When preparing your trip to France, at your arrival and during your stay in France, there are a certain number of administrative formalities you need to take care of.

Before leaving for France

Before leaving for France please:

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Request a Hosting Agreement (Convention d’Accueil d'un chercheur étranger) and in certain cases a contract for your research stay (convention de séjour de recherche) from the hosting higher education establishment or secure an invitation letter for a stay of less than 90 days in certain cases. Check here if you need a visa.  

Request a visa at least two months prior to departure online on the France-Visas website or at the French Consulate closest to your residence (only for people born in third-party countries). There are two types of Visas:
The long-stay D Visa

The long-stay D Visa concerns stays over 90 days in France and can have several qualifications:

  • “Talent Passport” (for individuals having obtained a hosting agreement)
  • “Student” (for doctoral students registered in a French higher education establishment and who do not have a work contract or researchers with a convention de séjour de recherche for their stay but without a hosting agreement)
  • “Family Talent Passport” (for children under 18 and researcher spouses)
  • “Visitor” (for the spouses of doctoral students on a student visa, domestic partners and adult children).

Each mention attributes different rights. For example, the mention “Visitor” does not permit work in France. On the other hand, the mention “Family Talent Passport” does. It is therefore important to properly fill out one’s Visa request because once in France, no modifications will be possible.

At the end of the period of validity of the researcher’s and his/her family’s Visa, it is imperative to request a residence card in order to continue living on the territory.

The Short-Stay C Visa

The Short-Stay C Visa (also called the « Schengen Visa ») concerns stays of less or equal to 90 days in France.

To obtain a short stay visa labelled "scientifique" you will need a hosting agreement ( "convention d'accueil d'un chercheur étranger") from your hosting institution. Depeding on the French consulate an invitation letter from the hosting establishment might be sufficient to obtain a short stay visa.

Make a request for temporary lodging at the Faculty Club Nice or Faculty Club Sophia Antipolis through the Welcome Center

Gather the documents necessary for your stay
When you arrive in France

Once in France, you will need to think about:

Validating your visa or requesting a temporary residence card (if you are from a third-party country)

Opening a bank account if you stay at least three months in France to facilitate transactions.

Finding accomodation other than the Faculty Club if your stay is long-term.

Insuring your lodging

Checking your health coverage and registering with the French health insurance (if you are eligible)
Long stays

For long stays, you must think about:

Declaring taxes

Requesting or renewing your residence card if the duration of the present visa/card does not cover the entire stay

Respecting laws if you have a driver's license

Obtaining a complementary health insurance

Before leaving France

Before leaving France, remember to:

Cancel the lease of your apartment – Depending on the conditions of the lease, advance notice might have to be given up to several month in advance. The advance notice must be sent by registered mail to be valid.

Close your French bank account

Unsubscribe from all your insurance contracts (Home insurance, complementary health insurance, liability insurance...)

Unsubscribe contracts with utility providers (electricity, gas, water, cell phone, internet/television/landline providers...).
Inform the Sécurité Sociale that you are leaving France (using this form) and give back your carte vitale (and the cards of all family members).

Inform the CAF that you are leaving France via your CAF personal online account.

Update contact details and home address with the French taxation office online. In the spring of the year following the departure, you must submit an income tax declaration for the income earned during the last year in France. The tax that was withheld from the salary might be different from the actual amount due for the last year in France, and the taxation office will inform the scientist of an eventual reimbursement or back payment. More information on the tax office website.

Request international mail forwarding by the French post office.

Contact your employer’s and institute’s Human Resources Departments and give them your new mailing address to receive any outstanding payslips and complete departure procedures of his/her employer and institute (return access cards, keys, computer, original data…). You can also request a certificate to be able to obtain unemployment subsidies (attestation de l’employer pour Pôle Emploi), if you will not start a new work contract immediately.

Make sure to hold on to all French payslips and work contracts.

Check your retirement contribution account (compte retraite). Depending on your personal circumstances, you might be able to carry over the contributions paid to the French retirement system to another county. More information here.