1. Passports
2. Campus France Registration
3. Student Visa Application
4. Booking and Attending Your Visa Appointment
5. Completing the Visa Process Once in France
6. Resources

All students must meet the requirements that the French government has in place in order to study with ACM. Please follow the instructions below carefully and promptly, and the process will be much easier. The information is provided in the order that each step should be completed.

For non-U.S. citizens or those who retain citizenship within a Schengen country (specific European countries), please see the section at the bottom of this page that discusses those steps and/or requirements.

Overview of Steps:

1. Make sure your passport is up-to-date and will be valid for at least six months after your return from France. 

2. Complete an online application on the Campus France platform Etudes en France following the Etudes en France Application Guide. 

3. Pay the processing fee and submit your supporting documents online using Campus France USA's DocBox. 

4. Complete a student visa application via France-Visas. 

5. Schedule and attend an in-person visa appointment at a VFS visa center. 

6. Complete the Visa Process Once in France


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

Passports

1. Make sure your passport is up-to-date and will be valid for at least six months after your return from France. 

All students studying in France need a valid and up-to-date passport. Passports should be applied for at least five months in advance of departure date online or at a passport acceptance facility (depending on your situation). It is necessary to have a valid passport before applying for a French student visa. For those students who have a passport, it must be valid for at least six months after your planned return from France. Note that the student visa will be affixed to a page inside your passport, so you will be required to leave your passport with the visa center. Therefore, you will not be able to make any travel plans that require your passport during the processing period.

Campus France Registration

2. Complete an online application on the Campus France platform Etudes en France following the Etudes en France Application Guide.
 
3. Pay the processing fee and submit your supporting documents online using Campus France USA's DocBox. 

Campus France - Students must register with Campus France before obtaining their long-term student visa. 

  • What is Campus France? Campus France is a public institution in charge of promoting French higher education abroad and welcoming foreign students to France. All students from around the world who wish to study in France for a long-term program must first go through Campus France’s Etudes en Frances (EEF) application process.
  • What is Etudes en France (EEF)? Etudes en France (EEF) is a global international student application platform for the French higher education system. Students coming to France from many countries around the world, including the United States, are required to complete this application. A confirmation email following the academic review of student EEF applications is a required step of the student visa application.

Degree students will apply for a long-stay student visa as a student who is "NOT a study-abroad/exchange/dual-degree student AND has been accepted to an institution in France for more than 90 days."

Begin this process as soon as possible so you do not risk delaying the arrival of your visa. Campus France recommends starting the process at least two months before you need to leave for France.  Priority is given to students who start the process early.

The step-by-step guide linked here will walk you through the following two steps, both of which are required to consider your Campus France process complete:

1. Complete the Campus France Etudes en France Application – start at this link: http://www.usa.campusfrance.org/en and follow the guide linked above to continue to register and complete the application.

Tips for Completing the Campus France Application:

  • Make sure you click “EN” at the top left of the page to turn the questions into English and make sure your browser is not automatically translating the page for you.
    • Bachelor’s Students: “1st year of higher education” or whichever option is appropriate for your education level 
  • Field of Study: Select the most relevant field for your chosen program
  • To start the application, under Step 1, click on, "I have been accepted to a French language class, a professional training, a full-time undergraduate/graduate program, a PhD program."
  • Please pay careful attention to Step 10. In order to receive the correct visa, you must choose, “If you are NOT a study-abroad/exchange/dual-degree student AND you have been accepted to an institution in France, please fill out your application by clicking Students already accepted at the top of this page and then selecting I am NOT a study-abroad/exchange/dual-degree student.”Step 11, Section 1, Situation - Select “I am in another situation” and “Other” from the dropdown menu. 
  • Step 11 Section 2, Program Search - Select “I did not find the program in the catalog.” 
  • Fill in as follows: 
    • In the “Description” section, write: “The mission of Institute for American Universities and American College of the Mediterranean (IAU-ACM) is to provide an international education that inspires intercultural awareness and prepares students for responsible roles in a global community through the study of European and Mediterranean history, languages, cultures, and contemporary issues.” 
    • After this, add the appropriate sentence for your degree: 
      • MFA: “IAU-ACM and The Marchutz School of Fine Arts offer a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree program in painting in Aix-en-Provence, France.” 
      • MAFS: “The Master of Arts in French Studies (MAFS) at IAU-ACM is a one-year program that offers students the unique opportunity to earn an MA degree in a French-speaking environment.” 
      • MAIR: “IAU-ACM's Master of Arts in International Relations is a one-year Master’s degree leveraging IAU-ACM's strategic location in Southern France.” 
      • MAAH: “The Master of Arts in Art History (MAAH) at IAU-ACM is a one-year program that offers students the unique opportunity to study art history among the rich art and art historical traditions of the south of France.” 
      • GMBA: “The Global Master of Business Administration (GMBA) is a one-year master’s degree leveraging IAU-ACM’s strategic location in Southern Europe for deep study into international business practices.” 
      • MAMS: “The M.A. in Media Studies at IAU-ACM provides students with a broad and interdisciplinary formation commencing from core training in communication theory and media research methods.”
      • MAIE: “IAU-ACM’s Master of Arts in International Education Administration (MAIE) is a one-year, 45 credit, practitioner-based graduate degree that is strategically designed to prepare students for leadership positions in the field of study abroad as well as the broader industry of higher education.
      • BA: “IAU-ACM’s Bachelor of Arts degree program is 124 units of academic study over eight, fifteen-week semesters” 
    • Year of Entry: “Year 1” 
    • Level: 
      • Master’s Students: “Bac +4” or “5th Year of Higher Education” (or what is appropriate for your education level)
  • Step 11, Section 3, Program Information - Under Host Institution, select None under “University or grouping institutions.” Under “Institution,” select Other and type in Institute for American Universities-American College of the Mediterranean (IAU-ACM). Under city, type Aix-en-Provence, France. 
  • Step 11, Section 4, Dates of the Program - Fill in the same dates that you find on your Attestation that was sent to you via email as part of your visa and post-acceptance materials by IAU-ACM.
  • Step 11, Section 5, Personal Statement - Feel free to use the same essay/personal statement you used as part of your ACM application. Then click “Register” to record your answers.
  • Step 16, Section Education and Professional Experience - Upload your most recent résumé (master’s students - feel free to use the same CV that you submitted to ACM as part of your application materials). Under “mon cursus,” they are asking for your academic records. Select an option from the dropdown and click “Add” to the right. A window will pop up asking for more information. You may be required to upload a copy of your diploma or a transcript from your latest schooling.
  • Step 16, Language Skills - Fill out any section that applies to you and upload any supporting documents that are necessary.

