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Residence permits, visas & procedures

Updated on August 24, 2023

You have just arrived in France

You are a citizen of the European Union (EU), European economic area (EEA), Switzerland or Monaco:

You do not need a residence permit.

You are not a citizen of the European Union (EU), European economic area (EEA), Switzerland, Monaco or Andorra, nor an Algerian student:

You must validate your long-stay visa (VLS-TS) with the General Directorate of foreign nationals in France (Direction générale des étrangers en France – DGEF), which deals with all matters concerning foreign nationals.

You already are in France

You are a foreign student who has been living in France for a year (or more) and would like to extend your stay:

The procedure for renewing student residence permits is now completely online. You can see where and how to do this below, depending on your situation.

You are not a student, you wish to renew a different residence permit :

The ANEF procedure does not concern you, please read below.

Procedures to follow

What procedures must you complete?

► For international (except Algerian students)
On arriving in France, you must validate your visa. The procedure is completely electronic: you can do everything remotely, from home, with your computer. You must validate your visa no later than 3 months after arriving in France on the website:

► For Algerian students
Are you of Algerian origin and have you just arrived in France on a "student" visa? No need to validate your visa, however, you must apply for a residence permit within two months of your arrival, on the ANEF platform:

What do you need to provide to validate your VLS-TS?

You’ll need to provide:

  • A valid e-mail address,
  • The information on your visa,
  • Your date of arrival in France,
  • Your address in France,
  • A debit or credit card* to pay the visitor’s tax online.

*You do not have a credit or debit card? Don’t worry! You can buy an electronic stamp in a tobacco store, at a dedicated kiosk, and pay it in cash.

Online validation steps

  1. Log in to the website:
  2. Fill in the following information: visa number, validity start and end dates, date of issue, reason for your stay
  3. Enter additional information: marital status, phone number, e-mail address
  4. Specify your arrival date in France and your residential address in France
  5. Pay the 60 euro visitor’s tax:
    Option 1: you can buy an electronic stamp online. This option is available on the screen
    Option 2: enter the number of the electronic stamp which you previously purchased from a tobacco store.
  6. Confirmation of validation of your VLS-TS: you will receive two emails
    The first email will include your login details to access your account on the ANEF website and to enable you to complete future formalities online.
    A second confirmation email for y
    our VLS-TS that you can download and print to keep on your person.

And that’s it, your visa is validated!

Procedures to follow

You wish to renew a student residence permit

You must apply online on the ANEF national platform only if you have a:

  • A valid long-stay visa (“VLS” or “visa D”);
  • A valid long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (VLS-TS);
  • A valid residence permit;

Submit your file online on the ANEF platform ( ideally 4 months before the end of your visa or residence permit to facilitate the processing of applications by the Prefecture. We recommend that you prepare for these formalities well in advance.

• Your long-stay visa expires on September 10, 2021, ideally you need to submit your application on the ANEF platform between May 10 and July 10, 2021.
• Your residence permit expires on October 31, 2021, ideally you need to submit your application on the ANEF platform between July 1 and August 31, 2021.

Which supporting documents do I need to submit my application?
Visit the Préfecture du Rhône website


Create an account or connect to
You can then follow the various steps to submit your application to the Rhône Prefecture online.

Registration receipts are no longer issued when you apply online. The online application and registration process will provide you with several documents indicating that your application has been received and your file is being processed:

  • Certificate of registration ► Download addendum (FR)
    This document proves that you have submitted an application for a Residence Permit. This is not considered a response: therefore, it does not constitute proof of legal residence and does not entitle the holder to any rights associated with a legal stay.
  • Certificate of extension ► Download addendum (FR)
    This document can be used as a registration receipt: it justifies the continuation of all the rights granted by virtue of the residence permit previously held. If this permit allows the holder to engage in a professional activity, they may continue to do so for the duration of the certificate’s validity. It does not entitle the holder to any additional rights. This document allows the holder to travel through the Schengen area.
  • Favorable response certificate ► Download addendum (FR)
    This document proves that your application has been successful and that your residence permit will be issued shortly. The document indicates the duration of the permit that will be issued to you and the amount you will have to pay when the permit is issued. This document authorizes the holder to cross the Schengen area (preferably on a direct flight without stopovers).


For long-stay visas valid as residence permits (“VLS-TS”) and residence permits.


  • Step 1: You receive a favorable response by email and via your ANEF account
  • Step 2: you will then receive an SMS notification indicating that your residence permit is ready.
PLEASE NOTE: if you do not receive a notification by sms/email within 6 to 8 weeks, still make an appointment to collect your residence permit by clicking on the following link, in the section "MON TITRE DE SÉJOUR EST PRÊT ET JE SOUHAITE LE RETIRER"

Your course is coming to an end and your residence permit will expire shortly or has already expired

► You still have exams to sit before completing your studies in France and returning to your home country:

Submit your application for renewal on ANEF, along with a letter from your institution in the form of a “attestation de prolongation de l’année universitaire” (certificate of extension of the academic year) and explain your situation in the section “Observations à destination de l'administration” (Comments to the administration).

You wish to stay in France: apply for a Provisional Residence Authorization OR a Business Creation Job Search Card (APS – RECE)

To be eligible for this RECE or APS residence permit, a diploma condition must be met - generally, you must hold a diploma entitled vocational degree or a diploma at least equivalent to a Master's degree. This card allows you to stay in France and work without restriction for a year in order to find a job or create a business related to your studies or research.

PLEASE NOTE: Depending on your nationality, you can apply for either a Provisional Residence Authorization (APS) or a RECE residence permit.

APS: only for nationals of these countries: Senegal, Gabon, Benin, Tunisia, Mauritius, Cape Verde, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Lebanon, India.

RECE: for all other nationalities.

Please visit our F.A.Q for more information

► You have a graduation certificate for vocational degree or Master's degree

Submit your APS application together with your graduationcertificate before your residence permit expires (student, student – mobility program, researcher or mobility program researcher) on the following website:

► You have not yet received your graduation certificate for vocational degree or Master's degree

Submit your application for renewal on the ANEF platform, attaching a certificate of extension of the academic year or a letter from your institution specifying the date on which you will graduate. You must explain your situation in the "Observations à destination de l’administration" section.

You wish to obtain a "Passeport Talent" residence permit

► You are a doctoral student holding a "passeport talent - chercheur" residence permit that you wish to renew
► You have a "étudiant" residence permit and you are in possession of a diploma at least equivalent to a master's degree and you wish to apply for a "passeport talent" residence permit;

Submit your "passeport talent" residence permit application on the ANEF ( ideally 4 months before the end of your visa or residence permit.

► You are a doctoral student or researcher

The Espace ULYS will help you with the various formalities and with the renewal of your residence permit in particular. For more information please visit the Espace ULYS's website

IMPORTANT: Register with Social Security

Foreign students arriving in France must apply for social security affiliation. This registration is free and compulsory; it will allow you to benefit from the payment of your health costs during your studies. Please visit the dedicated website:

And remember: taking care of your health is really not complicated! Find all about the French health system and the steps you need to take at


► Technical problems on the ANEF website?

  • You can connect to your ANEF space, but you encounter technical bugs to finalize the submission of your file
    Contact the support services for the ANEF national platform on 0806 001 620 or use the ANEF platform’s "Contact" form at the bottom left of the page, and send a message to the Rhône Prefecture. You can attach screenshots to explain your problem.
  • You still cannot submit your application on the ANEF platform
    The procedure to follow depends on your place of residence.Full information available on

► If you do not receive a reply:

If, despite this, you do not receive an answer within 3 weeks, don’t panic, this is normal. Processing times at the Prefecture are relatively long and it can take several weeks to get a reply.

► Do you need advice?

Please feel free to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page

To renew another residence permit

The ANEF procedure does not affect you if you do not hold one of the above-mentioned visas and/or residence permits.

You will need to make an appointment to submit your application in person at the Prefecture:, “accueil étranger” section.