OFII VISA

The Visa Validation (ex OFII VISA) : what is it ?

Since February 2019, The OFII is now called Visa Validation and is done online between your day of arrival and 3 months after your entry.

OFII VISA

What was the 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 register to Visa Validation (ex OFII) to be able to travel back and forth into France after 3 months and during the duration of your Visa. Visa validation is also a step to convert your visa into a student residence permit. Before you had to get your OFII stamp in your passport within the first three months of your arrival in France is mandatory now you just need to register to Visa Validation online and will have a proof immediately after your registration. If not, you will no longer have the right to travel and come back to France.

Getting your Visa and your Visa Validation (ex 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 VISA etc) and let you fully enjoy your stay in France !

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

In the past, the OFII process was very long and complicated. You had to wait 3 months to have an appointment and sometimes the documents to inform you about your appointment date were lost in the mail which causes a lot of problems.

Now, the French government is aware of those difficulties and is trying to improve the situation for foreigners in France.

Since February18th 2019, this mandatory procedure is totally dematerialized and is done exclusively online. It is therefore no longer necessary to make an appointment with the OFII to make the request.

To carry out this process online, simply go directly to the VLS / TS online validation portal.

It is necessary to have :

  • A valid email address
  • Provide information on the visa
  • Communicate the date of entry into France and the address of residence
  • A payment card online to pay the fee for issuing a residence permit or an electronic tax stamp that corresponds to the situation of the holder of the VLS / TS (for example, 250 euros for a spouse of French or a visitor, 60 euros for a student or a trainee, etc.).

The website is available in French, English and Chinese to facilitate the process.

Depending on the reason of your stay, you may be asked to complete additional formalities, pass a medical examination and / or sign a Republican integration contract.

I really hope you have a clearer view now about what is Visa Validation (ex OFII)  and if you want to benefit from assistance during the totality of this process, don’t hesitate to buy a pack for more tranquility. Mostly, Feel Parisien will be here to assist you in each step.

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, Visa Validation, 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!

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

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

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.

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

5 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.

 

Don’t stress.

Try to have a normal conversation and be yourself during this appointment at the VISA center. The person in front of you is just there to find out if the student’s academic background and plans are consistent with the demand.

 

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.