Doctoral students from EU countries don't need a visa.
Doctoral students from non EU countries must apply for a visa:
- If you are not working in France, you should apply for a student visa (CESEDA L313-7).
- If you are working in France (employed by the university, the CNRS or INSERM), you should apply for a scientific visa (CESEDA L313-8). Prior to applying, your employer should provide you with a hosting agreeement (convention d'accueil).
If you are having trouble obtaining your visa, you can ask the person hosting you in France to write a letter to the French embassy's cultural attaché in your home country.