Foreign students holding a foreign school-finishing diploma who wish to enrol in a first-cycle university programme in France must fill out a pre-admission request (demande d’admission préalable, DAP).
request can be submitted to the cooperation and cultural action services within French embassies abroad or, in certain countries, to Campus France Espace offices with a “Centre pour les Etudes en France” (CEF). This formality is only for students who wish to enrol in the first or second year of university.
Students wishing to enrol in a higher cycle must contact the university concerned directly, or, follow the CEF procedure in countries where it exists.
Temporary Residence Permit (APS)
The APS allows you to stay in France under certain conditions after the end of your studies and to seek a first job.
The Temporary Residence Permit (APS) Master is intended for foreign students wishing to stay in France after their studies in order to look for a job to gain professional experience.
This permit can last up to 1 year and allows you to work up to 964 hours per year (60% of the statutory annual working time).
If, during this period, the students find a full-time job related to their degree with a wage at least equal to 1.5 times the amount of the minimum wage (SMIC), they may apply for a change of status to obtain a residence permit for a salaried or temporary worker.
The APS Master is reserved for foreign nationals with student status and having a Professional Bachelor or Master degree registered in the National Register of Professional certifications.
• The residence permit bearing the student name must be valid at the time of making an appointment.
• Algerian nationals cannot benefit from APS Master.
The multi-year residence permit
The multi-year residence permit (CSP) has been in force since 1 November 2016.
It is issued automatically after one year of presence in France under a VLS-TS or a student residence permit. Its duration is equal to the number of years remaining in the study cycle, ranging from 2 to 4 years.
• As Algerian students are governed by the Franco-Algerian bilateral agreements, and not by CESEDA, they cannot be granted a CSP.
• Students will no longer have to present a medical certificate when renewing their residence permit.
Extending your residence permit
How can you extend your residence permit? Extension is obtaining a receipt that allows you to stay a few weeks to a maximum of 4 additional months in France.
Students with an internship agreement in France or abroad that ends after the expiry of their residence permit and have not been able to obtain a renewal appointment before the expiry of their residence permit, may request a renewal receipt for the end of studies to complete their internship.
This receipt does not exempt them from making an appointment for the renewal of their residence permit.
For defending your thesis or dissertation, the procedure is the same, only the documents to be provided will change.
Renewing your residence permit
Renewal is obtaining a new residence permit from France.
The first applications for a residence permit concern exclusively “school-going minor” visa holders and Algerian students holding a student visa.
This approach is intended for those who wish to stay at least one more year in France and who satisfy the conditions required by the Prefecture of their place of residence.
The renewal of the residence permit must be requested 2 months before the expiry of the residence permit (or of the OFII sticker – visa expiry date).
Holders of an OFII sticker expiring no later than 31 August of the current year must inquire about the renewal of the residence permit from April.
Generally, you can make an appointment with the Prefecture online on its website.
On the appointment day, holders of a “student” residence permit must bring the student residence permit application form completed and signed along with all the supporting documents requested (copies and originals).
Here's how to proceed
Whether you are studying in Europe or outside the EU, you must be covered by health insurance during your stay in France.
Depending on your nationality and your situation, you can be covered by the insurance of your country of origin or by the French health insurance (called Social Security).
Validating your visa as soon as you arrive in France
As soon as you arrive in France, you must contact the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII) to obtain the sticker.
You have several ways to do this:
- The international relations or student affairs department of some higher education institutions may help to carry out the OFII formalities. •
- The student or researcher can send the validation request to the OFII to obtain the OFII sticker. For this, follow the instructions of the OFII notice (notice delivered at the same time as the VLS-TS at the French consulate):
- Ofii form filled in: Pay special attention to the postal address to which the summons will be sent.
- Copy of the visa
- Copy of passport identity page
- Copy of the entry stamp signifying your arrival in the Schengen area
For the Academy of Toulouse, these documents must be sent by post or in person to: Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration (OFII) - 7, rue Arthur Rimbaud - 31 200 Toulouse.
• On receipt of these documents, the OFII registers your file and sends you an attestation of receipt by regular post to the address stated on the form.
• A few weeks later, you will receive, by post, a summons to the OFII department in order to validate your long-stay visa.
This sticker certifies that your long-stay visa has been validated. It is valid for as long as the visa and is your first residence permit on French territory.