French Student Visas

In accordance with French law students studying in France for 91 days or more are required to obtain a student visa. Those with French/EU citizenship are exempted. It is not necessary for US students studying for 90 days or less to obtain a visa. Non-US nationals should consult their local Consulate for details on student visa requirements.

Students must appear in person at one of the French VFS Visa Processing Centers located in Washington DC, New Orleans, Houston, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, and New York within 90 days of the program start. This may necessitate air travel so please plan and budget accordingly.

Our Student Visa Office is available to assist all students in getting ready for their appointment, and we provide simple step-by-step instructions for the application process to students after they are accepted.

For visa-related questions please contact our Student Visa Director at visas@saiprograms.com.

Before you Begin

  • Applying for a French student visa is a multi-step process, involving registering through Campus France, completing an application online, and then appearing in person at a VFS Center. Be sure to allow yourself ample time to complete all the steps prior to departure.
  • It is ultimately each student’s responsibility to verify the requirements and obtain his/her student visa. Since visa requirements may change at any time SAI cannot guarantee that any of the information provided has not changed or will not change.
  • The French Consulates will now be outsourcing the processing of student visa applications to VFS Global. VFS Global is the world’s largest visa application outsourcing service. Students will appear in person at a VFS Center to present their student visa application within 90 days of the program start.
  • The VFS Centers have full authority to evaluate and request additional documentation, if they deem it necessary, in addition to what is submitted. Submitting all required documentation does not guarantee the issuance of a student visa.
  • Our SAI student visa office is available to assist you with any questions, please reach out at visas@saiprograms.com.

When to Begin Your Application: After acceptance to SAI you will receive a digital scan (by email) of your Acceptance Letter, in French. Begin your application immediately thereafter.

STEP 1: Campus France

1) Create the Etudes en France (Campus France) account and submit the online application
The French student visa application process begins by registering with Campus France. The following links will load instructions for completing the Campus France registration.

Regular Service (3 week processing): US students follow this link. This option will take approximately 3 weeks.

Expedited Service (3 day processing): For an additional fee (see below), you may expedite the processing to about 3 days by following this link.

  • In step 1, click on I am a study-abroad/exchange/dual-degree student. This will load a tutorial for you to follow.
  • Read the tutorial in its entirety before beginning your Campus France application. You will be referring to this as the application is in French. Once your application has been submitted, you cannot make any changes.
  • Following the instructions, create your account and complete your online application.

Please note that when filling out the personal information section, you may put your permanent address as your parents’ residence or your current school address.

2) Pay the Campus France fee online (debit or credit cards) and submit the paperwork
To pay online and submit your paperwork go to www.docboxcfusa.org. Pay the Campus France fee based on the service speed you chose:

  • Regular Service: the fee for the regular service is $205 (not refundable).
  • Expedited Service: the fee for the expedited service is $360 (not refundable).

Provide your personal information, select the Campus France service you would like to receive, and pay the fee. Then upload the required paperwork (acceptance letter & copy of the receipt of payment), and submit your paperwork by clicking “I submit.”

Once your application is processed, you will receive a confirmation e-mail from Campus France USA. Please note, a printed version of this email will be requested at your visa appointment. You are now ready to proceed to the next step for your student visa application.

STEP 2: Complete the Visa Application Online

Start your application online using the France-Visas Portal by following this link. Applications can be submitted no more than 3 months before the start of your program.

  • You will first be asked to create a France-Visas account.
  • It will take approximately 20 minutes to finish this online application. Your information will be saved at every step of the process. You may exit and continue as needed by logging back into your account.

Use the following information to complete the online application:

Name, address, email, and telephone number of your host school in France:

  • American University of Paris: 102, Rue St Dominique, 75007 Paris – email: admissions@aup.edu tel: +33 1 40 62 06 00
  • Paris College of Art: 15 Rue Fénelon, 75010 Paris – email: contact@paris.edu tel: +33 1 45 77 39 66
  • Paris School of Business: 59 rue Nationale, 75013 Paris – email: ben@saiprograms.com tel:+33 1 53 36 44 00
  • Istituto Marangoni: 48 Rue de Miromesnil, 75008 Paris – email: paris@istitutomarangoni.com tel: +33 0 1 47 20 08 44
  • Cours de Civilisation Francaise de La Sorbonne: 214 Boulevard Raspail, 75014 Paris – email: contact@ccfs-sorbonne.fr tel: +33 1 44 10 77 00

What will be your address in France during your stay:

  • American University of Paris: Foyer International d’Accueil de Paris Jean Monnet, 30 rue Cabanis, 75014 Paris, France
  • Paris College of Art: 15 rue Fénelon, 75010 Paris, France
  • Paris School of Business: 59 rue Nationale, 75013 Paris, France
  • Istituto Marangoni: 48 rue de Miromesnil, 75008 Paris, France
  • Cours de Civilisation Francaise de La Sorbonne: 56 avenue Bosquet, 75007 Paris, France

STEP 3: Make Your Appointment and Submit the Application within 90 days of the start of your program

Once you have completed your online application, you will need to submit the physical application and all supporting documents (passport, etc.) to a VFS Global visa application center. Visa applicants living in the United States are able to set up their appointment at one of the nine visa centers regardless of their location. VFS Global Centers are located in Washington DC, Boston, New York, Atlanta, Houston, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

  • France-Visas will provide you with additional information on how to make your appointment, and what items you will need to bring to your appointment. Here is a list of some items needed for your application.
  • A service fee of approximately $33 will be charged and will be payable online when making an appointment with the visa application center.
  • All visas issued by France are biometric visas – your photo and fingerprints will be taken at your appointment.
  • Your appointment will take approximately 20 minutes at the visa center.
  • Pay the €99 visa fee at your appointment

SAI will mail you the following original documents to be included with your visa application:

  • Official Acceptance Letter in French
  • SAI Enrollment Letter
  • Proof of Health Insurance Letter

Before going to your appointment, make a copy of your completed application materials for your personal records. When you receive your passport back in the mail with your visa, scan the visa page and submit it to your Admissions Counselor.

About SAI

SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.