Covid-19: International students FAQ


The closure of higher education institutions since Monday, March 16, 2020 raises legitimate questions among you. A frequently asked questions page and a Facebook group have been created to answer your questions.


The prefectures are closed and my residence permit will expire soon. What should I do?

As the prefecture suspended activities such as the reception of applicants for residence, due to the Covid-19 health crisis, the Ministry of the Interior has decided to extend by three months the validity of a package of documents that would expire on Monday 16 March 2020, such as long-stay visas, provisional residence permits and authorizations, asylum application certificates or receipts for applications for residence permits. This extension is automatic, so you do not have to do anything.

E.g.: If your residence permit/visa/receipt expires on 21 March 2020, the period of validity is automatically extended until 21 June. You can thus still benefit from your social and work protections.

Once the lockdown is over, it is strongly advised that holders of a residence permit/visa/receipt benefiting from this extension do not leave French territory, otherwise they may encounter many difficulties when they want to come back.

I have returned to my home country and my residence permit will soon expire. Will I be allowed to return to France?

If your residence permit / visa / receipt expires while you are in your home country, please contact the PSL Welcome Desk as soon as possible. The PSL Welcome Desk will explain the required steps.

I was supposed to move into student accommodation in the next few weeks: is it still possible?

In compliance with instructions from the Ministry, it is no longer possible to welcome the public in public structures, including student accommodation. If you were to move into a student hall during the lockdown, you will not be able to carry out the necessary steps for access to accommodation (handing over the keys, inventory of fixtures etc.) We advise you to stay in your current accommodation until the end of the lockdown. If your situation nevertheless requires urgent care, please contact the PSL Welcome Desk - - as soon as possible.


How does the Welcome Desk handle the reception of international students and staff?

The Welcome Desk will answer all students' questions:

A new Facebook support group "PSL International students" has been created to answer all the questions of PSL international students in this difficult situation and to help you in all your procedures. To join it, click here

The current situation is rather unsettling; who can I talk to about it?
  • If you feel like chatting, anonymously, with a team of bilingual students, don't forget that the Nightline service is available every evening from 9:00 pm to 2:30 am (by chat only). Nightline is a free listening service based on 4 principles: anonymous, confidential, non-judgmental and not prescriptive.
  • If you need to talk to a specialist, we can put you in touch with PSL's psychological service. To do so, send a short email to the PSL Welcome Desk and we will forward your contact information to the team of experts who will get in touch with you. Of course, this service is free of charge.
  • You can discuss with the members of the Facebook group "PSL international students" - it was created on purpose!
What is the procedure for making a "certificate of essential travel"?

During the lockdown, the directions are: stay at home. However, you are allowed to travel if you:

  • Go to work, only when remote work isn’t an option ;
  • Purchase essential goods within the nearest facilities;
  • Cover your medical needs (e.g.: buying medication;
  • Help a relative, to assist vulnerable individuals, or for child care;
  • Make short travels, close to your home, for individual physical activity (excluding group sports), or linked to the needs of pets.

If you have to leave your home for one of these reasons, you must print and fill in the "Certificate of essential travel" attestation de déplacement dérogatoire). You may also write it on a separate sheet of paper. You should not fill in the form on your smartphone, as the document will not be considered as a valid document.

Please remember:

  • A different issue of "certificate of essential travel" has to be printed for each of the different causes and moments you are outside.
  • When exhibiting the certificate, you will be also required to show your passport and your residence permit.
  • While you are outside, the police may check your certificate and your ID papers, as part of the controls during lockdown.
  • If your certificate is not valid, you will be fined €135.
PSL Welcome Desk
All PSL news
Learn more

In compliance with the governement orders, the PSL Welcome Desk is currently closed; however, our teams keep their work online. Feel free to contact us: