A visa is not necessarily required. Nationals of the European Union, Andorra, Monaco, Vatican City, Switzerland, San Marino and Liechtenstein are exempt from the long-stay visa.
The most common visas are short-stay (≤ 90 days in France) and long-stay student visas (> 90 days). Long-stay student visas are called VLS-TS (visa long séjour valant titre de séjour mention étudiant) and function as a student residence permit.
Two months before leaving their home country, all foreign nationals wishing to study in France must obtain a VLS-TS from the French consular services in their country of residence.
The long-stay visa acts as a residence permit and allows students to study in France for a period of four months to one year. When it expires, you must apply for a residence permit to stay in France.
You must validate your VLS-TS visa no later than 3 months after your arrival in France through the official website of the Ministère de l’Intérieur. The process is entirely remote and digital.
Students with a long-stay visa are also required to register with the French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII). This must be completed no more than 3 months after arrival in France. The procedure fees are to be added to the visa fees.