Visas and Residence Permits

Since April 2021, international students can apply for an online visa on France-Visas.

All you need to know about visas and residence permits

  • Before your arrival - The visa application

    Since April 2021, international students may apply for a visa online with France-Visa.


    The administrative formalities to be completed vary depending on your situation, your nationality and the length of your stay. Do not hesitate to visit the links below for further information.

    Enrolling as an International student

    Do I need a visa?

    Can I apply for an online visa?


  • Upon arrival - The validation of the visa

    In most cases, as a student, you will hold a Long Stay Visa as a Residence Permit (VLS-TS) with the mention “student”, which will allow you to stay in France from four months to one year.

    With this visa, you will be able to:

    • work part-time up to 964 hours per year
    • cross the Schengen area borders


    For VLS-TS holders, you must validate your visa online within three months of your arrival in France. This process is entirely paperless.



    Log onto the website:
    (available in English)

    Click on “Validate your VLS-TS long stay visa” and have your visa, your date of arrival in France, your address of residence in France and a credit card with you.

    You will be asked to purchase a 50€ tax stamp. If you have a credit card, you can make the purchase directly online on the same website. If you do not have one, you can buy it in a tobacconist’s shop.

    The “Référence réglementaire” (regulatory reference) to choose is: CESEDA R311-3 6° (for students)

    Once your information has been validated, you will receive an email with the validation of your visa to be printed and kept carefully.


    CAUTION: If you have not done this procedure within three months, you will no longer be legally resident in France and if you are traveling outside of France, you will have to apply for a new visa to return to France.


    Special case 1: Algerian nationals holding a student visa are not concerned by the online validation of their visa but must apply for a residence permit on within two months of their arrival.


    Special case 2: the “mineur scolarisé/underage student” visa can’t be validated.

    • You will turn 18 during the validity of your visa: you have 2 months after you turn 18 to create your account on and ask for your residence permit
    • You won’t be 18 during the validity of your visa: when your visa expired, you will have to go back to your home country to ask for a new visa



  • During your stay - The visa and residence permit renewal

    If your “student” VLS-TS is about to expire and you wish to continue your studies at UCLy/in France, you have the possibility to renew it by completing the procedure four months before it expires. Since September 2020, this renewal procedure is entirely online.


    Go to:

    Connect with the login (10 figures) and password you used when you validated your visa

    Gather your documents and get your e-photo.
    Caution: you have sometimes to wait 24h to 48h to use your e-photo code.


    List of supporting documents – Non-european student


    This time, click on “I would like to apply or renew my residence permit” and submit your application by following the different steps.


    Once you have submitted your application, you will automatically receive a certificate entitled “Attestation de confirmation de dépôt”. This document simply attests that your application has been submitted, but it does not constitute proof of legal residence and does not entitle you to any rights associated with legal residence.

    The Prefecture will then examine your application and may ask you for additional documents if necessary.

    If the Prefecture take time to check on your application or if you are waiting for a document (transcript of records or school certificate) , you will receive an “Attestation de prolongation d’instruction”. This official document extend your right to stay (including your right to work part-time if you have a “student” visa or residence permit) and allow you to cross the Schengen Area borders. Lasting 3 months and being renewable, this document is only valid with the detaining visa/residence permit.

    In case of agreement, you will receive an “Attestation de décision favorable”. This official document indicate that a card will be made (with validity date), allows you to work part-time and to cross the Schengen Area borders. This document is only valid with the detaining visa/residence permit.

    You will have to pay 75€ tax stamps. You can buy it online on or in a tobacconist’s shop. Don’t forget to bring it at the Prefecture when you will get your card. No payment in situ.

    CAUTION: Incomplete application delay your demand. Please gather all the supplying document before your online application.

    If case you need, you can make an appointment here so we will check your application.

    If you uploaded a pre-inscription, you will mandatory have to give your final school certificate when you will get your card at the Prefecture.


    Watch the Campus France video below that will guide you step by step through the process:

    Submitting an online application for a residence permit


    Expired visas/residence permits

    If your visa/residence permit has expired less than 6 months ago, you can still apply for your renewal online. However, you will have to pay a 180€ tax stamp penalty when you will get your card.

    If you visa/residence permit has expired more than 6 months ago, you won’t be allowed to apply online. You will have to request an appointment with the Prefecture on so the Prefecture consider your demand. You will have to buy a 50€ tax stamp penalty to apply (online or in a tobacconist’s shop). No payment in situ.


