Procedures before your arrival - Bordeaux Montaigne University v1.2

Procedures before your arrival

Contact between the researcher and the Research Center laboratory

  • At least six months before leaving, you need to contact the laboratory or the research center you are interested in and determine who will be your interlocutor during the setting up of the project.
  • The work content for the duration of the stay in the scientific team will be negotiated between you and the laboratory team.

How to apply?

  • Contact our hosting service : staff-mobility @
  • Create an account on our incoming staff mobility portal, fill out the form online and upload the requested documents.
  • Once the form is completed, we will send you an invitation letter signed by the director of the hosting laboratory.
  • If you need a Scientific Hosting Agreement, the international office will establish the document, have it signed by the president of the university and send you the original by postal mail. This document will have to be sent to the consulate or the French Embassy of your country of residence.


If you are an EEA national or a Swiss citizen, you don’t need a visa to stay and work in France. A valid ID card or passport is sufficient.

If you are a citizen of a non-exempt country, you must apply for a visa at the French Embassy or Consulate of your country of residence at least 2 months before leaving for France.

The type of visa requested depends on the duration and the purpose of your stay:

  • Short stay visa (type C) for stays of 3 months or less (90 days) (except for exempted nationalities)

If your nationality does not exempt you from a visa, and even for a very short stay, you must ask us as soon as possible for a "Scientific Hosting Agreement for a foreign researcher". You must present the original of this document to the French Consulate in the country where you reside in order to obtain a "scientific" short-stay visa.

You must come to France with this document. The Hosting Agreement is the only official document which will prove your status as a scientist-researcher in France and authorize you to exercise higher education and/or research activities there.

Your family: As soon as you have a Hosting Agreement (subject to sufficient income and accident-sickness-repatriation cover), your spouse and your children can automatically obtain a visa to accompany you to France. Please note: It is recommended to submit all visa applications at the same time to benefit from the status of "spouse and researcher family".

The "scientist - researcher" visa does not apply to people travelling to France for meetings, conferences or symposia.

  • Long-stay visa (VLS-TS): for a stay longer than 90 days to 12 months

Whatever your nationality (including if it exempts you from short-stay visa) you must ask us, as soon as possible, for a "Hosting Agreement for a foreign researcher". You must present the original of this document to the French Consulate in the country where you reside in order to obtain a long-stay visa with the mention "Passeport Talent Chercheur".

Depending on the reasons for your stay, your long-stay "D visa" may be qualified as:

  • "Passeport Talent Chercheur": for people in possession of a hosting agreement;
  • "Passeport Talent Famille": for spouses and children under 18 of scientists and doctoral students holding a "Passeport Talent" visa;
  • "Student": for doctoral students enrolled in a French higher education establishment and who do not have a French employment contract;
  • "Visiteur" (visitor): for researchers and PhD students in France involved in scientific research, without being registered in a French institution and without an employment contract in France, as well as for the spouses of doctoral students in possession of a "student" D visa, the partners of scientists and children of full age.

For a stay shorter than 1 year, you will receive a long-stay visa serving as a residence permit (VLS-TS). You must validate it within three months of arriving in France.

For a stay longer than 1 year, you will need to request a multi-year residence permit at the prefecture within two months of arriving in France.

Once you have an appointment at the French embassy or consulate, you will need to provide the following documents (depending on your country of residence):

  • A valid passport with a validity period of at least three months longer than the expiry date of the requested visa
  • A recent passport-size photo
  • A Scientific Hosting Agreement if you request a Passport Talent-Researcher visa
  • Supporting documents (original + copies) corresponding to your situation and to the purpose of your travel

Please note that all the documents must be translated in English or in French by a sworn translator. 

You can consult France-Visas website to find information corresponding to your situation.

The Scientific Hosting Agreement

This document allows researchers from a country not exempted to benefit from the procedure intended for researchers for teaching and research activities.

To apply for a Passport Talent Researcher you need a Scientific Hosting Agreement. This is the only original legal document that certifies the status of researcher, the purpose and duration of the stay in France and the right to work. 

This document allows foreign nationals from outside the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation to benefit from the procedure dedicated to researchers in order to carry out research activities and/or deliver university-level teaching in an establishment approved by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation.


To request a hosting agreement, you must provide the following documents:

  • An insurance certificate for health, civil liability, and accidents at work, for the whole duration of your stay
  • A proof of funding (salary)
  • The last degree obtained (minimum Master) translated in English or in French


Depending on the duration of your stay, several options are available regarding accommodation.

  • Booking a hotel apartment can be a good option for a short stay. You can find the hotel apartments’ list in Bordeaux on the booking website.
  • Finding private housing on websites such as Le Bon Coin where you can find listings from individuals and real estate agencies. Please note: Never pay anything until you have the keys and have signed your lease contract, beware of fake offers.
  • La Maison Internationale : for international higher education staff, doctorate holders (research lecturers, university and “grandes écoles” lecturers, senior lecturers, foreign researchers on post-doctoral training) from one night up to one year.
  • Studapart: the platform is open to everyone (students, researchers, staff, etc.). Individuals or professionals place their ads online. You must create an account and file your supporting documents online either with your university email address or with your personal email and with the code HOUSINGMONTAIGNE.

You can also refer to the guide Logement  published by the Euraxess network, which lists good practices and useful information about finding an accommodation.

Some facilities can replace the guarantor, either free of charge, such as the "Visale" guarantee, or for a fee (specialised organisations, banks, insurance companies). Do not hesitate to apply for one before arriving in France.

To apply for a Visale guarantee, you must provide the following documents 

  • A copy of your passport and visa for the civil status documents
  • A copy of the hosting agreement for researchers


  • Health insurance:

For national members of European Union, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) must be requested through your national health insurance provider.

If you live outside the EU and you do not have a French employment contract, you have to take out private health insurance in your country of origin or in France. Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, don’t forget to take an insurance covering coronavirus medical costs, repatriation, cancelled flights etc.

Some companies have special offers for international researchers such as  AXA   or ACS AMI

If you have a French employment contract, you will be covered from your first day of work by the social security (at Paris’ CPAM for the visa Passport Talent Researcher holders).

Some countries also have a bilateral social security agreement with France, please see the list here.

  • Civil liability insurance: to cover damage that you may cause to others. You can take out this insurance with a private insurance (it is often included in travel insurances and in multi-risk home insurances but with limited guarantees).
  • Accidents at work coverage: if you are employed in France, you will automatically benefit from this coverage. If you are not employed in France, you can request a voluntary membership to the « Accident du Travail/ Maladie Professionnelle (AT/MP)” at the CPAM of your place of residence when you arrive in France. However, to request a scientific hosting agreement, this coverage is mandatory (in this case, you can take out a private insurance).
  • Home insurance: if you live in a rental housing, home insurance is mandatory to cover damage caused to third parties and to property during your stay. You can take out this insurance online or with an insurance company.