If you want to get out of your country’s boundaries or enter another country, most probably a visa will be required. A visa can be taken as a permit or certification to enter certain country or countries. Some countries that have good relation with other nations don’t really need a visa. For example, all countries in European Union can visit each other visa-free.
However, it is not the case if Pakistani or Indian citizens want to enter France. If you want to study in France a visa of student category will be required. This article will guide you how to get student visa for France with complete details including all student visa categories, required documents and visa application process. Just follow this guide step by step and you will have no issue.
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1 - Get an Acceptance Letter
Acceptance letter is a proof by university that they have enrolled you as their student. Of course, for that you will first have to apply for admission in a French university. After completing admission application process, they will send you acceptance letter. It is based on this letter that you get a student visa.
The acceptance letter will be submitted, along with all other documents discussed below, to French embassy in home country. Make sure that you select a good university for admission and know complete application procedure to study in France.
2 - Decide a Student Visa Category
There are numerous visa categories to enter France like student visa, tourist visa etc. Among these categories, student visa is further divided into 3 more categories. All these sub-categories are divided according to duration of your stay in France for studies. Each of these visas has their own purpose and time limits. These France student visas are known as:
1. Visa de court séjour pour etudes
2. Visa de long séjour temporaire pour etudes
3. Visa de long séjour etudes
Visa de court séjour pour etudes:
We will call this visa short stay student visa as French names are hard to understand and memorize. This visa is for those students who are going to France to attend some short course and they will stay only up to 3 months in France for that. No residence permit is required for these visa holder as they will be back within 3 months.
Visa de long séjour temporaire pour etudes:
This visa is also temporary long-stay visa. This visa allows students to stay up to 6 months in France. This visa is for those students who either have short course of more than 3 months and less than or equal to 6 months or an exchange semester in a French university. When you apply for this visa, you will also have to apply for a residence permit to live in France.
Visa de long séjour etudes:
This is the long stay visa for those who wish to study in France. This visa allows students to stay in France until the completion of their course. Bachelor's course in France takes about 3 years, Master’s 2 years and PhD 4 years. This visa is valid for all these programs. This is why you will need to submit acceptance letter from the university with complete details of your study program. Another good thing about this visa is that you won’t need any residence permit.
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3 - Gather Required Document for France Student Visa
Once you have received the acceptance letter and decided your visa category, you will need to start gathering documents that are required by the embassy before issuing you a student visa.
1. Filled and signed visa application form. Here you can download the Application Form for Long-Stay French Visa
2. Original Passport with at least two blank visa pages. Must be valid for at least three more months from the planned date of departure.
3. All previous passports whether used for travel or not. For lost or stolen passports, a police report with English translation.
4. Two passport size photos
5. Acceptance Letter from the university
6. Photocopies of academic documents
7. Bank Statement as proof that you can cover your expenses during stay in France (around 615 EUR per month)
8. Airline ticket or its reservation showing date of departure
9. Medical insurance with a minimum cover of EUR 30,000.
10. Proof of arranges accommodation in France
11. Language Proficiency certificate (English/ French)
12. Proof of payment of the visa fee
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When to Apply?
It is recommended to schedule an appointment as soon as you get your acceptance letter from the university. Earlier you apply, easier it is for you particularly in case of a mistake or problem. However, your visa appointment shouldn’t be before 90 days of your departure date to France. Universities in France open admission twice a year. In case you don’t know when to apply for admission in university, make sure you read How to Apply for Study in France.
Where and How to Apply?
Students will have to submit their visa applications directly at the French Consulate in your country. Now that you know when to apply for visa, prepare all above mentioned documents along with your complete filled application. Make sure that there is no mistake or anything left in your application.
Contact French Consulate in Pakistan:
Diplomatic Enclave – G5 – GPO Box 1068 – Islamabad.
(+92) 51 201 14 14 / (+92) 51 201 14 00
HERE SEE: Complete Guide to Study in France