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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

My first time posting here, need some urgent help. The situation is slightly complicated, I'll do my best to explain. I'll start from the beginning.

My girlfriend is Canadian, she came to Paris on a language assistant visa in 2015. She went to OFII and got her check-up done and received the vignette. In the summer of 2016, her visa expired and she couldn't extend/renew her visa so she enrolled in a Masters program in a university here in Paris last summer and got a student visa.

Here's the first complication. She was supposed to go back to Canada to get a new student visa but she didn't. She mailed her passport to her mother in Canada, who mailed it to the French embassy and they issued her the visa. She stayed in Paris the whole time this was happening. Because of this, she didn't have an 'entry stamp' to France.

The second complication. She couldn't go to OFII to get a new vignette because she didn't have an 'entry stamp' into France. She went to the university and showed them her old OFII vignette from 2015 and they said it was okay and that she doesn't need to get a new one. So she didn't. Now, her visa is going to expire in a couple of months and she's been trying to get an appointment with the prefecture for a carte de sejour but she can't get one because the number on her old OFII vignette is linked to her old language assistant visa and not the current student visa she's on.

We contacted the french embassy in Canada and they said that since she doesn't have the OFII vignette for her student visa, she will have to come back to Canada and apply for a new student visa.

Here's the third complication. She's enrolled in a 2-year Masters program and she just finished her first year. However, she could not validate all her courses, and has asked permission at the university to extend her first year by one more year. This technically means that she will have to re-enroll in the first year to do the courses she couldn't do last year. We're worried that if she goes back to Canada to apply for a new student visa, they might not give it to her because she didn't finish her first year and/or they might think that she's trying to do the same course twice to just be able to live in france.

We're not sure what to do here. Anyone has any ideas and/or suggestions? Is there anyway we can contact OFII and get them to issue her a vignette now? Or would it help to go to the prefecture? Or should she stay until the end of her student visa and go back and get a new one?

Any help will be greatly appreciated!
 

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Um, yeah, you seem to appreciate the situation - there are several things she "should have" done that she didn't do and now she's somewhat up Ye Olde Creek sans paddle.

OK, but nothing is completely impossible in France. First thing would be to contact OFII and see what they say. They're one of the more "user friendly" agencies around, so they really are your best shot. They won't issue the vignette, but they may be willing to put her in the queue for processing, or they may tell her she has to return to Canada for a new visa. Just don't tell them what you "want" - ask them what they suggest.

But there is a reasonable chance that they may say that she has to go back to Canada to apply for a proper student visa in person, explaining the situation and hoping the consular official is in a good mood and "buys" her explanation.

It's far too late, but she could have (probably should have) made a trip up to the UK and had her passport stamped on her return. The UK is outside Schengen and would have been adequate for getting an "entry" stamp - though having her mother get the visa for her the way she did wasn't exactly by the rules... but the French tend to overlook those sorts of things unless you get unpleasant about it.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Bev! We went to OFII yesterday and they gave her an appointment for mid-July, more than a month before her visa expires. Your advice on letting them come up with a solution and just generally being nice and pleasant helped!

Fingers crossed, hopefully she'll get the vignette without problems and then an appointment at the prefecture!
 
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