Student visa

Table of contents

Do I need a visa to study in France?

If you are a national of one of the European Economic Area countries, you do not need a visa to study or do an internship in France.

If you are a non-European student and don’t know whether you need a visa or not to study in France, you can go on the official website for visas in France and use the Visa Wizard to check if you need one to study in France.

What type of visa should I apply for?

If you are a non-European student and wish to come and study in France at ITECH for more than 3 months, you must request a student long stay visa.

Long term visa used as residence permit (VLS-TS)

The student VLS-TS allows you to stay in France for a year and travel freely in the Schengen Area. You still need to have it approved online once you get in France (within 3 months of arrival). With this type of visa, you can extend your stay on the territory, you can benefit from housing financial assistance, you are entitled to work 964 hours per year and to use the VISALE.

For further information, click here.

Temporary long term visa (VLS-T)

The VLS-T allows you to stay in France for a year and travel freely in the Schengen Area. It does not require to be validated upon arrival. Hence, you will not have to pay any additional fees once you arrive in France. However, it cannot be renewed and does not grant the student the same rights as the VLS-TS (housing financial assistance, work).

For further information, click here.

Schengen short-term visa

This type of visa is for those who plan to stay less than 90 days in the Schengen area. If you require a visa to enter the French territory and are interested in taking language classes or any other shor-term training such as our Summer School, this may be the visa you should apply for.

This visa cannot be renewed. This visa cannot be changed into a student visa, unless the student goes back to his/her country.

For further information, click here.

The  “student-in-competition” short-stay visa

This visa is delivered to non-European students that are taking exams or passing an admission interview in an institute of higher education. If the student is accepted, he/she can apply for a 1-year residence permit, without going back to his/her country.

This permit is renewable at the Prefecture (administrative center).

For further information, click here.

When can I start the process?

The visa application can be made at the earliest 3 months before your planned date of departure (long-stay visas) and 6 months before departure (short-stay visas) and no later than 15 days before the departure date.

Of course, before applying for a visa, you must first apply to enroll in an education institution in France through Études en France if you are applying from a country outside of France.

How to validate my VLS-TS visa?

Upon arrival, you will have to validate your visa (within 3 months of arrival). Nowadays, the process is completely online. You can do so on Étrangers en France by clicking on Je valide mon VLS-TS (Validate your VLS-TS long stay visa).

A question about your mobility project?

If you are planning to go abroad (internship, academic exchange or gap year) or if you are an international student wishing to come to study at ITECH Lyon, do not hesitate to contact the International Relations Office.