2. Submit Payment & Documents via DocBox: After submitting your Campus France application on the Etudes on France platform, you will pay the online processing fee and submit the required paperwork to Campus France USA using a tool called a Docbox. This should be completed immediately after completing your online portion of the Campus France application. You should then receive an email verifying that your application has been successfully submitted. If you do not receive this email, please go back and check your Campus France account to see if you have missed a step. You will have the option of two processing times, which begin once Campus France has received all required documentation. Click on your preferred processing time to view a step-by-step guide to the Campus France application.


If you completed the application correctly, you will receive a confirmation email (within the timeline provided above) letting you know that your visa application has been processed. This email is necessary for you to bring to your visa appointment, make sure to save it. If you do not receive this email, please go back and check your CampusFrance account to see if you have missed a step.

Student Visa Application

4. Complete a student visa application via France-Visas. 

Next, you will need to complete the France-Visas application. Visit the France-Visas platform, register for an account, and complete the full application immediately after completing the Campus France application process. Please be sure to complete the application carefully, with precise dates of arrival in and departure from France. Follow this linked step-by-step guide carefully when completing the application.

Tips for Completing Your Visa Application on France-Visas.gouv:

  • Use European date format - DD/MM/YYYY
  • National Identity number - leave blank
  • In “Your Plans:" Main purpose of stay is "Student"
  • In “Your Information:” Current occupation is "Student"
    • Institute for American Universities-American College of the Mediterranean (IAU-ACM) is your “Employer or Teaching Establishment.” Please use IAU-ACM’s address as outlined below.
  • In “Your Stay:” Indicate the dates you are planning on arriving and leaving from France.
  • Your EEF number is your Campus France Etudes en France number.
  • In “Your Contacts,” select “A company or organization will be accommodating me” This section is very important-- please do not select that “a person will be accommodating my stay.” This will result in delaying your visa.
    • Use IAU-ACM’s address:  Institute for American Universities-American College of the Mediterranean (IAU-ACM) 2bis rue du Bon Pasteur 13100, Aix-en-Provence, France  Tel: +33 0/4 42 23 02 82   Fax: +33 0/4 42 21 11 38 / admissions@acmfrance.org / Contact Person: Kurt Schick


Once you confirm all the information you have entered is correct, it will take you to the next step, “Supporting Documents.” This is where it will tell you how much you will need to pay and which documents you will need to bring with you to your visa appointment. Print this page out or save it to your computer for reference when preparing for your appointment. Read carefully through the required materials for your appointment provided upon completion of your France-Visas application. This page will explain each supporting document needed for your visit to the Visa Application Center.

Bring along at least 2 copies of everything. Some of the key items to note:

  • For students accepted into the BA program, the last completed degree would be a high school diploma. For those accepted to a master’s program, the last completed degree would an undergraduate diploma.
  • Accommodation is the Attestation emailed to you in your visa and post-acceptance materials email.
  • Proof of sufficient funds requires a bank statement showing a balance equivalent to at least 615 euros ($725) for each month of your program, or coverage of costs by a parent or sponsor who can provide evidence of sufficient, reliable, and regular funds. If you provide bank statements from a parent or sponsor, copies (and the original version) of their ID and a notarized letter stating that they assume full financial responsibility of your expenses during your time abroad are required.

