Administrative procedure

E.U. students

No formalities are required on arrival.

Non E.U. students

You must arrive in France with a “Long Term visa for studies”.
It is a visa for 3 months and you will be required to apply for a “Carte de Séjour” (Resident card) within 2 months.

Obtaining a student visa

In some 20 countries, the procedures for requesting and issuing student visas are now electronic. In the countries where these electronic procedures exist, alternative methods of obtaining a student visa are no longer available.

All students who plan to study in France for more than 6 months and who are not citizens of one of the 30 member countries of the European Economic Area, or of Andorra, Monaco, Switzerland, San Marino or the Vatican, must obtain a long-term visa marked étudiant. Students residing in the following countries can only obtain student visas through an online procedure :

Algeria :

Benin :

Brazil :

Cameroon :

Canada :

China :

Colombia :

CongoBrazzaville :

Korea :

United States :

Gabon :

Guinea :

India :

Lebanon :

Madagascar :

Mali :

Mauritius :

Morocco :

Mexico :

Russia :

Senegal :

Syria :

Taiwan :

Tunisia :

Turkey :

Vietnam :

3 key points to bear in mind

1. A tourist visa cannot be converted into a student visa in France or in any other country of the European Union.

2. If you plan to attend 2 programs in succession (such as program In French as a foreign language followed by an academic program), obtain admission to both programs before applying for your visa so that your visa will be valid for your entire period of study. French visas cannot be extended in France.

3. International students (other than European Union nationals) residing in France for more than 3 months must obtain a "student" residence permit – Carte de Séjour - (which is distinct from a visa), within 2 months from their arrival in France.

Visa renewal

Student visas are automatically renewed regardless of the student’s nationality, providing that he or she can produce the documentation required to justify continuation of study.

Managing your money

Major credit cards (such as Visa and MasterCard) are accepted by most merchants for payments in excess of 15 Euros. Automated teller machines (cash machines) are readily available in cities.
The French make extensive use of cheques. But cheques drawn on foreign banks are rarely accepted by French merchants.

The Euro is now the sole currency used for cash transactions in France.

International students may open non-resident bank accounts in Euros or another currency if they have been in France for less than 2 years.
They may open a resident account if their stay is longer.

To open a bank account you will need:

  • Valid ID Card or passport
  • CPE Lyon student card or Registration Certificate
  • Proof of residence in your name – this will be provided by
  • your residence, your host family or your landlord.