Notice

Due to the ongoing 2020 COVID-19 global health crisis, routine passport and visas services may be delayed or modified, and global mobility may be impacted by travel bans or immigration restrictions. Emerson College will continue to monitor updates and may issue additional clarification as needed. We request that students and families pay close attention to notices as passport and visa procedures may be subject to change.

Currently, France has suspended routine visa services worldwide until further notice. See: france-visas.gouv.fr/web/france-visas/information-coronavirus.

Visa and Travel Checklist

The visa and immigration documents required for you to participate in the Global BFA program depend on your country of citizenship.

Visa and Travel Checklist

Item U.S. Citizen E.U. Citizen Non-U.S./Non E.U. Citizens
Valid Passport Required Required Required
U.S. F-1 visa N/A Required Required
French long-stay visa Required N/A Required

Please see steps below for instructions to obtain your French long-stay visa, based on your status as a: Global BFA student who is a U.S. citizen, a Global BFA student who is a citizen of the European Union, or a Global BFA student who is not a U.S. citizen and not a citizen of the European Union. 

Instructions for Obtaining Your Visa

Global BFA Students Who Are U.S. Citizens

First, you must apply for or renew a U.S. passport, if needed. Allow at least six weeks to apply and make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months longer than your intended stay in France. If your last passport was issued before age 16, you must apply for a new passport in person using Form DS-11.

Then, you will need to apply for a long-stay visa (since participants in the Global BFA program will be studying in France for more than a 90-day period, a French long-stay visa will be required for all students to do not have citizenship in a European Union or European Economic Area country). 

Since the first semester of the program will occur remotely in summer 2020, Global BFA students will need to take particular initiative to complete each of the visa steps individually. While Emerson staff can guide you through the process, it will be your responsibility to complete each step in a timely way.

Apply for your French long-stay visa by following these steps:

1. Complete Campus France USA account online

The prescreening review by Campus France can take one to three weeks. Approval is required before you can appear at your visa appointment, so make certain to set up your account and submit your supporting documents early.

2. Submit a France Visas application online

This application can be started 90 days prior to your scheduled program start date in France. It is critical that you complete this step on or around June 1 so that you are prepared for your visa appointment in early July.
To complete this application, you must have:

  • A passport in good condition—issued no more than 10 years ago, the validity of which extends at least three months beyond your planned date of departure from the Schengen Area, including at least two blank pages
  • Two recent ID pictures in ISO/IECI format (pdf)
  • Paris College of Art admissions letter
  • Supporting documents (originals + copy) specific to your situation and purpose of travel; all documents written in languages other than French or English must be translated into French.
  • Means of payment for your application fee (99€)

If your country is eligible, use the convenient online application form using the necessary explanations provided onscreen. You will be asked to create a personal account with your email address. The system will allow you to save your partially or fully completed form, or to validate and print it out when you are ready to make your appointment.

3. Schedule your appointment at one of nine VFS Global Centers (Washington DC, Boston, New York, Atlanta, Houston, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco)

This step should be done simultaneously with Step 2. You may schedule your visa application appointment up to 90 days prior to your scheduled program start date in France. It is critical that you complete this step on or around June 1 so that you have an appointment scheduled in early July.

Book an appointment at a VFS Global Center in early July.

Keep in mind, visa appointments may not be open until about one month prior to your desired date and may book out quickly during the busy summer months, so schedule your appointment early to make certain you will have an appointment. Remember: Schedule your appointment on or around June 1. Request a visa appointment in early July.

4. Attend your appointment with VFS Global on the scheduled date

Make certain you schedule your VFS Global appointment on or around June 1* for a date in early July. (*As soon as visa appointments open for your appointment location.)

Arrive at your appointment with your complete application in hand (CERFA and receipt). The visa application center will check your application, collect the visa fee, record your biometric data (photo and fingerprints), and keep your passport and supporting documents (copies) in order to forward them to the consulate. This procedure at the service provision center will take approximately 20 minutes.

