Registering in the OFII will be one of the first, if not the first procedure that you must do once in France. The OFII (Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration), created in 2009, is the institution responsible for the accompaniment and integration of foreigners in France. All holders of a student visa of more than 3 months are required to register upon arrival in the country to regularize their stay, since the visa granted by the embassy in your country of origin has a validity of 3 months only.
The procedure you must follow is very simple; once in France, you must go to this website, in there you must complete a form with basic information (passport number, name, surname, nationality, date of birth, address in France, …), additionally you must buy a tax stamp of € 60 that you can buy on the same website. If you do not have a credit card and you still not have a bank account in France (see how to open your bank account here), you can buy this stamp in a “bureau de tabac”. Once this is completed, you can download your attestation directly from the website. This fully electronic procedure replaces the OFII stamp that was pt on your passport in the past.
What happens when my visa expires?
When your visa comes to an end and you wish to continue your stay in France you have two options:
- If your conditions have not changed, meaning that you are still a student, you can request a visa renewal for one additional year;
- If you have finished your studies, but you want to stay longer in France you can request an APS (Autorisation Provisoire de Séjour), this is a 1-year work permit that allows you to look for a job related to your profession, which is an excellent advantage offered by France for foreign students.
These two procedures deserve to be described in detail, so I will make an entry about each one of them later.
I hope this information will be useful for your registration with the OFII, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask in the comments.