This page summarizes the main rules regulating the entry and residence in France of extra-European students.

General principles

  • Continuation of your university studies in France requires an authorization to reside in France, to be requested through the French Consulate in your country of residence.
  • If university studies are the sole or the main reason for your stay, you will need to apply for the “student” visa and/or resident card.
  • If you were already in France, for another reason of stay whose duration covers that of the course followed in France, it is neither necessary nor compulsory to change your resident card.

"Student" long-stay visa

If your “student" visa has a validity period of 4 to 12 months and is marked VLS-TS, you must have it validated within three months via this online application.

  • First application for a "student" resident card

If your "student" visa has a duration not exceeding three months and is marked "card to be solicited upon arrival in France" you will have to apply for a student resident card at the Prefecture of Gironde or at University of Bordeaux’s resident card unit at the start of the academic year.

  • “Student” resident card renewal

If your university course extends beyond the duration of your VLS-TS visa or your first "student" resident card, you must renew it in within the two months preceding its expiry, at the Prefecture of Gironde or the University of Bordeaux’s resident card unit.

  • "Job seeker/new business creator" resident card

 If your university course is coming to an end and gives rise to graduation, you can apply for the "Job seeker/new business creator" resident card (RECE), either with the Prefecture of Gironde, the University of Bordeaux’s resident card unit, or the Consulate of your country of residence up until 4 years after graduation.

Student resident card unit

The Welcome Center for International Researchers coordinates with the prefecture a one-stop "student" resident card unit, open to students and trainees applying for a "student" resident card or its renewal in the Gironde region. This service is available upon appointment from September 23rd until December 20th 2019 in the presence of the prefecture.

Updated on 23/09/2019