Short-stay visas (less than 90 days)
The new community visa code provides common rules for the granting of short-stay visas within the Schengen area. There are two types of short-stay visa:
- Airport transit visas allow the holder to move through the international terminal of an airport but not to leave it. This visa does not apply to all nationalities.
- Uniform visas (valid throughout the Schengen area) authorize stays of up to 3 months within a given 6-month period. The number of days that the holder may spend in the Schengen area is specified on the visa sticker, along with the dates of validity of the visa, which may be up to 5 years provided the applicant’s passport remains valid for that long (community visa code, article 24).
Students wishing to enroll in a language training course or other short-term program are encouraged to apply for this type of visa.
The student examination visa
The student examination visa allows the holder to enter France to sit for an entrance examination or other form of examination required as part of the process of applying for admission to a public or private institution of higher education in France. Students who pass the exam may apply directly (without first returning home) for a renewable 1-year residency permit at the préfecture for the area in which the student’s new institution is located. Most applicants for the student examination visa must use the CEF procedure (see below) if that procedure is in effect in their country.
Extended-stay student visa, with residency permit (VLS-TS)
In most cases, the extended-stay visas with residency permit (VLS-TS) is valid for 1 year, "except in circumstances calling for the issuance of a visa with a shorter period of validity, as in the case (…) of some students."
When the VLS-TS visa is issued, the consulate will give the applicant an official form (with instructions) that the applicant must present to the French office of immigration and integration (OFII).
Holders of the VLS-TS visa no longer have to obtain a residency permit from the prefecture having jurisdiction over their place of residence in France, but they do have to report to the OFII and complete several administrative formalities.
Specifically, a VLS-TS holder must, upon arriving in France, send to the OFII by registered mail (return receipt requested):
- The official form received from the consulate that issued the visa.
- A copy of passport pages showing the visa holders identity and the stamp indicating entry into France (or into the Schengen area).
Upon receipt of these documents, the local office of the OFII will send the visa holder, by regular mail to the address provided by the visa holder), a letter acknowledging receipt of the form and possibly asking the holder to report for a medical examination if such an examination was not performed in the holder's country of origin or upon entering France.
Extended-stay research scholar visa (VLS-TS)
Public and private institutions of higher education and research organizations may use this visa category to bring doctoral candidates, research scholars, and research faculty to France to perform research or to teach at the university level.
Holders of the research scholar VLS-TS are no longer required to apply upon arrival for a special temporary residency permit corresponding to their visa category. On the other hand, like students, they must report to the OFII. The residency permit will be issued at the end of the period of validity of the visa.
For further information, please contact:
TLS Contact 12th Floor Sathorn City Building
South Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10120
Tel. 02-696 3888