Visas and residence permits

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

Validation, renewal, change in status, specific situations.

Do not hesitate to contact the International Student Desk (ISD) if you need help and/or face difficulties. Contact at the bottom of the page

All you need to know about visas and residence permits

  • 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?


  • The validation of the long stay visa (VLS-TS)

    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 have to buy 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.

    Note your “Identifiant” number (also known as your “Numéro étranger“), which is made up of 10 digits and begins with 99.
    You will need this number for other procedures and when you will renew your visa.

    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 cases: visa "Mineur scolarisé" and algerian students

    Algerian citizen holding a student visa are not concerned by the online validation of their visa but must make an appointment at the Préfecture on within two months after their arrival.


    The mineur scolarisé/underage student” visa can’t be validated.


    Make an appointment at the Prefecture


    1st application – List of supporting documents

  • 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 4 months before it expires. This renewal procedure is entirely online.

    From September 2023, if you have not submitted your renewal application within 4 to 2 months before your visa expires, you will have to pay a late fee

    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


    (Example) Accommodation certificate / (Modèle) Attestation d’hébergement FR-EN

    (Example) Financial responsibility / (Modèle) Attestation de prise en charge FR-EN

    Go to:

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

    * Your identifiant is the “Reference” indicated on the “Confirmation of validation of long-stay visa valid as residence permit”, which you received when you validated your visa. It consists of 10 digits and starts with 99.

    Click on “I would like to apply or renew my residence permit” > “I renew a residence permit for” > “Myself (aged 16 and over)” > “And I hold a residence permit / VLS-TS” > “You hold a VLS-TS as a “Student”. This permit is marked “ETUDIANT-ELEVE” > “I am applying to renew this permit”.

    Step 1: Check your personal details
    Delete the number on the city section.
    Enter a 10-digit French mobile phone number starting with 06 or 07.

    Step 2: Reason for your stay
    Fill in the information for the current year and the coming year.

    ILCF student:
    In the “Cycle of study” and “Level of study at end of year” sections, select “Other”.
    In “I am entering the reason for repeating my year”, indicate the evolution of your French level. Example: “S1 2022-23: B1 / S2 2022-23: B1+”.

    Step 3: Financial resources
    You can choose several sources of income by clicking on “+add an income” (“Employed” and “Supported”, for example).

    Remember: the total amount of your resources must be greater than or equal to €615 per month.

    Step 4: Supporting documents
    Upload the supporting documents.

    If you provide a certificate of (pre-)enrolment, you should be aware that the Préfecture will ask you for a final scholarship certificate when examining your application.

    If you are going on a mobility programme in another European Union country: upload the mobility certificate produced by your faculty/institute/school at UCLy in the “Certificate of enrolment or proof of pre-registration” section.

    The “Diploma obtained in France” and “Certificate of archivement” sections do not need to be completed if your faculty/institute/school at UCLy does not issue these documents.

    ILCF students: You can upload the DUEF (Diplôme Universitaire d’Etudes Françaises).

    Step 5: Summary
    Read carefully the provided information.
    In the “Comments for the administration” section, you can add details about your application. For example, “awaiting admission to Master’s programme / awaiting 2nd semester grades”.
    Caution: Once you click on “Validate and submit my application”, you will no longer be able to add documents and/or modify your application.

    Step 6: Confirmation
    You will automatically receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your application by e-mail, along with a PDF “Confirmation of submission”.
    This document is proof that your application has been submitted. It is not a récépissé or residence permit.


    What happens next?

    The Rhône Prefecture gives priority to renewal applications for permits that are due to expire soon.

    If there is a delay in processing the renewals at the Préfecture:
    You will receive an “Attestation de prolongation d’instruction” no later than the day your visa/residence permit expires.
    This official document extends 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.

    If your application was incomplete at the time of submission (transcript/certificate of attendance not available):
    The Préfecture will send you a request for additional documents. You will have 30 days to provide the document requested. If you do not provide it within 30 days, your application will be closed.

    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.

    4 to 6 weeks after receiving the Attestation de décision favorable, you will receive a text message on your French number indicating you that your residence permit is available at the Préfecture du Rhône. You will then need to buy a €75 tax stamp (online on or in a tobacconist) and make an appointment to obtain your residence permit. Remember to bring the tax stamp with you on the day of appointment. No payment possible on site.

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

    Campus France tutorial: The online visa renewal


    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” (RECE).

    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.

    Caution: It is not possible to reapply for a “Student” residence permit after obtaining a RECE card/APS.


    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 cannot 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.

    *If you « Student » visa/residence card expire before you receive your diploma or certificate of achievement: you have to request for a “Attestation de Prolongation”. To do so, follow the instructions in the section “The visa and residence permit renewal” above. Instead of the transcript of records and the scholarship certificate, upload a certificate from your faculty/school/institute indicating the date of issue of the pass certificate of achievement (to be requested in advance).


    List of supporting documents

    Information form

    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

    Caution: You are not concerned by this procedure if you have a validated French long stay visa (see “Upon arrival – The validation of the visa” section).

    You are concern by this procedure if:

    • 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”

Contact the ISD

International Student Desk
St Paul campus - Ground floor - C 025
Make an appointment: