OFII,  Paperwork

Bienvenue en France : Validating your visa upon arrival

This post was most recently updated on September 21st, 2021

When I received my visa back in February, there was a small little piece of paper tucked into my passport; a list of instructions for the validation of my visa upon my arrival in France. I had three months to validate my visa or it would be considered null and void if I did not. The process has moved completely to an online platform and the process took about 20 minutes total. 

Required steps to validate your visa

Once you have complete the process and paid for the timbre fiscal, you will be directed to a confirmation page where you have the option to download the confirmation letter. Do this and print it out to keep with the copies of your paperwork. You will need this for you carte vitale application and potentially any administrative process in the future.

After validating your visa

Now that your visa has been validated and you are officially able to reside in France for the next 12 months, your next step it to await the convocation for the OFII appointment. This first appointment (of many) will introduce you to the next steps to integrate into french life. I was expecting my convocation letter to come by snail, but it arrived via email a few days before we left for vacation. Which completely threw me for a loop!

The email included 2 attached documents for 2 separate appointments:

  1. Information for my medical visit. You can read about my medical visit here
  2. Information for my language test and personal interview to sign my contract d’intégration républicaine (CIR). You can read about my CIR appointment here. 

Something happened that I secretly dreaded from the beginning. I had to call and ask to reschedule for a different date since we would be on vacation the date of my first appointment. Thankfully, my husband called for me and got the contact information of someone who could help.

Mme. Tavern, who is in charge of the set up of the convocations, was able to tell me if I could change the appointment . This is the number that I called : +33 1 87 89 80 81 . I apologized for the inconvenience and explained that we had already booked a vacation well in advance. It would be complicated this late in the process to change details and were there any later dates available.

The thing I’ve learned about (some) French administration is that if you acknowledge the “inconvenience” in advance, the outcome usually isn’t as horrible as you imagine/heard. It just requires a little sweet talking. Thankfully by simply calling and asking, I was able to change my date of my appointment to the following week and was able to completely enjoy my vacation without having to cut it short.

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