Here’s What Happens at Your OFII Meeting + Medical Appointment

Here’s What Happens at Your OFII Meeting + Medical Appointment

Once you’ve arrived in France with your Visa Long Sejour (see my guide for that process), you need to contact the Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration (OFII) and register with the government. You have a couple of required meetings to get the official stamp that converts your visa to a “titre de sejour.” Here’s what to expect with the process.

When you arrive in France

Within three months you’re required to let the French government know you’ve arrived by sending in your stamped OFII form from your Visa Long Sejour appointment, along with a copy of your passport info page and a copy of your visa. I recommend doing it sooner rather than later to get the ball rolling because if you haven’t completed the process within three months you can’t leave France and come back without jeopardizing your visa.

Don’t forget to fill out the bottom part of the form before you send it in! The address you send the form and copies to depends on where you moved, so check the chart on the second page of the OFII forms to find the address for your department.

The following account is my personal experience as an American spouse of a French citizen who moved to Paris. If you are in France on a different visa or come from another country it is possible you will need more documents, so check your paperwork.

Little friend helping me fill out my OFII forms at the post office.

Notification of your Rendez-vous

A little over a week after sending in my OFII form, I received notice that my forms had been processed and that I had two meetings set up to complete the process of converting my visa to a “titre de sejour.” However, based on the accounts of others I believe this is faster than usual and a month wait time is more likely. 

The two meetings were scheduled for about a month later and were a week apart. The first was for an 8:30am medical appointment in Montrouge, which is just south of Paris. The second meeting was set for 1:30pm at the OFII office in the 11th arrondissment of Paris.

It is possible to reschedule either meeting, but try your best to make it to avoid annoying bureaucracy.

Medical Appointment

Here begins the unpleasant part of this journey. The medical office is in Montrouge, just south of Paris, and the process feels a bit like a cattle call.

OFII medical office in Montrouge, image via Google Maps

Tip number one: show up early. Once you check in with the receptionist, you are sent into a waiting room with everyone else who has an appointment that day. I showed up half an hour early and there were already 20 people in the room. I couldn’t tell for certain, but it appeared they were calling people by order of arrival.

Also, don’t make the mistake of the woman in front of me who showed up without an appointment or convocation (appointment notice) and was promptly yelled at by the receptionist in French and told to leave. Have everything you need.

Speaking of, here’s what you need to bring:

  • Your convocation (appointment notice)
  • The additional OFII forms sent with your notice (multiple will be stamped to prove you went to your meeting)
  • Your passport
  • Your vaccination record if you have it
  • Wear your eyeglasses or contact lenses if you wear them all the time
  • Any documents you may have related to hospitalizations, health issues, or maternity care
  • Insurance card if you have insurance

Once you are called out of the first waiting room in a group of about 10 people, you are sent to another room where your documents are checked again and you sit in a line and wait for the first doctor. All the doctors I encountered spoke some English, and it seemed there were also doctors available who spoke other languages.

There are three parts to the examination. The first doctor you see will check your height, weight, and other basic stats and gives you an eyesight exam. Quick and easy.

You are then sent to a tiny closet-sized room with a door on the other side to disrobe from the waist up and wait for your x-ray. This is the most unpleasant part. Once the other door opens, you walk into the x-ray room and a doctor instructs you to press your chest up against a machine (and told me to hold my necklace in my mouth to keep it out of the way). An x-ray is taken and you are sent back to the little closet to get dressed. Quick, but not exactly a fun experience.

Finally, you wait once more to see one last doctor. During my visit, the final doctor took my blood pressure, asked me about vaccinations (thankfully I had a record), asked me where I came from and what I was doing in the country. She was nice to me and didn’t criticize my French skills. Overall it wasn’t too bad.

You are sent back to the receptionist to get stamps on your forms confirming you passed the exam and are sent on your merry way.

OFII Meeting

If you were expecting someone to speak English to you at this office, forget that right now. The security guard out front spoke English better than anyone I encountered inside the building.

