Monday, January 11, 2010

Tips on applying for a visa.

I applied for my visa in Houston today! I have a few suggestions for anyone else who will be studying abroad or needing a visa.

1. Don't put it off! It takes a week to receive it. A girl applied today and her flight leaves on Thursday! Now she'll have to reschedule her flight!

2. Read their website! Read the list of required documents thoroughly and triple check that you have them all.

How to get a visa? (for Texas and Oklahoma residents)

FIRST- apply with campus france.
That process can take 2-4 weeks.

SECOND- once you have your campus france confirmation email, you can make an appointment online with the embassy. (Use a PC and it helps to have a printer)
They are open 8-noon Monday- Friday.

THIRD- Prepare your documents.
  • A passport valid at least three months after the last day of your stay in France. Please make sure two blank pages remain in your passport for the visa stamp; one copy of the first page (the one with your picture);
  • 1 OFII application form (no copy)
  • the identification number given by Campus France ;
  • A letter from your university in the US stating that you are currently registered there as a student, serving as proof of residency or of studies in one of the following states : Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana. If you are neither living nor studying in one of the 4 above mentioned states, you have to apply with another French consulate : click here;
  • Letter of admission or pre admission from a French school/University ;
  • Proof of sufficient funds : If your parents are going to pay for your expenses in France : a financial guarantee such as a notarized statement certifying that the applicant will be provided with a minimum monthly allowance of € 430 for the duration of his/her stay in France, OR proof of personal income along with a letter from school stating that room, board, and tuition are fully prepaid . If the host provides the student with a letter certifying that lodging will be free of charge, and provides a copy of his/her pictured I.D., an allowance of € 215 will be accepted. If you pay for your own expenses, you have to bring your three last bank statements ;
  • For non American citizens : A proof of your status in the US : green card, OR a valid US visa WITH the I-94, the I-20 or the valid I-AP66… ;
  • A secured self-addressed prepaid envelope (Express mail…) in order to get your passport back with the visa, if granted. Your passport will be kept during the processing time. If you wish or need to keep your passport during the processing time of your visa, you will be required to come a second time at the visa section to bring back your passport and have your visa issued.
  • Processing fees: by credit card (Visa, Mastercard) cash or money-order only. Personal checks or American Express are not accepted. It costs about $70.

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