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Hi Everyone,
I am married to a French citizen and in the process of getting my first carte de sejour. It has been a long process especially as we have now been relocated to Ethiopia and he has gone on while I wait for the paperwork to finish.

I have my medical visit at the OFII next week Tuesday and I wanted to know what to expect in terms of the French evaluation. I can speak French but I am not perfect and I don't want to stay here for lessons cause I want to go to Ethiopia with my husband as soon as possible. Also there is a day to learn about Integration in France how soon after the medical visit will this be?

Anyone has any pointers for me on the French evaluation?

Thanks
 

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You say you have your medical visit at the OFII - be careful, unless you're going to the medical office, this could be an appointment to make an appointment. I received a letter setting an appointment at the prefecture (old system - 15 years ago) "for the medical visit" which I thought was kind of peculiar, but I raced across the department to be on time for the appointment.

It was an appointment to pay for the medical visit and to take an appointment at a different facility, where the actual medical visit took place. (The appointment for the medical visit was about a week or two after this "appointment to take an appointment.")

Trouble is that they have changed all the names of the various agencies involved, so it's possible that they now call the medical facility part of the new OFII. But the medical visit takes place at a genuine medical clinic type of place.

There has been talk of subjecting you to a real test for your French, but as I understand it, the test is at a very basic level. If you can carry on a conversation in French, they aren't going to get picky about grammatical mistakes, etc. And, until the formal regulations come out, you may be able to get around the test if you simply make a point of carrying out your appointments in French.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ofii

So I spent a harrowing day today I spent the whole morning worrying about the French part of the day . We arrive outside the OFII and there are people there waiting and they all are speaking French extremely fluently. Arghhhhh!!!! So we have to wait for the place to open and then we go up. You spend time all together in an office to watch a video about living in France.

Then after that you go for an interview with a woman to find out how much French you can speak. You answer a few easy questions and then you do a small exam on a piece of paper very easy you fill out you first name last name where you were born, then you fill in the professions you know in French and then you fill in the verbs missing in a sentence. After than yay I got my certificate saying that I can speak French and don’t have to do the 400 hours of French lessons great. But then you have to choose dates for your sessions you have a session in living in France, a session on your civil rights and another session for assessing you working potential in France. Unfortunately for me these are on the 13th, 20TH and 23rd of October so more time to wait again.

Then you do the chest x ray painless again just a bit weird as they don’t give you a robe or anything. You go in a room to disrobe and then you have to walk topless to the machine which is just outside but still. But it is just you and the radiologist but still wouldn’t mind a robe. Then the actual medical visit is painless just a few questions and then once you say you good you good.

After that you pay your 300 in stamps and you get your titre de sejour, but the year start from when you came in the country so basically i only have six months again before i start renewal drama anyone have info on that?
 
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It doesn't sound quite so bad, but must have been a bit intimidating! All these extra measures are mainly aimed at slowing the flow of immigrants from North and West Africa, from where the vast majority of applicants originate. Hence everyone "speaking French extremely fluently" outside - because most from the ex-colonies do anyway. The few non-Francophones who get caught up in this nonsense are the ones who suffer the inconvenience of these measures more than most.

Maybe nonsense is a bit strong - because of course it is good that all those wishing to settle in France manage to integrate, by familiarising themselves with both its culture and language. However it isn't a few hours of lessons, or parroting stuff about French civilisation and civil rights, that will resolve the cultural/religious divides and the simmering resentments still separating many in the Moslem communities from the rest.

(Renewal? I can't imagine that they would put you through any of this again, once you have 'passed').
 

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After that you pay your 300 in stamps and you get your titre de sejour, but the year start from when you came in the country so basically i only have six months again before i start renewal drama anyone have info on that?
Every time you renew, in fact, you really only get a 9 month carte de sejour, because when you go in for renewal they approve all your documents and give you a temporary piece of paper that gives you permission to stay for 3 more months, and tell you to come back in 3 months pay another 70 Euros and get your real card.

You shouldn't have to go thru all the tests and exams again, although you do have to bring new photos and all the paperwork every time (make lots of copies), and if you work in France and contribute to social security, there is a mandatory yearly (i think it is yearly) health exam, but it is not tied to your immigration status.
 

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Hi,
I see this is an old thread bt i have recently been following the ofii procedure in 2011 and i thought I could add some new information for anyone who found this thread through google (as I did when trying to learn about this stuff)
I'm married to a french woman and my process so far has involved waiting for the ofii to set up an appointment. This took 4 months waiting for the letter and 5 months til the actual appointment.

I watched the video of welcome and was sent to the xray facility which was on the same floor of the same building (This as the ofii facility in Pantin/Bobigny). After a few questions regarding immunisations, tuberculosis and other such fun subjects the medical officers sent me back to a waiting room where a consultant found and took me to a private office.

