If you neither a European resident, nor a resident of a country covered by the “Studying in France” procedure

Since 1st June 2009, students applying for the first time must apply for a visa long séjour valant titre de séjour mention étudiant (longstay student visa).

To find out about this procedure, go to the official French visa website

The “visa long séjour valant titre de séjour mention étudiant” (longstay student visa resident card equivalent), abbreviated VLS-TS student, allows students to stay in France for between four months and a year for higher education.  

It entitles them to travel freely in all the Schengen area countries.  

With this visa, you are allowed to work 964 hours a year, i.e. 20 hours a week, in order to supplement your income.  

Within 3 months following your entry into France, your longstay visa needs to be validated by OFII, the French Immigration and Integration Office.

A dedicated unit at École des Ponts ParisTech, the “Bureau de la vie étudiante” (Student Life Office) provides help with administrative procedures.  

This unit centralises all student cases and follows them up; the Student Life Office is the exclusive contact for the Torcy Sub- Prefecture to which the School is attached; as long as you are registered at École des Ponts ParisTech, it is essential that you go via the Student Life Office for your administrative procedures.

You will be asked to provide the following documents:

  • OFII certification form. It is issued to you  by the French consular authorities in your country of residence before you leave. Otherwise, you can download it from the OFII website;
  •  the copy of the pages in your passport that contain information on your identity and on the date of your entry into France or into another country within the Schengen area (police stamp).

Once your case has been registered, you will be given an appointment at OFII. At your interview, you will need to show:

  • your passport and your visa;
  • evidence of residence in France (rent receipt, lease, water or electricity bill, proof of accommodation, etc.);
  • an ID photograph;
  • revenue stamps, in either paper or electronic form, for an amount of 60 euros in 2017;
  • where applicable, a certificate specifying that you have already had a medical checkup with an OFII licensed medical practitioner in your country of residence.

Following this appointment, OFFI will give you a sticker to attach to your passport.  

This OFII sticker certifies that your longstay student visa has been validated.  

The VLS-TS student, or longstay student visa, allows you to study in France for a period of from four months to one year.  
Two months before it expires, you will have to apply to the Student Life Office for a resident permit in order to be able to stay in France.  

Since November 2009, non-European foreigners have been able to sign a professional training contract with a French company, but only under a fixed term contract (CDD).

To do this, you need to hold a valid residence permit allowing you to stay in France and to undertake the following procedures:  
1. Signature of CERFA n°12434*02 with the future employer,
2. Request for temporary authorisation for full-time work as a “student in training”, to be addressed to the Direccte,
3. Proof of attendance confirming education in the school of origin,
4. Application to the prefecture for renewal of residence permit.

Once all the administrative procedures are complete, the company and its future intern can begin a standard 6 to 12 month professional training contract.  

How to obtain a temporary work permit?

In France, foreign students are obliged to apply for an Autorisation Provisoire de Travail (APT), a temporary work permit, in order to sign their professional training contract.  
To do this, interns on a professional training contract must complete the APT form by applying to the Foreign Workers Section at the Direccte.

In this case, foreign interns are required to provide the following documents:

  • The professional training contract on a Cerfa form signed by the employer and by the future employee,
  • A valid residence permit,
  • A valid identity card,
  • Certificate of registration in a professional training organisation.

The file is then sent to OFII and to the consular office: the foreign student is obliged to undergo a medical checkup, failing which the work permit may be cancelled. 

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