    Students from EU/EEA/Switzerland: residence permit are not mandatory. However, you may be aks for one for some procedures. You have to request an appointment at the Prefecture on

    List of supporting documents – EU/EEA/Switzerland student

  • Residence permit / Temporary residence permit “Job seeker/ new business creator”

    You just graduate and you want to stray in France and work or set up your own business ? You can ask for the residence permit or temporary residence permit (Attestation Provisoire de Séjour – APS) “Job seeker/ new business creator” / “Recherche d’emploi – Création d’entreprise”.

    This (temporary) residence permit allows international students or researchers who obtain a French higher education diploma (vocational or Master degree) to stay in France and look for a job, work full time or set up their company.


    Residence permit or temporary residence permit (APS) ?

    The residence permit “Job seeker/ new business creator” is available to international students who have a “Student” or “Researchers” long stay visa or residence permit.

    The temporary residence permit (APS) is available to international students/researchers who are citizens of countries that have concluded migration flow agreements with France: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gabon, India, Mauritius, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Tunisia.


    CAUTION: European and Algerian students/researchers do not require a “job seeker/new business creator” residence card.


    When and how apply ?

    You are in France : Before your “Student” or “Researcher” residence permit expires and upon your graduation, you can ask for your (temporary) residence permit online:

    Caution: This website is only available to students/researchers living in Rhône department. Students/Researchers living in other department have to ask their Prefecture about the process.

    Supporting documents:

    -Valid “Student” or “Researchers” residence permit
    -Passport (page with your identity and photo)
    -Birth certificate with filiation (with translation in French by a sworn translator)
    -Proof of address no more than 6 months old
    -Proof of health insurance
    -Diploma awarded within the last year / justification proving that you passed
    -In case you want to set up your own business: proofs of your intention to set up a business related to your field of study (presentation, business plan, legal status etc.)
    -Information sheet duly completed, dated and signed


    You are abroad: within a maximum of 4 years after obtaining your diploma, you may ask for a long-stay visa “job seeker/new business creator” at the French consulate.

    Caution: This visa can’t be obtained if you are member of a country that have concluded migration flow agreements with France.


    More info about:


    Migration flow agreements with France

    Residence permit “Job seeker – Business creator

    Temporary residence permit “Job seeker – Business creator”


  • European mobility at UCLy : Non-European students holding a European residence card
    • You are citizen of a non-European country
    • You have a residence permit issued by a UE-country
    • You are coming to UCLy as part of a European programme for mobility (UE-programme or multilateral programme or convention programme between UCLy and a European university)


    Your mobility at UCLy lasts less than 90 days: you don’t have any procedure to do to obtain a visa/residence permit in France.


    Your mobility lasts at Ucly more than 90 days:

    If your European residence permit covers your mobility at UCLy, you will have to:

    • Your institute/faculty/department at UCLy have to fill the 1st part of this application
    • You will have to bring the application along with the following document:
      • Copy of your passport
      • Copy of your European residence card
      • Proof of sufficient resources during your mobility (615€/month)
      • Proof of health insurance
      • Proof that your mobility at UCLy is part of a UE-programme or multilateral programme or convention programme between UCLy and a European university
      • Proof of your nomination at UCLy


    Applications have to be submitted to the ISD
    Saint Paul campus – Ground floor – Office C 025
    Tuesday and Friday: 9am-12pm | 1:30pm-4:30pm
    Wednesday: 9am-12pm


    If your european residence permit doesn’t cover your mobility at UCLy:

    • You will have to ask for a “student” visa at your local French Consulate before your arrival in France


    Caution: Applications for a residence permit at the French Prefecture will be refused.

You need help with the online validation of your visa ?
You face difficulties with your "Student" or "Job seeker/ new business creator" visa/residence permit renewal ?

You would like to check your documents before your appointment at the Prefecture or your online submission ?

The International Student Desk offers a support to help you with :

  • The preparation of the needed documents to ask for your residence permit as a student or “ Recherche d’emploi-Création d’entreprise ” ?
  • The creation of your online account on the administration website ANEF (
  • Your online submission as “Student”
  • Your online submission for the residence permit “Recherche d’emploi-Création d’entreprise”

ISD - International relations Office
Saint Paul Campus - Ground floor - C 025

- Monday and Friday : from 9am to 12pm and from 1:30pm to 4:30pm
- Wednesday: from 9am to 12pm

To make an appointment, click here!

Don’t hesitate to come to see us at the ISD office !