If you are not a French citizen, you will need show proof of identity and submit official documents to the immigration authorities when you enter the EU for the first time.
The required documents can vary, depending on where you are coming from, your nationality, the reason you are visiting, how long you plan to stay in France, etc.
European Union nationals are entitled to stay in France with their valid EU identification (passport).
Non-EU nationals must apply for a long-stay visa before arriving in France, and they must check the process with the consular authorities in their home countries: requirements may depend upon country-specific agreements and are subject to change.
Basic documents required at visa application are: a valid passport, purpose of stay statement (acceptance letter) and a local address in France.
EU nationals must have a European Health Insurance card issued by the appropriate authorities of their originating country, as well as a photocopy of this document (or the E128 form).
Non-EU nationals will automatically have to join the French social security system upon registration. The cost of Social Security is usually around 215€ per year.
Supplemental health insurance that covers the difference between medical costs incurred and the Social Security reimbursements is not mandatory but is recommended.
France is part of the European Union and uses the euro as its national currency. We recommend that you exchange or withdraw some euros upon your arrival at the airport. Visa, MasterCard, American Express and other major credit card companies are widely used in France, but you should contact your bank to inquire about foreign transaction fees. Students staying over three months will need a French bank account to use automated services. Most banks require: a valid passport, proof of address, and alien registration card (non-EU nationals only) to open a bank account.
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