1/ Registration of your stay in France: sticker ("Vignette") from the "OFII" in your passport
Your long stay visa becomes the equivalent of a "Titre de séjour" (Resident permit) in France only when it has been validated by the "OFII" (Office Français de l'Immigration et de l'Intégration). To carry out this formality, you must immediately upon your arrival in France:
complete the form titled "Demande d'attestation OFII" that you were given with your visa, by filling in your date of arrival in France, address, telephone number(s) and the full number of your French visa, so that the "OFII" may contact you for a medical examination and/or an introductory meeting (Visite d'accueil),and/or for the validation of your visa.
send this form by post, as soon as you arrive in France, to the relevant office -list enclosed -"Direction Territoriale de l'Office Français de l'Immigration et de l'Intégration (OFII)", which has authority over your place of residence in France*
attach to the original form all the following photocopies: a) your passport pages containing information regarding your identity and passport validity, b) the stamp from the French immigration officer (or from the authorities of the country of transit), showing the date of your coming through the relevant border, and c) the visa issued to you at the French Consulate.
Holders of a “scientifique-chercheur” visa must also send a copy -all pages- of the agreement (“convention d’accueil”) which has been duly stamped by the French authorities (prefecture).
A receipt confirming that your file has been received ("Attestation de reception du formulaire de demande d’attestation OFII") will be sent to you. This temporary document will enable you to prove the legality of your stay in France while waiting for your file to be fully validated by the "OFII".
You will be called upon by the "OFII" within 3 months of your arrival in France to take the medical examination and/or attend an introductory meeting ("Visite d'accueil"), and/or for the validation of your visa. At this time, you will have to present the following documents:
a proof of your residence in France (rent receipt, electric, gas, water or land line telephone bill under your name, or a certificate of board and lodging)
if necessary, a medical certificate if you took the medical examination before leaving for France. For more information, please log on www.ofii.fr
appropriate funds for taxes to be paid to the "OFII". For the exact amount, please log on www.ofii.fr or on www.timbresofii.fr
Once these formalities are carried out, your visa and the endorsement by the "OFII" (Vignette OFII) on your passport will authorize you to stay legally in France for the entire length of your French visa.
NB: Since the completion of these formalities may take a while, approximately one month, you must start the process within the first days of your arrival in France.
Failing to do so within three months could result in a procedure against you, for staying illegally in France, and in the payment of a legalizing fee.
2/ Renewal of your authorisation to stay:
If you wish to renew your resident permit you must, within the last two months before your visa expires , go to the relevant local authorities of your place of residence ("Préfecture") and apply for a resident permit. You will be given the necessary forms and the list of requirements, which can vary according to the reasons of your stay.
Failing to do so will result in your having to return to your last country of residency to request a new visa.
* If you are a student, you may not have to send the form called "Demande d'attestation OFII" and the attached photocopies mentioned above, if preliminary arrangments have been made at the beginning of classes, or if you are enrolled in a school which has a partnership with the "Préfecture" and the "OFII", within the framework of a group application.
For more information please long on www.ofii.fr
1/ You wish to travel to another Schengen Zone country: your long stay multiple entry visa allows you to do so anytime. 2/ You wish to travel to a country outside the Schengen Zone, or to your country of origin:
within the first 3 months of your arrival in France: your long stay multiple entry visa allows you to do so without having the OFII sticker in your passport or receipt stating your file has been received.
After these 3 months: you have to have the sticker "Vignette OFII" in your passport ( or at least the OFII receipt). Failing to comply with the necessary formalities with the OFII within 3 months of your arrival in France will result in yourhaving to present a new application for a long stay visa at the French consulate or embassy of your country of origin.