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Residence permits, visas and procedures

You have just arrived in France

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

You do not need a residence permit.
► Find out about mandatory healthcare-related procedures



If 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.

What procedures must I complete?

Upon 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. You should register on the following website:

https://administration-etrangers-en-france.interieur.gouv.fr

What do you need to validate your VLS-TS?

You’ll need:

  • A valid e-mail address,
  • The information on your visa,
  • Your date of arrival in France,
  • Your place of residence 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.

How to validate your visa online

  1. Login to the website: https://administration-etrangers-en-france.interieur.gouv.fr ;
  2. Fill out the information found on your visa: 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. Download the confirmation of your VLS-TS validation. We suggest that you print the confirmation and keep it in your Passport, to ensure that you have it with you at all times. You can also download it at a later date by logging in to your account or by downloading the confirmation e-mail that will be sent to you.

And that’s it, your visa is validated! Remember to register with the social security system on the dedicated website etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr!

► Find out more

Confirmation of receipt

You will receive two e-mails:

  • The first e-mail will contain your login details; you will need these to connect to your account. The confirmation of your VLS-TS validation will be available on your account. We suggest that you print the confirmation and keep it in your Passport, to ensure that you have it with you at all times.
  • The second e-mail confirms the information you have filled in online. You can download this VLS-TS validation confirmation e-mail.

Remember to register with the social security system on the dedicated website etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr!

► Find out more



If you are an Algerian student:

You do not report to the General Directorate of foreign nationals in France (DGEF), but directly to the Prefecture. Within two months of your arrival, you must apply for your residence certificate by submitting the following documentation:

Documents to be included in the application

For each document, you must bring the ORIGINAL copy as well as a PHOTOCOPY. Where appropriate, supporting documents must be translated into French by a sworn translator of the Court of Appeal.

  • A valid passport;
  • A valid visa;
  • Proof of address (less than six months old):
    • A water bill, electricity bill, telephone or Internet bill / Certificate of residence / Rental receipt stamped by an agency. ATTENTION: any documents issued by a private individual or mobile phone bills will not be accepted.
    • If you are living with a third party, you will need a signed certificate of accommodation (less than three months old) + the host’s valid ID card or residence permit + proof of address (less than three months old) for the host.
  • Three identical identity photos conforming to ISO/ICE 19794-5:2005, less than six months old, size 35x45, on a pale background, bare-headed, frontal view and uncut.
  • Your proof of enrollment for the current academic year (registration or pre-registration certificates will not be accepted);
  • Proof of financial resources: this must be equivalent to at least € 615 per month (proof of opening a bank account, certificate of deposit, a guarantor attestation made by a third party, etc.)

Where to submit your application

  • From September to November: at the Students Welcome Desk, depending on the opening dates and times.
  • Year-round (when the Students Welcome Desk is closed): at the Rhône Prefecture (the ‘student’ offices are open from Monday to Friday, in the mornings from 9am)

Important: you must submit your application in person and present original copies and photocopies of all requested documents.

The receipt of registration

After registering your residence certificate application (at the Students Welcome Desk or at the Prefecture), the Prefecture will provide you with a receipt of registration for your residence certificate application. This document is valid for three months and proves that you have carried out the necessary administrative procedures in order to legalize your stay in France. It allows you to travel and to be in a valid legal situation while waiting for your residence certificate to be produced and delivered by the Prefecture.

Caution: the receipt of registration, is valid only when accompanied by the previous residence permit and a valid passport.

Remember to register with the social security system on the dedicated website etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr!

Issue of the residence permit

The Prefecture will issue your residence certificate six to eight weeks after your application has been accepted. It can only be collected from the Prefecture upon the presentation of a valid passport, the previous residence permit, an ID photo and with the payment in tax stamps, depending on the residence permit requested. The Prefecture will send a text message to the mobile number that you provided upon registering your application, informing you that the certificate is ready for collection and confirming the amount that you will have to pay.

Remember to register with the social security system on the dedicated website etudiant-etranger.ameli.fr!

Extend your stay: renewing your residence permit

Have you been living in France for a year (or more) and want to extend your stay? If you are studying and/or living in the Rhône, you must consult the Rhône Prefecture.

Please note: during the Students Welcome Desk’s opening period, all applications are to be submitted at the SWD counter, 92 rue Pasteur, 69007 Lyon.


If you are still a student

You should submit your residence permit or VLS-TS renewal application within two months of its expiration date.

What documents do I need to include with my renewal application?

For each document, you must bring the ORIGINAL copy as well as a PHOTOCOPY. Where appropriate, supporting documents must translated into French by a sworn translator of the Court of Appeal.

  • Your residence permit or visa which is due to expire,
  • A valid passport,
  • Proof of address (less than six months old):
    • A water bill, electricity bill, Internet bill, home insurance or rental receipt;
    • If you are staying with a private individual, you will need a signed and dated certificate of accommodation, the host’s valid ID card and their proof of address;
    • Caution: any handwritten documents (provided by private individuals) and mobile phone bills will not be accepted.
  • Three identical identity photos conforming to ISO/ICE 19794-5:2005, size 35x45, up-to-date, bare-headed, frontal view, uncut and on a pale background.
  • Your proof of enrollment for the coming year; pre-registration certificates will not be accepted
  • Proof of financial resources. Your financial resources must be equivalent to at least € 615 per month. Your name must appear on the supporting document (e.g. a pay slip or the last three French account statements or bank statements)
  • Proof of registration with the French health insurance scheme (Assurance maladie), this is your certificate of entitlement issued by the CPAM, which you can download from your ameli.fr account.
  • Record(s) of last year's grades (you should include an explanatory letter if you are repeating a year).
  • A certificate of regular attendance AND exam certificates.

