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Applying for a residence permit as a foreign student for the first time

You wish to carry out your studies abroad. So you have applied for and obtained your visa for France from your country of origin, have an enrollment in higher education and boarded a plane to begin your new life. Know that the journey does not end once you have left Roissy airport, and for good reason: your visa is only valid for a few months to a year. What to do when it expires? We explain to you.

Why apply for a student residence permit?

If you followed a classic route, it is likely that you arrived in France with long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (VLS-TS) wearing the mention “student”. The latter is issued in the country of origin by the French consular authorities. He is valid from 4 months to 1 year and allows its holder to pursue higher education in the territory. When this visa expires, you must it is imperative to make a first application for a residence permit student so that you can continue your studies without being bothered. The residence permit that you obtain at the end of this application allows you not only to go to school, but also to work “on a sideline” basis to meet your needs (within the limit of 964 hours per year), to claim social support and of benefit from health insurance. Consider getting closer to the prefecture to carry out your procedures at least 2 months before the expiry of your visa to avoid ending up illegally and having to pay a late fee.

THE orientation fair not to be missed

Are you a foreign student and would you like to come and study in France? For more information and to discover the training courses, go to the Studyrama virtual fair for studies in France. Four centers have been set up to provide you with better information and guidance: Art-Mode-Luxury / Engineering schools / Management Grandes Ecoles / Tourism – Hospitality and Catering
A unique opportunity to discover the establishments and their courses, but also to exchange directly with the educational managers and students to ask them all your questions!

How to make the first application for a student residence permit?

The first application for a student residence permit is generally made when you have already been in France for a year. Visit the site Digital administration for foreigners in France (ANEF) Where directly to the prefecture of your place of residence if it still provides a permanence, in order to submit your file. A list of documents is requested to each student:


- Passport in process of validation

- Birth certificate

- Proof of address (electricity bill, telephone bill, rent receipt, accommodation certificate, etc.)

- Registration or pre-registration in a higher education institution

- Proof of resources of at least €615/month (bank statement, sworn statement, payslip, etc.)

- Social security certificate

- Current transcript and attendance certificate

- Etc.
Know that any incomplete file will be refused. Your request is processed by the administration within a average time of one month. Once it is validated, you will receive an SMS inviting you to collect your residence permit at the prefecture. This last one is valid for one year and is renewable. You will also have to pay a tax on the residence permit of €50 and a tax stamp of €25.

How to obtain a multi-year student residence permit?

When your VLS-TS or your first residence permit expires, you can claim a multi-annual card. For this, it suffices to have resided regularly in France for one year. The multi-year card, if issued to you, covers the entire duration of your course. This means that if you have passed your first year with your visa, for example, the prefecture can issue you a student residence permit valid for two years to allow you to complete your license. Ditto if you present a registration in Master and so on. If you are enrolled in initial training in a school that offers a followed course, the residence permit will cover all the years of your training. That avoids the hassle of having to renew your papers every year. To get it, just submit your file exactly as for a first application and to wait for a response from the prefecture within the following month.

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