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Visa and residence permit

European students
European students (students from the 28 EU member states + Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein and Switzerland) do not require visas or residence permits. All that is required is a valid identity card or passport.

Non-European students
  • Students from countries outside the European Union who are enrolling at a French university for the first time must obtain a Visa Long Séjour Valant Titre de Séjour (long-stay visa) if they are intending to remain in France for more than 3 months. Contact the French Consulate or French Embassy in your country of residence for further information. On your arrival at the UPVD, you will need to carry out the procedures for obtaining your residence permit.
  • If you need to stay in France for a second year of higher education, you will need to complete an application to renew your residence permit.
  1. You must pick up a residence permit application (or renewal application) from the UPVD’s BASE building (the overseas students' reception office or Bureau d'Accueil des Etudiants Internationaux).
  2. You must submit this application (duly completed), together with all necessary documents and your passport in order to confirm your identity, no later than two months before your current visa is due to expire.
  3. The overseas students' reception office will pass on your application to the Préfecture on your behalf. The Préfecture will then send you a receipt by post prior to issuing you with your residence permit.
  4. You must also obtain a stamp from the Office de l'Immigration et de l'Intégration (French office for immigration and integration) within three months of your arrival in France.
The Préfecture of the Pyrénées-Orientales and the French office for immigration and integration (OFII) have branches at the overseas students' reception office to help you with the procedures that you are required to follow.
  • Préfecture: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 16 September to 27 November 2014
  • OFII: Mondays from 15 September 2014 to 30 April 2015

Support for international students

Would you like to be welcomed and given the support you need starting the moment you arrive? Take advantage of the free international student support scheme that is available from September 2014.

Your sponsor – either a French student or someone from outside the UPVD –:
  • Will contact you by email before you arrive
  • Will welcome you at the train station or airport
  • Will take you to your accommodation
  • Will help you with your administrative procedures, should you wish it
Sign up by filling in the online registration form
For more information:
Download the Guide to studying in Perpignan, Nimes, and Montpellier


  • If you are not applying within the framework of an exchange programme: The Perpignan CLOUS (local body responsible for coordinating university and student social services) manages university student residences in Perpignan. You may request a room in a university residence from the Perpignan CLOUS, provided you have the resources. In order to do this, you need to download an application from the CROUS website.
  • You are also free to organise your own private accommodation.
  • If you are applying within the framework of an exchange programme: The University of Perpignan Via Domitia has entered into an agreement with the Perpignan CLOUS so that a selection of rooms may be made available for overseas students studying at the University within the framework of exchange programmes (CRéPUQ, Erasmus, Erasmus Mundus). However, as the number of rooms available is lower than the number of incoming students, not all requests may be granted.
  • If you would like a room or studio in a university residence, you must contact the SURI (University international relations office) representative for your exchange programme to find out details of availability and the conditions under which rooms are allocated.
  • Rooms will be allocated to students once they have been selected. Students will be informed of the office's decision by email and must then send back a form, confirming their intention to take up the room.

Insurance and social security

All students studying or carrying out an internship at the UPVD – either within the framework of a study exchange programme leading to a qualification or otherwise – must register with the registrar's office. To register, you must (except in special circumstances) be affiliated to the French student Social Security system via one of the approved student health insurance schemes. Coverage is effective from 1 October of the registration year until 30 September of the following year. This grants you the right to have any healthcare expenses you may incur refunded during the university year. You must also take out an insurance policy providing you with civil liability coverage for the university year. You can take this policy out from an insurance company when you register. You can also subscribe to an additional health insurance policy. This is not compulsory. Students who are over 28 years old are required to take out a health insurance policy personally; they qualify for basic universal health coverage in France.
More information:
French health insurance website
For students over 28 years old

If you are a student from a country within the European Economic Area (EEA):
European Union member states, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland: You are covered by the health insurance scheme of your home country and so are not required to register with France's social security system. You must provide proof that you have social security and health care coverage for the whole university year when you register (European Health Insurance Card, private insurance policy, etc.). If you do not have a civil liability insurance policy, you may take one out from one of the student insurance companies in Perpignan.

If you are a student from a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA):
Students from one of these countries must register with France's student social security scheme. They must also take out civil liability coverage and a student insurance policy from one of the UPVD’s 2 approved insurance companies: The Mutuelle des Étudiants (LMDE) and the Mutuelle des Étudiants de Provence (MEP).

Special cases: Students from countries which have entered into bilateral social security agreements with France are not required to register with France's social security system. However, they must still provide proof that they have health insurance and civil liability coverage for the whole university year when they register.

Countries concerned: Algeria, Andorra, Cape Verde, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gabon, Macedonia, Mali, Morocco, Monaco, Québec (Canada), Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Tunisia, Turkey.

More information:
List of bilateral agreements
  • Students visiting within the framework of an Erasmus Mundus exchange programme:
Students spending a period of time at the UPVD within the framework of either of the Erasmus Mundus Mobility Programmes (Action 1 or 2) in which the UPVD is involved must register with France's social security system if they are from countries outside the European Economic Area which have not entered into a bilateral agreement with France. The programme covers the costs of social security contributions, as well as providing complementary coverage through a private insurance scheme. This scheme provides the minimum coverage required by the European Commission (healthcare, accident, travel, etc.).

French classes

Overseas students wishing to study at the University of Perpignan Via Domitia must have sound knowledge of French before they arrive. A minimum level of B2 in French is generally required.

Free French fluency classes
The University of Perpignan Via Domitia provides free French fluency classes for students and staff on exchange programmes. International and European students studying within the framework of these exchange programmes can have 20 hours or 40 hours of linguistic, educational and cultural classes in French as a Foreign Language, worth 4 or 8 ECTS credits, respectively. These classes are delivered by the Faculty of Literature and Human Sciences to students who are streamed according to their level. Tests are held at the start of each semester in order to determine the groups.

These classes are free subject to the following rules and conditions:
  • the classes form part of the study programme and can give rise to the issuing of credits
  • students undertake to attend the classes regularly and to sit the end-of-semester examination
All students coming to study at the UPVD may also have their university and national diplomas validated in French and may sit tests in order to be awarded French language certifications ranging from level A1 to C2 (as defined by the Common European Reference Framework for Languages). For more information about the options available and prices, contact the UPVD’s Centre Universitaire d'Etudes Françaises (University Centre for French Studies).

Becoming fluent in French at the UPVD
Should they wish it, students and staff spending periods of time at the UPVD on mobility exchange programmes may follow additional free self-study classes. These exist for both beginners and people with a more advanced level and are available from the Language Centre's language laboratory.
The Language Centre also provides classes and certifications in 9 other languages.
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Date of update May 17, 2019