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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) The request must be made at the French consular services in your country of residence at least 3 months before your departure.

In order to obtain your visa, you will be 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 allow you to travel in the Schengen area but doesn't allow you to stay more than 90 days in France.

Residence permit

Since the 1st of June 2009, holders of  a VLST visa for a duration of more than three months are exempt from registering for a temporary residence permit card for their first year of study in France. However, this is not the case for Algerian students who have a D-type student visa with the statement "request for residency permit to be made upon arrival".

Students who will receive a long-term student visa (visa VLS-TS with the statement "CESEDA R311- 3 6° Autorise travail limité 60% durée légale"), will also be given a form for OFII certification (Office Francais de l'Immigration et de l'Intégration), which you should complete and send to the local OFII headquaters, within the first three months of your arrival in France. The OFII will then send you information and instructions for the necessary formalities, to receive your vignette once your documents are registered and processed.

This procedure is compulsory, and you will have to pay a tax of 60€ in the form of a stamp.

For more information and for help with the procedure, please come to the Guichet Unique at the Maison des Echanges Internationaux et de la Francophonie.

During the Guichet Unique, students can submit their documents and receive help to fill out the OFII form. The documents you will need are as follows:

  • VLS/Application for OFII certification (with complete address in capital letters)
  • Photocopy of passport, visa and entry stamp
The staff at the Guichet Unique will then send your request to the OFII directly, or will give you the necessary information to create an account on the OFII website (dematerialization in progress).

When the request has been processed by the OFII, students will receive by mail a certificate to prove the reception of their request, and a notice to attend an appointment to receive the vignette.

Following the appointment, students will receive the vignette validating their visa, giving the same value as a residence permit.

Students must provide the following documents in order to receive the OFII vignette:
  • 1 official ID photo
  • proof of address
  • stamps of 60€ for students. These can be bought in certain 'tabacs', at the Prefecture, and are now available to buy on the internet.
More information will be available at the Guichet Unique or at the International Office during the rest of the year.

Renewal of a Residence Permit

Documents to include in your residence permit request

You can submit your request to renew your residence permit directly at the Guichet Unique, by taking an appointment on this page.

PLEASE NOTE: Your application must be complete with the proof of your final enrollment at Nantes Université for the current academic year.

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

Please contact the International Relations office before the expiration of your residence permit, if you are finishing a Licence Professionnelle, a Master's degree (Master 2 only) or a PhD.

A letter addressed to Madame La Préfète de Loire Atlantique will allow you to receive a temporary authorisation of stay in France for 12 months (one year) after the expiration of your residence permit, in order to find a job, according to the dates of validity of your residence permit.

Do not hesitate to contact the International Relations office for help with these formalities.

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 01 June 2023 - Sylvia LAIR.