Visas and residence permits

Depending on your length of stay and of your status, the visa you have to apply to at the French Consulate or the French Ambassy of your home country can be different from one to another.

Members of the European Union don’t need any visa nor residence card.

Algerian people have a particular status, please contact us for further information.

Visa for a short-term stay

  • For a short-term stay (less than 3 months): the visa you will be delivered in your home country is sufficient. There will be no other mandatory procedure once in France.

Visa for a long-term stay

  • For a long-term stay, from 3 to 12 months, you will be delivered a long-term stay visa, considered as a residence permit called VLS-TS (Visa Long Séjour Valant Titre de Séjour).
  • For a longer stay, above 12 months, you will be delivered a 3 month visa with the special mention “Carte de séjour à solliciter dans les deux mois suivant votre arrivée” because you will need to apply for a residence permit.

Anyway, this is the French consulate or Embassy in your home country that will decide the type of visa they will deliver, according to your own situation.

If you enter the country with a VLS-TS (Visa Long Séjour valant Titre de Séjour)  you will need to do an administrative procedure at the Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration, the OFII (French Office of immigration and integration).

How to proceed:

  • As soon as you arrive in France, you need to complete the “Demande d’attestation OFII” form which you will be given at the French consulate of your home country with your visa.
  • Send this form with acknowledgment  of receipt (“avec accusé de réception”), along with the documents mentioned on the form, at the OFII you depend on (see the second page of the OFII form to find the right office depending on your address).
  • Once the OFII receives your file and within several weeks, you will be sent a “confirmation of reception”.
  • Then, you will be sent a letter of Convocation at the OFII for an appointment and the validation of your VLS-TS.
  • Before going at the appointment, you must buy a fiscal stamp with the amount written on the Convocation. You can easily buy this stamp online : stamp OFII or in France in any tobacco shop.
  • For your appointment at the OFII, you will need to have with you:
  1. Your passport
  2. The fiscal stamp
  3. A proof of address
  4. A picture ID
  • The OFII will validate your visa by adding an OFII stamp to your passport. Then, your visa will be considered as a residence permit.

If you enter in France with a visa bearing mention “Carte de séjour à solliciter dans les 2 mois suivant votre arrivée”, you will have to apply for a residence card at the Prefecture you depend on within two months after your arrival in France.

This is how you must proceed:

  • You must constitute a complete file to apply for a residence permit, the documents to be provided can be delivered by Science Accueil.
  • Take an appointment with the Prefecture of your place of residence to submit the file. Science Accueil can facilitate the procedure and help you get this appointment faster, if in Essonne’s Department.
  • During this meeting, you will be given a “récépissé de première demande” (proof of first application) to a residence permit.
  • You will be then convened to come to pick up your residence permit of which the mention depends on your status: “student”, “passport talent” or “employee”.
  • By the time you get there to pick up your residence card, you will need to pay a tax by way of a fiscal stamp. Its cost depends on your status and will be given to you in the Convocation.


The period of validity of this residence permit can be pluriennial (available for several years) and matches with the “Convention d’Accueil” for the researchers and PhD students.