Learning more about...Visa and long term Visa



This visa concerns non-European students whose stay will exceed 3 months.  You must obtain a long-term student visa before you arrive in France. Application for this visa must be done at the French Consulate or Embassy in your home country at least 3 months before the date of your departure. Students from the European Economic Area (EEA) - 28 member states * and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland - are exempted from the visa to study in France.

* Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Romania, United-Kingdom, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden.

Nonetheless, students from Bulgaria and Romania who want to work in France (paid or unpaid work) will have to ask for a long-term visa.

For further information, visit the French Administration Official website.


Who is concerned ? : Non European  Students

Non-European students must obtain a « visa scientifique ».  In order to do this, you will first have to sign a « convention d'accueil » or welcome agreement.

Contacts :

  • For PhD or post-PhD students employed by the Université du Maine, get in touch with the Research Service of the University (recherche @ univ-lemans.fr)

  • The International Relations Office will take care of the other PhD and PhD students (mailto:ri-bai@univ-lemans.fr (ri-bai @ univ-lemans.fr)).
  • The « convention d'accueil » is an administrative document which indicates the purpose and the duration of the work that will be done by the student at the Université du Maine.
    Created to enable the PhD or Post-PhD student to get a « visa de long séjour scientifique », it is first stamped by the University and by the « Préfecture », it is then sent to the student by the host university and finally has to be signed by the Consulate.

  • « Visa scientifique »
    This visa concerns students who are at least Master’s degree student coming to France as researchers or as university professors.
    It enables its holder to ask for a « carte de séjour temporaire portant mention scientifique » from his first day of his stay up to 2 months after arriving.

Residence permit


Since the June 1, 2009, the VLS-TS holders (long-term student visa equivalent to a residence permit which has a three month duration minimum) do not have to request a temporary residence permit for the first year of their studies in France. Only Algerian and Canadian student visas require the students to request a residence permit as soon as they arrive in France.

Where to go ?

  • For the new incoming foreign students who hold a VLS-TS (long term stay visa equivalent to a residence permit) and who thus do not need to request a residence permit :

OFII - Office Français de L’Immigration et de l’Intégration
Direction territoriale de l’OFII -93 bis rue de la commune de 1871, 44400 Rezé
Phone : 00 33 (0)2 51 72 79 39 - Fax : 00.33.(0)2 51 72 79 47 - nantes @ ofii.fr

  • Renewal of residence permit and new incoming students from Algeria and Canada

Préfecture de la Sarthe - Service des Etrangers - Pré-accueil Etrangers (salle 11), 1 place Aristide Briand - 72041 LE MANS CEDEX 9
Phone : 00 33 (0)2 43 39 71 37 6 Fax : 00 33 (0)2 43 39 71 69

    Préfecture de la Mayenne
    46 rue Mazagran, 53000 LAVAL
    Phone : 00 33 (0)2 43 01 50 00
    prefecture @ mayenne.pref.gouv.fr

The residence permit with a scientific mention has to be asked for within the 2 months following the arrival in France. The residence permit with a scientific mention allows its holder to take part in activities of research or education in France as far as it is mentioned in the agreement (“convention d'accueil”). This residence permit is valid for 1 year and can be renewed.


For further information please contact the coordinator at the Université du Maine :


Tél : 00 33 (0)2 43 83 35 51

mailto:fanny.laude-molina@univ-lemans.fr (fanny.laude-molina @ univ-lemans.fr)

mailto:ri-pref-ofii@univ-lemans.fr (ri-pref-ofii @ univ-lemans.fr)



Vice-President of International Relations

Catherine PAINEAU
Head of Administration

Phone :
(33) (0)2 43 83 30 05

 ri@univ-lemans.fr (ri @ univ-lemans.fr)