This post was most recently updated on May 12th, 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.