A special visa category is reserved for scientific and academic personnel who intend to reside in France for more than 3 months.


The extended-stay scientific visa is reserved for individuals holding a master's degree or higher and who wish to come to France to conduct research or teach at the university level. Public and private research organizations and institutions of higher education use this visa category to host doctoral candidates, postdoctoral scholars, research scientists, and professors visiting France to teach or conduct research.

A hosting agreement (convention d'accueil) is an administrative document that specifies the nature and duration of the work to be performed by the prospective visitor. Drafted by the institution hosting the visitor, it must be stamped by the prefecture having jurisdiction over the institution before being sent to the prospective visitor for use in obtaining the visa. When submitted by the applicant, it is stamped by the consulate.

Prospective doctoral candidates who have entered into a doctoral contract with the host institution are described in the hosting agreement as employees. 

The hosting agreement specifies the reason for the visitor's stay, the resources to be placed at his or her disposal, and the arrangements made for housing and medical insurance. Hosting agreements are applicable to doctoral candidates who will be compensated for their research work, whether under a doctoral contract, an industrial agreement for training through research (CIFRE), or another arrangement. 

Holders of the extended-stay scientific visa must apply, within 2 months of entering France, for a residency permit marked scientifique. The residency permit entitles the holder to teach and conduct research in France under the terms of the hosting agreement. The permit is valid for 1 year and may be renewed. A tax of €300 is collected at the time it is issued.

At the end of the first year, visiting researchers and scholars may apply to the prefecture having jurisdiction over their place of residence to renew the residency permit for a period of more than 1 year (but not to exceed 4 years). The prefecture will taken into account the provisions of the hosting agreement pertaining to the time estimated to be necessary for the visitor to complete his or her work.

When the visitor's spouse and children will accompany him or her to France, it is strongly recommended that all members of the family apply simultaneously for their visas. Once in France, the spouse will receive a temporary residency permit marked vie privée et familiale. Spouses of holders of extended-stay scientific visas are permitted to work in France.