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Students Welcome Desk F.A.Q.

International students, you will find below the most frequently asked questions about the procedures relating to visas, residence permits and paperless procedures.

Updated on July 16, 2024 | Dowload the 2024 leaflet


I can’t find my Visa number or my Foreign ID number

On the login page, next to the “identifiant” box, click on the question mark; you will see pictures of a Visa and a Residence Permit, the Visa number and Foreign ID numbers are circled in red.

I can’t submit my application to ANEF, what should I do?

1- If you are experiencing one of the following problems:
• You have entered the correct information and the platform informs you that the information entered is incorrect,
• You have a valid residence permit and the platform indicates that your permit expired more than six months ago,
• You have clicked on “forgotten password” to access your account but have not received an e-mail to reset your password.

These technical problems have already been reported to the ANEF platform technical support department.
While waiting for a response, we recommend that you:
  • Try to log in using different browsers (Mozilla, Chrome, Explorer, etc.),
  • Try to log in using your smartphone,
  • Try tolog in using your visa number (written on the visa that was stuck in your passport when you arrived in France) if your Foreign ID number (found on the right-hand side of your residence permit or on the confirmation documents that you received from the French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII) when you arrived in France) does not work, and vice versa;
  • Try to connect to the ANEF platform during off-peak hours (between 9 PM and 6 AM) when the site has fewer visitors.
2- I have managed to log into my account but I can’t submit my application:
  • Contact support services for the ANEF national platform on 0806 001 620,
  • Use the ANEF platform’s "Contact" form at the bottom left of the page. You can attach screenshots to explain your problem.

I want to do a semester or more in another country and come back to France

As a foreign student, you can carry out part of your studies within the European Union as part of mobility. You must meet certain conditions.

I have a question about the decision issued by the Prefecture

If you would like more information about the decision issued in your case, you should contact the prefecture directly.


I need a receipt to stay here legally while my application is being processed, what do I need to do?

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.

PLEASE NOTE: If you still have a paper receipt, you must renew it no earlier than 30 days before it expires. For more information:

Do the documents provided on the ANEF platform allow me to travel?

The certificate of extension received following a renewal application submitted to ANEF and the Favorable response certificate allow you:

  • To travel within the Schengen area;
  • To travel to your country of origin and return to France. (We recommend that you check with the consulate of the destination country and your airline regarding conditions of entry during the pandemic).


I haven’t yet received my proof of enrollment. Can I still apply for my residence permit to be renewed?

If you still haven’t received your registration certificate from the higher education institution where you will be studying during the upcoming academic year, you can attach a proof of pre-registration while waiting for the final registration. YYou will need to provide your final certificate of registration when a request for additional documents is sent to you on your ANEF account. If you are a “programme de mobilité” student, you must also provide all the documents issued by the institution justifying that your studies are part of a mobility program within the European Union.

My documents need to be translated: how do I get them translated, who do I contact?

All documents submitted with your renewal application must be translated into French.These documents must be translated by a sworn translator.

Online ID photos: where and how can I digitally attach photos in the right format?

You must provide a digital photo and signature when applying for your residence permit renewal online.
There are several places where you can get a digital passport photo: locate the nearest one.

If you already have a digital photo and signature, simply fill in the “e-photo” number on your passport photo sheet when filling out your online application.

PLEASE NOTE: The e-photo code will be activated 2 hours or more after the photo has been taken. If the code is still not active after 2 hours, you will need to contact the photo booth customer service department and inform them of the e-photo code error. ANEF cannot resolve this problem, please do not contact the platform's technical support service. The e-photo is valid for 6 months and can only be used with a single administrative application.

I hold a professional license or a diploma at least equivalent to the Master's level & want to stay in the territory and apply for a “job search” residence permit

To be eligible for this RECE or APS residence permit, a diploma condition must be met - generally, you must hold a diploma entitled "professional license" or a diploma at least equivalent to a Master's degree. This card allows you to stay in France and work there 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.

Information required to make this request:

• Identity and contact details (including a residential address in the Rhône department);
• Administrative situation in France (foreign number and information on your residence permit);
• Information on the diploma (the latter must be equivalent to a Master's degree or “professional license”). The final certificate of achievement is required in order to finalize the application).

Supporting documents to be provided:

PLEASE NOTE: documents must be scanned in PDF format. Photos of documents are not allowed. Documents must be translated into French by a sworn translator.

• Residence permit or long-stay visa equivalent to valid residence permit;
• Passport with page relating to identity (or failing that, other proof of nationality: consular certificate with photo, identity card, consular card);
• Proof of civil status (birth certificate or family record book or marriage certificate (if you are married)) showing filiation;
• Proof of address dated less than 6 months in your name (electricity, gas, internet bill, home insurance or non-handwritten rent receipt. Receipts between individuals are not accepted).

If you are hosted:
→ Certificate of accommodation dated and signed by your host (it must be dated less than 6 months, specify both the name of the guest and the name of the host and be signed by the host);
→ Accompanied by the identity card or residence permit of your host (residence permit at the same address as the residence, national identity card or French or European passport);
→ As well as proof of residence of the host.

