Visas

Studying in France

Please visit the French consular authorities to determine which type of visa is required for your studies in France. Students must obtain two types of visas to study in France: the VLS-TS and the visa “long séjour temporaire. If your stay in France exceeds one year, you must get the student visa VLS-TS. The procedures for visa applications can be lengthy, please plan ahead and apply about two months before your scheduled date of arrival. Students should visit the Sciences Po Immigration website for full details.

European Union nationals do not need a visa to study and reside in France.

Campus France/PASTEL

Campus France is a French government agency that helps students complete the visa application process and serves the needs of international students within France. Students from the 31 countries that adhere to the CEF Procedure (Procédure Centre d’Etudes en France) must begin their visa applications through Campus France, using the PASTEL process, which is completed through the Campus France website. Please note that Canada is not one of the countries that adheres to the CEF Procedure.

In the 31 countries in which the CEF procedure is active, the Campus France local office offers applicants interactive online assistance, information, and guidance using a personal messaging system, and the PASTEL process is the first step in completing an application for the Visa Long-Séjour. For more information on how to create a PASTEL profile, refer to the user guide on the Campus France website.

Studying in Canada

There are three main categories of people in Canada: citizens, permanent residents and temporary residents. International students, foreign workers and visitors are all temporary residents. All Dual Degree students are responsible for maintaining their immigration status and obeying immigration regulations while studying at UBC. Most UBC students require the following:

1. Passport

If your passport will expire while you’re in Canada, all of your immigration documents, your MSP coverage and Social Insurance Number (SIN) will normally expire at the same time. In most cases, you can only apply to extend them after you obtain a new passport. Passport applications can take up to three months, so apply for a new passport as soon as possible to avoid interrupting your studies. Learn more.

2. Study Permit

A valid study permit authorizes you to remain in Canada while you study. If you are an international student, you require a valid study permit to study in Canada. The only exception: if you are accepted in a program that is less than six months (e.g. one term exchange students) and you will complete the program by the end of your original stay in Canada, you do not need a study permit. Learn more.

3. Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) is used only for entry into Canada. Only citizens of certain countries require a TRV. It is recommended that you maintain a valid TRV for the duration of your studies, but it is not mandatory while you are inside Canada.  Learn more.

Visit International Student Development for full information on required immigration documents to study at UBC.

Entering Canada: Temporary Resident Visa

Depending on your citizenship, you may require a Temporary Resident Visa to enter Canada. This document is also called a TRV or an entry visa. A TRV is different from a study permit: it is used to enter Canada, while a study permit allows you to remain in Canada. TRVs are often issued for the same length of time as the study permit. If you have a study permit, a TRV is not needed while inside Canada, but it is a good idea to keep a valid TRV in case of sudden trips abroad.

If you are coming to Canada as a visitor (not on a study or work permit), your valid TRV will allow you to travel to  Canada and if admitted, remain in the country as a visitor for up to six months, if you meet other requirements such as criminal, medical and financial matters.

There are two kinds of TRVs: single- and multiple-entry.

  • A single-entry visa allows you to enter Canada only one time. Once you have left Canada, excluding travel to the United States and St. Pierre and Miquelon, you will need a new visa to travel back to and enter Canada.
  • A multiple-entry visa lets you enter and leave Canada repeatedly while it is valid. You must arrive in Canada on or before the expiry date on your visa.

Both single-entry and multiple-entry TRVs are valid for a fixed period and cannot be used after they expire. To find out if you need a TRV to enter Canada prior to your third year of study at UBC, please visit the Required Immigration Documents website.

Applying for Medical Services Plan (MSP)

All international students are required to apply for MSP as soon as they arrive in Vancouver. MSP is BC’s provincial health insurance plan. Anyone living in BC for six months or longer (including international students) is required by law to enrol in MSP and pay the plan’s premiums. All new international students are covered for three months under alternative insurance, and must apply for MSP before the three months is up. Full information and an overview of MSP is available here.