Housing benefit (CAF)

As a student, you can receive financial allowance from the Caisse d'Allocations Familiales (CAF) to help you pay your rent.

What are the conditions to benefit from it?

To be eligible for housing allowance, you mandatory have to:

  • Hold a valid visa / residence permit
    (Caution: holders of a visa with the mention "temporary exemption from residence permit" cannot receive this aid)
  • Have a lease contract
  • Do not have family relationship with the landlord
  • Have a bank account in France or a bank account in the SEPA zone

When to apply?

We advise you to apply as soon as you arrive in your accommodation.

Indeed, the CAF will take into account the date of your online application and not the date of entry into your accommodation.

You should also know that the aid is due from the 1st day following the month of your application.

For example: If you apply for the housing benefits on the 15th September, your rights will start in October.

Processing times

Caution: The processing times can be very long.
See the CAF website to know more.

Example: On the 9th October 2023, the CAF is processing applications submitted between the 28th and the 30th July 2023.

As the CAF take into account the date of your online application, your rights to the APL are retroactiv: the first payment take into account the current month and the passed months since your application.

Step 1: Create your CAF account

Create your account in 3 steps on www.caf.fr:

  • Fill the information concerning your identity and contacts
  • Introduce the verification code received by text or mail (check your spams)
  • Define your own password

If you do not have a French Social Security number (Student with a European Health Insurance Card-EHIC), answer "No" to the question "Je possède un numéro de Sécurité sociale". You will get a provisional number at the end of the process, via email or text (P + 8 figures). You will also find it on the summary screen.

The CAF will process your application within few days (8 days on average). You will then receive your "N° allocataire" per post or email.

Step 2: Application for the housing benefit

Go to www.caf.fr > Aides et démarches > Mes démarches

You can whether make a simulation/test of your rights to the APL or directly submit an application by clicking on “Faire la demande”.

Do not forget to download the different "Récapitulatifs" (recaps) at the end of the process (Step 5: "Fin")

Consult the tutorials

More information

Visas and residence permits

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