If you are a U.S. citizen or a legal resident, are over the age of 18, and wish to pursue an academic project at a higher education institution in France for a period longer than three months, you have to first complete the Campus France application process and then apply for a student visa.
You will need to complete both the Campus France application and the visa application – two separate processes – before you are able to study in France. You should be sure to complete your Campus France application (through the online PASTEL system) as early as possible so that you have enough time to apply for and receive a visa.
Reminder: Completing your Campus France application through the PASTEL system requires more than just getting confirmation that you have created an account. You need to receive an official confirmation email from Campus France stating that your PASTEL online application is complete and your physical application materials (required documents and fees) have been received and processed. You need to receive and print the official confirmation email from Campus France before you can start to apply for a visa.
Note: For stays in France shorter than 90 days, you don’t need to go through Campus France. U.S. citizens who intend to study in France for less than 90 days do not need a visa. If you are a citizen of another country, please see your nearest consulate’s website for any special rules and procedures.
Now you can take a look at the basic steps you will need to take once you are ready to apply for a student visa.