Entry and residency formalities
All international students are required to secure a residency permit, with the exception of European Union nationals. Students intending to come to study in France are required to secure a D visa from their French Embassy.
The C visa (for tourism) can under no circumstances be converted to a residency permit. The D visa (valid for a duration of 3 months for Algerian nationals, and between 4 and 12 months for other foreign nationals) must be obtained. It entitles the holder to remain in France for the duration of their studies provided it is properly renewed.
A one-stop facility for all your residency-related formalities: La Maison Internationale
La Maison Internationale, in Villeneuve d’Ascq, Cité Scientifique Campus, office A4, welcomes you throughout the academic year, from Monday to Friday, with specific opening hours regarding the anual calendar.
Here, you can find multiple administrative staff who can help you with your questions regarding entry and residence in France and also about your academic inscription, the Social Security system(CPAM) and housing assistance (CAF- ALS). La Maison Internationale is also here to guide you in your administrative procedures to obtain and renew your resident permit with computer equipment at your disposal.
Welcoming Protocole of the international public from the 16th June to the 24th of July due to the Coronavirus crisis
Since the 11th of May 2020, a new step has opened in the health crisis.
While we are still trying to adjust to the pandemic, we stay more than ever mobilized by your side to accompany you to prepare the next academic year.
In this context, and to assure the security of our staff and students, we extend et reenforce the sanitary measures and the distancing rules at La Maison Internationale in accordance with public authorities recommendations.
From the 16th of June, La Maison Internationale will reopen its doors each TUESDAY and THURSDAY only to accompany you with your administrative procedures to renew your resident permit. We respond to all of your questions and if it’s necessary we can verify your documents.
The reopening of La Maison Internationale will be under these conditions :
- By appointment only. (you’ll have to present the convocation)
- Only on Thursday or Tuesday.
- During the opening hours: https://rendez-vous.univ-lille.fr/rdv/accueil/titresejour
- No file will be established or submitted to the Prefecture by us.
- The file and the justificative documents will have to be send by the student personally to the Prefecture by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.
La MI will welcome you :
- One person at at time with your own mask and pencil.
- By appointment only, the convocation is mandatory.
- With the distancing required.
- By respecting strictly the appointment day and hour.
If no appointment is avalaible, we invite you to wait until new schedules will be opened. We update them daily. You can contact us through this mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any question.
Be aware that no appointment will be given by mail. Only the application can authorize you an appointment.
Two different residency permits
You have just arrived in France and a D (student) visa has been placed inside your passport. This is known as a long-stay visa, or “Visa Long Séjour” (VLS). You do not yet have a residency permit, but only a D visa that entitles you to study in France.
- your D visa contains the words “Visa Long Séjour Temporaire”: this means you have no procedure to complete when you arrive. This visa is issued by French Embassies as part of exchange programmes. You are lawfully allowed to stay until it expires.
- your D visa contains the word “étudiant”: this means the Embassy has issued a long-stay visa that constitutes a residency permit (VLS-TS). You are required to validate it at the OFII (see section on this page relating to OFII formalities) within 3 months of your arrival.
- your D visa is valid for a duration of 3 months: this means you must begin the procedure to obtain a residency permit within 2 months of arriving in France.
- you are a minor at the time of submitting your visa request at the Embassy: your visa contains the words “mineur-scolarisé”. You must begin the procedure to obtain a residency permit 2 months before reaching the age of 18 via the on-site service available at the University of Lille.
Here you will find: the list of documents required for first-time residency permit requests, the application dossier to be downloaded and completed, information on how to complete it (with important explanatory notes), and then consult the procedure for submitting your request.
If you have already been in France for a few months:
- you have a D visa in your passport and an OFII sticker or you are a residency permit holder: you must apply to renew your residency permit. Your request must be submitted with a valid residency permit (except in specific cases). The procedure takes two months to be processed by the Prefecture of Lille. You are therefore advised to submit your request two months before your current permit expires.
NB: for requests submitted two months and one day after the expiry of the current permit, the applicant faces a fine of €180.
Here you will find the list of documents required to renew your residency permit, the application dossier to be downloaded and completed, and the document explaining how to complete your dossier on your own. Then, consult the procedure for submitting your request.
Procedure at the Prefecture
Validation of your long-stay visa that serves as a residency permit, known as a "VLS-TS"
(valid for 4 to 12 months)
You entered France with a long-stay visa that serves as a residency permit, known as a “VLS-TS”, which is valid for 4 to 12 months and entitles you to residency in France. Bienvenue!
In order for this visa to be validated and converted into a residency permit for the duration indicated, you must complete the following procedure online within 3 months of your arrival in France:
1. Visit the following website: https://administration-etrangers-en-france.interieur.gouv.fr/
2. Click on "Je valide mon VLS-TS"
3. Follow the instructions
To complete the online form, you will need the following:
- A valid email address,
- The information that appears on your French visa,
- The entry stamp that appears on the visa,
- Your address in France,
- Bankcard for the online payment of the residency permit issuance tax (other forms of payment are available on the website).
