Did you know the number of international students enrolled in France experienced an impressive 8% growth, exceeding 400,000 and representing the highest increase in the past 15 years during the academic year 2023-2024? Looking ahead, France has set an ambitious goal of inviting 20,000 Indian students to the country by 2025, as stated by French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, highlighting the country's commitment to international education and fostering global academic exchanges.
Table of Contents
- Top Universities in France
- Cost of Living in France
- Types of French Student Visa
- Applying for a France Student Visa
- Acquiring a Residence in France
- Documents Required for a Residence Permit in France
- Post-Study Work Visa in France
- How to Apply for French Permanent Residency
- A Road to French Citizenship
- How to Apply for French Citizenship
- Top Programs and Job Prospects in France
- Frequently Asked Questions
What could be the reason behind the increasing number of international students choosing to study in France? The reason can be attributed to various factors. Firstly, France's multicultural and welcoming society, along with its rich historical heritage, attracts students from around the world. Additionally, the availability of English-taught programs caters to students who may not be fluent in French. Moreover, France's global reputation for excellence in higher education and research further enhances its appeal. The academic experience in France equips students with valuable knowledge and internationally recognized certifications, giving them a competitive advantage in their future careers.
Furthermore, it is worth noting that France's technological advancements are also recognized on the global stage, as evidenced by its 12th position in the Global Innovation Index of 2024.
Now, let's explore additional aspects that contribute to France being an ideal choice for studying abroad.
1. English-taught programs:
The inclusion of English-taught programs in the curriculum of French universities is an immensely advantageous aspect of the education system. It provides students with the opportunity to pursue their studies in English, thereby facilitating access to a wider range of educational opportunities and eliminating language barriers that may exist.
2. Affordable tuition costs:
Public higher education institutions have low tuition fees because the French government subsidizes higher education. The overall cost of education is similar to other countries, but in France, the government covers a significant portion of this cost, making education affordable for students.
3. Globally recognized for research:
Renowned for their research prowess, French universities are globally recognized as leading institutions in the field of academic research, providing students with exceptional research facilities and opportunities.
4. Offers a chance to learn a new language:
Although English is a global language, French is considered the third most common business language and the official language in over 29 countries worldwide.
5. An attractive tourist destination
Studying abroad is about more than just academics; it's a chance to explore and experience a new country. In France, students can visit iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and more. If students love theme parks, Disneyland offers magical moments with friends, and for adventurers, Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy awaits.
6. Career advancement opportunities for international students
In France, students can apply for a student visa that allows them to work and gain valuable experience. Engaging with the academic community and finding job opportunities in their field will enhance their career prospects. France also provides post-study work options, giving students a competitive edge and developing their skills.
Top Universities in France
The below table shows the top five most prominent universities in France.
|QS World University Ranking 2024
|Annual Tuition Fee per year
|PSL Research University
|€588 to €8,296
|Institut Polytechnique de Paris
|€172 to €385
|École Normale Supérieure de Lyon (or ENS de Lyon )
Source - Official University Website
Cost of Living in France
The cost of living covers accommodation costs, utilities, transportation, and food expenses. Though the cost of living in France depends on the city you want to live in, the average costs for each category are mentioned in the table below.
|€300 per month
Types of French Student Visa
Generally, there are two types of student visas for France. The type of student visa you would need depends on the length of your visa. Each visa category is described below
Schengen student visa:
If the length of your program is less than three months, and you are sure you will not be spending any longer in the country, you need to apply for a Schengen student visa. This visa is issued free of cost and is non-renewable.
As opposed to a Schengen student visa, a long-stay visa is issued if your study program is longer than six months. This visa acts as a residence permit and lasts for your study period.
Applying for a France Student Visa
Nationals from distinct countries apply for a French student visa through Campus France, the country’s official national agency for higher education and international students. To start with your visa application, you must follow the steps mentioned below:
- Create an account at www.india.campusfrance.org
- Fill out the Campus France form by mentioning your academic records and language skills and submitting certain documents, such as your updated CV and Statement of Purpose
- Submit your file
Once you submit your application, it will get reviewed by Campus France, and you will be assigned an appointment date. The next step involves paying the Campus France fee.
Documents Needed for Student Visas
- Invitation letter for preliminary admission tests.
- Registration certificate for school/university.
- For those under 18, a signed letter from the applicant’s parents permits them to move to the country.
- Copy of the last finished educational diploma or degree.
- Scholarship certificate copy if it is applicable.
You can book your appointment at your consulate and submit the same with your interview. It may be done online and takes place for ten minutes usually. The visa may require a processing time of up to two months.
Acquiring a Residence in France
The first step of the French immigration system requires applying for a Temporary Residence Permit (Carte de séjour temporaire). It allows you to get a residence in France for up to a year. Students applying for a residence permit must be enrolled in a French institution and possess sufficient funds to support themselves financially.
Permanent Residence Permit in France
Also known as Carte de résident, a permanent residence permit is a legal document that allows you to live permanently in France. If you have resided in France for more than five years, you are eligible to apply for this permit. This five-year residency requirement is only three years if you join a family member who already has a permanent residence in France. The residence permit is valid for ten years and renewed after that period.