• Certificate of health insurance (the vital card does not constitute proof of admissible health insurance);
• If you are a researcher: diploma equivalent to the master's degree obtained during the year or certificate of completion of your research work if you are a researcher;
• In the event of business creation: any proof of a business creation project in a field corresponding to your curriculum (presentation on plain paper of the business plan – if necessary the financial, legal, fiscal and social structure, and a multi-year provisional budget – or any other document likely to justify the project).


I have a Canadian “Working Holiday Visa”, what do I need to do?

If you have a Canadian “Working Holiday Visa”, you must contact the Prefecture directly:

I have a “stagiaire” (trainee) residence permit, what do I need to do?

If you are in France to follow an internship in a company, continuing education or an internship in a public hospital, the procedures to follow vary depending on your situation.

What should I do if my appointment occurs after the expiry date of my residence permit?

In the event of renewal of your residence permit, the rights (right to work, scholarships, allowances) linked to it are maintained on presentation of the invitation to the appointment which has been sent to you, until the first appointment.


Can I work with a student residence permit?

You have a VLS-TS or “student” residence permit (non-Algerian), you are authorized to work within the limit of 964 hours/year (i.e. 60% of the legal annual working time).

A provisional work permit (APT) can be issued to authorize you to work beyond the quota, if you are: student on an apprenticeship contract, medical intern, doctoral student, research grantee.

If you hold an ADP (certificate of extension of instruction) following a request for renewal of your stay, it allows you to maintain your rights to work.

PLEASE NOTE: Self-employed status prohibited with a student residence permit.

I am an Algerian student, can I work?

After finding a job, you will have to apply for a temporary work permit (APT - Autorisation provisoire de travail) which will allow you to work up to 50% of the legal annual working time (850 hours). This process is carried out on the ANEF website, section “I request a temporary work permit”.

PLEASE NOTE: Self-employed status prohibited with a student residence permit.


What should I do if I change my address/residence? What are the documents to provide?

To make the change of address, you must complete the procedure online on the ANEF website, section “I declare a change of situation”

Documents to provide:

  • Your valid residence permit,
  • Your passport,
  • A proof of residence dated less than 3 months,
  • 3 passport photos,
  • Stamp duty.

I have lost my residence permit. How to get a duplicate?

You must complete the procedure online on the ANEF website, section “I declare a change of situation”.

Documents to provide:

  • Declaration on honor of the loss of your residence permit,
  • Photocopy of the lost residence permit (if you have kept one),
  • Passport (page on civil status, validity dates and entry stamps),
  • Birth certificate (full copy or extract with parentage),
  • Proof of address dated less than 3 months,
  • 3 ID pictures,
  • Proof of payment of the tax and/or the stamp duty of €75 (requested when the card is handed over).

PLEASE NOTE: A request for a duplicate, once formalized, is irreversible, it invalidates the original title. If you find your residence permit after applying for a duplicate, you will need to go to the prefecture to collect the duplicate and return the invalid permit.

What should I do if my residence permit has been stolen in France?

Curatorial approach:

  • You must report the theft of your residence permit. A receipt will then be given to you. Find out which police station or gendarmerie is closer to you.

My permit was stolen abroad. What to do ?

You must declare the theft to the police authorities of the country where you are, then to the French embassy or consulate in the country concerned.

  • Request a return visa from the French consulate or embassy to return to France,
  • After this visa has been issued, an inquiry will be made with the prefecture that issued the residence permit,
  • You can complete the process on the ANEF website.

PLEASE NOTE: In case of loss, you must file a request for a duplicate only.


I arrived in France with an Minor’s Study Visa. What should I do ?

Submit your first application for a residence permit on the Simplified Procedures website within 2 months of turning 18.

Can I travel with a Minor’s Study Visa?

Yes: this visa authorizes you to travel throughout its validity period. It allows several exits and entries in France, and guarantees free movement in the Schengen Area.

If you are still a minor when your visa expires, you will then have to return to your country and come back with a new “Minor’s Study Visa” visa and wait for your majority to complete the procedures for applying for a residence permit.


I have just arrived in France with a student visa (visa D). What should I do ?

You must apply for a residence permit within two months of your arrival in France. For example, if you arrive in France on September 2, you must apply for your residence permit before November 2. Do it quickly!
On the ANEF website, section “I request or renew a residence permit”.

List of supporting documents for the procedures of an Algerian student

Depending on your profile, find the list of supporting documents here.

I have just arrived in France and I have no social security. Is it necessary?

All students must have social security affiliation. This affiliation is compulsory and free. You can register here.

I have just arrived in France for an internship with an intern visa. What should I do ?

You must request a “trainee residence certificate” from the Préfecture du Rhône.

I arrived in France more than two months ago and I have not yet applied for my residence permit. What should I do ?

Your visa is no longer valid. You must quickly submit your application for a first residence permit on the Simplified Procedures website.
You will then receive an invitation to an appointment to finalize your process.

PLEASE NOTE: You will have to pay a financial penalty of 180 euros when you withdraw your residence permit.

Do I have the right to work during my studies?

You can work during your studies within the limit of 50% of the legal annual working time (=850h/year).
For this, your employer must submit an application for a work permit on the ANEF website.

I wish to continue my studies under a work-study contract. Is it possible ?

Yes: your employer must submit an application for a work permit on the ANEF website.

I have finished my studies and want to work in France. What should I do ?

You cannot apply for APS/RECE. If you wish to work in France, you must obtain a promise of employment and apply for a work permit to change your status to “employee”.