NB: If you have not completed this procedure within 3 months of your arrival in France, you will no longer be lawfully entitled to remain in France. This means you will no longer be able to cross the borders within the Schengen area and you will be required once again to apply for lawful entry. The Prefecture will be unable to approve your residency on French soil.
If you have any questions:
0806 001 620
NB: the tax to be paid online is €60, payable in fiscal stamps.
- Fiscal stamps: these are used to pay for residency entitlements with French administrative authorities. They can be purchased from a tobacconist. €79 for a multi-year permit and €49 for a single renewal.
- Biometrics: Since October 2013, biometric indicators have been part of the procedure for issuing residency permits. These include digital fingerprints (taken when the applicant picks up his/her receipt) and the photo requirements which must respect the applicable standards. Students must therefore visit the Prefecture of Lille twice, once to validate the request and pick up the receipt, and again to pick up the residency permit.
- Proof of request submission: this document is drawn up by staff at the University of Lille and is proof that the residency permit application dossier is complete. It is valid for a period of 2 months, during which time the Prefecture processes the request. This document can be presented in the event of a police check. It does not constitute a work permit, nor does it replace the residency permit.
- Multi-year renewal: French legislation dated 7 March 2016 makes multi-year residency permits generally available and therefore provides for the issuance of such permits for students in their first year on an undergraduate programme. This means that at the end of the first year of lawful residency, students can request a multi-year residency permit that covers the duration of their remaining studies (1 to 4 years), provided they respect the initial conditions for the issuance of a residency permit and can prove that their status as a student is real and with serious intent. The cost of this permit is €79, payable in fiscal stamps.
ID photos: applicable standards
registration certificate (valid)
Further useful information
Provisional residency authorisation (APS) for a duration of 12 months (varies in accordance with bilateral agreements) can be issued to some foreign students who wish to build on their education with initial work experience or who can provide proof of an entrepreneurship project in an area relating to their studies. The APS is non-renewable. Algerian students cannot request an APS as the Franco-Algerian agreement does not provide for this possibility.
Conditions of issuance
The student must:
● hold a valid residency permit or “student” VLS-TS,
● hold a degree at least equivalent to a master’s, a professional diploma or a level I diploma certified by the Conférence des grandes écoles (e.g. specialized master’s or MSC certified by the Conférence des grandes écoles)
see decree n° 2016-1463 dated 28 October 2016 (NOR:INTV1630601D) and order dated 21 May 2011 stipulating the list of diplomas at least equivalent to a master’s degree.
Foreign nationals are authorised to look for and take up employment during the period of their provisional residency authorisation. Until such time as an employment contract has been signed in a relevant area or until a business has been set up in the area of their studies, they can take up any salary-paid employment up to a limit of 964 hours (60% of the annual duration of work). Depending on the profession concerned, the remuneration for said employment must reach 1.5 times the amount of the French minimum wage (SMIC) and comply with the minimum agreed remuneration or salary habitually paid in the sector.
No later than the expiry of the APS, the foreign national in question can request a residency permit if he/she has found employment or set up a business.
Applicants who would like to request an APS under the status of “student in search of employment or start-up entrepreneur” must download the application form on the website of the Prefecture of the Nord department: www.nord.gouv.fr/Demarches-administratives/Etrangers-en-France/Etudiants-etrangers/Travail-des-etudiants-etrangers
and send it by post with notification of receipt to the following address:
Préfecture du Nord
DII - Bureau de l'admission au séjour
"APS ETUDIANT EN RECHERCHE D'EMPLOI OU CREATION D'ENTREPRISE"
12, rue Jean sans Peur CS 20003
59039 LILLE cedex
Upon receipt, if the dossier is complete and the student satisfies all of the conditions, he/she will be notified by email.
Lost/stolen residency permits
If you lose your residency permit: you must draw up a statement of loss (document available for download on our website) and download the duplicate request form via this page
If your residency permit is stolen: you must declare the theft of your residency permit at a police station and download the duplicate request form
Please print out and complete the request form and send it by registered letter with notification of receipt, along with the requested documents, to the following address:
Préfecture du Nord -DII- Bureau de l'admission au Séjour
Demande de Duplicata
12 rue Jean Sans Peur
59039 LILLE Cedex
A new residency permit will be produced at a cost of €19, payable in fiscal stamps
How to change the address on your residency permit if you move house
You must download, print and complete the address change request form
Within 3 months of a change of address within the Nord department, you must send the form, along with all of the requested documents, to the following address:
Préfecture du Nord -DII- Bureau de l’admission au Séjour
Demande de changement d’adresse
12 rue Jean Sans Peur
59039 LILLE Cedex
NB: if your proof of address is not deemed admissible (refer to our list of admissible documents), your request will not be processed and the documents will be returned to you.
A residency permit will be produced indicating the new address at a cost of €19, payable in fiscal stamps
You must inform your contact staff member at the University of Lille. It is very important that you tell the Prefecture about your situation. Simply email me your address for the period concerned, a copy of your validated traineeship agreement, the exchange contract, the duration and a copy of the visa or residency permit obtained in the country concerned. The information provided to the Prefecture will be valuable when requesting a new visa (VLS-TS or return visa) from the French Embassy.