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Finding Free Housing in France

Struggling to find cheap accommodations in Paris? Housing in Paris is one of the top complaints among international students because the options are slim and the prices are high. Feel Parisien is now able to offer affiliated students free accommodations through our partnerships with French tutoring programs.

If you are a native English speaker or speak English fluently without an accent, you may be eligible for this program. If accepted, you will be a private English tutor for a French family in or near Paris for three months. You will tutor in English for 15 hours a week and in return receive free room and half-board (two meals a day).

Don’t worry, you can still be a full-time student if you enter this program. The weekly schedule will revolve entirely around your academic classes. If you schedule your time right, you should be able to have weekends off!

This program is a great option for students coming to Paris looking for cheap, short-term accommodations. Even if you are staying in Paris for longer than 3 months, the program gives you the opportunity to save some money and search for housing in person instead of online. Also, more housing options open up after September because there are fewer students looking for accommodations. 

Another bonus is that the visa application only requires proof of residence for three months in France, so this program is a great option if you are struggling to find other arrangements in time to apply for your visa.

Staying with a host family is a great first initiation into life in France. It is a great opportunity to practice your French and to learn more about French culture and home life. Who knows, through your host family, you might even meet some French friends!

If you are interested in this program, indicate such on the platform or contact us for more information.

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How to Apply for the CAF

CAF is rental assistance allocated to those that qualify by the government. CAF is a great resource for international students who need financial aid. If you are living in a studio apartment, you can earn as much as €200 euros a month. If you are living in a shared flat, you can earn as much as €180 a month. Read on to see if you qualify for CAF and how to apply.

The following are the requirements to be eligible for the CAF:

Low income 

As a student, you most likely have a low income, typically under €10,000 a year, and thus qualify. The CAF also takes full-time students into consideration. On the application, simply declare your total income for the last two years. If you are required to provide proof, your tax returns for the last two years from your home country should do the trick.

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Qualified housing

If you intend to apply for CAF and are looking at apartments, verify that the apartment qualifies for CAF before you sign the lease. First, it must be a year-long lease in your own name. You must have your landlord sign the application, which they might refuse to do due to possible tax scrutiny by CAF. If you are living in student housing, you will most likely qualify but you should confirm with the administration to be sure. Also, if you are living with roommates, make sure they also qualify for CAF when you apply, as that can impact your acceptance.

Have a valid student Visa with OFII 

You cannot receive CAF without these documents. If you do not have an OFII upon arrival in France, apply for one immediately. Check the platform to see if you have access to our OFII services. 

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Have a French bank account

The rental assistance will be paid to you directly or to your landlord. In the case of the first option, you will need a French bank account. 

 

If you wish to run a simulation of what your CAF will be, visit this website.

In order to apply for the CAF, simply go to their website and fill out the online application.  We recommend that you apply as soon as you secure accommodation. The CAF payments will begin the second month of your lease, so if it is possible to move in at the end of August and pay half rent, do so, as the payments will then begin in September instead of October. Do not be concerned if you do not receive payments right away. It often takes several weeks or even months for the application to go through, but you will still receive payments for the entirety of the year, sometimes in the form of a lump sum. 

If you are struggling with your application, Feel Parisien offers services that will help you complete the application, walking you through the process step by step until you have received your CAF. If you do not have access to our CAF services, reach out to your university about obtaining them. 

TIPS for CAF

You will collect the aid from the following month of the application of your lease. Of course you need to wait to move-in in your flat  to be able to apply.

If you move-in in Sept and apply during this month, the aid will start in Oct but if you move-in in Sept but apply only in Oct, your aid will start in Nov.

f your lease starts the 31st of August and you’re applying this day, your aid will starts the 1st of Sept.

If your lease starts the 1st of Sept and you are applying this month, your aid will start the 1st of October.

So when you ask for an accommodation contract, ask for it to start at the end of the month instead of the beginning, to not loose one month.

