Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Issuing a French Student Visa (Israeli Version)

A disclaimer first: Yesterday I issued the Student Visa for France, and I will write here everything that I did in order to get the visa. All in all it’s a friendly process, and can be done quickly if you bring all the documents to the consulate. You might not even need a visa. I suggest you contact the consulate to verify everything I wrote here (I'm no expert). Their phone is: 03-5208508. It's best to call after 14:15.

The Consulate
You must come to The French Consulate in TA (1 Ben Yehuda St. - Migdalor Building) in order to issue the student visa. Office hours are: Mon-Thu 8:00-10:00 (at Wed 8:00-12:00). There is a parking lot in front of the building.

The Documents You Need To Bring
You need to fill some forms. You don't have to come to Consulate especially to take the forms, because you can download the forms here. You need to fill them in two copies (in English or French). A translated version (English) you can find here. You can fill the forms at the Consulate when you come with all the other documents, and they have a Hebrew version of the forms there.

In order to fill the forms you need to know INSEAD's address in France , and your permanent address in France. Also you need to write your employer's address.

Additional documents you need to bring (for all the documents you need the original and a copy):
  • The forms (2 copies, must be original).
  • Copy of your passport (you need to also bring your passport).
  • 2 passport pictures (4cm x 5cm).
  • Attestation Form (French Version) from INSEAD (printed from NV).
  • A copy of the rental agreement in France (or some kind of proof) – my landlord faxed it to me.
  • A letter from the bank (in English) stating that you have more than 7300 euros, or 680 euros per month.
  • A Previous student card.
  • Medical insurance for 3 month in France (I did it through "Harel").

The arrangements you need to do prior your arrival to the consulate:

  • Go to your bank and get that letter.
  • Rent an apartment in France.
  • Arrange a medical insurance.

You don't need to open a bank account in France for the Visa.

When You Arrive To The Consulate
The consulate is located in the 11th floor. On the 10th floor there is the Cultural Services Office of the French Embassy. You have to bring the Attestation Letter (and passport), and they will give you a letter that you need to bring to the consulate. Go to this office BEFORE you go to the 11th floor. You should call in advance to this office and schedule an appointment (although I did not call in advance and it was still ok).

Once you have everything ready, go to the 11th floor, and if you have all the documents, the clerk will issue you the visa on the spot. You need to pay around 280 NIS (by credit card or cash). It all takes around an hour (depending on the line).

A Student's Partner
If you come with a partner to France (wife/husband) you need to bring some documents on behalf of them:

  • Two forms (original)
  • Their passport (and a copy)
  • 2 passport pictures
  • Some proof of the marriage (the passport was ok).

You can come alone to the consulate (your partner does not have to come). Once you get the visa, your partner will not be able to work, only accompany you. The clerk said that I should arrange for a document that proofs the marriage in English or French (they might want to see it in France). The Partner's visa costs around 560 NIS.

All Done
Once you get the Visa, it is valid for 3 month in which you must enter France. So don't do this too soon! I wouldn't leave it for the last minute also (but I knowL people who arranged the visa in the last week before their flight). Later you will have to get a "carte de sejour" (but that will be done in France).

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