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International students: Visa and residence permit


If your stay in France is due to last for more than three months, you must obtain a long-term student visa before your arrival in France (Visa VLST or VLS-TS). To know if you need a visa :

A long-stay visa (VLST or VLS-TS) marked "étudiant" (student) allows you to study in France for a period of 4 months to 1 year.

If you come from a country where the "Etudes en France" procedure exists, you must first apply via the Campus France website:
If you come from a country where the "Etudes en France" procedure doesn't exist, you must contact the French consular authorities in your country of residence at least three months before departure.

In order to obtain your visa, you will have to provide different documents, among others:

  • proof of your admission or pre-enrollment at Nantes Université
  • proof of your monthly income of at least 615€ (amount fixed by each French embassy)
  • a valid passport
  • proof of residence in France

Students exempted from requesting a visa : citizens of a European Economic Area country and from Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland or the Vatican.

PLEASE NOTE: Students from the Erasmus program who are not European citizens must request a long-term student visa. The request must be made in your country of residence. The residence permit of your country of residence allows you to travel in the Schengen area but doesn't allow you to stay more than 90 days in France.

Validation of the long-stay VISA

When you arrive in France, if you have obtained a long-stay visa valid as a residence permit, you must validate it within 3 months of your arrival. This procedure, which is compulsory, is carried out online at

To do this you will need a valid e-mail address and:
- the information on your visa
- your date of arrival in France
- your address of residence in France
- a payment card to pay the residence permit fee online (if you don't have a payment card, you can buy an electronic stamp in cash).
You will then receive proof of the validity of your visa, which is valid as a residence permit. Keep this document with you at all times.

More information on visa validation:

All relevant informations will be available at the Guichet Unique or at the International Office throughout the year.

Renewal of a Residence Permit

If you wish to stay in France for more than a year for your studies, you must renew your residence permit within 3 months of its expiry.
More information on this page:

Temporary authorisation of stay (Autorisation Provisoire de Séjour - APS)

Students in the process of validating a Master 2 degree with a job-seeking project following graduation are eligible for a "job-seeking/business start-up" residence permit. To obtain this residence permit, they must send a complete application by post with acknowledgement of receipt. The diploma certificate is one of the most important elements of the application, and the request must be made before the expiry of the current residence permit.

Full details are available on the Préfecture de Loire-Atlantique website.

If you have any questions regarding your request, please contact directly:
Prefecture of Loire-Atlantique, Residency Office
E-mail address:

PLEASE NOTE: Algerian students cannot benefit from the temporary authorisation of stay
For more information :

For more information or to take an appointment please contact
Mis à jour le 05 January 2024.