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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone gone through the new process with the OFII in Bordeaux? I got my long stay spouse visa and sent off my form over 3 months ago but still have not heard anything regarding my interview. The first time I sent my form in without it being recommande so I resent it a month later with all the docuentation.

Just wondering how long others in this region have had to wait for their OFII appointment. I will be moving to another region soon and was wondering how that will affect my paperwork.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Is there really no one on this forum that has been through the Bordeaux OFII? Wow, guess I'm on my own then. I know that admin doesn't get done over the holidays but I'm still waiting after more than 3 months for my OFII appointment. Sigh, I know better than to expect things to go quickly but at this rate my visa will have expired by the time I get called in.
 

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It's a new process, and I suppose it's not surprising that we don't necessarily have new arrivals in all the OFII office locations. You might want to give the OFII a call after the holidays. (Give them a day or two just in case they send letters out their first day back to work.)

Did you get the recommendé form back from your second submission?
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bev,

Thank, I know it's a long process but I was hopeful! Yes, I received the recommende back in November from my second submission. I'll call them next week sometime but the last time they just said "yeah it takes awhile". :)

Happy New Year Everyone
 

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OFII Bordeaux

Is there really no one on this forum that has been through the Bordeaux OFII? Wow, guess I'm on my own then. I know that admin doesn't get done over the holidays but I'm still waiting after more than 3 months for my OFII appointment. Sigh, I know better than to expect things to go quickly but at this rate my visa will have expired by the time I get called in.
Hi Californiagirl,

I've just registered and am going to Bordeaux OFII in a few days. Looks like it's a bit of a messup there indeed. When I sent them the initial letter (the form and photocopies) they did send me a confirmation letter that they had received it (although my letter hadn't been registered). However, I didn't hear from them after that and started to worry after a couple months. When I finally called them, turned out they had sent me a convocation a long time ago and the date had already passed! but I'd never received it! It got lost in the post (or they just forgot to send it)

Finally, I received another one a few days ago with a new appointment date. So I suggest you call them and if no one answers, persevere until you get clear answers whether they've received your letter. It took me a couple of weeks simply to get through on the phone.

Good luck!

Happy new year to you and everyone, great to meet you all!

Fresie
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Fresie,

Thanks for the reply, it's good to know that someone else is in a similar position. I've sent my form to the OFII twice and have not received confirmtion letter from them nor a convocation. I'm going to give them a call next week and see what happens.

I have another problem as well in that I am in the middle of moving to Paris and don't know if I should try to send a copy of the form to Paris with a letter of explanation. That would probably make things that much more complicated, but it's a bit of a mess.

Happy New Year Everyone









Hi Californiagirl,

I've just registered and am going to Bordeaux OFII in a few days. Looks like it's a bit of a messup there indeed. When I sent them the initial letter (the form and photocopies) they did send me a confirmation letter that they had received it (although my letter hadn't been registered). However, I didn't hear from them after that and started to worry after a couple months. When I finally called them, turned out they had sent me a convocation a long time ago and the date had already passed! but I'd never received it! It got lost in the post (or they just forgot to send it)

Finally, I received another one a few days ago with a new appointment date. So I suggest you call them and if no one answers, persevere until you get clear answers whether they've received your letter. It took me a couple of weeks simply to get through on the phone.

Good luck!

Happy new year to you and everyone, great to meet you all!

Fresie
 

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It' s just a thought, but you might get a bit better response if you go in to the OFII in person to try and track down what happened. When dealing with officialdom in France I often get the sense that as soon as they hear a foreign accent on the phone, they do anything they can to just get the person off the phone.

If you're standing there in person asking them to confirm something or look something up, they tend to actually do something. (Though, it doesn't always work.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Fresie,

I have another problem as well in that I am in the middle of moving to Paris and don't know if I should try to send a copy of the form to Paris with a letter of explanation. That would probably make things that much more complicated, but it's a bit of a mess.

Happy New Year Everyone
Hi again Californiagirl,

don't forget that you'll have to show a proof of permanent residence in that OFII place. I'd suggest you call Bordeaux first to find out what's going on, and then decide.

From my experience, letters virtually never get lost in the post here in France, so if they failed to receive it twice it's their fault, not the post office's. Yes, I think you'd better call them first.

happy new year!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi again Californiagirl,

don't forget that you'll have to show a proof of permanent residence in that OFII place. I'd suggest you call Bordeaux first to find out what's going on, and then decide.

