When you arrive in France, you must have your long-stay visa constituting a residency permit (VLS-TS) validated by the OFII. You have three months to complete the required procedures.
Send a letter to the OFII as soon as you arrive in France
If you have a visa long séjour valant titre de séjour (long-stay visa constituting a residency permit - VLS-TS), you must have your visa validated as soon as you arrive in France by the OFII (Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration - French Office of Immigration and Integration). This applies to the "student", "internship" and "researcher-talent passport" VLS-TS.
Fill in and send the OFII attestation form by regular mail to the regional department of the OFII office nearest your home. You should receive it from the French consular authorities in your country of residence. Otherwise, you can download it on the OFII site ;
Attach a copy of the pages of your passport showing the information concerning your identity and the date of your entry into France or another country in the Schengen area (police stamp) to the form.
On receipt of these documents, the OFII registers your file and sends you an attestation of receipt by regular mail to the address stated on the form.
Answer the summons from the OFII to have your visa validated
A few days after the attestation of receipt, you will receive, in the mail, a summons to the OFII department in order to validate your long-stay visa. You must present:
- your passport and visa;
- proof of residence in France (rent receipt, lease, utility bill, attestation of residence, etc.) ;
- a passport photo;
- paper or dematerialised fiscal stamps with proof of online payment (for an amount of 60 Euros in 2017);
- a certificate stating that you have already had the medical checkup with a doctor authorised by the OFII in your country of residence.
At the end of this summons, the OFII will give you a sticker to put in your passport. It certifies that your long-stay visa has been validated.
If you have not completed the OFII formalities within three months of your entry into France, you will have to once again submit a visa request to the French consular authorities in your country of residence.
How to travel outside of France without an OFII sticker
During the three months following your arrival in France, you are authorised to travel outside of France and to leave the Schengen area without an OFII sticker. After that, the OFII sticker, or the OFII attestation of receipt in the absence of the fomer, is mandatory for travelling outside of France.