Administrative formalities

In this section, you will find out all you need to know about administrative formalities, your rights and the practical information necessary to ensure that your stay in France runs smoothly.

Formalities before you arrive: the visa

A student visa is indispensable for non-European students coming to study in France. It gives you authorisation to enter the French territory.
If you would like to study in France for more than three months, you will need to request a long-stay study visa before your departure from French consular services. We recommend that you sign up for our classes in advance, at least 6 weeks before your arrival in France. Once we have received your preliminary registration form we will send you a preliminary registration certificate which you will need for your visa application.
Note: a tourist visa is only valid for 3 months and you will be obliged to leave France upon its expiry date. This visa does not allow you to obtain a “student” residence permit.

 or consult


NB : you can also contact the French Ambassy in your native contry.

Café de l'Alliance
Working in France

You may have planned to work in France during your stay to fund your studies. The employment regulations for foreign students in France vary according to situation.For more information, download our pdf file.

administrative formalities
Social security affiliation

The French health system comprises basic health insurance (Social Security), which is compulsory and additional health insurance, which is optional.
At the time of your administrative registration with a higher education establishment, affiliation to student Social Security is compulsory. This must be paid for, except in the case of European students and students with French government scholarships.
This gives you the right to reimbursement of medical costs for the full duration of your study visit.

Download the pdf file

Article modified on 20 / 05 / 2015
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