France’s parliament has recently given the green light to a revised immigration law, ushering in changes that will significantly impact international students. The modified legislation introduces a novel requirement for students to be eligible for enrollment, emphasizing a new financial ‘fee’ related to their student status.
Deposit Requirement for Student Visa Applicants
Under the latest version of the bill, designed to enforce more stringent measures for foreigners in France, applicants for a student visa will now be subjected to a deposit requirement.
While the specific amount remains unspecified, the deposit aims to cover unforeseen expenses that may arise during students’ stays.
This deposit will be refunded upon the expiration of the student residency permit, its renewal, or if the student obtains a new French residency permit with a different title or status. However, the deposit stands to be permanently withheld if the student evades the enforcement of a removal order.
Tuition Fee Hike and Stringent Residency Permit Rules
The legislation also mandates an increase in tuition fees for students from non-EU countries, according to reports from prominent French publication Le Parisien. Additionally, students with multi-year residency permits are required to provide annual evidence of enrollment in a ‘real and serious’ study program.
Impact on Immigrant Families and Housing Benefits
While the immigration law poses challenges for immigrants accessing certain benefits like housing aid, international students are exempt from this specific change. They can still receive housing benefits alongside their student visas.
However, the bill introduces tougher measures for immigrants bringing family members to France. The residency requirement for family members has been extended from 18 to 24 months, and the age requirement for unmarried partners has been raised from 18 to 21.
This development aligns with a broader international trend, as the United Kingdom recently implemented a ban on international students bringing dependents, effective from January 1.
Constitutional Council Review
The immigration law is currently awaiting approval from France’s constitutional council. It’s worth noting that certain aspects of the legislation may undergo further changes or removal during this review process.
The outcomes of this evaluation will shape the final contours of the law, affecting the future landscape for immigrants and international students in France.