and for anyone who obtained their French long stay visa.. Congrats!
So, after you’ve received your long stay visa the work isn’t over after you’ve arrived in France. It is super important to start the next steps of getting your visa validated as soon as you arrive.
Your long stay visa will become valid in France only when it has been approved by the OFII (Office Francais de I’immigration et de I’Interegation) To receive this validation you have to complete the steps listed below.. Here we go again!
In the Fedex envelope you received along with your visa you should’ve also received the form titled “Demande d’attestation OFII” You must complete the remainder of this page with your date of arrival in France, address in France, telephone number, and the full number of your visa. With this information the OFII will be able to contact you for the next step of the validation process which is the medical examination/introductory meeting.
Along with the “Demande d’attestation OFII” you will also need to send the following photocopies:
A copy of all passport pages that have information regarding your identity.
A copy of the stamp from the French immigration officer showing the date of your arrival in France. Or date of Arrival into Europe, I got my passport stamped in Iceland during my layover.
AND a copy of your french visa located in your passport.
You will have to mail these items to the relevant office that has authority over your place of residence.
After I sent in my paper work to OFII office it took a little over a month for me to receive my receipt confirming they had received the paper work, this is why I strongly recommend you do this immediately following your arrival in France. If your validation from the OFII isn’t complete within the first 3 months in France there is a chance you will have to submit a new application for a long stay visa at the French consulate or embassy of your country of origin. Which would suck!! So just get it over with. 😉
There’s a plus though, once you have received the receipt from the OFII you will be able to use this temporary document to prove the legality of your stay in France while waiting for your visa to be fully validated by the OFII, also giving you the freedom to travel out of France.
A few weeks after I received my receipt from the OFII I then received my request for a medical examination for an appointment scheduled a week later.
What to bring to the medical examination:
A passport size photograph following the appropriate passport photo guidelines, here are those passport photos again coming in handy!
and lastly, proof of your residence in France ( rent receipt, gas, electric or some sort of bill or certificate of stay)
The medical examination was pretty self explanatory, same idea as going into the doctor for a check up with a few personal questions about yourself included at the end.
Before leaving the office I was told to check out with the woman at the front desk, she stamped my medical examination paper with the OFII stamp and made sure to tell me to keep the original copy FOREVER. She also let me know to make sure I keep all originals and copies of anything visa related in a safe place because you never know when you might need them, could even be years from now.
I wasn’t sure what would come next after completing my medical examination. After waiting a few weeks, I received another letter from OFII requesting me for another appointment to submit a few more requested documents and pay an amount of 250 euros using stamps.
I went to a tabac shop nearby and bought 250 euros worth of stamps. Easy.
This last appointment was super short. I turned in my requested documents (another proof of living) answered a few questions and before I knew it the woman handed me back my passport with my official visa stamp!
Done and Done!
Looking back..the process of getting your visa validated isn’t too crazy just involves more paper work and patience. Now that I have my stamp, I am good for an entire year until its time to change my current visa into a Spousal Visa..
Visa Paperwork is FUNNN! 😉