Entry conditions & Visas

Living in Europe, Working in Europe | Entry conditions/visas | France

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.



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:

In this case, you will need to have your student VLS-TS validated online on the Ministry's website.




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


Whatever your nationality (including if it exempts you from a short-stay visa), you must ask to your hosting laboratory in France a "Hosting agreement for visiting researcher". As soon as your stay is confirmed (funding and dates), the laboratory will send it to you by mail. You will have to bring this document to the French Consulate of the country you're living in to obtain a "scientific-researcher" short stay visa.

The Consulate will affix its seal on your hosting agreement and will give it back to you with your visa. You must bring the original of this document with you in France. The hosting agreement is the only official document that proves your scientific-researcher status in France. It enables you to practice higher education and/or research activities.

Your family: As soon as you have an hosting agreement (under the condition of sufficient incomes during your stay and accident-disease-repatriation for the duration of the stay, and for each member of the family) your spouse and children can automatically obtain a visa to accompany you in France. Be careful, it is recommended to apply for all the visas at the same time to benefit from the "researcher spouse and family" status (not to be confused with the "family reunification" procedure, much more complex and uncertain, to avoid!).

Once in France, your spouse will obtain a "family and private life" residence permit that will enable him/her to work or to enroll in a French university.

For a long stay, and if you have to be employed in France, it is highly recommended to apply for a personal passport anda visa for each of your children. It will give you access to social benefits (which is impossible if the children are mentioned in the passport or visa of one of his/her parents).






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).