International students can enter France from July 1
Singer Adrien Pelon aka "Adri1" performs from his balcony for his neighborhood on May 2, 2020, in Paris, as the country is under lockdown to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus. Ludovic Marin/AFP

Planning to study in France this year? Good news — France is planning to reopen its borders to international students as early as July 1 this year.

In a tweet, the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs announced that those who need to travel to France for study purposes can do so beginning July 1.

French consulates and embassies abroad will also begin processing applications for student visas and residence permits from this date.

According to the official statement, “Given the importance of the attractiveness of French higher education, international students will be allowed to travel to France, regardless of their countries of origin, and visa procedures will be facilitated. Visa and resident permit applications will be processed as a priority.”

France has lifted travel restrictions at European internal borders. Those from the European space (European Union Member States, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican) are now allowed to enter the country.

France has been aiming to attract more international students in recent years.

Under a national research strategy in line with Horizon 2020  — the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly 80 billion euros in funding available over seven years — to encourage scientific innovation, France has made plenty of moves to internationalise its higher education sector.

In May, a new Campus France campaign was launched to show solidarity with international students.

In a campaign video, Campus France director Beatrice Khaiat said, “I want to address you, international students who plan to study abroad and tell you: Choose France, you are welcome in France.”

President of the alliance of management schools Conference des Grandes École Alice Guilhon added, “More than ever, your openness, cultural, linguistic, and digital knowledge will be essential for your entry into this new economy.”

The PIE News previously reported that France welcomed 358,000 international students in 2018/19, which makes up 10 percent of total higher education enrollments in the country. This places it among the top five host countries for international students.

france borders

A board reads ‘The airport teams wish you welcome’ as passengers arrive at the Nantes Atlantique airport to board the first plane which takes off, in Bouguenais, western France, on June 8, 2020, as the airport reopens during the second phase of the easing of lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus.
Source: Loic Venance/AFP

Will international students entering France’s borders be quarantined?

Not sure if you’ll need to be quarantined if you enter France as a student? There is no official guidance yet on whether international students will have to be quarantined for 14 days upon entry in France.

The quarantine period, however, will likely depend on where the international students are coming from.

Those from the European space are exempt from the 14-day quarantine upon their arrival, while travellers coming from Spain and the UK will be asked to observe the quarantine period.

According to the statement by French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, “In line with the European Commission’s recommendations announced yesterday, which were inspired by French proposals, France will progressively start to open its Schengen Area external borders from 1 July.”

“This will occur gradually and in a differentiated manner depending on the health situations in third countries, and in line with the European procedures to be issued by that time.”

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