The long stay student visa

From Wednesday June 10 2015, NO PHONE CALL to the visa section will be answered. Please send your questions by EMAIL ONLY.

1- Long stay visa and residence permit in France

  • 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.
  • You must obtain your Student Visa while in the USA. The visa cannot be issued once the applicant is in France.

2- Do I need a visa?

Yes, except if you are a citizen of Switzerland, Andorra, Vatican, San Marino, Monaco or of the European Economic Area:

Austria Belgium Bulgaria Cyprus
Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland
Germany Great-Britain Greece Hungary
Iceland Ireland Italy Latvia
Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Malta
The Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal
Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain

Special rules apply for family members of an European Union citizen or family members of French citizens.

3- How to apply for a long stay student visa?

All applicants for a student visa must first register with "CampusFrance". Please visit (e-mail: for more information.

STEP 1 : register and obtain an "attestation" from "CAMPUSFRANCE",, 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. (

4- Processing time

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: 


5- Requirements

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:

PDF - 87.5 kb
Application requirements
(PDF - 87.5 kb)

OFII form (optional)

PDF - 110.5 kb
(PDF - 110.5 kb)

Long stay application form

PDF - 28.4 kb
Long stay application form
(PDF - 28.4 kb)

Financial guarantee statement

PDF - 26.9 kb
Financial guarantee
(PDF - 26.9 kb)

Important reminders:

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 $700. 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.

If you are not a US citizen you must provide a proof of residency in the USA :

A valid US permanent residence GREEN CARD + ONE COPY
or a valid work or student U.S. visa + ONE COPY with valid I-20 (the 3 pages) if F1 visa or J1 DS document + ONE COPY
or a valid Advance Parole document + ONE COPY

B1-B2 visa holders must apply in their country of residence.

6- Important information

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.

Last modified on 02/10/2017

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