You won’t receive the aid until you apply for it on the Internet. That’s mean if your lease start in Sept but you wait until Oct to ask for it, you will be eligible to earn the aid from Oct. So even if you don’t have all the documents required, such as the birth certificate or its translation in French, we sugget you to apply for it before the month of Oct so you won’t lost one or several months of aid. You will be able to send your documents later by post or upload them online, and the date of your online application will considered as the begining of your aid.

student visa minor

Your story n°5 :”Being an underage student in France”

You got your student Visa before you were 18? Here is what you need to do!

Student process before you get to France

While doing your Visa application, if you are a minor student you need to be careful because you will usually be asked more documents that for a regular Visa for someone over 18.

For example, in India, they would ask for:

  • An access order made by the Family Court.
  • An attestation for parental consent signed with ID and a cover letter from your parents.
  • A medical attestation mentioning your vaccines have been made.
  • A transfer of parental authority to a overage person in France.
  • A proof of vaccines done to be shown to your French schools.

For the list of the additional documents for your Visa you can check with your dedicated Campus France in your country.

Student process when you arrive in France

Checking in your residence.

You need to be with your parents to check-in your residence if you are under 18 on the day of your check-in.

 

Opening a bank account.

You need to be with your parents when you go for the first time to the bank to open your account and pick up your card.

 

Getting your Paperwork as OFII/Titre de séjour.

If you were still underage when you got your visa to France then you need to respect the process below explained by one of our students that we follow : Ruby.

This process is referring to a student that lives in Paris. If you live in any other department like Pantin 93 or Vitry 94, please note that you will need the same document but you won’t go to the same place.

You will have to go to your local prefecture.

“I went to the OFII office and they sat me down and said that because when i received the visa i was still 17 so my process was different. The lady from the OFII places told me to go the the Prefecture de Police the following day (which is at City University) and to get there early and I said do I need an appointment she said no just go. she also send me this email with the required documents.

Hello,
You will find enclosed the procedure to ask for a student resident permit.
Best regards,
 
acc&ss Paris Centre
Direction de l’Accompagnement de la Mobilité Internationale
Fondation nationale | Cité internationale universitaire de Paris
17, boulevard Jourdan | 75014 Paris
So the next day I went to the Prefecture de Police and I got there at 8.00am and I was waiting in a line until 9.30 and some man called out if you are submitting documents come forward and I went because I was just submitting documents. I then went and they told me to go back to OFII then the OFII people explained to them what the process was. I submitted my original and photocopy of my birth certificate, Passport, Visa page, A letter from my parents say they will give me more than 615 euros a month (the letter was written in french and signed), the enrollment letter from IFA, my parents bank statement from the past 3 months, a bank statement saying my parents had put money into my account (I didn’t have this as I had just opened my account, so they needed proof that I had opened an account), proof of rent (contract) and bills (gas and electricity) and three passport sized photos. Then after this I had to fill out forms then I was sent to another area and they took my finger prints. They then  gave me a slip (attached below) and said that this now means I am legally in france as a student and that in two months I will receives a text and that will say my card is ready and I have to go somewhere to collect it and pay 79 euros.”
And here is all the paperwork you need to bring with you.

CST étudiant_ eng

Student visa minor

Student visa minor

 

 

 

French visa interview

4 rules to succeed your French visa interview at the embassy

You registered on Etudes en France and finally gathered all your paperwork, it’s time for your visa interview at the embassy. And here you are making an appointment for the interview to the French embassy from where you depend. Feel Parisien gives you four advices to nail your French visa interview.

Be frank and honest in your response, make your answer clear. 

Be clear on the purpose of your journey which is studying by mentioning the program and your motivations for it. The agreement or not of your French visa will depend on supplied information and your capacity to answer the questions of the consular agent. Thus there is no answer-type to see attributing or not a visa.

 

Show that you go to bring in (and that you will leave).

If you ask for a French visa of temporary stay, it is important to show your links with your country of origin. The consular agent who proceeds to the interview wants to make sure that you will not exceed the duration travel and that the latter pursues a precise objective.