After your VFS Global interview, your application will then be sent to Washington, DC. 

5. Receive approval of your French long-stay visa by mail

The French consulate in Washington, DC, will review your application for a French long-stay visa. Once your application has been approved, you will receive the visa in your passport, as well as instructions on registering yourself with the OFII (Office of Immigration and Integration). During orientation week at PCA, the student life office will guide you on how to register yourself in France. Please pay careful attention to these processing steps to prevent delays or difficulty.

For questions, please contact Corey Blackmar, Associate Director of Internationalization Initiatives at corey_blackmar [at] emerson.edu.

Global BFA Students Who Are European Union Citizens

1. Apply for a passport or for a renewal, if needed

  • Make certain your passport is valid for at least six months longer than your stay in France.
  • Check with your home country passport agency for standard processing times for renewal.

2. Submit your I-20 documents in preparation for applying for an F-1 visa to the U.S.

Note for students admitted to 2020 cohort: Since the summer 2020 will occur remotely and not on campus in Boston, international students who are currently  outside of the US will not need to apply for an F-1 visa to enter the U.S. at this time. You will be issued a form I-20 next spring and will need to apply for an F-1 visa at a U.S. consulate in France, prior to your U.S. study in summer 2021.

  • Submit the required documents to your application portal so that you will be able to receive an I-20 in Spring 2021. Please follow this link below for more details. *Documents may need to be updated in Spring 2021 after initially submitting in Summer 2020. 
  • Use this Form I-20 to pay your I-901 SEVIS fee and apply for your F-1 student visa at a U.S. consulate abroad before your entry to the U.S. 
    For international students currently in the U.S. you will need to request a new I-20 from Emerson and complete transfer of your SEVIS record.
  • Upon receiving your tuition deposit, financial support documents, International Student Contact Form, and passport, Emerson Undergraduate Admission will issue a Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 Student Status.

3. With your valid E.U. passport, no French long-stay visa will be required.

Global BFA Students Who Are Not U.S. Citizens And Not E.U. Citizens

1. Apply for a passport or for a renewal, if needed

  • Make certain your passport is valid for at least six months longer than your stay in France.
  • Check with your home country passport agency for standard processing times for renewal.

2. Submit your I-20 documents in preparation for applying for an F-1 visa to the U.S.

Note for students admitted to 2020 cohort: Since the summer 2020 will occur remotely and not on campus in Boston, international students will not need to apply for an F-1 visa to enter the U.S. at this time. You will be issued a form I-20 next spring and will need to apply for an F-1 visa at a U.S. consulate in France, prior to your U.S. study in summer 2021.

  • Submit the required documents to your application portal so that you will be able to receive an I-20 in Spring 2021. Please follow this link below for more details.*Documents may need to be updated in Spring 2021 after initially submitting in Summer 2020. 
  • Use this Form I-20 to pay your I-901 SEVIS fee and apply for your F-1 student visa at a U.S. consulate abroad before your entry to the U.S.
    For international students currently in the U.S., you will need to request a new I-20 from Emerson and complete transfer of your SEVIS record.
  • Upon receiving your tuition deposit, financial support documents, International Student Contact Form, and passport, Emerson Undergraduate Admission will issue a Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 Student Status.

3. Apply for a French long-stay visa

The process of applying for a French long-stay visa will differ somewhat depending on your country of citizenship and the country in which you will be applying for your visa. 

Please country-specific instructions, see: https://france-visas.gouv.fr/web/france-visas/

The application process will include: 

1. Complete a Campus France USA account online

The prescreening review by Campus France can take one to three weeks. Approval is required before you can appear at your visa appointment, so make certain to set up your account and submit your supporting documents early.

2. Submit a France Visas application online

This application can be started 90 days prior to your scheduled program start date in France. It is critical that you complete this step on or around June 1 so that you are prepared for your visa appointment  in early July.

