Complete guide to education loans available for Indian students pursuing higher studies abroad. Read on to go over the available options & general requirements.
France is looking to double the current number of Indian students in the country by attracting over 20,000 Indian students by 2025.¹
If you are an Indian student interested in studying in France, read on to learn more about what it takes to get a French study visa.
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Every immigration journey is different so it is best to consult an immigration professional when you are looking to change countries. This article can help highlight parts of the visa process, but is not a substitute for professional advice. It is also recommended to stay updated on changes to policies on the Embassy of France website.
France is a popular destination for international students, particularly from India. If you are interested in studying in France, there are 2 main types of visa you can apply for:
|Time in France||Purpose||How to apply||Register in France?|
|Short Stay||Less than 90 days||Short courses, attending an interview or entrance exam||France Visas||No|
|Temporary Long Stay||3-6 months||Training or short course||Campus France||No|
|Long Stay||More than 90 days||Full time student programs||Campus France||Yes|
Most full time student degree programs, as well as study abroad programs, in France will require a long stay visa. For both cases, you will need to go through the steps to apply online with a visa application, and then follow up with an in-person interview.
After the in-person interview, you will also be required to submit your documents and biometric information at a VFS Global centre in India.
Finally, you will need to register and validate your long term visa within the first 3 months of arriving in France.²
But before you start on an application for a student visa, you are required to have already gained acceptance into a higher education institution in France.
If you are at the start of your journey to possibly study in France, Institut Francais and Campus France have put together a usefulguide to help choose a program in France.
While most of the application process can be completed online, key parts of the process will need to be completed in person. You can find the full list of VFS Global centres that can process French study visas to identify the one nearest to you.
It is however the visa section of the Embassy of France in Delhi or the French consulates in Mumbai, Chennai/Pondicherry, Kolkata and Bengaluru who are solely responsible for approval or rejection of visa applications. ³
What can you do and not do with a French study visa application? Let’s find out:
|Do’s ✅||Don’ts ❌|
|Enroll in a French higher education school or university before starting your visa||Forget to submit your form and all supporting documents online|
|Give yourself ample time for submitting an application in popular months from April to July||Apply for a student visa if you are looking for full time employment in France|
|Register your visa once you are in France if you have a long term visa||Apply for a short term visa if you intend to stay longer than 6 months|
|Request an extension of your long stay visa if you want to extend your time in France after your program||Overstay in France beyond your visa expiration date on your student visa|
Ready to get started in the French student visa process? Here is a typical process for an application:
- Enroll in a French higher education institution and collect proof of admittance
- Ensure validity of your passport and gather all your documents
- When ready, open an account on Campus France
- Submit your application and upload all documents as necessary
- Pay the Campus France fee
- Await Campus France to provide you an appointment date and time
- Appear for your Academic Interview with all originals and one set of photocopies of your documents with a Campus France advisor
- After your interview, create a France-Visas account
- Complete the application on the France Visas website
- Await the date and time for VFS Global France in India appointment
- Attend your appointment and submit your documents and passport, and complete the biometric registration
- Track your application and check for additional documents needed
- Await the decision on your visa application
The last step of the process is to register and validate your visa in France within 3 months of your arrival in the country. You can do so by registering your Long Stay Visa online once you arrive.
➡️ If you do want to extend your stay in France beyond the date of your Long Stay visa, you must apply for a residence permit 2 months before your visa expires. ⁴
To submit a complete visa application, you will need to ensure you meet the requirements as laid out by the French authorities. Here are certain parts to expect, but remember that they can ask for additional information and supporting documents.
🛂 A valid passport is going to be a key requirement for an application. Your Indian passport must:
- Be less than 10 years old
- Have at least 2 blank pages
- Be valid for at least 3 months beyond your desired visa end date
Additionally, you will need to provide a scan of all pages of your passport that contains existing visas and entry & exit stamps from travel outside India.⁵
The French embassy or consulate will want to see that you are able to support yourself in France as well as pay for tuition.
