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France visa information

This article will guide you step-by-step, shedding light on everything you need to know about obtaining a visa for France.

Updated 14th August 2023
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Many nationalities do not need a visa to participate in or attend the French language experience courses offered on the Wiseward site; some nationalities do need a visa.

Please remember that visa rules and regulations constantly change. It is your sole responsibility to ensure that you have the right travel documents, including a visa, for your intended course. The FAQs listed below aim to give you guidance on whether you need a visa for France and if you do what type of visa you will need.

  • If you are an EU national you do not need a visa to study within the EU.
  • Non-EU nationals must have a visa and the following link will help you with the information that you need.
I have booked a French language experience programme on the Wiseward website? Do I need a visa?

You almost certainly do not need a study visa. Depending on your nationality you may need a visitor visa.

Do I need a visa to study in France?

If you are not a national of a European Economic Area country (European Union country and Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) or of Switzerland, and depending on your nationality, you must obtain a student visa to study in France even if your stay is less than 3 months.

How long does it take to get study visa for France?

Visa applications are generally processed within 15 days. This period can be extended up to 45 days in particular cases if the examination of the application justifies it.

Do I need a separate visa to enter the Schengen area?

All foreign nationals require a visa to enter the Schengen area unless exempt. This exemption depends on:

  • The nationality of the applicant;
  • The type of passport;
  • Whether the traveller has a residence permit or a long-stay visa valid in France or a State that applies to the Schengen Accords;
  • The duration of stay;
  • The part of the French Republic the traveller plans to visit (France's European or non-European territories).
In which countries is my Schengen visa valid?
  • Unless stated differently on the visa stamp, short-stay visas are valid for all the 26 States in the Schengen area i.e. the following countries (in alphabetical order): Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, and Switzerland.
  • There are no border controls between Schengen countries except in special circumstances.

Important: the United Kingdom and Ireland are not part of the Schengen scheme.

"Schengen" visas do not allow entry to France's non-European territories as they are not part of the Schengen area.

Similarly, visas for France's non-European territories do not allow entry to the Schengen area.

I want to visit France and already have a valid short-stay Schengen visa issued by another Schengen State. Do I need a new visa?

A Schengen visa (issued by a Schengen State embassy or consulate) is valid for all 26 States in the Schengen area Unless indicated otherwise on the visa stamp. If your visa is still valid, you do not need to apply for another visa to visit France. However, you must be able to provide supporting documentation as to the purpose of your stay and your means of subsistence upon your arrival in France.

How much does a visa cost for studying in France?

A short-stay student visa costs 50 Euros.

I have a question that is not listed here.

If you have a question that you have been unable to find an answer to on the Wiseward site you can find additional information about visas on the excellent French government website, which is a great one-stop shop for the most up-to-date visa information.

  • Visa Information is correct at the time of publishing. Visa rules and regulations constantly change. It is your sole responsibility to ensure that you have the right visa for your intended course. The information provided herein by Wiseward aims to help you in making an informed choice.
  • It is extremely important that you apply for the correct visa before you leave home. Different countries have different rules and the purpose of this page is to give you some assistance and guidance.
  • Remember that it is your responsibility to ensure that you have all the correct paperwork. If you are unsure or need further help or advice please contact us and one of our helpful counsellors will be happy to assist.
  • Regardless of which country you are going to be studying in, different visa rules apply depending on your age, nationality and the length of stay you plan to be in the country.