To complete this application, you must have:

  • A passport in good condition—issued no more than 10 years ago, the validity of which extends at least three months beyond your planned date of departure from the Schengen Area, including at least two blank pages
  • Two recent ID pictures in ISO/IECI format (pdf)
  • Paris College of Art admissions letter
  • Supporting documents (originals + copy) specific to your situation and purpose of travel; all documents written in languages other than French or English must be translated into French.
  • Means of payment for your application fee (99€)

3. Attend your appointment on the scheduled date

Make certain you schedule your visa appointment on or around June 1* for a date in early July. (*As soon as visa appointments open for your appointment location.)

Arrive at your appointment with your complete application in hand (CERFA and receipt).

Although Emerson may not be able to answer detailed questions related to a country-specific visa application process, we encourage you to reach out for general direction.International student with questions should contact Andrea Popa, Emerson Director of International Student Affairs, at andrea_popa [at] emerson.edu.
 

Immigration Timeline

Since the Global BFA program will take place in the U.S., France, and Holland, you’ll need to pay careful attention to the application timelines and required documentation.

The following suggested timeline outlines expected processing times to complete immigration-related steps, so make sure that you have your immigration documents approved and in-hand before you travel!

Remember, you must complete one step before moving the other, so make certain you begin the process as soon as possible. Get a jump on the process by completing the electronic steps as soon as possible!

Immigration Timeline

Date Audience Action Notes
March to April All Global BFA students (U.S., EU, International) Apply for (or renew) your passport, as needed Make certain your passport is valid for at least 6 months longer than your intended stay in France.
June 1 (or upon completion of your current program of your high school program) International students in the U.S.

 

Request transfer of SEVIS record to obtain your Form I-20 from Emerson College Undergraduate Admission SEVIS Transfer must occur within 60 days of your program completion
June 1 All non-EU (U.S. Students) Complete the Campus France Etudes en France application online This online application review can take up to 3 weeks and is required before you can appear at your visa appointment with VFS Global. $190 paid here.
The notice on the Etudes en France website regarding tuition fees for non-European nationals does NOT apply to our students. 
June 1 All non-EU (International students) Complete the Campus France Etudes en France application online This online application review can take up to 3 weeks and is required before you can appear at your visa appointment. $190 paid here.
The notice on the Etudes en France website regarding tuition fees for non-European nationals does NOT apply to our students. 
June 1 All non-EU (U.S. and International) Submit a France Visas application This application can be started 90 days prior to scheduled semester start date in France. PCA will issue your required Certificat d’Inscription (Certificate of Admission). The fee for a long-stay visa is 99€.
June 1 All non-EU (U.S. and International)

U.S. applicants: Schedule your in-person appointment with VFS Global for a date in early July

International applicants: Schedule your in-person visa appointment

This appointment can be booked 90 days before your semester start date in France. Book your in-person appointment for a US location close to home in June or in early July. Book early as summer visa appointments fill up quickly.
Early July All non-EU (US and International) Arrive for your scheduled personal visa appointment Make certain you schedule this appointment well in advance so that you can apply in June or early July
Week of July 1 International students in the US (SEVIS transfers only) Complete SEVIS Check-In in with Emerson Office of International Student Affairs (OISA) U.S. F-1 regulations require you to check in with your international student office upon arrival to “activate” your immigration record in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
July All non-EU (US students) After your appointment with VFS Global, they will mail your application to Washington DC to approve your French long-stay visa Make certain you have started this process as soon as possible so that you have your visa in hand prior to leaving for Paris!

*Please keep in mind that passport and visa applications are subject to ultimate review and approval by U.S. and French government agencies. Failure to meet these deadlines, or submission of incomplete or incorrect application materials may lead to delays or denial of a travel benefit.

While Emerson College and Paris College of Art will assist you in understanding the application steps and timeline, neither school can guarantee your approval for these documents.