How to Apply for a Long Stay Student Visa in France for Philippine Passport Holders

By Seyra Rico - 2:06:00 PM

French Long Stay Student Visa for Philippine Passport Holders

In a few days, I will be moving to Paris to start my master's degree in Sciences Po. I will talk about that later but I will focus on how I obtained my Visa Long Séjour valant Titre de Séjour mention étudiant or student long-stay visa constituting a residency permit. So, my dear readers, this will be a different post from my usual fashion and travel posts. This is also based on my personal experience, I don't think there are travel agencies that offer to help you process your visa. But the most important thing is you should have already registered with a French school before applying for a visa.


Of course, as a millennial, I searched through the internet first and found this blog post. It is a bit outdated, for it was written in 2015. This is the only one I read that was helpful since she detailed the process of Campus France, too. 
Campus France is a joint organization between the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation)

I am a special case--a recipient of the PhilFrance scholarship, so I don't have to do the pre-consular interview with the French Education Attaché, I just have to fill up and pass the pre-consular interview form. The author called to schedule 3 weeks ahead to set her appointment, together with her visa appointment. Visit Campus France for more information.

I wanted to start the visa application early, but I waited for scholarship results, which came on June 27. But I suggest you apply two months before you leave the country. First, go to this Ambassade de France link.  You have to register with your e-mail address, then you will proceed with the application page. You will answer basic questions like your contact details, where would you stay in France, and who will fund your studies. You will also state your date of entry to France so you will need a plane ticket as proof.


After filling the visa application form, you will be redirected to the online appointment and tracking systems of VFS Global. When I was looking at the dates, I saw I can schedule my appointment as early as tomorrow. But I didn't, for I haven't printed some documents yet.

Things to bring during the visa application day:


Pre-requisites

  • Appointment Letter
  • Receipt of visa application
  • Application form dated and signed
  • ID photograph (passport size, white background)
  • If you are not a national of your country of residence, please provide proof of your legal residency in this country (e.g. residence permit, etc.).
  • Passport valid for at least three months after the planned date of return
  • Visa Fee = 99 EUR = PhP 6,070 (as of July 2018)
  • Consular Fee = PhP 1,600 (as of July 2018)
  • Plane ticket (one-way ticket will suffice if you will stay in France for more than a year)
Purpose of travel/stay
  • Last completed degree (countries out of procedure "CEF - Studies in France") - photocopy of diploma (if you have a bachelor's degree, you don't need to submit a copy of your high school diploma)
  • Office français de l'immigration et de l'intégration - OFII form for which the upper part is filled by the applicant (except nationalities governed by a bilateral agreement) - you can download it here
  • Pre-registration certificate at a higher education institution
Accommodation
  • Accommodation for the first three months (Note: I have an attestation logement or housing certificate for a year but I also have to present my hostel booking for 7 nights for my logement states that I will check in by September 1 but I will arrive on August 25.)
Funds

  • Scholarship certificate or bank certificate proving deposits in a French bank account of at least 615 euros per month, or proof of sufficient, reliable and regular funds, or coverage of costs by a sponsor who must provide evidence of sufficient, reliable and regular funds
The processing time of the Long Stay Student Visa for Philippine Passport Holders in France is 3-4 weeks.


France Visa Application Centre, Manila
Unit M02 Mezzanine Floor Ecoplaza Bldg. Don Chino Roces Ave. Extention, Makati City
Manila,
Philippines
Email ID : info.frph@Vfsglobal.com
Helpline Number : +63 2 790 4903

Tip: Bags are not allowed inside the French visa application section in VFS so you have to avail of their locker--PhP 75 (orbitant!). You can bring a companion so you can leave your bag with them, or you can just bring a folder with all your documents. Ecobags are the only bags allowed.

I have never read this on the internet but this is very helpful--


IMPORTANT: Although not required for your visa application, any official Philippine documents you will use in France need to be first, authenticated (by the DFA and/or CHED), then translated into French (by the Alliance Française de Manille), then authenticated by the French Consulate (apostille). 


Please make sure to have these done before you leave for France.  

  • DFA Authentication (red ribbon) for birth certificates: https://consular.dfa.gov.ph/requirements-of-documents (I got mine at the DFA in SM Megamall, PhP100, processing time of 3 working days but there is a rush service for  PhP200 and the document will be available on the following day.)
  • Translations: http://www.alliance.ph/services/translations (PhP 1,080 for ordinary processing time - 5-7 days)
  • For the apostille by the French Consulate: Kindly contact the French Embassy reception desk at (02) 857-6900 to request an appointment for the legalization of documents. (The fee for a page of my birth certificate is PhP 1,534 as of August 2018)
The most essential document is your birth certificate which you will need for most (if not all) administrative procedures in France. This is a requirement for CAF (housing assistance) and general social security system. Check with your French school/university if they will need other documents from you (that are required to be translated and legalized). 

Where can you get the apostille:


Ambassade de France aux Philippines
16th Floor, Pacific Star Building, Corner Gil Puyat and Makati Avenue
Makati, 1200 Metro Manila
(02) 857 6900



There will also be a meeting with Campus France (which is a joint organization between the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation). They will give you tips on how to make the best of your stay in France, and insider information on banking and transportation as only locals will know. I got the apostille the same day we had the Campus France orientation.

And there you have it, I got mine 3 weeks after I applied. VFS called my mobile number to let me know I can pick up my visa, even though I didn't avail of their extra service for SMS/e-mail updates. Merci! 


I know moving to another country can be pretty daunting, so if you have any more questions regarding this, feel free to comment below! 😃

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