Documents Required for a Residence Permit in France
Some necessary documents to apply for a permanent residence permit in France are;
- A Passport copy
- Two copies of the completed application
- Four passport-size photographs
- Birth certificate
- Employment contract
- Proof of residence
- Proof of finances
- Proof of medical insurance
Post-Study Work Visa in France
Post-study work visa (PSW) is granted to students who have completed their studies in France. A point to note is that the students who have completed their bachelor’s and master's from France. The students who have pursued a short-term program or diploma course are not eligible for a PSW visa. Here are more details about the PSW visa for students who want to move to France from India.
PSW Visa After Bachelor
A student can only apply for a PSW visa if he/she has paid employment after completing the bachelor’s degree. Students who are already employed are only eligible to apply for a residence permit. Students from non-EU backgrounds, who do not have any permanent employment, can apply for a temporary resident permit, APS (Autorisation Provisoire de Séjour). The temporary residence permit has a validity of 12 months and is non-renewable.
PSW Visa After Masters
Students with a master’s degree from France do not require paid employment. They can apply for a temporary residence permit for 12 to 24 months. However, it is also a non-renewable visa. The students are also restricted in time and duration to work per week. Post 24 months, they either have to find permanent employment or leave the country.
Documents Needed for Work Visas
- Work contract document copy.
- Copy of salary slips of the last three months and work contract copy for intra-company transfers.
- Appointment letter of the institution for scientists.
- A copy of the DRAC (Regional Directorates of Cultural Affairs) for artists.
- Signed internship agreement copy for those in non-paid internship programs.
- For self-employed applicants, a copy of the registration papers for the business.
EU Blue Card
The European Blue Card is one of the Passport-Talent residence permits offered in France. It is issued for a maximum duration of four years and is also renewable. The maximum processing time for an EU Blue Card is 90 days. Here are the requirements for applying for a Blue Card:
- The applicant must have a valid work contract or job offer for at least one year.
- The applicant must meet the minimum salary requirement in the Member State, i.e., €53,836.50.
- If the applicant belongs to regulated profession: they should provide documents that prove national legal requirements.
- If the applicant belongs to unregulated profession, they must provide a valid travel document, an application for a visa or a visa, and also hold a valid residence permit.
- The applicant must also submit proof of sickness (if any).
EU Blue Card Cost
Here are the fee/cost requirements for EU Blue Card:
|Initial Blue Card Fee
|Express Issuance Fee
Source - EU Immigration Portal
How to Apply for French Permanent Residency
To apply for French permanent residency, you must fix an appointment with your local French town hall. Once you fix an appointment, the town hall authorities will notify you of the necessary documents you must carry as per your case.
Now that you know about permanent residency in France, let’s move to French citizenship.
A Road to French Citizenship
To get French citizenship, you must be above 18 years of age and live in France. You can attain the rights of a French citizen by either naturalization or birth. Each category of citizenship is described below.
You are eligible to become a naturalized French citizen if:
- You have been residing in France for five continuous years
- Can provide proof of your integration into a French community. To prove this, you must have enough knowledge of French culture, society, and the rights and duties of French citizens.
The second factor that allows you to gain permanent residence in France is the place of your birth. According to an amendment to French law in 2015, children are eligible to acquire French citizenship at 18 years of age if they have lived in France since the age of six, attended a French school, and have a sibling who holds French citizenship.
How to Apply for French Citizenship
If you fall under one of the above categories, you can apply for French citizenship by contacting your local town hall. The documents you would need to apply for the same are;
- Two copies of the French nationality application form
- Copy of Identification
- Address proof
- Birth certificate
- Proof of criminal record
- Proof that you have resided in France for three years.
Top Programs and Job Prospects in France
Some of the courses and universities offering better job prospects in France are:
|Average Annual Salary
|Luxury Brand Management
|€21,384 - €52,632
€22,89 –€ 29,780
€36,000 – € 90,111
€40,000 - €54,000
*Please note that tuition fees for universities are subject to change. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, visit the official university website.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to settle in France with your family?
The best way to relocate to France is via employers or sponsorship from family members. Without these options, contact the French Embassy to discuss all options. You may ask for a tourist visa to begin with and then switch to a one-year permit. You will have to submit documents like two passport-sized photographs, a completed France National Visa Application form, a valid passport with a couple of blank pages, and copies of your older visas.
Which is the best place to settle in France?
Some of the best places include Paris, which is ideal for history, culture, food, lifestyle, nightlife, and tourist landmarks. Other places include Provence, ideal for enjoying beach lifestyles, and Dordogne, a suitable retirement destination. You can also consider Brittany for affordable living and Lyon for quality food and beverage options. You can also consider Luberon for its charming countryside and Montpellier, an ideal family destination.
Is moving to France a good idea?
France is an ideal study destination for students looking forward to experiencing a unique culture, learning a new language, and studying at affordable costs. Therefore, we would say that moving to France is a good idea.
Is living in France expensive?
Living in France can be a little expensive but is still lower than in other European countries. The average yearly expenses in France can go around €12,201.
What are the different ways international students can get citizenship in France?
There are two ways by which international students can get French citizenship. If you have lived in France for more than three years, you are eligible to become a French citizen. Also, if you are born to a French citizen, you can attain citizenship at 18 years of age.
Which are the top sites to search for jobs in France?
The top sites to search for jobs in France include LinkedIn, Indeed, and Pôle Emploi. The candidates can also visit the official websites of the top organizations to apply for jobs or sit in campus placement.
What are the language requirements to work in France?
Good command of French is generally preferred to work in France even if the job can be done in your mother tongue or English. But some profiles could require you to prove your language skills or appear for a language proficiency test.
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