FAQ long stay visa (VLS-TS)

What rights does the long-stay visa valid as a residence permit or VLS-TS offer ?

The long-stay visa, which is equivalent to a residence permit with the mention “student”, or VLS-TS “student”, allows you to:

  • study in France for a period of four months to a year
  • travel freely in all the countries of the Schengen area
  • work 964 hours a year, or 20 hours a week, to supplement resources
  • benefit from VISALE, the free student rental deposit
  • receive a housing allowance from the CAF
  • extend your stay beyond the validity of the residence permit issued


How do I validate my long-stay visa upon my arrival in France?

When you arrive in France, you must have your long-stay visa validated as a residence permit (VLS-TS). You have three months to take the necessary steps. Since February 18, 2019, this can be done online!

It is very important to carry out this validation, it will allow you to have a valid stay on French territory during the whole period of validity of your visa and in case you need to leave France, beyond the 3 months following your arrival, without needing a visa to return. As soon as you arrive in France, you must validate your visa. The procedure is completely dematerialized: from your computer, you can validate your visa within 3 months of your arrival in France.

For validation click on the following link: https://administration-etrangers-en-france.interieur.gouv.fr/particuliers/#/


What steps do I have to follow to validate my VLS-TS online?

  1. Go to the website   https://administration-etrangers-en-france.interieur.gouv.fr ;
    1. Fill in the information on your visa: visa number, start and end date of validity, date of issue, reason for stay
    2. Enter additional information: family situation, telephone number, e-mail address
    3. Indicate your date of arrival in France and your address in France
    4. Pay the tourist tax of 60 euros:
      Option 1: you can buy an electronic stamp online with your payment card (debit or credit).
      Option 2: If you don’t have a payment card, you can buy an electronic stamp at a tobacconist’s, on a dedicated terminal, and pay for it in cash. You enter the number of the electronic stamp you bought at a tobacco store.
    5. Download the validation confirmation of your VLS-TS. You can also download it at any time by logging into your personal space or by downloading the confirmation e-mail that will be sent to you.
  2. You will receive two e-mails
    • A first e-mail with your login details. They will give you access to your personal space. The confirmation of validation of your VLS-TS will be available there.
    • A second e-mail confirming the information you entered online. This e-mail confirming the validation of your VLS-TS can be downloaded here.  You have validated your long stay visa!


How can I renew my residence permit to continue my studies in France when my VLS-TS visa expires?

If you wish to stay in France to continue your studies while your VLS-TS visa is about to expire, you can apply for its renewal online. You must make this request at the latest, 3 months before the expiry of your VLS-TS visa.

Please note: If you apply for renewal of your residence permit after its expiration, except in cases of force majeure, you will be asked to pay a regularisation visa fee of 180 euros.




Which residence permits can be renewed?

Le visa long séjour valant titre de séjour (VLS-TS)

If you wish to stay in France to continue your studies while your VLS-TS visa is about to expire, you can renew your residence permit: you will apply for a multi-year residence permit. The first multi-annual residence permit which will be issued to you under certain conditions will be valid for the number of years remaining in the course of study in which you are enrolled. For example, if you have completed your first year of licence in France, you can benefit from a multi-year residence permit valid for two years, i. e. until the end of the third year of your licence. If you are studying at a university, the renewal of your residence permit will be valid until you graduate. You can make an appointment with the referent of your host institution or via the Science Welcome Information Point (PISA) at GATE.


The multi-annual residence permit

If you wish to stay in France to continue your studies while your multi-year residence permit is about to expire, you can apply for its renewal. It pays off. The new multi-annual residence permit will be issued to you under certain conditions and will be valid for the number of years of the next cycle in which you are going to register. For example, if you have just completed your Master’s degree in France and you apply for a new residence permit to continue your doctoral studies, it will be valid for 3 years..


What are the conditions for obtaining a renewal?

The conditions that apply to obtain a renewal of a residence permit are the same as those that apply to a first application:

  • be enrolled in a French higher education institution
  • have monthly resources at least equal to 615 euros

In the case of a renewal, it will also be necessary to justify the serious nature of the studies in France (attendance, examination results, diplomas obtained, etc. ). Repeating a year does not in itself call into question the serious nature of the studies.


 What documents should I include with my renewal application?

On the day of your appointment, you will need to bring the following with you  on the day you are summoned to the meeting:

  • your passport with your residence permit
  • a birth certificate with parentage (or a full copy of the birth certificate translated into French by a sworn translator)
  • a certificate of enrolment for the coming year
  • the transcripts for the year just passed
  • a document certifying that you have the financial resources to continue your studies for one year in France (i. e. 615 per month)
  • proof of residence for at least 3 months (electricity bill or lease contract)
  • proof of health insurance (this is a certificate of rights issued by the Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie which you can download from your personal space on ameli. fr)
  • 3 passport photographs.