Stay back in France after Masters

Many international students want to pursue higher studies at French universities for quality, fame and experience. The long-term goal of studying in France is to work and possibly settle there, and thus obtain a residence permit or eventual citizenship. Many students strive to be left behind as job security, opportunities and quality of life are unmatched. However, some of the major hurdles to this are immigration policies and cutthroat competition. What are some ways to stay back in France after master’s degree

France offers three types of visas for students, let’s understand what they are:

1. Short Visa

This visa is for those students who come to France to take short courses offered by universities for 3 months, either in the spring or summer months. This visa is non-renewable and expires at the end of the three months.

2. 6 months visa

As the name suggests, this is for 6 months. This also cannot be extended.

3. Student Visa

This visa is what students usually focus on. It allows students to work in France for those enrolled in the Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. degrees. This visa can be extended under certain conditions.

What are the available options for staying behind?

As mentioned before, students enrolled in short courses for 6 months or 3 months do not have the option of lagging behind. They have to leave, but can apply for a regular student visa again. There is no limitation on the number of times a student can apply for a student visa.

Another possibility that can be considered is applying for a French residence permit, provided the student has paid work. This option is available to students pursuing both a master’s and bachelor’s degree and who must apply for a work permit.

For Master’s students, a temporary residence permit can be applied for after completing their education, for two years. If you get a job in these two years, you can request your company to sponsor your permanent residence or work permit.

Why France?

France is loaded with opportunities for students with advanced degrees. France, and especially Paris, is the hub for start-ups; there are plenty of opportunities for growth and expansion. If you have a student visa, you are allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours per week.

Students who have obtained a master’s or higher degree from a French university can work part-time in the country for up to two years after their studies. Students can work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) on a student visa in France, giving them time to seek better work relevant to their degree and skills. As a result, your route to stay back in France becomes much smoother. In 2013, the French Embassy in India facilitated travel for Indians with a French diploma. All Indian alumni of French universities were eligible for a five-year tourist or business visa, provided they have a master’s degree or higher.

Master’s students

After completing their studies, each student is required to leave France according to the country’s immigration policy. However, they can only apply for a residence permit if they have a paid job. For master students there is an advantage because they do not need a work permit like bachelor students. Staying back in France after a master’s degree is simple because students can apply for and receive a temporary residence permit, the so-called APS.

It is important to note that this residence permit allows students to work part-time for up to 964 hours. If a part-time student finds a job that is more than 1.5 times the minimum wage guarantee, he/she is eligible for a work permit.

Post-Study Visa: The Benefits

If you eventually get a post-graduate visa, the benefits you get are many:

1. There are no travel restrictions for travel to Schengen countries, as you do not need a separate Schengen visa.

2. You can visit VISALE, the local visa office, for free for visa and immigration related issues.

3. You are eligible for housing allowance.

4. Lastly and most importantly, you can renew your work permit which is the ideal advantage because: stay back in France after your master’s degree will be a stress-free process.

Costs

Student visa (long stay) costs EUR 50 (approximately INR 4926). This is the basic fee, you have to pay another EUR 50 for the visa processing along with the VFS service fee (INR 1467).

Change visa status

Until your APS or temporary permit is valid, you do not need to change your visa status, even if you find a full-time job. After you get a job offer and your APS is about to expire, you can change your visa status from APS to full-time.

Is it difficult to stay in France after the master’s?

It is not difficult if you plan and strategize wisely. From the moment you start your studies, you should have a clear goal in mind and work diligently towards it. Prove your skills to employers and take advantage of the 20-hour part-time employment rule, and network with companies during your studies. If you start networking and building relationships early, it will be much easier to find work by the time you finish college. Once you have found a job, the road to stay back in France permanent and obtaining a permanent residence permit becomes easier.

Available Opportunities

There is a plethora of opportunities to explore after your master’s degree in France. From engineering, business to hospitality, tourism and management – there is no shortage of options available to advance your career. Having a degree from a French university will only enhance your resume and impress employers. Coming from abroad, studying in France and adapting to the culture and environment is not easy. Getting a degree and finding work is even more difficult. All these skills will serve you well.

If you’re already pursuing a degree from a university in France, you should be well versed in the myriad of benefits it offers. If you still don’t know what to do, keep these valuable tips in mind. Staying back in France after your master’s degree will not only put your degree to good use, but also guarantee you a quality life, unforgettable experiences and enormous opportunities for growth.

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