STUDENT LIFE: Paris Incoming
You’ve jumped through hoops to get yourself to Paris to study, and you think it’s all smooth sailing from here on out in terms of paperwork…but there’s one more thing! You need to get your OFII status sorted out.
OFII is the “Office Francais de l’immigration et de l’integration,” or the French office of immigration and integration. When you first arrive in Paris, it’s their job to verify your visa and give you a student residence permit (which is a sticker in your passport).
The OFII process takes place in two phases.
Phase 1: File Creation
The easiest place to get through this is Cite Universitaire.
They are open to all foreign students and provide staff who speak almost 10 different languages to help students along. Once you get to Cite Universitaire, you will file up in a line to wait your turn to see the OFII representatives. You will need to have a copy of your passport (first page and visa pages), proof of residence in Paris, a passport photo, and the OFII form filled out (you should have this from your home country stamped by the French consulate when you first applied for the visa).
The folks at the OFII office will verify your papers and then schedule you for your medical appointment a few weeks later, which brings us to phase 2!
(Note: You can also go to cite universitaire for CAF, health insurance and a number of other foreign student services)
Phase 2: Medical Appointment
Your medical appointment will probably be a few weeks after your first visit to the OFII.
Before you go to the appointment you need to buy special stamps. You can buy these at any tabac on the Parisian streets, or you can buy them online. The OFII representatives will explain this to you in detail as they are processing your file. They will also give you a piece of paper specifying the date and location of your appointment called “convocation.”
On the day of your appointment, be sure to bring the stamps and the convocation as well as your passport. Also try to get there ahead of time. There are only two timings for medical appointments; 8:30 am or 1:30 pm, so you’re going to be there with a lot of people: first come first serve.
Once inside, you’ll be among 30 or 40 other students who are being ushered around from room to room through various medical examinations which include eye tests, chest x-rays and meetings with doctors who run through your vaccination history, at the end of which you’ll get a sticker on your passport that marks you as an official resident of Paris! Congratulations!