Booking and Attending Your Visa Appointment

5. Schedule and attend an in-person visa appointment at a VFS visa center. 

Students will attend their visa appointment in-person at a VFS Global Visa Application Center (VAC). A full list of these centers' locations can be viewed here. Students may make and attend their appointment at any VAC location in the U.S. Please keep in mind that VAC's are only located in the following cities: Washington D.C., Boston, New York, Atlanta, Houston, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Thus, long-distance travel may be required depending on where you live.

You will schedule your appointment at a VAC immediately upon completion of the France-Visas application. Appointments book weeks, sometimes months, in advance and can fill up very quickly. If you delay, you risk not receiving your visa on time to depart. An appointment can be scheduled by visiting the VFS Global appointment platform. Register for an account, select a VAC location, and schedule your appointment. There will be an appointment booking fee of approximately $35. Step-by-step guide instructions for navigating the VFS Global site are available here. 

**Please be sure that you make your visa appointment for no more than 3 months before your start date but with enough time to receive your mailed passport back from the consulate or visa processing center before arriving in France (2-4 weeks).

When making the appointment, please be sure to schedule it for at least 3 weeks after the date you emailed your Campus France documents, or 3 business days after the date you expedited your Campus France documents. This will allow enough time for you to receive the confirmation email from Campus France for your visa appointment. You do not need to wait for Campus France approval to schedule your appointment. However, you will be unable to attend your visa appointment without the Campus France confirmation email.

It will take approximately 2-4 weeks after the visa appointment for American students to receive their visas following their appointment. **This means that students must schedule their visa appointments for approximately 3 weeks (more than 3 weeks for international students) before their departure date. Otherwise, students risk not being able to leave on time for the program.

*The French Consulate in Washington, DC is the only consulate that still provides visa appointment slots. Students visiting the French Consulate in Washington, DC will have the option to book their visa appointment at either the VAC or the Consulate.

Attending Your Appointment:

Refer to your France-Visas.gouv checklist of documents and this Appointment Document Step-by-Step Guide for detailed information on what documents you need to bring with you to your VFS Global Appointment:

  1. Visa Application Form (accessed when you created your account on France-Visas.gov – step 3 above)
  2. France-Visas receipt
  3. ID Photograph (normal passport photo)
  4. Travel Document (passport)
  5. Campus France USA Confirmation Email
  6. Proof of Accommodation in France (your attestation from IAU-ACM)
  7. Proof of Sufficient Funds for your time in France (requires a bank statement showing a balance equivalent to at least 615 euros ($725) for each month of your program, or coverage of costs by a parent or sponsor who can provide evidence of sufficient, reliable, and regular funds. If you provide bank statements from a parent or sponsor, copies (and the original version) of their ID and a notarized letter stating that they assume full financial responsibility of your expenses during your time abroad are required.)

We recommend making photocopies of all the documents above, and also bringing:

  1. Your IAU-ACM Acceptance Letter for Visa
  2. Your Airline Ticket verifying your departure
  3. Proof of Insurance from IAU-ACM
  4. Fees – In addition to the visa application fee of roughly $150 (price will fluctuate slightly based on value of USD), you will be charged $30 for a courier service to have your passport returned. The only payment method accepted is a credit card.


Completing the Visa Process Once in France

6. Complete the Visa Process Once in France

The long-stay visa equivalent to a student's residence permit, or VLS-TS "student," allows you to study in France for a period of four months to a year. You will need to validate your long-stay student visa (VLS-TS) within three months of your arrival in France. This process is done completely online.

When it expires, you must apply for a residence permit to stay in France.

To validate your visa, you will need:

  • A valid email address
  • Your visa 
  • The dates of your program in France
  • Your address of residence while studying on the program in France
  • A payment card to pay the fee for issuing a residence permit

Important Note: Once students arrive at ACM's campus for orientation, the on-site staff will be able to guide students through the validation process and social security registration.


*BA and MFA Students Only* 

After the first year of your program, you will be required to apply for a residence card in order to renew your visa for the following year of your program. It is required that you bring an original copy of your birth certificate with you to France in order to complete this. 

Non-US Citizens

Students with passports to the following countries are not required to apply for a long-stay student visa:  Switzerland, Andorra, Vatican, San Marino, Monaco, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.  

For citizens of any other country, visit your country's French consulate website to determine the visa requirements. The visa process for non-U.S. citizens may take much longer than that of U.S. citizens so please begin the application process as soon as possible or you risk not receiving your visa on time. If you need a visa, please contact the U.S. Office immediately for assistance.

In addition, before arrival in France, non-U.S. citizens must check visa requirements of countries to be visited and obtain visas necessary for travel within Europe.



If you have any questions or concerns about the French student visa process, reach out to admissions@acmfrance.org or 1-800-221-2051.