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Posted by : Shreya Bhattacharya

Author Designation : Senior Counselor

France introduces new fee for student visas


The bill also makes it more challenging for immigrants to bring family members to France, extending the residency requirement from 18 to 24 months and raising the age for unmarried partners from 18 to 21. This aligns with a broader trend, as the UK recently implemented a ban on international students bringing dependents, effective from January 1.

France has introduced a deposit requirement for student visa applicants. The deposit is intended to cover unexpected costs that may arise during the student's stay. The amount of the deposit has not yet been specified.

On December 19, France’s parliament passed the amended legislation, after a previous version was rejected. Within the latest version of the bill – containing even tougher measures for foreigners in France – one of the most significant changes for international students is the introduction of a deposit to be paid when applying for a student visa.

The deposit – of which the amount is yet to be specified – covers “unexpected costs” that may arise during their stay and will be returned to the student if they leave France on the expiration of the student residency permit, if they renew the permit or if they obtain a new French residency permit with a different title or status.

The deposit will be definitively withheld if the student has “evaded enforcement of a removal order”, the bill read.

The immigration law is set to make it more difficult for immigrants in France to receive certain benefits such as housing aid but luckily for international students, they are exempt from this specific change and can still receive housing benefits with their student visa.

The bill will also see it made more difficult for immigrants to bring family members to France, increasing the time that an immigrant has been residing in France before doing so from 18 months to 24 months, as well as in increase in age from 18 to 21 for unmarried partners.

France is not alone in tightening its restrictions on dependants, with the UK’s ban on international students bringing dependants brought into play on January 1.

The immigration law still needs to be approved by France’s constitutional council, and aspects may be changed or removed in this process.

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