OFII office on Rue de la Roquette, image via Google Maps

You will wait outside in line until the office opens, along with the other 40 or so people with appointments that day. The security guard made sure I had a convocation to even allow me in the line, so don’t just show up. Once inside, the receptionist will check your convocation again and send you upstairs to another desk where they will check all your documents.

Here’s what you need to bring to your OFII meeting:

  • Your convocation
  • Your passport
  • Proof you are living in France: A document with your name on it related to your address– can be a lease, a gas bill, an electric bill, a landline telephone bill, or a letter from the person you are renting from with a copy of their ID. Luckily, because I am in France on a spouse visa, they accepted a document in my husband’s name because I didn’t have any of my own.
  • The stamped medical examination papers from your medical visit.
  • The “timbres” (stamps) used to pay for the cost of the meeting, which you can buy at a tabac shop or online. Print out your receipt from the online payment if you go that route. Mine cost 250€, but be sure to check your price on the documentation sent to you or online.

There are three parts of this meeting: The written language exam, the oral language exam and the meeting with an OFII officer. The last two parts were combined in my case, and the entire process took about three or four hours.

After the forty or so people were checked in, we all sat in a room at classroom style desks. The people in the class varied greatly, as did their French speaking abilities. There were refugees, students and immigrants such as myself from around the world, with ages ranging from children to senior citizens.

Two OFII employees came into the room with a stack of written exams and began explaining the instructions in French. Luckily my French was good enough to understand the directions because surprisingly when a number of people in the room indicated they didn’t speak French well enough to understand and asked if it was possible to have someone explain in English, we were told there wasn’t anyone available in the office who spoke English. Other people in the room, including myself, proceeded to translate for those who didn’t understand. It is not required that you speak French well to get this visa, so I was quite surprised by this.

The written French language exam is testing for an A1 level of French, which is basics such as reading train tickets, asking for everyday items and being able to understand instructions. One section just asked to copy a paragraph in French, I assume to test we are able to write at all. You have about 30 minutes to complete the test. If you can’t pass it, you must go to mandated (and free) classes organized by the French government.

Now you wait your turn for the oral test and meeting. Bring snacks and a book because it could take hours depending on what order your name is called in. I was finally called and brought into an office where an OFII counselor asked me questions, asked for my documents, and told me while my written test was perfect, my spoken French sucks. Ego bruised, I somehow muddled through the rest of the meeting in French without crying.

You will also be given information on state-sponsored French courses (if you need it), job hunting resources, info on transferring your drivers license to a French license (NY State doesn’t qualify unfortunately) and health insurance info. You are also required to sign up for two days of mandatory seminars for all-day French civics courses, which can be taken in your native language (thank goodness).

If all goes well, you will be given a stamp on in your passport transforming your Visa Long Sejour into a Titre de Sejour, and allowing you to travel freely and stay anywhere in the Schengen Area until your visa expiration date.

I left my meeting feeling pretty stressed from the process and promptly cried when I got home, but you really should pat yourself on the back for completing it! Pop open a bottle of champagne because you deserve it.

What next?

Your visa will need to be renewed before its expiration date, and I was told by the OFII officer to contact my local prefecture about an appointment four to five months before my visa expires.

You must have completed your two days of state-mandated French civics courses before you can renew your visa. I took my courses in August, click here for what to expect!

Did this article help you? Any additional questions? Leave a comment, or share your experience with the OFII below.

21 thoughts on “Here’s What Happens at Your OFII Meeting + Medical Appointment”

  • Thank you for taking the time to write these posts. I am going through the same process now and my convocation is tomorrow. The process can be confusing and stressful and it is great to read a recent account of your experience! I do have one question- my husband is a guide and we are living in Corsica only for the summer. Our permanent address is in Savoie so I am flying back to the continent to make it to my appointment in Grenoble. Do you get to choose the date for your French civics classes or are they assigned for you? We will be in Corsica until mid-October and so I am hoping to postpone the classes until then. Thanks again for your advice!!

