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Who is exempt from needing a visa for France?

By Jean
Reading Time: 3 minutes
visa exemption for france

Studying in France is a dream for many international students. Fortunately, France has agreements in place that allow citizens of certain countries to enter without a visa for short stays. This article will outline the key points about visa exemption for France, helping international students to navigate their way to fulfilling their educational aspirations in the heart of Europe.

Visa Exemption for France

Visa exemption for France means that citizens from certain countries do not require a visa to enter and stay in France for short periods – usually for stays of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. This exemption applies primarily to tourists, business visitors, or family visits, but it can also be a significant advantage for students planning to attend short courses or language programs to learn French in France.

Who is Exempt?

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you’re in luck. The European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and Swiss nationals are at the forefront of those exempt from requiring a visa. They can live, study, and work in France freely without the need for a visa.

Beyond Europe, nationals from several other countries benefit from visa exemption for short stays. Here is the list of countries whose nationals are exempt from a visa for stays not exceeding 90 days. It’s crucial to check the most current list of these countries, as immigration policies can change.

For international students outside these exemptions, the Schengen uniform visa is your key to exploring France and the Schengen Area. Check out our blog article for all you need to know about how to apply for a Schengen Uniform Visa:

visa exemption for france

What is ETIAS for France?

The ETIAS, short for the European Travel Information and Authorisation System, represents a forthcoming initiative by the European Union designed to enhance travel security across Europe. The foundation for the ETIAS scheme was laid in 2016, with its anticipated rollout set for 2025. This system will mandate that travelers, who were formerly exempt from visa requirements, obtain prior travel authorization for entry into any Schengen Zone nations, and notably France.

List of countries affected by this future procedure can be found here:

Exemption Benefits for Students

The visa exemption for France offers numerous benefits for international students, including the ease of travel planning and the opportunity to experience French culture firsthand without the lengthy visa application process. Not only in France but within the entire Schengen Area, students can travel freely and enjoy the beauty of Europe.

Additionally, this exemption can be particularly beneficial for students interested in learning French in France through short courses or language immersion programs. Many language schools offer intensive courses designed to fit within the 90-day visa-free period, providing a focused and enriching educational experience.

Planning Your Study Stay in France

While the visa exemption offers a fantastic opportunity, it’s important for prospective students to plan their stay meticulously. For non-EU citizens, ensure your passport is valid for at least 3 months beyond your planned departure date from the Schengen area. Also, while a visa might not be required, you should be prepared to show proof of accommodation, return ticket, and sufficient funds for your stay upon arrival.

Go! Go! France can assist in planning your study stay in France. We can help you find the perfect program, secure accommodation, arrange for health insurance if necessary, obtain a SIM card, and more. Contact us to get your live and study in Japan journey started.


The visa exemption for France opens up a world of opportunity for international students, offering a glimpse into French life and culture without the complexities of the visa process. Whether you’re planning to attend a short language course or explore your options for long-term studies, this exemption can be your gateway to an unforgettable educational experience.

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