This post was most recently updated on May 6th, 2021
Just so I don’t keep you in suspense, I received my récépissé (voucher) saying that my official card is in the making. I’m good to stay in France for another 2 years. We will officially celebrate when I receive my actual card, in about 2 months.
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Attending the Renewal Appointment
You can never be too sure when it comes to the French administration who you will get and what they will ask for. When I made my appointment for the renewal of my titre de séjour (residency permit), I received a paper that listed all the documents I would need to bring with my for my dossier (folder) for the request to renew my titre de séjour. You can find the document here.
Please be aware that there are several different situations listed on this document and that you are not required to provide every single item listed here. Please check and triple check the section(s) for your individual situation.
You can read about my experience here for the process in making the appointment to renew my titre de séjour.
Documents that I prepared for the VLS-TS renewal
The following is the list of documents I prepared for my application request for the visa long séjour valant titre de séjour :
The following documents are supplemental documents that I included with my folder just in case :
(And it’s a good thing because I used a few of them for my application) .
The Day of the Renewal
In the convocation (summons) that I downloaded when I made my appointment online, it indicated that I needed to arrive no more than 30 minutes before my chosen time. This paper needs to be printed and taken with you. Any time you have an appointment with French administration, it is required that you present the proof of appointment.
My appointment was scheduled for 9:15 AM on a Thursday morning. My appointment was at the préfécture (police station) in the 9th (métro Barbes). When I arrived at 8:40 AM, there were already at least 15 people in line ahead of me. The doors of the préfécture did not open until 8:55 AM (due to open at 9 AM). It seemed like there were people there for appointments at 8:35 AM (don’t ask me why they schedule appointments for 8:35 AM when they open at 9 AM, I’m a little baffled at that one).
I finally made it into the building around 9:15 AM. The security guard was letting 4 people in at a time. Once through the door and through security, I was asked to fill out a form. This form was included as one of the documents that I needed to download when I made my appointment online. This document can be found here. There was only one page when I downloaded it online, there is a second page the the agent will need to fill out when you get to the second window. This did not pose a problem. I seemed to be the only person that downloaded the form and filled it out before hand.
Window number 1
When having passed security, I waited in line till I was called up to the first group of windows. There were 3 ladies working 3 windows. When I was called up, the agent asked me for my convocation. Then she proceeded to ask for specific documents. She checked that the copies of my passport and visa matched my actual passport and visa. She also asked for the originals of my OFII papers and not the copies. I verified that I would get the originals back and she said yes.
After shed had asked for and arranged all the necessary documents, she put them into a folded piece of paper, handed me a ticket with a number on it and asked me to sit in the waiting area until my number appeared on the screen. When my number appeared on the screen, it would also indicate what gichet (counter) I needed to present myself to. I ended up waiting about 15 minutes before I was called back to a counter.
Window Number 2
After waiting for 15 minutes, I was finally called back to a counter. Another agent asked me for the paperwork and I handed her the ticket number and my folder from the first agent. This agent verified the information that was filled out on the form was the correct information as well as all the paperwork in the folder was the necessary documents.
Apparently my quittance de loyer (rent receipt) was not sufficient in proof for our communal life together (even though my name was on the papers). The agent asked for other documents like the last 2 years of taxes, which I did not have since I have not been in France yet for one year completely. She also asked for my attestation de droits (certificate of rights) for my health insurance. This is something I did not think to print out and bring with me. This is easily accessible from your online Ameli account and can printed whenever needed.
I had my RIB that had both our names on it as well as my last two paystubs that she took. As well as the phone/internet bill that is in my husband’s name. It seemed like there were a total of 4 documents that I needed to prove our life together that was not indicated on the form of documents needed to submit with my application. The four documents indicated two that we both live at the same address and one for each individual that we also reside at the same address.
After finally having all the correct papers, she reorganized all the documents in the folded paper and stepped into a back room to have my dossier verified and approved. The agent was gone maybe 5 minutes when she came back and said that all my papers had been accepted and approved and I would get my récépissé.
Approval of the Application
After my application has been approved, the agent asked me to verify again my personal information as she began typing it into her computer. When she had collected all the required information, she asked me to place my fingers, one hand at a time, on to the scanner that was located in front of me. This was the same machine they used to collect my finger prints when I applied for my Global Entry card.