    • Hi Sarah! Happy you found it useful! Yes, you are able to choose the dates. They really want you to take the classes within six months after you arrive, and the woman I interviewed with pressured me to take them as soon as possible, but I’m sure you’ll be fine waiting until October. You aren’t required to have the seminars done technically until you go to renew your visa and have to show the letters proving you completed them. I have my second one next weekend and will be posting about it after, if you want a preview. Good luck!

  • I’m going through the same process now, sent my paperwork off to ofii yesterday.

    You mentioned you received a response from them a week later, but how long after was your appointment date set for?

    I have a full time job waiting for me, and the thought of the next few months with just my wife’s income is stressful !

    • I sent my paperwork in early June and my appointments were set for early-mid July. (Will update post to include timing info). So hopefully not too long of a wait for you either. Good luck!

  • Thank you for your article. I thought i was the only one who cried and upset after the ofii convacation day. I was not lucky with the doctor today though. He got upset and yelled at me (of course clever enough to use a low voice). Curious why the people there always have to carry an upset face without a smile and need to be mean with others. There are probably only 3 people who are nice: the welcoming lady at the 2nd floor, the x ray technician and the assistant at the medical. The interviewer at least smiled. My ofii is at Montrouge for those who might be there.

    Also i left ofii this morning, disappointed by thinking that my french is only A1! But after your post, i realized they actually just test up to A1 only.

    • Hi Jeanie, sorry about your experience today. But you are definitely not the only one. Luckily you are done with the immigration office for almost a year now though!

  • Hello Charli,

    Thank you very much for this post I found online while searching for answers to my questions. My husband (which is korean) just finished his medical visit today. We waited nine months for this appointment and the visa is soon expiring.
    Even if I am a french person, no one would simply answer my question there, or even answering the phone, so I hope you don’t mind if I ask more about your experience. Our problem is, you see, that I trusted the OFII when we sent the papers for the medical appointment and though we’d be done after a year right…So I booked and prepared everything for our Wedding in Korea (which is in March…) but now I am a bit afraid the process will take way too long and everything I planned will fail (and my money wasted btw…).
    Do you perhaps remember how long it took after the medical visit to get the second appointment?

    thank you very much for your great help

    • My medical appointment and OFII appointment were scheduled at the same time, for one week apart. I received one notification letter for both appointments. Is the OFII office meeting the one you are waiting on? I am American, so not sure if it is different for Korea, but you will need to have the long-stay visa changed to titre de sejour in order to leave without risking problems when you return. If you haven’t already, I would call the OFII office and ask why your appointments weren’t scheduled close to each other. Perhaps they can give you information on how backed up the process is. I’m sorry you’ve had to wait so long, I’m sure that is stressful.

  • Thank you for sharing your information! This whole process is very frustrating as I cannot get direct answers from any French agency! I have kind of a unique situation and maybe you can help me with some questions. My husband has dual citizenship with France and U.S. I had an almost identical experience as yours in the process of getting my long term visa. We pla.n to live in France for 4 months and the US for the rest of the year. We are both retired. Here is my dilemma:

    – I am currently in US, planning to return to France in late June/early July.
    – My visa expires May 25, 2018.
    – I have not yet completed the two required Module classes
    – I need to apply for visa renewal in Feb or March.

    Should I set up appointments for classes and visa renewal in March and make a special trip? If I do that, can I go back to US and then pick up my carte de sejour in June? Have you ever heard of a Spouse Visa?

    Any tips you have would be greatly appreciated!


    • Hi Christy— the “spouse visa” is the “vie privée” visa, which is the same one I am on and allows you to live and work in the EU. It may be easier/cheaper for you to stay in the US and just try to get another long stay visa (if that is possible), and redo the OFII medical/meeting process (you already did that or no?). Otherwise you do need to have your two modules completed before you can renew your titre de sejour. Also you should call ASAP about getting a renewal appointment if you want to try to get one in March because it often takes several months to get an appointment. The OFII office recommends calling the prefecture 4-5 months before your visa expires. It is difficult to navigate all these appointments when you aren’t in the country unfortunately. Do let us know what works out for you.

