In mid-June, as every year, most international students heading for an experience in France are in the process – or about to – of applying for their visa. Like any critical step, this one is often the source of stress and, necessarily, of many questions.
Below, we address 5 of the most common questions you may have about the student visa.
1. Can I buy my plane ticket before I get my visa?
This is a legitimate concern! The closer you get to your departure date, the higher the price and there is no question of arriving late for your trip…
Even if the visa issuing services will do their utmost to provide you with an answer as soon as possible, it is impossible to foresee in advance the date on which you will obtain the “precious sesame” or even to prejudge its delivery.
The best thing to do is to choose a ticket that can be modified, which will allow you to anticipate the purchase, while maintaining the necessary flexibility. If you have to request a change of date, make sure you respect the conditions described on your ticket.
2. Can I wait to apply for my visa?
Whatever your activities this summer, applying for a student visa should be your priority. As soon as you have gathered all the required documents (including the diploma of access to the chosen studies), do not wait a second to submit your application. There is no predictable timeframe for the visa to be issued, so keep in mind that the sooner the better.
3. Can I avoid a refusal under ground 2 “demonstrating sufficient resources”?
In terms of resources for studying abroad, the first item of expenditure is often housing, which in large French cities can represent a major part of the monthly budget. Proving that you have sufficient resources to study in France is therefore largely a matter of proving your ability to pay rent.
Even if this is not easy from a distance and although there are other ways of doing this, the best proof is undoubtedly the signature of a “lease” or contract beforehand. This way, not only do you have the peace of mind of arriving with a place to live, but you can also obtain an official attestation from a French landlord. This can be an important asset in your visa application.
Note that whatever option you choose, the accommodation must be within a “reasonable” distance of your study campus.
4. Once my visa has been granted, do I still have to do anything upon arrival in France?
Yes, there is still a validation stage on arrival but rest assured, nothing complicated.
After obtaining a long-stay visa validating a residence permit (VLS-TS), the student must simply “validate” it by logging on to the Ministry of the Interior platform (https://administration-etrangers-en-france.interieur.gouv.fr/).
I promise, it is both simple and quick. This must be done within 3 months of your arrival in France.
5. Can I challenge a visa refusal?
The French consular authorities must give reasons for refusing a student visa. You can lodge an appeal, which means that you can ask the French consulate to explain the reasons for the refusal and to review its decision.
Dear students and future students, take heart! It’s the last straight line before a deserved summer break. Put all the chances on your side by starting the administrative procedures as soon as possible and with all the necessary rigour. FIGS Education is at your side for any questions or needs you may have. Do not hesitate to contact us and follow us on our social networks, a permanent source of good tips and testimonials.