Do I need a visa?
In accordance with French Law, students over 18 holding a U.S. passport and studying in France do NOT need a student visa if they stay for less than 90 days.
However, if you are planning to stay in Europe after the program is over, and your stay exceeds 90 days you MUST apply for a student visa.
If you are not a U.S. Citizen, please contact your local consulate for visa requirements and regulations.
When do I apply?
There are several steps involved in obtaining your student visa. They are simple, but will take time. It is not possible to expedite the process, and it takes a minimum of 6-8 weeks to process a student visa application. We suggest that you start immediately after you have been accepted in the program and that you read carefully this page before starting your application.
How do I apply?
The first step taken in obtaining your student visa is to complete an online application with “CampusFrance” : go to CampusFrance application page and choose the first section : Study Abroad or Exchange students.
This must be done BEFORE applying for the actual student visa. Contact PSAC as soon as you are accepted in the program, and we will send you the necessary documents for this initial phase, and guide you through the process.
Once you have selected « study abroad or exchange students », you will be able to watch a a video or download a Study abroad guide. Read it carefully, since it will help you fill the application form, particularly the sections in French.
You can then proceed to creating your PASTEL account. You will need to provide a 8 characters password, your passport number, and an email adress. Note that CampusFrance WILL NOT USE IT to communicate with you. All CampusFrance correspondance will be through your CampusFrance personal mailbox, which you will need to check very regularly.
Make sure to remember your login and password! Student who forget or lose their password will need to create a new account with a different email address, which depending on their progress, may entail paying a second processing fee.
Also, there have been reports of students not being able to create a PASTEL using a Hotmail or Gmail address, so using your school’s address is adivsed.
It is also important to know that Campus France will designate the consulate for your visa appointment, so chose your home or school address based on where will be most convenient to apply for your visa.
After this account is created, you will be requested to fill and validate each individual section of the application form (Education, Linguistic Skills, Goals) before proceeding to the final validation. To complete this stage, you will need an acceptance letter from La Sorbonne which we will provide as soon as you contact us.
You will then have to purchase a money order at your local U.S. post office; in a bank; or at the offices of Money Gram, Western Union or Currency Exchange.
The money order must be in the amount of $100 and made payable to “MCUFEU.”
Please make sure to write your name and Campus France identification number (beginning with “USXXXXXX”) on your money order. Any alteration to the money order (ie. Whiteout) will render it unacceptable. No other form of payment is accepted by CampusFrance.
Once this is done, send via postal mail the money order, photocopy of the money order and acceptance letter in the same envelope to the following address:
4101 Reservoir Rd NW
Washington D.C. 20007
Once CampusFrance has validated your profile, usually within three weeks of receiving the acceptance letter and the money order, you can start the second step : visa appointment.
CampusFrance will notify you through your message inbox that you have been confirmed. Please copy this Confirmation Email and include it with your visa application. Proof of the $100 processing fee also needs to be included. CampusFrance will assign you to the French Consulate closest to your permanent address, and you must schedule an appointment with Visa Services via the Consulate’s website.
All students must appear in person to the visa appointment at the designated Consulate.
Bring ALL the requested documents to your appointment, since the absence of one might mean a three-weeks’ delay and another appointment.
Based on numerous students’ testimonies, we are pretty sure that getting your visa is going to be the least enjoyable part of studying abroad, and the least enjoyable experience of French culture you will have. It can be very stressfull, but we will do everythingpossible to help you through it.
PSAC will assist you by providing the necessary documents (letter of enrollment and proof of insurance letter, both in French). You will also have to pay a visa fee of 50$, independant from the CampusFrance application fee.
Note that French Consulates have the full authority to evaluate and request additional documentation, if deemed necessary, in addition to what is submitted. Submitting all required documentation does NOT guarantee the issuance of a student visa.
All Students will need the following standardized documents for all Consulate
- Long stay Application Form
- Financial Guarantee Form
- French Immigration (OFII) Form
- The same with English instructions
COMMON REASONS FOR VISA PROBLEMS :
As reported by the consulates, the most common reasons for visa delays are the following :
- Students don’t carefully read the instructions for submitting an application; applications are incomplete.
- Necessary documents are not submitted.
- Passport is not submitted.
- Proper pre-paid return envelope is not included (when passport will be returned by mail)