Below you will find the most frequently asked questions at the SAIEC.

If you cannot find an answer to your specific question or if you are in a different situation, contact our team
by email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone: (Monday-Friday 9 a.m-4p.m)



The type C visa, as the "temporary" VISA, is intended for foreign nationals who want to enter the Schengen area for tourism purposes or to participate in conferences or other events. You cannot apply for a residence permit and must leave French territory at the latest on the last day of validity of your visa. 

Same thing if you entered France with no VISA and are allowed to stay for tourism up to a limit of 90 days.

If you wish to stay in France for studying and get a residence permit, you must apply for a STUDENT - LONG STAY VISA at the French consulate of your country before coming to France.

Exception: VISA C-Competition (L313-7 II 2): initial application for residence permit has to be done upon arrival in France (with certificate of success in competition plus registration for current year)

Residence Permit

You must apply online through the ANEF website IF :
- You hold a  LONG stay VISA or VLS-TS
- You hold a residence permit or VLS-TS marked "étudiant" that you need to renew

You are NOT affected by this new procedure IF :
- You are an algerian student who came to France with a long stay VISA marked 'student' (carte de séjour à solliciter dans les 2 mois suivant l'arrivée)
- You hold a VISA "CONCOURS"
- You wish to apply for a residence permit marked 'Recherche d'emploi/Création d'entreprise'
- You hold a residence permit marked 'STAGIAIRE' (trainee) that you need to renew
- You hold a VISA residence permit marked "PASSEPORT TALENT-Chercheur" ou "Famille de Chercheur"

You should alert Préfecture (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) about your travel by sending them a copy of your passport, residence permit and your tripartite placement agreement (between you, the company you will be working for and your university)  before you leave for your placement.

You will need to apply for a RETURN VISA at the French consulate/ambassy in the country you are visiting in order to come bakct to France after your placement.

You will be granted a residence permit for more than one year automatically when you renew your resident's card if you meet the conditions required by law.

Your residence permit can only be collected from the Prefecture.

You will receive a text message on your phone from the Prefecture, telling you when your permit is ready.

To request a change of status to 'employee', you must make an appointment with the Residence Service at the Prefecture to submit your application:


A ‘récépissé’ is an official document (receipt) issued by the Prefecture that lets you reside legally in a country.

If you have applied for a residence permit online on the ANEF website, this document is called 'Attestation de prolongation d'instruction d'une demande de titre de séjour'. It is avalaible online after Préfecture's validation of your dossier.

If you are returning before the expiry date of the ‘récépissé’: you don't have to do anything.

If you are returning after the expiry date of the ‘récépissé’: you should make a return visa application to the French consulate in the country where you are staying.

Warning: A ‘récépissé’ for an initial application for a residence permit does not entitle you to travel.



Multiple registrations for university degree courses (D.U) can lead to refusal to issue a permit by the Prefecture.
Distance learning (e-learning) and continuous professional development courses do not entitle you to a 'student' residence permit.
Careful, your host university/school must absolutely be approved by the ‘Rectorat’, ask them before registering and paying fees!

The Prefecture will decide, having examined your application, whether to renew your permit.

Renewal of a permit is dependent on:

  • progress in your course of study
  • effort made with study and examinations
  • the coherence of the university course selection or changes in orientation.

Caution: if you have failed university for a second time this year or are changing course, please supply a letter explaining the reasons for your failure and your career plans (accompanied by evidence, where appropriate)

If you are on an apprenticeship contract, you must submit your contract validated by the CCI, accompanied by your CERFA work permit.
If you are on a professional training contract, you must submit your contract validated by the OPCA, accompanied by your CERFA work permit.


Warning! The Prefecture can impose a fine of €180 for late submissions (once your permit has expired).

If your application is more than a year late, you will have to visit the "Irregulars" service (ESI) at the Prefecture.

Good advice: Make sure you start the renewal process for your residence permit within the month prior to your visa/residence permit expiration.

It could be possible that, in some situations or at certain times of the year, you don't yet have your registration certificate for the current year when you submit your residence permit application (start of a new academic year, doctoral students who are given their certificates later on, etc.).
You can submit your application without this certificate, and then you can send it to the Prefecture to be added to your application once you've received it.
However, your residence permit will not be produced until you have handed the certificate in.


The cost of a residence permit depends on the type and validity period of the permit : Taxes amounts

The tax is paid in tax stamps and must be paid only when you collect the permit from the Prefecture.

You can buy your tax stamps from a tobacconist or the tax stamps website:

The amount is stated on the notification sent to you when your permit is ready.

APS (Temporary Residence Permit)

The APS for students ‘looking for a job’ type lets you re-enter France while it is still valid.

Your APS application must be submitted before your permit expires and in the year when you obtain the required degree.

Please check our dedicated webpage for more information.

Working while a student


A residence permit marked 'student' allows you to work for up to 60% of full-time hours (i.e. 964 hours per year). Your employer must declare your employment to the prefecture (declaration form). Algerian nationals must apply for a work permit (APT) from DIRECCTE.

More information:

Lost passport

You should make an initial application for a residence permit as soon as possible.(join a copy of your lost passport and VISA if possible, or explain why you cannot show them)



If your residence permit expires in more than 3 months: you should submit an amendment application.

If your residence permit expires in less than 3 months: you can enclose your new evidence of address with your application to renew your residence permit.

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