How To Apply For a French Student Visa As An American

by | Feb 11, 2022 | France | 1 comment

You have decided to go to France, but during a global pandemic, it’s difficult to keep up with all the changing rules and regulations on travel. I know these anxieties because I have been there myself. During my process of applying for the visa, I was constantly having to keep up with the most up-to-date information. I have put together this guide to help you make applying for a student visa easier.

1. Check The France Visa Website

With the pandemic restrictions, France is currently not allowing anyone to enter the country without a visa, this website makes it (relatively) easy to start the visa application process. Create an account there and fill out the profile. Note, though, you cannot start the student visa application process until you have registered through Campus France.

2. Choose Your Study Program

Campus France is mandatory for all students applying to a long-stay study program. Once you define which type of student you are going to be, you must register for your classes and receive a certificate and an official letter from the school. It must include a stamp and an official signature from an administrator and the exact dates of your program. Once you have created your account on Campus France, you will need to upload all of your documents to be reviewed on their platform. You will need:

  • a copy of your passport with at least two full pages back to pack,
  • an acceptance letter from the institution,
  • a headshot (50kb max),
  • a resume, diploma and/or transcripts, and
  • a statement of motivation.

Then you will also have to pay the $205 fee. Without paying the fee, you cannot apply for a visa through the French government website. It usually takes them two to three weeks to review your Campus France application, so keep this in mind for planning. To read more about the process, click here.

Student Visa Types by Erin Colton
Student Visa Types by Erin Colton


3. Apply for the Visa

Now, with your EEF Application # (USXX-XXXXX) on hand, you will continue your visa application on the French website. You will need to keep a copy of your confirmation e-mail and the Etudes en France Electronic Acceptance letter to complete your student visa application.

A PDF document will be generated for you to continue your visa application. It is important to note that you will be asked to upload a copy of your documents as well as provide originals. Depending on what your housing situation is, you will need a copy of the original documents to be sent from France.

4. Make an Appointment

A Waiting Game by Erin Colton
A Waiting Game by Erin Colton

VFS Global is currently the only external agency responsible for management French visa appointments and application submissions from across the United States.

There are nine locations around the country, and you must make an appointment at the closest location to your region to submit your documents.

It is important to note that you can only reschedule your appointment ONE time, so make sure that you have all of your documents that you will need to present at your appointment.

To read more about the process, click here.

5. Be Patient

Once you have submitted all of your documents at the VFS Global application center, your documents will be sent to the French Consulate in Washington D.C. for processing. Currently, visa processing times are around 3-4 weeks in total.

Still feeling unsure about the process? It’s a lot, we know! It can feel overwhelming, but we are here to support you. Reach out to our TCI Alliance team with your questions and we are happy to guide you personally through the process. What’s stopping you? 

by: Erin Colton-Enberg