Recently, I applied for a Schengen short stay student visa (for visiting France) on an Indian passport. The local VFS website (whose link is given in the local consulate website) said that I needed to pay 60 euros as visa fees (plus service charges) and so I paid it. Here is the document where it says that short stay student visa application requires a fee.

But, while browsing, I stumbled upon a European regulation. The Article 16 of this regulation (which should be binding for France) says:

The visa fee shall be waived for applicants belonging to one of the following categories:... school pupils, students, postgraduate students and accompanying teachers who undertake stays for the purpose of study or educational training

So why was I required to pay this fee? It seems that everyone I know who applied for this visa were asked to pay their fees. Is there something fishy here? The purpose of my visit is clearly studies (or may be scientific research, since I'm a postgraduate student).

  • Are you going to be accompanied by a teacher? – Gayot Fow Jun 2 '16 at 3:15
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    No, and how is this relevant? The regulation says that fees are waived also for accompanying teachers, not that students must be accompanied by teachers for their fees to be waived. – adrija Jun 2 '16 at 3:21
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    It doesn't say "waived also for". The way it is written could be interpreted two ways: 1) that it applies to four categories - school pupils, students, post-grads, accompanying teachers; 2) that it applies to three categories with an accompanying teacher. Judging from the fact that you are being asked for payment, it seems the 2nd version is the accepted interpretation. – user13044 Jun 2 '16 at 3:58
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    I'm not sure about that. The Spanish version exempts "estudiantes de los distintos ciclos, incluido el postgrado, que efectúen estancias con fines educativos o de formación, y profesores acompañantes;" As I read it, that's quite clear that the English version is simply missing an Oxford comma; the accompanying teachers are an additional group exempt from fees and need not be present for the students to be exempt. It seems more logical that the regulation is either being ignored or doesn't apply for some kind of technical reason. – Zach Lipton Jun 4 '16 at 9:17
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    Were you asked to pay the fee or did you simply present it with your application ? – blackbird Jun 6 '16 at 14:49

I do not know on what page of the website you found the link you quote stating short study visas have a fee, but I could not find such requirement on the vfs-france website. On the Visa Fees page, I can read:

... Student Long Stay : 50 EUR (3788 INR) ...

and no other fee for short stays. I double checked by looking at the French consulate in Montreal and on the page for student trainees, it states, in the fee section:

Application fees (non-refundable): the value of €99 in Canadian currency for long-stay visa, payable only by debit card, cash or money orders (exact amount) payable to “consulat de France à Montréal”.

It is clear to me that short-stay student visas actually are issued free of charge.

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