From my experience, letters virtually never get lost in the post here in France, so if they failed to receive it twice it's their fault, not the post office's. Yes, I think you'd better call them first.

happy new year!
Well I had my husband call the OFII today and they said I have an appointment on the 19th of January. Guess it does pay to call. Does anyone know if there's a way to get out of paying the 300euros? I know it's not likely but it doesn't hurt to ask.

Thanks for the advise.
 

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Well I had my husband call the OFII today and they said I have an appointment on the 19th of January. Guess it does pay to call. Does anyone know if there's a way to get out of paying the 300euros? I know it's not likely but it doesn't hurt to ask.

Thanks for the advise.
Probably no way out of paying the 300€, especially since they want you to bring it in the form of "tax stamps." You have to buy the stamps before you go to the OFII, so even if they "forget" to ask you for them, you're out the money.

You should probably check with the OFII about where to buy these special tax stamps. According to the website, they aren't the usual tax stamps you get at the Tabac. (Have to be OMI or ANAEM stamps - whatever those are.) Besides, you can't normally get that high a value in tax stamps at a tabac. For the regular tax stamps, they'll send you to the tax office. Interesting to know the government doesn't like to let ordinary fonctionnaires handle money directly.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Probably no way out of paying the 300€, especially since they want you to bring it in the form of "tax stamps." You have to buy the stamps before you go to the OFII, so even if they "forget" to ask you for them, you're out the money.

You should probably check with the OFII about where to buy these special tax stamps. According to the website, they aren't the usual tax stamps you get at the Tabac. (Have to be OMI or ANAEM stamps - whatever those are.) Besides, you can't normally get that high a value in tax stamps at a tabac. For the regular tax stamps, they'll send you to the tax office. Interesting to know the government doesn't like to let ordinary fonctionnaires handle money directly.
Cheers,
Bev
The tax stamps can be a pain indeed because the ones they want are only for very special occasions, so tobacconists and such don't usually carry them because no one asks for them. Your best bet would be to do what I did and go to your local Trésor Public office. Even so it's better to call in advance and ask if they have them.

No, I honestly don't think there's a way to get out of paying it. Not with this system! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The tax stamps can be a pain indeed because the ones they want are only for very special occasions, so tobacconists and such don't usually carry them because no one asks for them. Your best bet would be to do what I did and go to your local Trésor Public office. Even so it's better to call in advance and ask if they have them.

No, I honestly don't think there's a way to get out of paying it. Not with this system! :D
One last question, do you have any idea how long the OFII appointment will last? Fresie, I think you are still waiting for your appointment, but if not please let me know what it was like.

When I did this several years ago it was a quick hour for the entire medical appointment but I have no idea what to expect this time.
 

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One last question, do you have any idea how long the OFII appointment will last? Fresie, I think you are still waiting for your appointment, but if not please let me know what it was like.

When I did this several years ago it was a quick hour for the entire medical appointment but I have no idea what to expect this time.
There's a good blog post from somebody who's just gone through it on the Net but unfortunately, I've lost the link. :( Anyway, from what the guy says it's more or less as you describe: a quick medical followed by the legal bit. I'll be there on the11th, before you, so I'll let you all know about it.

I've just called Trésor Public and they said that yes, it's a totally different type of tax stamps, specifically for immigration, and THEY ARE NOT AVAILABLE AT TOBACCONISTS'. You need to go to a Trésor Public office to buy them.
 

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OFII Bordeaux experience

All right, so I'm back from Bordeaux!:smow:

Veeery easy. Very nice people. Here's how it went:

I planned to take a taxi but as soon as you walk out of the train station, the tram stop is just to your left. I took a "C" tram (without crossing the tracks, it's the one that stops on your side of the road) to the stop called Quinconces (it's quite a distance so walking is NOT recommended). You need to buy a ticket before you board the tram though, there's a machine on the tram stop that accepts coins and gives you your change back, and a one-way trip is 1.40€. The views of the city are quite breathtaking as you ride.

Once I arrived at Quinconces, the local Office de Tourisme is right there on the corner so I walked in and asked for 55 Rue St Sernin, and they gave me a free map and explained how to get there. It's very close (about 10 min on foot max) and easy to find, just follow the map.

They're all extremely friendly and helpful there. Please note that the OFII closes down for lunch and you can't get in, but they opened the doors again a good 15 minutes before their opening time of 13.30.

I approached the reception and they checked my convocation and passport and asked if I had the stamps and a photo ready -- obviously, some people forget to do it. Then they lead you into a small waiting area where you wait with a few other people for the doctor to call you. The medical consists of three parts: an X-ray room, then a sort of lab where they check your blood sugar (yes, you are supposed to eat before coming and they ask you what you had for lunch), check your eyesight, weight, height and ask a few other questions: your past diseases, hospitalisations, etc.

