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Living in Europe, Working in EuropeEntry conditions/visasFrance

Entry conditions & Visas


In this section, you will find very important information concerning entry formalities in France:

Anyone from a non-exempt country must apply for a visa in order to legally enter French territory, whether for a short or long stay.

The visa application can therefore concern the scientist, but also her/his spouse and children if they accompany her/him to France.

The visa application must be made at least 2 months before leaving for France at a French consulate in your country of residence. The French embassy or consulate can advise you on the procedure to follow to obtain your visa.


Which visa to apply for?

The type of visa required to enter France depends on both the duration and the reasons for your stay.

This visa concerns the scientist and her/his family who are planning a stay less than or equal to 90 days.

Depending on your nationality, you may be exempt from a visa for a stay fewer than 90 days, but it will not be possible to extend your stay beyond this period.

Your family (spouse, children) of the same nationality can accompany you under the same conditions, subject to sufficient income during your stay and accident/sickness/repatriation insurance for the duration of the stay in France for each member of the family.

If your nationality does not exempt you from a visa, and even for a very short stay, you must ask your host establishment in France as soon as possible for a "Hosting Agreement for a foreign researcher". You must present the original of this document to the French Consulate in the country where you reside in order to obtain a "scientific" short-stay visa.

The Consulate will affix its seal on your Hosting Agreement and give it to you at the same time as your visa.

You must come to France with this document. The Hosting Agreement is the only official document which will prove your status as a scientist-researcher in France and authorize you to exercise higher education and/or research activities there.

Your family: As soon as you have a Hosting Agreement (subject to sufficient income and accident-sickness-repatriation cover), your spouse and your children can automatically obtain a visa to accompany you to France.

Please note: It is recommended to submit all visa applications at the same time to benefit from the status of "spouse and researcher family".

Please note: The "scientist - researcher" visa does not apply to people travelling to France for meetings, conferences or symposia.



On your arrival in France

Stays of more than 90 days in France are regulated.

In most cases, in addition to applying for a visa before departure, the scientist must apply for a residence permit upon arrival.

These procedures also apply to spouses who accompany their scientific spouses to France.

The type of residence permit to apply for and the procedures for obtaining and renewing it may vary depending on the situation and the nationality of the scientist and her/his spouse.



The regulations on entry and stay conditions in France for the PhD students non nationals of the EU/EEA are very complex. It is essential to launch the most adapted procedure according to your situation before entering the French territory: a visa error could cause major difficulties once you arrive in France (legal impossibility to work and thus to receive an income, blocking of your health insurance, of your residence permit etc.).

The residence permit procedure for doctoral students from third countries (outside the EU, EEA zone and Switzerland) may vary depending on the situation of the doctoral student. The procedure to follow is to be determined according to your situation:


At the end of your doctoral studies, you can apply for a temporary residence permit (APS) if you wish to work in France.

The temporary residence permit will allow you to stay in France for:

  • completing your training with a first professional experience,
  • or creating a company in a field corresponding to your training.

During the duration of your temporary residence permit, you are authorized to seek and exercise a job related to your training (without being limited to a single job or to a single employer), and the remuneration of which is at least equal to 2 € 247.70 gross monthly and in line with the minimum agreement or the wages in the sector.

As long as you have not found this job, you are authorized to work under the same conditions as with a student residence permit.

You must submit your request for a temporary residence permit at the prefecture before your student residence permit expires.

The temporary residence permit is valid for 1 year, not renewable.

At the latest at the end of this period, you can apply for a residence permit if you have found a job (or have a promise of employment) or create a business.




You are a researcher? You will find below all the necessary information on the type of visa to apply for according to your situation.


Within 3 months of your arrival in France, you must validate your VLS-TS visa online on the official website of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Do not hesitate to contact your nearest Euraxess service centre to help you in this process.

You can choose the language at the top right (French, English, Chinese). Before starting or during the procedure, you will find the answer to most of your questions by clicking on "Help" (top right). Information concerning your visa (number, validity dates) and your identity will be requested.

You will have to pay a fee of € 250 for the validation of your VLS-TS until its end date. You will be prompted to purchase electronic tax stamps:

- online, by credit card OR

- in a tobacco shop, in cash or by credit card.

You can save your details, to continue the procedure later, once your fiscal stamps have been purchased. To pay, you will need to type in the number that appears on your electronic tax stamps.

Once payment has been made, the procedure ends with the issuance of a document entitled "Confirmation of the validation of the registration of your long-stay visa serving as a residence permit".

It is important to save this document, and print it to keep it in your passport with your visa. It will be necessary for all travel when entering France, and for renewing your visa two months before it expires.

PLEASE NOTE: if you have not done this within 3 months, you will no longer be legally resident in France and, as a result, you will not be able to cross the Schengen area border again.

IF YOU COME WITH YOUR SPOUSE: your spouse must have received the same type of visa mention R311-3 and will also have to have it validated by the OFII.






Scientist family


Provisions have been put in place to facilitate the installation in France of the scientist's family during his long-term research stay (more than 90 days).

Depending on the nationality of family members, procedures may vary. Below are the procedures for each case.






France-Visas is the official website for visa applications for France, a portal containing all the necessary information to guide you through each step of your application (file preparation, entry, submission and follow-up of your application).