Notice

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 global health crisis, routine passport and visa 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.

Visa and Travel Checklist

The visa and immigration documents required for you to participate in the Global BFA program depend on your country (or countries) 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 neither a U.S. citizen nor 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 10-12 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. Students are strongly encouraged to consider expediting their passport for processing in 4–6 weeks.

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).

Global BFA students will need to take particular initiative to complete the first steps of the visa application process remotely in advance of arrival while completing the final step in Boston. While Emerson staff can guide you through the process, it will be your responsibility to complete each step in a timely way. Emerson staff is not able to complete application steps on your behalf.

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

1. Create and complete an Études en France (EEF) application with Campus France USA (Completed individually before arrival to Boston)

The prescreening review by Campus France USA can take up to three weeks for regular processing. Approval of your EEF application 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 (Completed individually before arrival to Boston)

This application can be started 90 days prior to your scheduled program start date in France (June 2, 2021). It is critical that you complete this step on or around June 2 so that you are prepared for your visa appointment in 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 six months beyond your planned date of departure from the Schengen Area*, including at least two blank pages (*Should be valid at minimum through the end of November 2022.)
  • Two recent ID pictures in ISO/IECI format (pdf)
  • Paris College of Art admissions letter (found in your Admissions portal as the “program information 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 France Visas application fee (99€)

If your country is eligible, use the convenient online application form using the necessary explanations provided on screen. 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. Attend an appointment at the VFS Global Application Center (Completed after arrival in Boston)

You must submit your visa application materials in person during a pre-scheduled appointment at a VFS Global Application Center. You are allowed to schedule a visa application appointment up to 90 days prior to your scheduled program start date in France. Our staff will work with you to schedule your appointment at the VFS Global Application Center in Boston during your time on campus. It is critical that appointments be held in early-to-mid July.

4. Attend your appointment at the VFS Global Center on the scheduled date/time

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 appointment, your application will then be sent to the French Consulate of Washington, DC. 

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

The French Consulate of 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 at least six months beyond your planned date of departure from France (Should be valid at minimum through the end of November 2022).
  • 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 the 2020 cohort: Since the summer 2020 occurred remotely and not on campus in Boston, international students who began the program outside of the US will need to apply for an F-1 visa to enter the U.S. prior to travel to Boston in summer 2021. You will need to apply for an F-1 visa at a U.S. consulate in France (or your country of residence) 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. Please follow this link below for more details.
  • 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 at least six months beyond your planned date of departure from France (Should be valid at minimum through the end of November 2022).
  • 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 the 2020 cohort: Since the summer 2020 occurred remotely and not on campus in Boston, international students who began the program outside of the US will need to apply for an F-1 visa to enter the U.S. prior to travel to Boston in summer 2021. You will need to apply for an F-1 visa at a U.S. consulate in France (or your country of residence) 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.
  • 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

Important note to non-US International students: You must either (1) complete the entire French visa process from out of the U.S. prior to arriving in Boston, or (2) you can complete the Études en France (EEF) application through Campus France USA (make sure you select the US site), but may then need to wait until after your U.S. arrival to submit your France Visas application online as this step requires documentation of your U.S. status.

Keep in mind, this will mean that your application window will be much tighter than your U.S. citizen colleagues. You will need to work with the Emerson Office of International Student Affairs immediately upon arrival to complete the steps, and may need to pay additional fees for expedited processing.

Global BFA students will need to take particular initiative to complete the visa process. While Emerson staff can guide you through the process, it will be your responsibility to complete each step in a timely way. Emerson staff is not able to complete application steps on your behalf.

Please follow the instructions below if you will be applying for your French long-stay visa through Campus France USA with a subsequent visa appointment in Boston.

1. Create and complete an Études en France (EEF) application with Campus France USA (Completed individually before arrival to Boston)

The prescreening review by Campus France USA can take up to three weeks for regular processing. Approval of your EEF application 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 (Completed individually before arrival to Boston)

This application can be started 90 days prior to your scheduled program start date in France (June 2, 2021), but cannot be completed until you arrive in the U.S.

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. 

It is critical that you complete this step as soon as you arrive in the U.S. so that you are prepared for your visa appointment in July. Since you will need to document your U.S. status during this step (including a copy of your I-94 record of US entry), you may need to request expedited processing to ensure that your visa application can be scheduled in 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 six months beyond your planned date of departure from the Schengen Area*, including at least two blank pages (*Should be valid at minimum through the end of November 2022.)
  • Two recent ID pictures in ISO/IECI format (pdf)
  • Emerson Global BFA Program Information Letter (different from the standard Admissions letter) — Available via Emerson Portal
  • PCA admissions letter or Certificat d’Inscription (“Certificat”) — Available via Emerson Portal
  • 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 France Visas application fee (99€)

3. Attend an appointment at the VFS Global Application Center (Completed after arrival in Boston)

You must submit your visa application materials in person during a pre-scheduled appointment at a VFS Global Application Center. You are allowed to schedule a visa application appointment up to 90 days prior to your scheduled program start date in France. Our staff will work with you to schedule your appointment at the VFS Global Application Center in Boston during your time on campus. It is critical that appointments be held in early-to-mid July.

4. Attend your appointment at the VFS Global Center on the scheduled date/time

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 appointment, your application will then be sent to the French Consulate of Washington, DC. 

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

The French Consulate of 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 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. and Europe 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. you only have 5 weeks in Boston to complete the final steps of your French visa. Get a jump on the process by completing the electronic steps before you arrive in Boston.

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 2 (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 2 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. $205 paid here.
The notice on the Etudes en France website regarding tuition fees for non-European nationals does NOT apply to our students. 
June 2 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. $205 paid here.
The notice on the Etudes en France website regarding tuition fees for non-European nationals does NOT apply to our students. 
June 2 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 2 All non-EU (U.S. and International)

Emerson will assist you in registering for an in-person appointment with VFS Global Boston for a date in early July

This appointment can be booked 90 days before your semester start date in France.
Early July All non-EU (US and International) Arrive for your scheduled personal visa appointment with VFS Global Bring originals and copies of all documents. For any that are not in French or English, have them translated into French.
Week of July 2 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.