France : Visas

From within the European Union, to travel within the Schengen Area, where free movement is allowed, a visa is not required but you must be able to provide a local address where you will be staying. From outside Europe, you will need to fulfil administrative procedures: a work placement requires a visa, and the company must obtain the government’s authorization to host a trainee.

There are several categories of visas.

- Short stay visas (“Schengen visas”): Short stay visas are “Schengen” visas that allow their holders to move about freely within the Schengen Area for stays of up to 90 days out of a 180 day period. These visas can be issued for one or more entries.

- Long stay visas: These visas are issued for stays of more than 90 days. The main reasons for these visas are typically for studies, work or family reunification. To have your visa issued, you must register upon arrival with the Office Français d’Immigration et d’Intégration (OFII) or, depending on your circumstances, with the local prefecture.

What is the Schengen Area?

The Schengen Area includes 25 European countries. 22 European Union Member States (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France’s territory in Europe, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands’ territory in Europe, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden) currently apply all of the provisions of the Schengen Agreement in full.

Iceland, Norway and Switzerland also apply all of the provisions of the Schengen Agreement in full although they are not members of the European Union.

Obtaining a Schengen visa

If you want to do a placement of less than three months, you will need:

  • An application form for a short stay visa, duly completed (front and back), signed and dated.
  • Two recent photos against a light background that are up to standards.
  • Passport (valid for at least three months after the requested visa’s expiration date) with at least two completely blank pages plus a photocopy of the identity page and any prior Schengen visas.
  • Signed work placement agreement.
  • Academic enrolment for the current year.
  • Last diplomas received.
  • Proof of means of support and accommodation (this information may appear in your agreement: compensation, free accommodation provided by the company in France, etc.).
  • INTERNATIONAL TREATMENT/REPATRIATION MEDICAL INSURANCE covering any emergency medical care and/or hospitalizations with benefits of at least €30,000 plus repatriation costs for your entire stay in the Schengen Area.

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