Checklist before leaving your country

Checklist of what you figure out before leaving your country


Administrative & Identity

Passport with visa

Original OFII form

Copies of each document in your visa application

Livret de famille, if applicable

Original birth certificate with Apostille

Name change documents, if your last name is not your birth last name



Vaccination records

Copies of any important medical records

Prescriptions for any medications you take, and information

on the drug’s formula so you can easily find its French


Refill any prescriptions for 2-3 months

Stock up on your favorite over-the-counter medications and vitamins (Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, Excedrin,neosporin, isopropyl alcohol, benadryl, children’s tylenol, cold and flu medicine, cough drops, to name a few.)


Driving license

Driver’s license, with AAA “international” driver’s license if possible

Driving record from your state, showing your driver’s license date of issue

Try to ensure you have a driver’s license that can be exchanged for a French license



Inform your bank that you will be traveling overseas so

they don’t flag your account for fraud when you use your card

or log into online banking


Common mistakes that will lead to a Visa refusal

Around 3.8 million requests for French visas are process by French embassies and consulates worldwide every year. 

Around 300,000 visas of all types are issued.

To determine who get a VISA and who can’t get one, the French consulates base his decision on several factors: your income, your credentials, what your stated purpose is in requesting the visa, and how likely they think you are to violate the terms of your visa by doing something you’re not supposed to do.

One thing to keep in mind: if you think that France is a place where having lots of different simultaneous projects and stepping outside the box is appreciated. It is not, you are making a mistake.

If they don’t understand what it is you want to do when they are reviewing or giving you a visa, your chances of getting that visa are not good.

Comments we usually hear about French Visa:

« I thought getting my Visa was going to be very fast by now with VFS, it took a month and half !” June from New York USA

“My list provided on the website of the consulate was not complete and they refused my Visa. I should have follow the complete list of Feel Parisien” Lisa, Algeria

“In China, they ask a lot of documentation like Working certificate of the father and mother. I thought as my parents didn’t work I didn’t need this documentation. Actually you do! My parents had to write a letter declaring they didn’t work. Thanks to feel parisien I finally got my visa!” Alina, China

A few mistakes that will get you a visa refusal

Not having all your documents with you and in order

 Bring ALL of your documents, and even the ones you don’t think you need.  Having more documents that needed is better than not having them and having to send something in or book a new appointment. Your proof of accommodation and your proof of ressources are the two most important documents in your application!

Speaking of proof of accommodation….

Not having enough money or a high enough salary

If you do not have enough personal cash resources to meet the minimum requirements for your visa you will not get the visa. Always make sure that you have at least the minimum cash requirement for your visa type. Moreover, always make sure you can show at least 3 bank statements with those amounts.  

Our advice

The best way to avoid a refusal at the visa center is to upload your documents in advance on the feel parisien platform, so we can check them.

You can relieve your stress and anxiety,  we are in charge!


Written by Inès Rakotovao

Your Income Tax Declaration

Declaration Tax : In many countries, like the United States, residents are not required to file an income tax unless they exceed a certain amount or are not citizens. In France however, all residents that spend more than 183 days out of the calendar year in France are required to file an income tax.  

Since you are a student, your income will not be substantial and thus easy to file. Even if your income is zero, you should still file the forms. It’s a show of good faith as a French resident that you are following procedure and complying with the bureaucracy, much like obtaining good credit by paying your bills on time. It will help you in the long run, should you ever seek a permanent residence card or naturalization. It also may increase your CAF benefits and may exempt you from the taxe de habitation. (See this article.)

Some of you will have part-time jobs or paid internships during your time in Paris, both of which need to be declared. (Obviously, unpaid internships do not need to be declared.) If your internship or part-time job is less than 3 months, you do not need to declare it. If you are still unsure, consult with your employer.


What amount should you  add to your declaration ?

If you are under 26 years old on January 1st of the year of tax (1st january 2017 for the year of revenue taxes 2017 ) and that you are a student, your salaries are exonerated of taxes in the limit of 4 441€ in 2018.

If your salary is above that amount you only declare the part above that amount.

If you are a student and that you are doing an internship, your internship salary, also called “indémnités de stages” are exonerated of taxes in the limit of 17 763€.

If your salary is above that amount you only declare the part above that amount.


When should you declare your revenues ?

