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Validating your residence permit at the OFII

If you’re a holder of a french long-stay visa for study and you just arrived in Paris, then you need to make sure you send your documents within 3 months of your arrival and have your residence permit or titre de séjour validated by the OFII.

The OFII form

One of the documents that you should have received back from the French consulate when they issued your visa is the stamped OFII form. You need to complete the lower half of the form, which is in French, but you only need to know the basics to be able to fill this out. Nevertheless, here is a translation to help you with that if you’re too lazy to open google.translate:

ADRESSE EN FRANCE :

CHEZ : name of the tenant or owner of the house you’re staying at in France
BATIMENT : name of the building, if applicable NUMERO : number of the building
RUE : street name
CODE POSTAL : 5-digit postal code                   VILLE : city
TELEPHONE : Fixe : landline no                           Portable : 10-digit mobile number in France

ADRESSE MESSAGERIE :. e-mail address

LANGUE(S) rubrique à compléter par les conjoints de Français et les titulaires d’un visa mention « salarié ». (you don’t need to fill out this section if you’re a student, salarié means you’re in France on a work permit.)

Comprise (s) à l’oral………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Parlée(s)………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

VISA :

NUMERO : number VALABLE DU : valid from AU : to DATE D’ENTREE EN FRANCE : date of entry in France

Signature :

Fait à made in (city) le date

Make sure you have your passport stamped at the airport when you enter France! It’s written as one of the requirements. I made the mistake of not being able to get one but fortunately when I called the OFII they said as long as I was able to send proof of my arrival in France ie boarding pass, then it shouldn’t be a problem. I eventually got the convocation so it really wasn’t an issue. But get it nevertheless!

Send all the documents required as listed on the last page of the form and send it by registered post to the correct regional office depending on where you are staying in France. A friend of mine had her documents lost by the OFII in Montrogue so she had to send them again, you should make copy of the completed OFII form in case they lose it, so you can send it again with the embassy’s stamp.

Send your documents with an avis de réceptionthis means you get notified by the post office as soon as the OFII receive your documents. Like that, in case they lose your dossier and you need to prove to them that you sent your documents within three months of your arrival, you’ll be covered.

Receipt of the convocation

It had already been two months since I arrived in Paris and since the day they received my dossier (8 Jan), but I still haven’t received any message from them. I sent an email on 23 Feb with the avis de réception attached and asked them when they can action my request. I eventually received an e-mail on 14 March for the convocation. Finally! the 3-month rule is just the window you have where you need to send your documents, you may or may not have the meeting within those three months. In my case I had it more than 3-months from the date I send my documents.

I didn’t have to provide a lot of documents, just the usual such as my passport, proof of residence and passport photo. You also need to buy a timbre which is the tax you pay, for students it’s EUR60. You have the option to buy this online in the site they will provide, you then need to print this out.

Make sure you print the documents they sent you via e-mail, especially the one with your appointment date and time because they will ask for this when you are at their offices.

What happens in the OFII appointment

When you arrive, the security will ask whether you had an appointment so you need to show this to them before they can usher you upstairs. You then need to leave this paper in the desk and you just wait that they call your name. My appointment was 03 April at 15h and I arrived around 14h30. There were already around 20 people in the room but my name got called after 30 minutes. They will ask for your passport photo, proof of residence, passport and the timbre. You then get a sticker on your passport and they will advice you to contact your prefecture 6 months before your visa expires if you plan to extend your stay in France.

The two women behind the desk were really polite, nice and helpful. I was seating next to them so I was able to hear how they treated everyone.

I got my residence permit validated in three minutes!

Contrary to the cliché we all know about the French administration, so far this experience was pleasant.

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