France Visa Regulation Updates

May 24, 2016


NAFSA has created this update page to provide information to international educators from a variety of sources on France student visa law and regulations. If you have questions or concerns about visa regulations, or if you have information that you would like to share with your colleagues through this update page, please submit to NAFSA leaders through IssueNet: Report an Issue.

Campus France Update

May 19, 2016
Students may now pay for their Campus France USA processing fees by credit or debit card online. It is still possible to submit a group mailing for students who pay online. Students just need to provide proof of payment in lieu of their money order. A new step-by-step tutorial may be found here

September 2015
The Campus France PASTEL application system has been replaced by a new system called "Etudes en France". Schools may submit program information for in-house and exchange programs to simplify the application process for their students in the new system.

August 4, 2015
The Campus France processing fee will increase to $180 effective September 1, 2015.

March 27, 2014
Effective immediately the consulate assigned to a student's Campus France USA file will be enforced. Since PASTEL assigns the consulate according to the address used when students create their accounts, they will need to choose whether to use their home or school address based on where they will apply for their visa.

Passwords can no longer be retrieved by Campus France USA staff, so students who forget or lose their password will need to create a new account with a different email address, which depending on their progress, may entail paying a second processing fee. To avoid any added hassle, it is suggested that all students from a school use the same password (e.g., SchoolName2014). Also, there have been reports of students not being able to create a PASTEL using a Hotmail or Gmail address. Students should be instructed to use their school (.edu) email address.

Advisors interested in submitting their students' Campus France USA payment and supporting documentation in batches may do so by following the instructions on the Group Mailing form Adobe PDF. Please do not submit incomplete files.

As of July 2016, the San Francisco Consulate strongly encourages all American and Canadian students who require a long-stay visa to send their visa applications by mail with the following conditions:

  • The applications are perfect and strictly follow the requirements and order outlined in their List of Documents Required form
  • Students have American or Canadian citizenship
  • The departure date is more than three weeks beyond the date which the consulate receives the application
Required documents and forms:
All documents should be in perfect condition and mailed to:

88 Kearny Street #600
San Francisco, CA 94108

Current processing time for complete visa applications is 15 days. Students without US or Canadian citizenship and students whose departure dates is less than three weeks away are encouraged to write to the Visa Section to request an emergency appointment:

To mitigate the lack of available long-stay visa interview appointments, batch processing is now available at the French Consulate in San Francisco for US, Canadian, and Australian students from institutions and organizations sending at least five students to France.

Institutions and 3rd parties interested in batch processing may contact the consulate at the following email address for a full list of procedures and requirements:

This summer some consulates began advising students that the OFII step was no longer required. The details of this change have now been confirmed. Students spending between 91 and 180 days in France may "opt out" of the OFII procedure in France. This decision is made at the time of application for the visa at the Consulate and cannot be changed. Students who opt out of the OFII procedure may not work in France or extend their stay. Students who choose to go through the OFII procedure are still expected to limit their travel to the Schengen area after their first 90 days in France if they have not received their OFII vignette.

July 12, 2011
While France is part of the Schengen area, there is an agreement with the U.S. government which now permits students traveling on a U.S. passport to stay in France up to 90 days without a visa to spend an additional 90 days in other Schengen countries without a visa. Both 90-day limits are over a 180-day period, however. This means that students spending 90 days in France must spend 90 more days outside of France before they would be permitted to re-enter French territory without a visa. Students who will be in France for more than 90 days are still required to obtain a visa prior to entering France.