The due dates for income declaration depend on your department but they are typically available to fill out in mid-April and are due between late-May and early-June. You can download your forms online here or you may receive them in the mail. For the first time filling out, you will need to include basic information such as name, origin country, contact information when you moved to your current address and your former address. If you are planning to be a long-term resident, you can fill your income declaration out online in the future.


Overall, the income declaration process is painless and simple, especially for students like you. If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to ask or purchase an hour of consultation with us to help you through the process.





Habitation Tax Explained

Habitation Tax : If you’ve been living in an apartment in Paris this year, you might have received something called a tax habitation in the mail. What is it? And why dd you receive it? 


Habitation Tax

A tax d’habitation is a municipal tax issued by the government every year in November to be paid by January 1st to owners or tenants of property within their jurisdiction. Do not confuse this with a “taxe fonciere” which is a municipal tax to be paid by the owner of the building, not the tenant. You are liable to pay for the tax if you have been living in your current lodging since January 1st of that year. Even if you only stayed in your apartment for a couple of months, if you were in the apartment on the 1st you are required to pay.

The habitation tax is determined by the size of the apartment, the income of the owner, as well as a number of other tax factors. It can be anywhere from €90 to €3,000. When you sign the lease for your apartment (or for a student residence),  check to see if it is listed as a main residence or a second residence, as second residences have a much more expensive tax. Also, when you fill out your tax form, make sure to unclick the box that says you have a TV in the home if you do not have one, as this will also raise the price of the tax.

 Why should you pay ?

If you are still unsure whether you have to pay, the first thing you should do is review your lease agreement. Sometimes the habitation tax is included in the deposit fees for the apartment and therefore you have already paid for it. If your lease is unclear, contact your landlord and ask whether you have to pay it or not. Sometimes apartment owners in Paris do not register with the tax office that they are renting and therefore must pay the habitation tax themselves. However, this is unlikely.

If you are renting a room in an apartment or sub-renting an apartment (meaning you have a contract with the person renting the apartment not the owner) then you don’t have to pay the habitation tax.

If you are living in a public student residence, you do not have to pay this tax. However, if you are living in a private student residence, but moved in after January 1st and are living there for a short time period, you also do not have to pay the tax. If you are unsure, contact your administrative office.

Unfortunately, since you are an international student and are not a tax paying French citizen, you are not entitled to any tax reductions. Most likely, you will have to pay the tax and can do so a number of ways. You can simply take a check or mail one into your local tax office, indicating your address, identification and lease agreement. Or, you can pay online and create an account here and elect to pay the lump sum or in monthly installments. You will need your bank account details and your tax information found on the invoice you received in the mail in order to make this account.

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This is the page where you will create your account. As you can see, there are three required numbers all of which are found on your third tax d’habitation, so make sure you keep the original document. The first two numbers are found on the first page and third is found on the last page of the invoice. If you cannot find these numbers or you have lost your tax d’habitation, go to your local tax office.

The good news is that the government is planning on eradicating all of the habitation taxes by 2021. So if you are planning on living in Paris for a long time, you’re in luck!

Looking to volunteer in Paris?

Getting involved in your community during your stay in France is a great way to meet the locals and explore the city in a new way. Community service is also highly valued by employers, so it’s a great thing to have on your resume. There are several organizations in France to help you find the right job. Here are our recommendations.


**Warning: some of these recommendations may request that you speak French fluently. Most of the websites are in French so if you help need signing up for a job, ask us for help.

France Benevolat

This organization has the most volunteer opportunities out of any, having partnerships with over 800 French companies and 12,000 events. This organization only accepts French-speaking volunteers.


Disco Soup

This organization specializes in sourcing volunteers to soup kitchens and homeless shelters. You can also post service events directly on the website for other young people and students in the area to join.


Restos du Coeur

This organization provides a wide range of activities for volunteers, from language tutoring to working at a daycare. It is also possible to directly work for Restos du Coeur if you are looking for full-time employment.


Serve the City

This an English-speaking NGO that coordinates hundreds of events around the city for you to get involved with. The organization focuses their efforts on the marginalized populations in France such as the homeless, migrant and refugees, and the abused. The NGO also provides ways to get involved with Green initiatives around the city.


American Church in Paris

This English-speaking church sporadically posts volunteer opportunities for English speakers in Paris. Don’t rely on the website, as some of the events are outdated and may not say so. If you are really interested in this church, call  +33 (0)1 40 62 05 00.