      • Ok, now I’m wondering if it makes more sense for me to come to France earlier to take care of all of this, maybe the end of April. Do you think it’s possible for me to call now and arrange for the Module classes in April, and also call now to get an appointment with the prefecture in early May? And do you know if I can renew at the sous-prefecture in Arcachon as opposed to the prefecture in Bordeaux? Would it be easier because it’s in a smaller city? It would be closer for me as well. I appreciate all of your input!

        • Try giving the prefecture a call. When I called my appointment in Paris was scheduled for 5 months later, but it depends how busy it is where you are registered. I believe you have to go to the prefecture assigned to your address.

  • Hi,
    So I am Australian married to a Frenchman and we live in australia. we are about to spend 5.5 months in europe starting and ending in france but driving around the med in the meantime. we will arrive in april.
    therefore i have applied for the longstay visa beforehand. i actually need to fly to the otherside of the country to obtain it so its already costing quite a bit, once i arrive in France we have allocated approximately 3 weeks to visit with his mum and dad and buy a van before heading to corsica and then onto italy and greece etc.
    i know that provided i put the OFii form in on arrival and get the receipt of acceptance form the forms i can travel into and out of France, and go beyond the 90 day shengden rule.
    i am wondering…..
    1) how long would they let me delay the meeting at ofii if it hasnt come before we head to corsica? we wont be back in France until august.
    2) if i didnt complete the remainder of the appointments before returning to australia would that jepeordise any future applications for long stay?
    3) do you think ill still need to pay a 250 euro fee?? my stay in france is less than 6 months so its quite high when you consider getting the long stay will cost me nearly $1000 by flying to sydney.
    4) if i did do everything correctly, would i be able to renew it from outside France? so we could return the next year i wonder…

    sorry i realise you arent a visa expert just curious of yours or others opinions/experiences.

    • Hi Holly, let me answer the best I can.
      1) You can reschedule the OFII appointments but when it gets pushed to depends on the backlog. When you call to reschedule, they give you options, but it could be weeks or months because you go to the back of the line again.
      2) I don’t believe it jeopardizes future applications, but you do have to start from the beginning.
      3) Yup, everyone has to pay the fee. They make sure you have it before they even let you in the appointment.
      4) No, you have to renew in France at your local prefecture. You need to do it before your titre de sejour expires and that turns your visa into a carte de sejour.
      I’m not an immigration lawyer so do check all this info!

    • You don’t need photos for the OFII meetings — they give you a stamp in your passport next to your Visa Long Sejour (which includes your photo already), not a new visa. I know this is the case for the spouse/vie privee visa, but if your meeting is for any other visa check the paper they sent you.

      • Ok, awesome! It doesn’t say in the letter they sent me, but it does in their website so I was confused, and in the instructions attached to the OFII form. Mine is spouse/vie privee as well, Thank you!

        • I didn’t need one, but it is always possible they changed it in the last 6 months…perhaps bring one in case then — they are easy to get in the metro station booths and you will use them eventually.

  • Thank you for this blog post. I’m in France on a visa vie privée et familiale— like yours, my spouse is French. The OFII office in Dijon agreed to postpone my convocation for just after I give birth, because my husband and I were too worried about the tuberculosis x-ray during pregnancy. So here’s my question:

    Can you bring a baby to OFII? I’ll have a 3-4 week nursing infant in tow. I’m hoping my husband can just keep him in the waiting room while I take the language exam so I can still feed him every 90 minutes – 2 hours like infants need. Did you see any babies there?


    • Hi Victoria, there were a couple of children at the OFII office when I was there, but there is no way for me to know whether they were there with their parents for paperwork/immigration purposes or just tagging along. I don’t believe your spouse will be allowed in the OFII office without an appointment, I tried to bring my husband and he was turned away at the door. Perhaps they make an exceptions for children though, I’m sure there have been many people in your position and France tends to be child-friendly — I would give them a call and ask!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *