Exciting news for Indian students! France has announced a slew of initiatives designed to attract and welcome Indian students, with a brand new 5-year Schengen visa for graduates. This move signifies a significant commitment to strengthening educational and cultural ties between the two nations.
New 5-Year Schengen Visa for Indian Students
President Emmanuel Macron, during his recent state visit to India, unveiled plans to attract more Indian students to France by introducing a 5-year Schengen visa scheme.
Under this initiative, Indian students who complete their Master’s degree in France will be eligible for an extended visa, and can now apply for a 5-year multi-entry Schengen visa.
This visa grants visa-free travel to 26 European countries, allowing graduates to maintain connections with France, pursue professional opportunities, and explore Europe with ease.
Ambitious Target Welcomes More Indian Students
The introduction of the 5-year Schengen visa complements France’s broader efforts to position itself as a leading destination for international students.
President Macron’s announcement in Jaipur, pledging to welcome 30,000 Indian students in France by 2030, reflects the country’s commitment to promoting educational excellence and cultural exchange.
Enhanced Consular Presence
France’s decision to establish a new consulate in Marseille, coupled with India’s reciprocal gesture of setting up a French bureau in Hyderabad, reflects the mutual desire to expand consular services and promote people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.
Strengthening Diplomatic and Technological Collaboration
The 5-year visa is just one facet of a broader effort to strengthen India-France relations. The two countries have signed numerous agreements and announced key initiatives across various sectors, including:
Defence: A roadmap for deeper collaboration in the defence industry, potentially leading to joint ventures and technology transfer.
Space: A letter of intent between the Indian and French defence ministries lays the groundwork for cooperation in space defence.
Innovation: The declaration of 2026 as the “India-France Year of Innovation” aims to catalyze joint research, entrepreneurship, and cultural exchange.
Travel and Connectivity: Operationalizing UPI for payments at the Eiffel Tower and establishing new consulates in Marseille (India) and Hyderabad (France) symbolize the growing digital partnership and commitment to closer engagement.
As France takes proactive steps to attract Indian students and deepen bilateral cooperation, the introduction of the new 5-year Schengen visa represents a significant milestone in the ongoing partnership between India and France.
With both nations committed to fostering innovation, education, and sustainable development, the future holds promising prospects for continued collaboration and mutual growth.