So applying for my student visa to study abroad this year seemed like the longest process ever! After completing the application with the LSU’s Study Abroad Portal you must wait….
I became extremely anxious because I thought I was cutting it extremely close by not even beginning this process until the summer, but I promise it will be okay. They don’t even let you schedule way in advance so it’s not a big deal.
So once you have your official letter of acceptance for the university in France (most likely an email), you can begin your campus France application which is the first step before you can proceed to making a consulate appointment. Now this part was tricky, it’s not actually at the Campus France website, however you can find a link there, or here. In addition, if you go to this link it provides detailed instructions with photos on how to complete the process for the whole Etudes France application. In addition you have to pay the processing fee there. You can do it online or send a money order. There are two options the regular 3 week and the expedited one. Regular costs $180, expedited is $330. Once you pay you have to print out your application and physically mail it to the Campus France office.
Detailed instructions, and address, and payment process can be found here for regular, or here for expedited. **For payment you need your Campus France ID # if completing online, when you are logged in that can be found in the top right corner of the page.
I have attached a screenshot of the link to the regular Etudes France application process guide with all the steps, all links in the screenshot are included in the text above. To access this page directly you can click here.
So now once you’ve completed the Campus France application, paid and mailed it in, you wait, again…
I opted the regular route and it worked out fine, I received my “attestation”, no problem, which was just the email saying that I was approved. This is the document the Consulate wants you to bring when you go to the appointment, so you literally just print out the email. Your Campus France ID # won’t be in the body of the email (which originally had me freaked out) it’s in the subject header.
Yayyy, so we’ve gotten this far, I would assume this whole process has taken a month by now.
Now in your “attestation” email, there was a link to the consulate that will be servicing you, in the case of students from Louisiana that is in Houston.
777 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 600
Houston, Texas 77056
So now you can click the link in the email sent and it will bring you to the page where you schedule your appointment. The beginning of August fills up quickly! So if you’re nervous like me I risked it and made my appointment prior to receiving my campus France approval however, it isn’t suggested you do this because they don’t want you scheduling if you don’t even have all your paper work yet. My appointment was August 10, and I got my passport like 5 days later (it’s suggested it’ll take 2 weeks), the appointment itself was just submitting all my paperwork the whole thing took 12 minutes (my mom timed it).
You must bring an envelope which they are strict in the document section stating there are all these specific requirements of what it can and can’t, be but we bought it the morning of at the UPS store, and they knew exactly what to do. **This is for if you don’t plan to pick it up in Houston and have it mailed to you, it cost around $32. The requirements state to not have it addressed from the consulate office and instead from you to you but apparently in postal requirements it can’t be done, but the people at UPS (in Houston near the consulate) know the whole deal and reassured me that the envelope I needed was the one they were providing me (it was).
So now we’re waiting for the day of the appointment, you have lots of documents to prepare.
Here is the link to the Houston Consulate with all the documents required and a PDF with the list of other documents you need to bring from home. At the bottom of the page there is quick access to the booking page for your appointment.
I’ll do a quick run through here. With the same requirements document posted to the link above.
- Printed Copy of “Attestation” email from Campus France, entitled “Your Campus France file has been processed”
- Proof of Residency : driver’s liscense, state ID, or temporary DMV license/ID, university ID, or lease agreement with full name
- Original Passport + 1 copy of the identity page, has minimum of 2 blank pages left to affix the visa, must be valid 3 months after return to the USA
- IF YOU ARE NOT A US CITIZEN – PROOF OF RESIDENCY IN THE USA A valid US permanent residence GREEN CARD + ONE COPY. or a valid work or student U.S. visa + ONE COPY with valid I-20 if F1 visa or J1 DS document + ONE COPY B1-B2 visa holders must apply in their country of residence or a valid Advance Parole document + ONE COPY
- Application Form, filled out completely and signed
- Passport Size Photograph (CVS or Walgreens approx. $13) 2×2”. No older than 6 months, white background, in color, paste with double sided on top right of application and paper clip the 2nd photo to the application
- VISA FEE, exact cash or credit card, visa/mastercard only. NO CHECKS.
