Foreign students, as well as French students, can receive housing benefits as soon as they find a place.
Students can receive a housing benefit regardless the type of their accommodation (it can be a room at the CNSMD, an individual apartment, an apartment in an block handled by the CROUS – state organism – or by a private institution, a room rented in a local’s house, in a hall of residence, etc.), whether they are sharing their rent with a flatmate or not.
Students whose resources fit the conditions can receive a housing benefit from the Caisse d’Allocations Familiales CAF (Social Welfare Family Allowance). Applications are made directly to the CAF.
First, you can do a simulation of your benefit online on the CAF website. It will allow you to have an idea of the amount you may receive. The calculation is based on your own resources (and not your parents’).
Click here to do to the simulation (in French).
The demand may be done online on the CAF website, or by downloading and sending back the form you can find on the CAF website.
The demand may be done at any time. You will have to wait two months before receiving your first allowance, which will make up for the time you waited. Starting from this moment, you will receive it monthly on your bank account.
You can download the housing benefit practical guide from the CAF based in Lyon at the bottom of the page (in French).
The French governement only provides social grants to foreign students holding a 10-year visa.