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Hi Bev,

We got married last week. My husband went back to California to get his spouse visa, which he should get next week.

I have a couple of questions:

- Entry to Europe: Does he just get his passport stamped as usual when entering Europe? Or does he need his new visa stamped? His flight from the US first stops in Amsterdam before France, is it going to be a problem? Does he have to get his passport/visa re-stamped at the Paris airport, or does the Amsterdam stamp works for the OFII requirements?
- OFII: We will mail them the Demande d'Attestion as soon as my husband is back. Do we mail it to the OFII of our department (Bordeaux), or to the headquarters? Once the form and requested documents are sent, what do we have to do? Only wait for them to get back to us, or is there something else we have to do before their answer?
- Honeymoon: We plan to go on our honeymoon in Sri Lanka in December. Is it ok to leave the country for 2 weeks while waiting for the OFII appointment?

Thanks for all your help!
Marion
 

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Congrats on the marriage!

Entry to Europe: Basically, I think whatever stamp or electronic "stamp" he will need should be done at his point of entry to Europe, i.e. Amsterdam if he clears Customs there. Based on my return from the US last month, I'm not even sure they physically stamp anything anymore.

OFII: The consulate should have instructed him on what to do, but again, as far as I know, you send in the forms to the OFII in your departement.

Honeymoon: Depends on when he is coming back to France, but you should be ok for a two week holiday outside of France. If he hasn't gotten his OFII appointment before you leave, you should be ok, as they seem to give you about 3 weeks notice of these sorts of appointments.

But perhaps someonw with more recent experience can weigh in here.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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...If he hasn't gotten his OFII appointment before you leave, you should be ok, as they seem to give you about 3 weeks notice of these sorts of appointments.

But perhaps someonw with more recent experience can weigh in here...
Congrats on the marriage, as well!

Below is our schedule:
  • We received our Visa from the French Consulate the last week of March
  • We mailed our paperwork to the Prefecture in mid-April
  • We received a letter from the OFII in mid-May informing us that we must appear at the OFII in mid-June for our physical, chest X-Ray, and interview.
  • We appeared in mid-June and got our Titre de Long Sejour that day
I have a gut feeling (no proof whatsoever) that it depends on numbers like: how many people send letters each week to the Prefecture, how many people need to be seen at the OFII each week, and the number of people available to manage and deliver those services.

Our Prefecture (in a small city) was only open for Visa-related questions and services one or two afternoons per week. The OFII (in quite a large city), on the other hand, had a lot of people scheduled and a lot of staff members. What I don't know is whether our Prefecture and OFII are the norm or the exception.

So...while I like the regularity of a 1 month gap between sending the letter, receiving a response, and having to appear at the OFII, I can't tell if that's common or not.

Best of luck.

Ray
 

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I was told to be absolutely certain that I have my visa physically stamped on entry, which they did in Madrid, my point of entry, August 28, 2013. EU countries are ok for entry stamps. Everyone has verified this stamp from OFII to Carte Vitale folks.

My OFFI form was mailed Sept. 2, my letter for my apt received Oct 17, dated Oct 9, for an appointment Oct 25. I went with a friend who had a much longer waiting period between mailing her form (end of July), but we got our letters two days apart and her appointment was also on Oct. 25. We are in Aquitaine with the Bordeaux/Pau OFII, but we definitely did not get even a full two weeks notice!

However, a week or so before I got my invitation for my appointment, I received a letter stating my form had been received and processed and to await a letter. They had a typo in my name, so I called to fix it. When you get that letter, you could call and notify them of the dated you will be gone. They were quite helpful yesterday and told us to call for help. At least in Aquitaine OFII staff say their job is to help us integrate as smoothly as possibly. :)

Sent from my iPhone using ExpatForum
 
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