Pre-departure visa support

Getting your visa

The majority of CUPA students must obtain a French visa to study in France but it is your responsibility to know whether or not you need a visa to study in France, so please verify immediately using the France Visa Wizard.

Note that E.U. citizens are NOT eligible to get a student visa and required by law to enter the country with their EU passport. If you are an EU citizen and do not have a current and valid EU passport, you should acquire one immediately.

All non-E.U. citizens must obtain a valid long-stay student visa from the French authorities in their country of residence before their departure.


The visa process

Getting a French visa is a multi-step process, which requires documentation from CUPA after you have been accepted to the program. The first step is registering with an organization called Campus France. The second step is completing the visa application and going to your visa appointment. Overall, this will take at least 10 weeks from start to finish, so plan accordingly!. You must apply for your visa in the US (or your country of residence). You cannot obtain a visa once you are in France.

Students will receive detailed instructions on starting the visa application process after acceptance to the program. In addition, CUPA hosts several pre-departure visa application information sessions to help clarify the process and answer questions in real time.

You should not start the visa application process until you have been formally accepted to the CUPA program, and have received the necessary documentation you will need to submit to Campus France and the French consulate!

But here are some useful links so you can familiarize yourself with each step:

Campus France/Études-en-France registration guide

Visa application guide

What will it cost ?

Overall, expect to spend $390-$540 on your visa from start to finish, not including travel costs.  This includes:

  • $250-$390 for Campus France/Etudes en France-EEF (depending on whether you choose regular or expedited service)
  • ~$38 (31.5€) to schedule your visa appointment with VFS Global
  • ~$60 (50€) for the visa fee
  • ~$35 to have your visa/passport sent back to you (if you choose not to pick it up in person at a VFS Global center.  We recommend having it sent to you!)
  • Travel costs associated with going to your visa appointment at one of the 9 VFS Global visa application centers

If you plan to be outside the U.S. for the three months preceding your stay in France, contact your French Consulate to verify when you may apply — there is a very strict timeframe to apply for a visa.

If you need help for anything, do not hesitate to get in touch with Tary Coppola.

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