If you are an undergraduate or graduate student, you are required to show payment of one full year of tuition fees. In addition, you will need to show evidence of enough financial support of a minimum monthly income of €615/ ₹54,774 for one full academic year.⁶
|Expected amount for a 10 month Academic year||€6,150||₹5,47,740|
*All INR prices shown are converted at the mid-market exchange rate of EUR €1 = ₹89.06 as of June 2, 2021
The proof of meeting the financial requirements can be⁷:
- A bank statement from a French bank account showing the required amount deposit
- A scholarship certificate covering both amounts
- A bank statement showing a permanent and irrevocable transfer into a blocked account
If you have a family member or guarantor providing your tuition and living expenses, they will have to provide:
- Proof of regular and reliable income that is adequate for the required amount
- A copy of an ID document
Let’s take a look at the additional documents you will need to provide.
On top of completing the application online, you will need to give supporting documents verifying your acceptance into a French educational program, ability to support yourself abroad, and your past academic history in India. The documents required alongside your application are⁸:
- Your valid passport
- Recent ID pictures
- A CV
- A cover letter highlighting details of your educational program and your genuine interest to study in France
- Proof of accommodation for at least the first 3 months in France (this can be a hotel reservation, a statement from your host or a letter from you as the applicant)
- Proof of meeting the financial requirements
- Evidence of completed all degrees in India
- Acceptance into the French degree or program
- Travel reservation to go to France
- Travel medical insurance of up to €30,000
You may be asked for additional documents, including evidence of tuition payment from your French institution.
Throughout your application, the French authorities do want to see a genuine interest and authentic reason to be studying in France, particularly for the institution you are accepted into.
Processing times for a French student visa can vary, but it is advised to submit your documents at least 3 months ahead of your intended start date in France. The peak months for visa applications are from April to July, so it is recommended to give ample time in case there are any issues or more documents are required.⁹
Feel free to contact your relevant French embassy or consulate to ask about processing times.
Let’s make sure you have everything you need for your French student visa application. Remember it is a few step process, which includes online and offline components, so be sure you are staying on top of your submissions. In addition, keep an eye on your application through the web portals to ensure you are not missing any documents or messages.
- A valid passport
- Acceptance into a French higher education institution
- Payment of tuition fees
- Documents showing your Indian educational qualifications
- Evidence of meeting the financial requirements
- A cover letter/statement of purpose
- A completed Campus France application
- Payment of the Campus France fee
- Completed Academic interview
- Register on France-Visas
- Submit your application on France-Visas
- Receive an appointment time for VFS Global in India
- Attend your appointment and submit your documents and passport
- Track your application for any additional information required
There are 2 different fees to pay for a France student visa application They are¹⁰:
|Fee||Amount||How to pay|
|Visa application fee||€99||Debit or credit card, or cash.|
|VFS Global service fee||€32.20||Online|
The total cost is approximately: €131.20/ ₹11,684
Depending on specifics of your application, your visa application fee may differ.
The visa and service fees are non-refundable, no matter the outcome of your application. The Embassy of France is also not responsible for the costs of your air travel in the case your application is refused.
How much can you expect a French student visa application to set you back in Indian Rupees? Let’s take a look at how much VFS Global as said to expect for the costs¹¹:
|Fee||Amount in INR per VFS Global|
|Visa application fee||₹8,723|
|VFS Global service fee||₹2,778|
VFS Global sets their own exchange rate and gives applicants the fees as per their own Euro/Indian Rupee exchange rate. You can find more information on their updated exchange rate on the Fee page for VFS Global France in India
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- Indian students in France
- Study visa application
- Visa approvals
- Student visa process
- Valid passport
- Financial requirements
- Documents for financial requirements
- Documents required for an application
- Processing time
- Visa service fees | Visa application fee
- INR Visa service fees | INR Visa application fee
All sources checked as of 1 June, 2021
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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