Housing assistance

There are several types of financial and rental aids to help students find appropriate housing, including rental allocations and help in financing your guarantee deposit. LyonCampus lists the ways you can find assistance for your housing budget.

Housing assistance for international students

Here’s some good news: international students have a right to housing aid. You can qualify for a rent subsidy by the CAF (France’s family assistance fund) under one of two national programs APL or ALS. Everything can be done online. Don’t hesitate to do an online simulation (french version only) to learn whether you’re eligible and find out how much assistance you might be able to receive each month.

  • For students  from  the  European Union, in addition to the documents requested for each type of assistance, you must supply  your ID card, your social security  coverage for illness and your justification of registration in a French establishment of higher  education.
  • For others, extra documents are requested : an integral  copy of your  birth  certificate and your visa. You must hold  the VLS-TS (long-stay visa and residency permit) in order to qualify for CAF assistance.

Don’t wait to receive your definitive residence permit to send your application to the CAF (it can take over three months to obtain the permit). Send your incomplete file to the CAF : you can send a copy of your residence card as soon as you receive it.

What are the CAF aids ?

Assistance for paying rent is allocated by the "Caisse d'allocations familiales" (CAF). Depending on your situation, there are three types of housing assistance you may receive: APL, ALF and ALS. The amount of this assistance varies according to your rental amount, your resources (and not those of your parents), the type of housing and the place where you live.

Personalized Housing Assistance (APL)

It's the most common housing assistance. To benefit from the APL, you must be the primary renter of housing that is subsidized by the government : ask your landlord about this before you sign the rental contract.

This assistance cannot be cumulated with the ALS. You are also not entitled to it if your parents already receive an allocation.

Family Housing Allocation (ALF)

It is designed for those who do not have access to the APL and who in charge of children or a family. This allocation is also available for pregnant women or young married or PACS couples from no more than 5 years.

Social Housing Allocation (ALS)

The ALS is designed for those who are not eligible for the APL or the ALF, whether renters, sub-renters or co-renters.

Make a note:

> If you benefit from a housing allocation, you are no longer considered to be under your parent’s responsibility for family allocations. Therefore, you should calculate which situation is the most advantageous.

> When you request a housing allocation, it may be paid directly to your lessor (owner or agency) and not to you. Find out ahead of time to know who will receive the payment.


Making your request for a housing allocation

Make your request online on CAF website (french version only)


Requested documents:

  • Your allocation number or the number of your parents if they receive an allowance
  • Your email address
  • The  amount of your income for the current year and/or preceding years (not that of your parents)
  • A RIB (bank account information)
  • The  rental agreement or your lease
  • The lessor’s contact information (owner or agency) and, if the lessor is a company, it Siret number
  • Rental amount (excluding charges)

File tracking and contact:

When you have made your request, there are 3 possible solutions for rapid treatment of your student file:

  • A direct line for students from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. To 4:30 p.m., at 0 810 29 29 29 (€0.06/minute + price of a local call  from a landline phone). 
  • A section dedicated to students on the CAF website (french version only).
  • The "Caf-Mon Compte" app to access  your file from your smartphone (french version only)

Receive your rent subsidy:

When do payments start?

Your allocation is calculated according to the first full month you reside in your housing unit. For example, if you moved in on January 15, you will receive your first payment at the beginning of March, after your first full month (that is February).

Do payments stop on summer hollidays ?

Housing assistance is automatically suspended on July 1 for all students unless you inform the CAF that you will keep your housing beyond this date.

The other types of housing assistance

Prepayment for your rental deposit: AVANCE LOCA-PASS

AVANCE LOCA-PASS® from Action Logement is a loan for the security deposit. It enables immediately financing the security deposit requested by the lessor when you rent your housing unit. You can gradually reimburse this amount without paying interest over a maximum duration of 25 months. The maximum amount financed is €1,200.

See more about LOCA-PASS® on Action Logement website (french version only)

Rent without security deposit with the "bail mobilité"

The "bail mobilité" (mobility lease) enables you to rent a furnished apartment for 1-10 months maximum. This lease is reserved to students, interns, civic service workers and persons in a work/study program or in temporary professional transfer. This contract cannot be renewed. With this type of lease, you do not have to pay a security deposit; however, you must have a guarantor.

Get more details about "bail mobilité"

Choose Visale as a free guarantor and security deposit service

The Visale guarantee, a service from Action Logement, offers adult students a free rental deposit for any type of accommodation, with no means-test. Visale acts as guarantor for your landlord, a simple solution accessible in a few clicks.

Property owners are assured that rent will be paid and you can find housing more quickly.

Visale can be used by international students 

To be eligible, students must be between 18 and 30 years of age. Students who require a visa for study in France must have obtained a long-stay visa with residency permit (VLS-TS) marked "étudiant" or "passeport talent"

Students who are citizens of a member country of the European Union need only a student ID card and a valid passport. 

How does it work ? 

The renter makes a request BEFORE signing the rental contract, directly on the VISALE website (french version only) : you ask for a certificate that you can then give to your landlord. (it takes two working days to obtain a certificate) on your secure personal page.

Find out more on Campus France website

Benefit from Housing Solidarity Fund

The Fonds de Solidarité pour le Logement (Housing Solidarity Fund) helps those with a very low income and/or major financial difficulties. You can request this type of assistance if you have problems in paying your rent, need to move or need to pay your energy bills.

You have a work/study contract ?

Action Logement takes charge of part of work/study students' rent (up to €100 per month) without a fee, to enable them to live closer to their school or company : it's the "aide MOBILI-JEUNE®".

This arrangement is for students under thirty years of age in a work/study program with a company (under an apprenticeship or professionalization contract) in the private, non-agricultural sector.