With my finger prints and information correctly in the system, she handed me a sheet that explained that within the next two months I would receive a text message informing me that my card was ready to pick up and the tax amount that I need to pay. I will then be instructed to follow a link to make another appointment to return to pick up my card.
With all this said and done, she applied one of my photos to a piece of paper, asked me to verify the information on the paper was correct, sign on the bottom corner and congratulated me on having successfully renewed my titre de séjour.
I think I finally breathed a sigh of relief when I had my récépissé (voucher) in hand and I was outside of the préfecture (police station).
The staff, as expected, were short in their answers and came off a little annoyed at any question. It’s hard smiling when wearing a mask, but I still did and hoped they saw through that.
It is best to come fully armed with any extra documents that you might think you need or could possibly be useful. Grateful that I had my paystubs, an extra utility bill and my RIB in my folder. These documents I ended up using in my dossier. I wil be adding my attestation de droits of my health insurance to my arsenal of paperwork the next time I come up against the French administration.
I echo the words I talked about in a post here about the things I learned once moving to France, always be (over) prepared and have patience. These will get you far when it comes to dealing with French administration.
Update // Remise de Tite de Sejour
April 25, 2021
It’s been two months to the day and I have not recieved an SMS from the préfecture about taking another appointment to pick up my titre de séjour. So, I’m following the instructions that the lady at the second window gave me.
Just from what I can tell, it seems like the Préfecture has updated their website, so some of the adresses may not be the same. It is more streamline and easier to navigate than when I went through the step by step process in February .
You will need to click here to go directly to the website to send your email request to see where things are at with your dossier.
Here is the text I used in the message section of the message form :
Je me permets de vous contacter car je n’ai pas reçu le SMS m’informant de la disponibilité de mon titre de séjour . Pourriez-vous, s’il vous plaît, m’indiquer où en est mon dossier ? Je vous remercie par avance.
(included my cell phone here just in case)
I also selected the following service from the drop-down menu :
Salle de remise des titres de séjour / Convocation SMS
When I clicked submit, I got an automatic confirmation email that my message had been received and that I would be contacted at their earliest convenience . So here I am, waiting for a response as to what’s going on with my card .
April 30, 2021
5 days after I sent my message, I received a text message saying that my titre de séjour is finally available for pick-up. Cue up the ticker tape cannons !
When you get this text message, you are now allowed to go online and request an appointment to pick up your card. You’ll return to the Préfecture’s website and follow the same steps you did when you went to send your message . You can also click here . When you click through the first two steps and get to the third step, you’ll choose Remise du titre de séjour.
Here, you will be taken to the screen that will tell you, in French, the step by step process on what you need to do to make your appointment . It is also important to know that in step 3, it tells you the documents that you need to bring with you to your appointment . You’ll need to lick on the link that says “Prendre rendez-vous en ligne en cliquant ici” . This will take you to the page that starts the request process. Step 3 here also outlines the documents you will need to bring with you, all originals :
- Valid passport.
- Your récépissé, titre de séjour, or other temporary residency permit.
- The fiscal stamp in the correct amount as found in your text message or email .
At the bottom of the page, there is a box you need to check saying that you accept the conditions and you understand what’s expected of you . When you are ready to continue with the request, click the Effectuer une demande de rendez-vous. You will be taken to the following screen .
Do not freak out ! These options really mean nothing when it comes to choosing the appointment. These are the windows that are have agents working at them. When you select one and you get a response that says there is nothing available at this window, go back and try another window. It took me three tries till I found a window that had slots still available. If you have tried all the window options and there is nothing available, do not feel defeated, try again later.
After successfully finding a time that is available to request your card, you will be taken through to enter and verify your information . At the end, you will receive a convocation (one will also be sent to your email) that you will need to print out and bring with you to your appointment. You now should buy your fiscal stamp for your card. You can do that here .
When choosing your stamp, you’ll want to select Titre pour étrangers. You’ll be directed to a website to choose the monetary amount for your stamp. There is a drop down menu so choose the one that best fits your situation . See gallery below for step by step images on how to navigate buying your stamp.
When you’ve bought your stamp, you can download it and print it out. You should now be good to go for your appointment ! Now, it’s just waiting till the day of your appointment . More to come on that soon !
Picking up my titre de séjour
Info coming after Friday, May 7, 2021.