What kind of visa do I need?
The French Consulate responsible for the region where the student is located provides all the necessary information regarding the choice of visa and the related terms and conditions.
For a study period less than 90 days in duration, Canadian students (for other nationalities, please consult the Consulate website) are exempted from a short-stay visa.
An agreement was signed in 2003 between the French and Canadian governments in order to facilitate the placement of youth, Canada-France Youth Exchange Program.
This program is open to Canadians aged 35 years and under. There are 5 possible scenarios (visas 2A to 2E), including students in university exchange programs and students wishing to complete an internship in France.
Each applicant is allowed to apply for a maximum of two different programs.
The two programs cannot be consecutive: the applicants must return to Canada and apply for the second program from there.
This type of visa cannot be extended.
Once arrived in France, holders of this type of visa must visit a “Préfecture” located in their area of residence (and not the Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration, OFII) to obtain a residence permit (“titre de séjour”).
Students who are not able to participate in a France-Canada youth mobility program (for example, students not participating in a university exchange program, students who are older than 35 years, or non-Canadian students) must apply for a temporary long-stay visa (“visa temporaire de longue durée) (3 to 6 months). This visa cannot be extended. It allows the visa holders multiple entries into the country and it allows them to apply for a long-stay student visa (“visa de long séjour pour études”) for stays longer than 6 months in duration.
Since January 1, 2009, the long-stay visa is equivalent to the residence permit. The visa holder is no longer required to obtain a residence permit from the Prefecture. Instead, holders of this type of visa must provide the attestation (“attestation”) to the Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration (OFII) to the territorial delegation of the OFII.
Foreign researchers staying longer than 3 months must apply for a scientific long-stay visa. This type of visa is valid for one year and is renewable, if necessary. A reception agreement (“convention d’accueil”) must indicate the subject of the researcher’s work and the length of his/her stay.
Additional information: short-term visas are open to non-Canadians; the visa 2B is for the mobility agreement; and the VLS/TS (“visa long-séjour/titre de séjour”) are for students who are not part of a mobility agreement.