Tuesday, June 4, 2013

C'est la ... Visa?

Tuesday, June 4.

If there is one thing in life that I have learned to dislike above all else, it is the visa application process. Seriously folks, it's the worst. Because I'm studying abroad for an entire semester, I'm required to have a "long stay" student visa (a must-have for anyone staying in France for over 90 days) and suffice it to say, it is not a piece of cake.

You can read all about the application process on the French Consulate's website, but trust me -- it's a very long and complicated process.

After receiving proof of your acceptance to a study abroad program (for me, that was a signed letter from UPV that had to be mailed from France to my school's study abroad center), you can create an online profile with CampusFrance. The site is a little confusing -- I think it's clear that it was not designed with the typical US college student in mind -- but there's a handy dandy PDF guide to help you out. (You can find it and more right here!) After submitting your online application, you have to mail a money order and a copy of your acceptance letter to CampusFrance. Two to four weeks later (they're very busy bees over at the French Embassy), you'll receive a confirmation email.

The next step is possibly the most intimidating: going to the French Consulate. Once you receive your confirmation email from CampusFrance, you can schedule an appointment online at your local consulate ... although you'll notice that "local" is a relative term: if you're not close to one already, you may be in for a little road trip! Anyhow, you have to schedule an appointment and report in person to request your visa. The list of required documents for this step is about as long as I am tall and you need to have a dozen copies of just about everything.

Check here for updated posts about the Visa process:


  1. This is helping me so much! If you thought it was confusing for you....!

    1. Well I trust you to read the.fine print over and over.. I had a visa for China.