Applying for a visa

The Admission team is on hand to help you with administrative formalities, including obtaining your student visa.

Who requires a visa?

All students coming to France must be able to provide proof of identity.
An ID card is acceptable. However, if you have a passport, we strongly advise you to bring it with you.

  • Students from the European Union*
    If you are from one of the 28 member states, you do not need a visa. This is also true for students from the European Economic Area (EEA) countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

    *The 28 member states of the European Union:
    Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.

  • Students from outside the European Economic Area 
    If you are from outside the European Economic Area and planning to study in France for longer than 3 months, you will need to apply for a Long-stay Student Visa. This visa allows you to enter and reside in France for the duration of your studies.

    Please note: ​​​​
    • a tourist visa will not cover a long period of studies
    • students who require a study visa will need to validate this visa within 30 days of their arrival in France. Once they have validated their visa, it will automatically be considered as a residency permit. Students must apply for their visa at the French Embassy or Consulate in their country of residence.

IMPORTANT: Students who do not have an EU nationality but are a resident of an EU country (with a residency permit from one of the EU member states) and are coming to Excelia for more than 3 months, still need to apply for a study visa for France by contacting the French Consulate or Embassy in the country where they are living.

Some 67 countries use the Etudes en France procedure for students looking to apply for higher education in France.
Please note that if you are coming to Excelia as part of a reciprocal agreement as an exchange student and/or on a double qualification, when you are logged on to the Etudes en France portal, you need to fill in your visa application form by clicking on ‘I have been accepted (exchange/double qualification)’ at the top of the page, and then select ‘exchange student/double qualification’.

To apply for a student visa, you will need to contact the closest French Embassy or Consulate to your home country.

For 51 countries, the CEF (Centre des études en France - Centre for studies in France) procedure allows students to apply for their Long-stay Student Visa online and to track the progress of their electronic application. For other countries, you will need to contact Excelia directly.

List of the countries affected by the "Etudes en France" procedure


More information about the Visas

Long-stay Student Visa


A "tourist" visa will not be enough to cover a long period of studies. Students requiring a long-stay student visa will also need a residency permit within 3 months of arriving in France. This residency permit is completely separate to the student visa.

Contact the International Admissions team to find out more about the long-stay visa that acts as a residency permit*

* known as "visa de long séjour valant titre de séjour" (VLS-TS)

Residency permit


When you apply for a visa to come to France, you will have to fill out a document that will be used for declaring your residency upon your arrival. After your visa is granted in your home country, the French Embassy or Consulate will stamp your paperwork and send it back to you (along with your passport). Although you do not need this document to enter France, after your arrival it must be sent to the OFII (Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration - French Office of Immigration and Integration), along with supporting paperwork. We advise you to send your paperwork by recorded delivery (recommandé avec avis de réception). By sending it to the OFII, you are declaring your presence in France, and they will then invite you for an appointment (a medical examination and/or welcome visit).

At this appointment, you will have to pay a processing fee tax for the first issuing of a residency permit, in order to receive a registration stamp in your passport. The amount of this tax varies according to the different types of visa. Currently, for students, the tax is €60. This amount has to be paid in excise stamps. Paper stamps can be purchased at a tobacconist’s (bureau de tabac) or at the tax office (Service des Impôts des Entreprises or Service des Impôts des Particuliers). However you can also buy ‘virtual’ stamps online on the OFII official website (if you choose to do this, we recommended you keep a record of the transaction reference).

Please note: In addition to the above tax, a €19 stamp duty (for your residency permit) will be added to the OFII tax.

Contact the International Office