Finally, you go to the doctor hugging your giant X-ray and he gives you a proper check, measures your blood pressure and stuff. They're all very friendly and cheerful people. You might need to wait a few minutes between these three checks (the X-ray, the lab and the doctor) because they keep rotating people: one person is sent to the X-ray room while another one is sent to the lab, then both have to wait until the doctor is finished with somebody else, etc. So the whole medical took probably about 40 minutes. They call out everybody's names, so there's no queue or anything of the kind.

Once you're done with the medical, they send you to an office where a friendly young lady puts your file together, glues your photo and stamps on it, checks your other paperwork (electricity bill, etc) and enters it all in the computer, then pastes a yellow sticker in your passport. And that's it! The whole thing took exactly an hour.

Basically, it was painless and the workers were, repeat, very friendly and cheerful.

Good luck!
 

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Oh, thanks for that report. I'm sure there are plenty of folks here on the forum who will be relieved to hear things went so smoothly for you.

It was a long time ago, but the medical exam doesn't seem to have changed much. When I had mine (in Paris) it was, pee in cup, get x-rayed and then the talk with the doctor. The big obsession when I was there was to list all the vaccinations I'd ever had. And the doctor took great pride in teaching me the French word for "tonsils" as she had spent 6 months or a year in the US and wanted to practice her English with me.

Anyhow, thanks loads for the update.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Oh, thanks for that report. I'm sure there are plenty of folks here on the forum who will be relieved to hear things went so smoothly for you.

It was a long time ago, but the medical exam doesn't seem to have changed much. When I had mine (in Paris) it was, pee in cup, get x-rayed and then the talk with the doctor. The big obsession when I was there was to list all the vaccinations I'd ever had. And the doctor took great pride in teaching me the French word for "tonsils" as she had spent 6 months or a year in the US and wanted to practice her English with me.
Bev, thank you, it's my pleasure!

No, no piss-in-cup stuff there, thank God. They didn't ask about vaccinations, either. The only thing he did say was that I had to have a tetanus shot, to which I explained that I'd had it done last June although I didn't have any papers on me to prove it (moral: always keep all papers!). He believed me and that was it, no tetanus shot.

And the languages, yes! He was telling me to do things in Russian, "breathe"and "swallow", all that, then he said he'd spent so much time with foreigners he knew those words in 11 languages :juggle:

Good luck guys!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Bev, thank you, it's my pleasure!

No, no piss-in-cup stuff there, thank God. They didn't ask about vaccinations, either. The only thing he did say was that I had to have a tetanus shot, to which I explained that I'd had it done last June although I didn't have any papers on me to prove it (moral: always keep all papers!). He believed me and that was it, no tetanus shot.

And the languages, yes! He was telling me to do things in Russian, "breathe"and "swallow", all that, then he said he'd spent so much time with foreigners he knew those words in 11 languages :juggle:

Good luck guys!
Thanks Fresie, that sounds exactly like the medical visit I had four years ago. I thought there was also a language interview and a contract to sign. Is this something that happens later, or did they not say anything about it?
 

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I'm glad to hear that y'all are moving through this process smoothly. I'm going through it as well. I live in Millau in Aveyron and report to the OFII in Toulouse. I'm here on a spousal long-term visa. I've sent in my paperwork and am waiting for their response.

Now, I've just realized something and I guess I could have caught it earlier. The embassy in Houston didn't give me back a stamped copy of the 'demande d'Attestation de OFII'. I sent in a completed one to OFII sans stamp anyway and have contacted my embassy in Houston to see what we can do about it. Californiagirl, Fresie--did y'all have a stamped OFII paper? Also, do you know if the visa de long sejour de epouse grants us the right to work before we complete the OFII procedure? Cheerios!!
 

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Californiagirl,

I thought that the language exam only applied to nationality requests? Anyway, there was no language exam, and some people in the room spoke very poor French, anyway. There was no contract to sign, either -- in fact, no papers to sign at all. They glued the stamps and the photo in the file and pasted the yellow sticker in the pasport, that was it.

texasdeez,


I think the idea IS that the consulate stamps the paper, but then again, if you have a passport vith a visa in it and a number and the frontier entry stamp , then logically, they should be able to check it all between themselves. I'd suggest you call Toulouse and ask them. I'm sure it happened before so they should be able to tell you what to do.

As for work permit, I'm not sure because the system has just changed. Before, you had the right to work as soon as you sent in your papers and received the recepissé for them. But from what I heard from other people, many employers are quite prepared to hire you even before that as long as they know your paperwork is going to be in order soon.

Good luck guys!
 
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