Foreign students: Title Multiannual stay (finally) generalized

The draft law on the rights of foreign was passed at the National Assembly on 26 January 2016. Among the key measures, the multi-year residence permit extended to all foreign students.
CampusFrance Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., China

"This new law concerning the rights of foreigners is going to the right direction and turns the page of the circulaire Guéant. It will simplify the life of students, PhD students and foreign researchers," says Anne Benoit, director of the research department of Campus France .

Adopted on 26 January 2016 at the National Assembly, the bill will allow foreign students to obtain a "multi-year residence permit" after the expiry of their first residence permit of one year. This document granted for a maximum duration of four years, will remain valid until the end of their studies. Until now, this permit only covered certain students of Master and Doctoral level.

Facilitate the first professional experience in France

After having "obtained in an accredited institution of higher education at the national level, a degree equivalent the master's degree," "or on a list fixed by decree, added by the 2016 law" at the end of their studies, international students can obtain a temporary residence permit (APS, autorisation provisoire de séjour) of a year non-renewable.

An open door to other degrees that Unef count on seizing so that "the Bachelor degrees, but also more vocational streams such as BTS and the DUT, are also included." The APS is designed to help students to "complete their training with a first work experience" or embark on a "business creation project in an area corresponding to their study."

Now the criteria are less restrictive. "Perfection for use, even if the student seeking a position in a overcrowded field, has been removed from the law. It is no longer necessary that the work found has to be directly related to the study," explains Hugues Hiron, who is following the file to the UNEF.

Law still not enough for the Unef

Administrative procedures for foreign students will therefore be simplified, avoiding the annual renewal of their residence permit. Hugues Hiron welcomes this victory, which is accompanied by other changes: "repeating is no longer considered a ground for refusal of the visa. If the residence permit of a student is no longer valid, a home custody will now be preferred over retention. "

Hugues Hiron regrets however that the claims of the student union on the "removal of the minimum amount of financial support to make a visa application (6,000 euros)", "access to scholarships according to social criteria" or "the disappearance of a maximum working hours "were not retained.

Another criticism was "the security side of the law, with the Articles 8 and 25 that allow the prefectures to verify the validity of the student throughout its duration, is a discriminating lack of confidence. The authorities may also request the administrations, housing managers or higher education institutions for data about foreign students. This can lead to data leakage and damage personal liberty. "

Little change for researchers

Researchers also have their simplified procedures. " passeport talent mention chercheur (Talent passport for researchers) is a simpler device and more visible than the carte " "scientifique-chercheur" "that existed for foreign researchers," said Benoit Anne Campus France.

Issued "upon one’s first entry", this multi-year permit is valid for up to four years. But nothing in the legislation aiming to simplify the administrative procedures for Doctors, who look for jobs outside the research field.

Published originally in French on on 02/02/2016 by Delphine Dauvergne