Formalities and residence permits

Step 2 : How to obtain a student resident’s visa and how to renew this.

Your visa must correspond to the studies you are actually here for and the length of time it will really take !

When you arrive in Lyon, there are obligatory administrative steps to take. These depend to a certain extent on which country you are from and what sort of visa the French authorities have issued you (embassies and consulates) EEA citizens (see glossary) have special status.

There are various types of visa :
Short stay visa (visa C) for tourism : allows you to stay in France for less than 3 months.
A tourist visa of any kind, can never be transformed into a student visa. Neither in France nor in any other country in the European Union. It can not be extended and it is not eligible for a residence permit

Short stay visa (visa C) « student -entry exams » allows you to go for an interview or take entrance exams to a public or private institution of higher education.
If you pass the exam, you must apply for a renewable one-year resident’s permit without returning to your home country.

Long stay visa (visa D) ‘temporary exemption from the resident’s permit’. This allows you to study at a public or private institution of higher education for a maximum of 6 months. It is not renewable and does not lead to a resident’s permit.

The long stay study visa (visa D L 313-7 II, which is a student resident’s card giving full rights, or the L 313-7 I version, which is a common law student resident’s card). This is given to foreigners who want to study at a public or private institution of higher education for longer than 6 months. Two months after your arrival in France you must apply for a temporary resident’s card from the Prefecture. This is valid for a year and is renewable.

You have a long stay visa CESED A R311-3 6 °.
While this visa is valid, you do not need a resident’s permit. This visa gives you the same rights as a resident’s card (you can have a part-time job 60%) You don’t need to go to the Préfecture.
You must validate your visa with the French Immigration Office.

Foreign students
You are an EEA citizen (ie from 1 of the 27 European Union countries, Liechtenstein, Norway or Iceland) or from Switzerland : you don’t need a resident’s permit in order to study in France, just your identity card or a valid passport.
However, if you come from one of the new European Union member-countries (Bulgaria and Romania) and do not have a French Master 2-level diploma, you must apply for a resident’s permit if you want to work in France.

Group applications : the main institutions have signed an administrative partnership with the Préfecture du Rhône. When you go to register, find out whether you can use this facility
Thanks to this agreement, you can give your resident’s card application form directly to your institution. You must submit a file containing originals and photocopies to the office known as ‘service scolarité’. You will be given a receipt and you will also receive a provisional resident’s car by mail, valid 3 months. This will be sent to you in an envelope provided by yourself.
You will then be entitled to go and collect your final resident’s permit at the Préfecture once the provisional one has expired.

The student information space
In September and October, the Préfecture has a partnership with the city of Lyon and the CROUS to provide a delocalized office which will take your application form and give you a provisional permit.
September 6 to October 15, Monday to Friday from 10am to 17h
25 rue Jaboulay, Lyon 7th Free access

Release of your residence permit
If your application form is complete, a receipt/provisional permit is given to you. This is valid 3 months.
If you lose your resident’s card and have to ask for a duplicate, in case of loss or theft, you will be required to pay a 30 euro tax to OFII (see glossary).
Please note : your resident’s permit is not valid beyond the date at which your passport expires.

How to renew your resident’s card.
There are two addresses for this : your higher education institution or the Préfecture du Rhône
12 rue des Cuirassiers Lyon 3ème (métro Part Dieu)
List of documents you will need to give in to renew your student resident’s permit (19 03K)
For extra information, consult the following website

Please note : if you travel abroad, some states (outside the European Union) do not consider the provisional resident’s card as a visa. In that case, you should apply to the French consulate for a visa to return to France. Before your departure, get information on this from the consulate of the country you intend to visit.

page 1 Help
page 2 How to sign up
page 3 Residence permits
page 4 Medical test


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