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Bachelor's and Master's Programs

Passports and Visas - France


All students studying in France need a passport that is in good condition, was issued within the past 10 years, contains at least 2 blank pages, and is valid (i.e. will not expire) for at least 6 months beyond your period of intended stay.

U.S. passports should be applied for AT LEAST five months in advance of your departure date through a U.S. Passport Agency, a Postal Clerk designated by the Postmaster General, a Clerk of any Federal Court, or a Judge or Clerk of any Probate Court. It is absolutely necessary to have a passport before applying for a visa.

Please visit the U.S. Department of State's How to Apply page for information on acceptable forms of ID, application costs, passport service locations, and more. You can also find information on expedited passport options for an additional fee.

On receipt of the passport, check to confirm that all information is correct. If not, return it for correction to the office of application; under no circumstances should you correct it yourself. Keep a photocopy of the biographical pages (the information on the first two pages of your passport); in case of loss, this information will be very helpful in getting a replacement.

Similarly, non-U.S. passport holders will need to follow the relevant passport application or renewal process for their country if their passport does not meet the above-listed requirements.

Long-Stay Student Visas

All U.S. semester and academic year students must meet the requirements that the French government has in place in order to study abroad with IAU. Since the IAU semester and academic year programs in Aix-en-Provence are longer than 90 days in length, U.S. passport-holders are required by France to secure a student visa to participate in our programs.

Please see IAU's Step-by-Step Visa Guide below for more information on the visa application process for U.S. passport holders. Expect the total cost of obtaining a student visa for France to be between $400-$600 (not including travel costs for getting to the in-person visa appointment*), depending on the services selected.

IAU Step-by-Step Visa Guide

Please note that your passport is a visa application item and must be surrendered at the in-person visa appointment; once the visa has been processed and granted, it will be physically adhered to the passport. This means you will not be in possession of your passport while your visa application is being processed. You will not be able to travel internationally during that time, so plan accordingly.

Non-U.S. passport-holders may require a student or tourist visa to enter France. We encourage non-U.S. passport-holders to consult their country's French Consulate website or France's Visa Wizard to determine any visa requirements. Additionally, before arrival in France, non-U.S. citizens should check the visa requirements of any other countries to be visited (within or outside of Europe) and obtain any visas necessary for travel to those countries.

For those who hold citizenship of a Schengen country (specific European countries) and plan to travel on that country's passport, an application for a long-stay visa is not required.

Beware of fraudulent sites: Visa applicants are advised to be cautious in all dealings with companies that claim to offer assistance in obtaining visas.

Additional Resources

*Please note that all students applying for a French visa MUST attend an in-person appointment at one of the 9 VFS Global centers in order to submit their visa application.