► Important notice:
This is simplified checklist and only corresponds to the “student” residence permit. You can find the complete lists of supporting documents to be provided according to your situation (trainee, spouse, etc.) on the following website: http://69.accueil-etrangers.gouv.fr/

Where to submit your application

  • From September to November: at the Students Welcome Desk, depending on the opening dates and times.
  • Year-round (when the Students Welcome Desk is closed): at the Rhône Prefecture (the ‘student’ offices are open from Monday to Friday, in the mornings from 9am)

► Important: you must submit your application in person and present original copies and photocopies of all requested documents.

The receipt of registration

After registering your renewal application (at the Students Welcome Desk or at the Prefecture), the Prefecture will provide you with a receipt of registration for your residence permit application. This document is valid for three months and proves that you have carried out the necessary administrative procedures in order to extend your stay in France. It allows you to travel and to be in a valid legal situation while waiting for your residence permit to be produced and delivered by the Prefecture.

Caution: the receipt of registration, is valid only when accompanied by the previous residence permit and a valid passport.

Issue of the residence permit

The Prefecture will issue your residence permit six to eight weeks after your application has been accepted. It can only be collected from the Prefecture upon the presentation of a valid passport, the previous residence permit, an ID photo and the payment in tax stamps, depending on the residence permit requested. The Prefecture will send a text message to the mobile number that you provided upon registering your application, informing you that the card is ready for collection and confirming the amount that you will have to pay.



If you have completed your studies, and would like to remain in France to conduct research or to provide university level training, then you will need a “Researcher Passport”

► Contact the ‘Espace Ulys’ for assistance with your next steps!




If you have completed your studies and would like extend your stay in order to find employment or to set up a new business

Temporary residence permit

A non-renewable, 12-month temporary residence permit may be issued to certain foreign students and researchers wishing to supplement their education with work experience, or who can provide evidence of an entrepreneurial project in the specialty corresponding to their training.

The beneficiary of this residence permit may remain in France and work without restriction for one year, in order to find employment or create a business which is related to their studies or research.

This residence permit does not apply to Algerian students; their right to remain in France is governed by the provisions of the Franco-Algerian agreement.

Furthermore, any foreign nationals under a specific bilateral agreement (Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, Benin, Tunisia, Mauritius, Cape Verde, Burkina Faso, India, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) will be issued a provisional residence permit.

Applying for a provisional residence permit (autorisation provisoire de séjour – APS)

A provisional residence permit, or APS, allows foreign students to stay in France after they have completed their studies. The length and renewable nature of an APS may vary according to agreements between the French authorities and the countries concerned. During this period, students are able to seek employment or set up an entrepreneurial project within the specialty of their training.

Until the signature of a permanent, fixed-term (CDD) or indeterminate (CDI) employment contract, foreign graduates with an APS are allowed to work under the same conditions as when they were students, that is, within the limit of 964 hours per year, or approximately 20 hours per week.

The provisional residence permit is granted to certain foreign students or researchers who are under a specific bilateral agreement (Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, Benin, Tunisia, Mauritius, Cape Verde, Burkina Faso, India, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia), in order to find employment or create a business which is related to their studies or research.

Documents to be included in the application

For each document, you must bring the ORIGINAL copy as well as a PHOTOCOPY Where appropriate, supporting documents must translated into French by a sworn translator of the Court of Appeal.

  • Your residence permit or visa which is due to expire.
  • A valid passport.
  • Proof of address (less than three months old):– a water bill, electricity bill, Internet bill, home insurance or rental receipt
    • If you are staying with a private individual, you will need a signed and dated certificate of accommodation, the host’s valid ID card and their proof of address
    • Caution: handwritten documents (provided by private individuals) and mobile phone bills will not be accepted.
  • Three identical identity photos conforming to ISO/ICE 19794-5:2005, size 35x45, up-to-date, bare-headed, frontal view, uncut and on a pale background.
  • Proof of registration with the French health insurance scheme (Assurance maladie), this is your certificate of entitlement issued by the CPAM, which you can download from your ameli.fr account.
  • A copy of your diploma, obtained within the previous academic year, equivalent to a master’s degree, bachelor’s diploma or professional license. If you are not able to provide a diploma, you should attach your academic transcripts or certificate of achievement in order to prove that you have successfully completed the program.
  • Where appropriate, all supporting documents for an entrepreneurial project within the specialty of the applicant's training or research.

Where to submit your application

  • From September to November: at the Students Welcome Desk, depending on the opening dates and times.
  • Year-round (when the Students Welcome Desk is closed): at the Rhône Prefecture (the ‘student’ offices are open from Monday to Friday, in the mornings from 9am)

► Important: you must submit your application in person and present original copies and photocopies of all requested documents.

The receipt of registration

After registering your renewal application (at the Students Welcome Desk or at the Prefecture), the Prefecture will provide you with a receipt of registration for your residence permit application. This document is valid for three months and proves that you have carried out the necessary administrative procedures in order to extend your stay in France. It allows you to travel and to be in a valid legal situation while waiting for your residence permit to be produced and delivered by the Prefecture.

► Caution: the receipt of registration, is valid only when accompanied by the previous residence permit and a valid passport.

Issue of the residence permit

The Prefecture will issue your residence permit six to eight weeks after your application has been accepted. It can only be collected from the Prefecture upon the presentation of a valid passport, the previous residence permit, an ID photo and the payment in tax stamps, depending on the residence permit requested. The Prefecture will send a text message to the mobile number that you provided upon registering your application, informing you that the card is ready for collection and confirming the amount that you will have to pay.