France has emerged as one of the major study abroad destinations in recent years. With more universities and institutes offering courses in English and the affordable tuition fee and living expenses as compared to other countries, France is attracting many foreign students every year.
Types of French student visa
If an international student wants to study in France, he/she needs to apply for French student visa. The type of visa depends on the candidate's decision to study course, duration of the course and the nationality of the candidate. There are different types of French student visa:
a) Visa de court sÃ©jour pour etudes (‘Schengen’ short-stay student visa)
If an international student comes to France to undertake a study for less than 90 days, then he/she will have to apply for ‘Schengen’ short-stay student visa. This type of visa is generally issued to students who undertake short term language courses in France. The students can travel across Europe with this visa. ‘Schengen’ short-stay student visa cannot be renewed.
b) Etudient concours (visa for sitting entrance exams)
If an international student needs to travel to France to sit for one or more entrance examinations for admission to a French university, he/she can apply for Etudient concours (visa for sitting entrance exams). If the candidate passes the exam and secures a place in any French university, then he/she is eligible to apply for one year renewable residence permit.
c) Visa de long sÃ©jour temporaire pour etudes (temporary long-stay visa)
If an international student wishes to study in France for six months or less, he/she should apply for Visa de long sÃ©jour temporaire pour etudes (temporary long-stay visa). The student doesn’t need to apply for separate residence permit if he/she has temporary long stay visa.
d) Visa de long sÃ©jour etudes (long-stay visa)
International students who wish to undertake any study for more than six months will have to apply for long-stay visa. This type of visa lasts for the duration of the course the student undertakes in France. The duration of long-stay visa for various courses:
The long-stay visa, also known as VLT-TS, acts as the residence permit for international students. In order to get this visa, the candidates need to obtain admission in one of the reputed French universities or institutes for above given courses.
e) Extended stay research scholar visa
If the candidate has a Master’s degree or more and wants to come to France to conduct research or to teach at a university level, the institute can bring him/her on extended stay research scholar visa VLT-TS. The candidate needs to submit a hosting agreement along with the details of the work he/she is going to do in France during the time of stay and it has to be stamped by the local prefecture. The candidate must send this document to the consulate of his/her home country along with the visa application form.
How to apply for French student visa?
There are various steps involved in applying for a French student visa.
Step 1: Register online
Students who wish to apply for French student visa must register online at Campus France. The new candidates need to go to “Register On Line” and click on “create your account”. The candidates need to fill in the details in the form and after submission of the form; they will receive a unique Campus France Registration Number (ex. IN60XXXX) along with a user ID and password. Once the account is created, the candidate will get an email notification from where, he/she has to activate the account.
Once the candidates register, they can access their profile by clicking on “enter your account” by using the user ID and password. Once logged in, click on the “Campus France” form on the left side under “My Files”. The candidate now gets access to the visa application form. Now, fill in the application form and upload the supporting documents. If all four fields in the Validation tab indicate “Complete”, it means that the application is completed. Now, send the application number to the Campus France office for review and request for an appointment for the interview.
Document checklist for French Student Visa
Step 2: Academic Interview
The candidate needs to contact the nearest Campus France office for an appointment for Academic Interview. The candidate must submit all the above given documents (original along with one set of photocopies) at the time of Academic interview. The candidates will be asked to explain the reason behind choosing France and the course enrolled for. The officials will crosscheck the originals with the copy and return the originals along with the Interview Completion Certificate.
Step 3: Schedule an appointment with VFS- France to submit the documents
Once the Academic Interview is over, the candidates need to schedule an appointment with the VFS- France to submit the documents.
Visa application fee
The visa application fee that needs to be paid to Campus France is:
Rs. 12,500 for full-time Bachelor / Master’s / Internship Program
Rs. 4,000 for exchange students
The candidates need to deposit the fee at the nearest BNP PARIBAS branch in favour of:
INSTITUT FRANCAIS EN INDE, Account N0. 0906506003400137
The candidates need to submit the acknowledgement slip when they come for the Academic Interview at the Campus France office.
The candidates also need to submit a separate application fee of Rs. 3876 to the Consulate France at the time of the Consular interview.
Visa processing timings
The French student visa processing timing is from two weeks to one month depending on the peak and off-peak time. The visa applications submitted more than three months before the scheduled departure are not accepted.
The major reasons for French student visa denial are:
a) Insufficient funds: If the students fail to show sufficient funds to support their study in and stay in France, the visa will be rejectedb) Poor academic grades: There are some universities which offer students admission even if they have bad academic grades. However, the students with poor academic background will not get French student visac) Fake visa documents: If the visa supporting documents are fake, the student visa will be denied
After reaching France
Once the student reaches France on a VLS- TS visa, he/she needs to send the official form which was presented along with the visa to the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII). Along with the letter, the candidate needs to submit the pages of the passport where it shows that the entry of the candidate to France has been marked. The candidate can either send the documents by mail or go and submit it in person, if he/she is staying in Paris.
Once the French Office of Immigration and Integration receives the candidate’s letter along with the copy of the passport, it will send a receipt of confirmation with further instructions and other steps to be taken, if needed. This includes medical examination if the candidate hasn’t conducted it in the home country.
The student with a valid VLS- TS visa can work for 964 hours a year which is 60% of full-time employment. This number of hours is configured between the periods of 1st September to 31st August. Eligible work hours between September and June are (up to) 670, while July to August is (up to) 300 hours.
After studies, if the candidate holds a Master’s degree, he/she can apply for one year non-renewable temporary residence permit. If the candidate finds a job which is 1.5 times more than the minimum wage, then he/she can contact the localprÃ©fecture to change the status from student to employee and work full-time.
The students can now stay back for one year after completing the course. Once they find a job, they can apply for work permit by attaching a letter from the employer stating that you have secured a job in his/her company. Further, the candidate can also apply for the residence permit.
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Every University offers Merit based and need based scholarships to its students. Merit based scholarships are to those Candidates who have had an impeccable academic record. Need based scholarships are for those Candidates who need financial assistance to complete their studies. Now each University has its own criteria to offer scholarships. So you have to check their official websites.
The higher education system in Germany offers something for all students. Germany has approximately 450 universities accredited by the state and there are 17,500 programmes for degrees in the country. Almost every subject is catered by the universities at all academic levels. International students can study for their bachelors’, masters’ or even doctorates. Although most universities focus on scientific studies, it is possible to study art subjects at the top universities.
There are two taught programs in Germany.
Apart from minimum percentage criteria, German universities have many other requirements also. So you will need to check the requirements for your preferred course in the chosen university.
Basic requirements to study MS in Germany:
• You must have completed your bachelor's degree from a recognised university either in Germany or India. In case your certificate or diploma is not recognized, you should get it verified for comparison to a German diploma in order to gain access to higher education in Germany.
• You should have above 75% or 7.5 cgpa as the case may be to get admitted in a recognised university. Some universities also accept below 75% also.You must know German language upto C1 level. Some universities require up to B1, but C1 gives you the proficiency to converse well in the language.
•You will have to take TOEFL/IELTS for all the courses taught in English. Further, some courses might also require you to take up the GRE as well. I would recommend to give these exams as early as possible as if you don't get required marks, you can give it a second attempt.
• University may ask for a Statement of Purpose or a Letter of motivation. Try to start roughly jotting down some key points and start fine tuning and editing them early till you arrive at something you are satisfied with. Focus briefly on what you have done, what your career goals are and what motivates you to choose this path of studying. You should know these things.
•Try to get to know the specific requirements of the university for your preferred course. You can get the information on the website of the university or try contacting any counselor for the same.
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