Visa Requirements for Non-European Students

Students from non-European countries will need a visa in order to enter Europe and start their first year of study. Despite the Schengen zone and general harmonisation of regulations regarding movement within the European Union, it is important to understand that most visa issues are under competence of national states and therefore there are no single regulations and requirements for all European countries. Please consult the European Union Immigration Portal to clarify whether you need a visa.

Once you are admitted to the MIR programme, you should start the procedures to obtain the necessary visa in your home country in the French embassy/consulate. You will receive the required admission letters from the central MIR coordination office:

  • Official admission letter signed by the coordinator stating in which university you will start
  • A copy of your insurance contract
  • In case additional documents are needed they can be provided by the MIR coordination office

Once in Europe you will need a residence permit or temporary residence permit (long-stay visa). You have to apply separately for a residence permit in every country of your study unless your nationality exempts you from doing so. A residence permit can be a plastic card, a paper document, or a sticker in your passport.

You will also need a second visa when you move to the second host country in Europe (Spain, Portugal or Norway). Again you will receive the required documents to obtain this visa and facilitate the procedure when requested. Please note that before you can apply for a visa (whether for your next study destination or for vacation) for the second country, you must have the residence permit or long-stay visa of the first country.

Non-European nationals who are holders of a residence permit and/or long stay visa of a Schengen area country can travel to another Schengen area country for three months per six-month period. However, you must be able to:

  • justify the purpose of your stay;
  • have sufficient financial resources for your stay and return;
  • not be considered a threat to public policy, public security or public health.

Note that to move from one Schengen area country to another for more than three months, you will require a residence permit and/or long term visa for that country (keep this in mind when you look for an internship and agree on its duration).

Required Funds for Non-European Students

In Europe, a student must have sufficient means of subsistence to cover their living costs, healthcare, study and repatriation costs. The minimum amount which a student must have to cover their costs is fixed and indexed each year. Non-European students will usually need to prove that they have the minimum amount of funds required to cover their costs in order to obtain a long-term visa or residence permit. Note that for students receiving an Erasmus Mundus scholarship, the scholarship covers these minimum funds. The required minimum amount per month for each MIR host country is listed below:

Please note that these requirements may have been changed or recently updated, also can vary depending on the country’s embassy. We therefore, strongly recommend that you contact the relevant country’s embassy for further details.    

How to apply for a French VISA

All MIR Students spend their first year in France and are registered for the length of their studies at the university of Toulon. This means yuo will have to apply for a French visa. Below you will find some helpful information.

If you are not anEU/EEA or Switzerland citizen you need to obtain a visa for studying in France.  There are different types of student visas in France:

  • Visa de court séjour pour etudes (‘Schengen’ short-stay student visa):

You can go to France and study for up to three months on this visa without the need for a separate residence visa. This is suitable for those enrolling in a language course or other short-term programme. It is issued free of charge and cannot be renewed. These countries may not need a visa for a stay of less than three months.

  • Etudient concours (visa for sitting entrance exams):

On this visa, you can come to France to take an entrance exam at an institute of higher education. If you pass, then you can apply directly to your local prefecture (French local authority/administrative office) in France for a one-year, renewable, residence permit. Find a map of French prefectures here.

  • Visa de long séjour temporaire pour etudes (temporary long-stay visa):

This visa allows you to study in France for between three and six months without the need for a residence permit. It is non-renewable.

  • Visa de long séjour etudes (long-stay visa):

If you want to study for longer than six months, then you need to apply for the long term student visa in France. As from 2013, this type of study visa (which is also your residence permit) now lasts for the duration of your course in France: three years for bachelors, two years for a Master’s and four years for a PhD. Long-stay visas act as residence permits and are called VLT-TS.

The extended stay VLS-TS’ visa is for all international students (except those from Algeria who don’t need one) who wish to enrol in a course at a French institute of higher education. You have to provide information on your academic background, French language proficiency and adequate financial resources (approximately EUR 615 per month).

On your arrival in France, you must contact the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII), send them the official form issued by your consulate, possibly have a medical examination and pay a fee of EUR 58 in the form of a tax stamp (available from tabacs (tobaconists), tax offices and online here). Some universities have an agreement with the OFII, whereby you do this through them rather than the OFII (check with your own school or university).

How to apply for a French student visa

Some countries require you to register first with CampusFrance, the French national agency for higher education and international students, in order to apply for admission and get a student visa through the CEF procedure. You can check CampusFrance to find out if you need to do this. Otherwise, you should apply for a course via the university website, and get your visa at the French embassy/consulate in your home country. See here for a full list of French consulates and embassies able to issue visas.

Whether you are taking part in an exchange programme, enrolling at a French educational institution as an independent student, or as part of a programme organised by an institution in your home country, you will need to provide the consulate with the following France study visa requirements:

  • an official enrollment or acceptance letter on the headed paper of the institution, stating your full details, details of the French institution and specifying the start and end dates of the academic programme.
  • proof that you have sufficient funds (currently EUR 615 per month), for example, bank statement, guarantor’s letter, or notice of a grant or funding from an official source.
  • an airline ticket/reservation showing date of departure or handwritten statement from yourself with an intended departure date.
  • Proof that you have medical insurance with a minimum cover of EUR 30,000.
  • proof that you have accommodation. If you’re staying on campus or student housing, then you’ll need an official letter from the university or college confirming the details. If you’re staying with family or friends then they’ll need to get a certificate of board and lodging (attestation d’accueil) from their town hall