follow all of the administrative steps outlined in this section.
Before you leave for France, it’s important to know that any stay in France or Europe for longer than 3 months requires a significant amount of paperwork, because you’ll need a visa to study and (possibly) work. There are many steps to each process, and you’ll need lots of different documents in order for your visa and residency permit to be approved. This section will guide you through each step of the visa and carte de séjour process, identifying the documents you’ll need to get, the fees you’ll need to pay, and the appointments you’ll need to make. Because French immigration and extended-stay laws are constantly changing, you should also double-check information on official French government sites before making or going to any official appointments.
Since June 2009, France no longer requires students to obtain a Carte de Séjour for their first year in France. After completing the medical visit, the OFII puts a yellow sticker in your passport, which has the same dates of validity as your visa and serves as your first “titre de séjour.” If you want to stay in France and must apply for a CDS, what you’ll actually be doing is a “renouvellement.”