Take with you proofs of your family ties (photocopy of the family book) or of your estate properties, all which can weigh this way.

 

Give precise answers at your french visa interview.

Whatever is the case, it is a question of being precise, of giving details of the purpose of your journey in France. If you received any help in your visa application by an agent in your country or by Feel Parisien, don’t mention it.

 

Do not forget to prove what you say.

Supporting documents are essential to any French case of visa application. Sometimes, they are compulsory as sponsor’s letter of an employer, sometimes they will only serve to prove what you say. Don’t forget to bring copies of all the documents on the checklist. And if you have even the slightest doubt on documents that you should bring just take them in case the interviewer asks for it.

 

If you have done your visa preparation with us don’t mention us as you are suppose to do all the paperwork on your own.

OFII VISA

The OFII VISA : what is it ?

OFII VISA

What is an OFII Visa? OFII stands for Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration . (French Office of Immigration and Integration). Once you step foot in France with a student visa, you must complete with this French governmental body in order to convert your visa into a student residence permit. Getting the OFII stamp in your passport within the first three months of your arrival in France is mandatory. If not, you will no longer have the right to travel and come back to France.

Getting your OFII VISA in France

If you are a non EU resident, having a VISA for your study in France is a very stressful point. You absolutely need a VISA to come to study in France. To get this VISA, you might need complimentary documents as proof of payment from your school or proof of accommodation. These documents are required for a lot of countries to get the VISA.

Acceptation of your VISA is great but it’s only the first Big step. That’s why Feel Parisien is here to help you with all the other steps of getting settled in Paris (getting an accommodation in Paris, getting a bank in Paris, getting your OFII VISA etc) and let you fully enjoy your stay in France !

You just arrived in France, here is how to do your OFII VISA

Once in France, you will have to send by post the OFII VISA form filled in, to the OFII office of your department, with the copy of your passport (identity), the page of the VISA and the entry stamp.

If you leave in Paris and apply to the OFII VISA between the 10st of Sept to 23th of Nov, you have to submit your file to the Cité Universitaire, without appointment needed.

Then, you will receive a letter from the Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration, called shortly OFII.

They will call you for an appointment for a welcome visit. Don’t miss that appointment, otherwise you will have to wait a few weeks or months more to get an other appointment. Meanwhile, your OFII VISA is still not confirmed.

At the appointment, you will have to bring with you :
– the convocation letter
– your passport
– a proof of your french address
– an ID picture
– a €60 stamp to be bought on tobacco shops or online : https://www.timbresofii.fr/pages/information.jsp

Finally, you will receive a yellow sticker in your passport to validate your visa. This sticker serves as your first “titre de séjour,” and you are, for good, considered a legal student resident in France.

I really hope you have a clearer view now about what is OFII and the OFII VISA and if you want to benefit from assistance during the totality of this process, don’t hesitate to buy a pack for more tranquility. Feel Parisien will send your OFII VISA documentations for you. Mostly, Feel Parisien will be here to assist you in each step. Feel Parisien will call the OFII VISA Center for you and translate for you the letters you’ll receive if they are in French.

Feel Parisien help international students to get establish in France by facilitating all their administrative tasks. For more information on our pack or how we can help you through our services just shoot us an email.

Feel Parisien help you through all your administrative: accommodation in Paris, VISA, OFII VISA, health insurance, banking, phone, house insurance, electricity and metrocard. We offer various advantages to our students:

-15€ on their first electricity bill

– a year or 6 months of free bank fees with opening of their bank account before their arrival and a sim card on their first day in France.

– Reduced rents or agency fees for some of our partners residencies.

And many mores!

You will usually find this article by asking a search moto to find informations on your OFII form or OFII in France as well as OFII form french visa and OFII Paris. You could also find it while looking for information on OFII stamps.

To have more information on how to settle in Paris or get help by Feel Parisien, check out our offer and what we do!