France Reverses Course on Student Visa Deposit Requirement

In a significant move, France has reversed its stance on certain provisions within its Immigration Bill, much to the satisfaction of university and student associations across the country. The Constitutional Council’s decision to strike down student-related measures, including the imposition of a ‘return deposit’ for residence permits, marks a notable victory for advocates of international education.

Originally, the Immigration Bill, passed in late December, had mandated a return deposit for students seeking residence permits, alongside compulsory higher education fees for non-EU students. These measures stirred controversy, with concerns raised about the potential impact on France’s reputation as a global hub for study and research.

Under the previous legislation, non-EU students faced fees of €2,770 for undergraduate studies and €3,770 for master’s programs at public universities. However, institutions had the discretion to waive these fees partially or entirely, mitigating financial burdens for many students.

Following the Constitutional Council’s ruling in late January, Campus France confirmed the removal of these contentious provisions. The decision reflects a concerted effort by organizations like France Universités, among others, to advocate for the interests of students and academic institutions.

France Universités, in particular, emphasized the importance of rebuilding trust in France as an attractive destination for international students. The initial passage of the Immigration Bill had raised concerns and prompted scrutiny regarding France’s commitment to fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment for global learners.

Looking ahead, France remains steadfast in its ambition to host 400,000 international higher education students by 2027, underscoring its dedication to fostering diversity and excellence within its academic landscape.


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