|Type of Visa||EUROS|
|Visa de transit aéroportuaire/ Airport Transit Visa (A)||60|
|Visa Schengen: visa de court séjour/ Short Stay Visa ©||60|
|Visa Schengen (cas particuliers / special cases)
children between the age of 6 and 12 years old
citizens of Albania, Bosnia, Macedonia, Moldavia, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine
|Visa de long séjour/ Long Stay Visa (D)||99|
|Visa étudiant/ Student Visa (D) – E-mail from CampusFrance informing enrollment is complete must be provided with the application form||50|
|Visa pour Départment d’Outre-Mer/ Visa for French Overseas Department (*)||60|
|Visa pour territoire d’Outre-Mer/Visa for French Overseas Territories (**)||9|
***The amount listed is in Euros and you pay in dollars, I was charged $58 to my credit card.
- Official Letter of Enrollment in a School in France + ONE COPY
- This was most likely emailed to you so you can just print it out: needs your full name, institutional letterhead, specify beginning and end dates, include full contact info for the individual issuing the offer or acknowledgement, and address of institution, signed and stamped.
- Proof of Financial Means you must show that you will have access to at least $700 per month, I printed all financial aid documents, as well as most recent bank statement, and did the calculation on a separate sheet. ***See official PDF document for more in depth description
- Proof of Departure or Airline Reservation: this is your plane ticket to France/Europe, starting date of visa cannot be earlier than 3 weeks before the starting date on your official letter of enrollment
- OFII Residence Form : upper part filled out only + One Copy : needed for whole year stay
- Prepaid Envelope UPS $32, can also be picked up at consulate
- Medical Insurance : only required for students aged over 28, or 32 for PhD
- Make an Appointment: at least 2 weeks before departure
Finally here is an attachment of a sample VISA Application with the responses requested, some questions were confusing and I wasn’t entirely sure what they were asking for.
Question 2: Only fill out this section if you have changed your last name (i.e. maiden name, alias, etc.)
Question 4: Be sure to enter your date of birth in European format: Day/Month/Year
Question 5: Enter the city and state where you were born
Question 7: Fill in the nationality that is indicated on your passport/travel document
Question 11: Fill in your Social Security Number; I wrote N/A and it was fine.
Question 12: Choose the type of travel document you will be using abroad. For most, this travel document would be an “ORDINARY PASSPORT” (navy blue American passport).
Question 13: note your passport number
Question 14: Indicate the day, month, and year that your passport/travel document was issued to you.
Question 15: Indicate the expiration date of your passport/travel document
Question 16: Indicate the agency that issued your passport/travel document.
This is listed under “Authority”
Question 20: This question is for students who hold a residence permit for the United States. Please indicate your legal residence number, the day, month, and year it was issued, and the expiration date. Please leave this BLANK if it does not apply to you.
Question 21: Note that you are a “STUDENT”
Question 22: Note your university here. Be sure to include the full address. (LSU Address), I used the office of admissions contact info.
Question 23: Check the box for “STUDIES”
Question 24: Host Institution Address (reference your acceptance letter)
Question 26: Provide the date that you will be entering France or other Schenegen country
Question 27: Select the box that applies to your intended duration of stay in France (including possible program extensions, even if they are not confirmed).
Question 28: If you will be staying with members of your family in France, enter their information here.
Question 29: Enter your means of financial support in France. This can be financial aid, scholarships, parents, personal savings, etc. You will need to show proof that you will have adequate means of financial support while abroad. ***I printed financial aid documents on my LSU and did the calculations myself per month with the total amount to show that it was greater than the minimum of $700
Question 30: If you will be supported financially by someone while you are in France, enter their information here.
Question 32: If you have ever lived in France for more than three consecutive months, enter the appropriate information here.
Be sure to enter the city, state, country, and date where you signed your visa application form. Don’t forget to sign your application form!
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out or comment below!