The consultant asked questions about my work status (I found this odd considering I didn't have working rights), whether i want to work, explaining the terms and conditions of the welcome contract and making sure i understood the commitments involved and setting up appointments for those commitments.

I don't speak french very well, I write ok but the sound of the language still confuses me and makes me doubt myself. I'm learning but i have alot of difficulty understanding when the person is speaking too fast. This didn't phase the consultant that didn't speak english; she just called a translator and we exchanged the phone for respective translations from the Texan on the other end.
My language test was not conducted at the ofii in Pantin/Bobigny, infact it was set for 4 weeks later at a third party agency in a city/town of the department where i reside (for me it was a choice of two towns in dept 77) The consultant didn't find dates for my other appointments (living in france, french lifestyle and philosophy) because she couldn't find any being conducted in english. They prefer these seminars to be in a language the immigrant understands, otherwise i guess they would be pointless.

After signing and understanding i was sent to the final waiting room where i recieved my first carte de sejour giving me working rights from that date and expiring the same time as the visa i used to enter france.

4 weeks later the language test was a breeze, My french hadn't improved so muchs as the language test was easy. Mostly written so i had no problem there and she spoke very clear french. She asked my nationality, address in france, date of birth and phone number. That was it; base on my answers to these questions (she didnt even look at the written test) she declared i dont need french lessons. I do however have the option of taking them for free anyhow, which i might do.

As i understand; the carte de sejour expires with the visa you used to enter france and each subsequent carte lasts for a year however; to prevent being suck with an overdue and thus invalid carte de sejour (losing working rights) you must begin the renewal process 3 months (to the day) before your carte de sejour expires. It is still valid for the final three months.

The renewal process can easily be completed at a local prefecture or even a sous-prefecture provided you can supply all the documents they ask for.

It's a good idea to goto the prefecture at least a month before you need to start the renewal process just to get a list of the documents you will need. Given that there isn't any leaniency on dates it would be a shame that you couldnt renew your carte de sejour because you forgot to bring one piece of paper in a pile of 15 documents

The ofii stamp for medical visit costs 340€ these days
 

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Thank you for that! It confirms many of the reports about the OFII visit that I had heard - though things do vary by a bit in each different préfecture.

If you're married to a French woman, though, you technically have the right to work (though convincing an employer that you do until you have the carte de séjour that says so can be a real battle).

Well, congratulations - you're through the worst of it!
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Isn't the medical exam free for spouses of French citizens? I was under the impression the whole carte de séjour process was free for spouses.
 

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Isn't the medical exam free for spouses of French citizens? I was under the impression the whole carte de séjour process was free for spouses.
The visa fees may be waived (though I'm not sure about that), but I think everyone pays the carte de séjour fees, including for the medical exam.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Isn't the medical exam free for spouses of French citizens? I was under the impression the whole carte de séjour process was free for spouses.
No, as a spouse of a french citizen i had to pay 340€, the visa is free but the medical visit isn't
 

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As far as the civics class, they include information such as, you can only have one wife. Your wife and children are not property and you can't do whatever you like to them (to include mutilation, as practiced on women in some cultures). Decisions involving the children are the joint responsibility of both the man and the wife; not just the man.

Does this shed some light on why the civics class is required?
 

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The procedure was similar but different for me in Essonne. My 340€ in stamps was collected by the sous-Prefecture when I collected my Carte de Sejour -- the recepisse actually specified that my CdS was ready to collect, and that I needed to bring those stamps + an attestation of the data I entered France (since I didn't have a passport stamp, I asked for an attestation from my work HR dept).

Some time later I received a convocation by mail about going to the OFII office for the medical visit and welcome to France video with integration contract signing. The day at the OFII in Créteil was basically as mentioned above: quite a long wait to see a half-hour video about "liberté, égalité, fraternité" (of which I understood the very basics only), a very basic French test as mentioned (name, address, place of work, date entered France, numbers), signing the contract of integration and receiving three coloured certificates (living in France, employment, language), setting a date for the formation civique (see below) and a relatively straightforward medical checkup (weight, eye test, questions about general health, I showed my work medical results), then another long wait to be X-rayed in a bus outside the OFII, which has since been replaced by a temporary building.

The formation civique, which is required to be given in your own language, was scheduled for a day a month or two later. It was a full day, and actually it was presented in French, however there was a translator sitting at the back of the classroom who gave the basics in English. He was quite funny actually because his translation was also interspersed with his opinions. The subject matter was essentially: 9AM-12.30PM history of France from Gauls to modern times, 13.30-16:45PM civil rights and gender equality in France and how the goverment system works. "FLunch" voucher was provided. I sort of wondered if there would be an exam at the end of the day, but there was not - just the award of a fourth certificate for the OFII contract.

I think the civics class is required as a way to let people know "this is how and why things are the way they are in France... and if you treat your wife here like you do in (less-liberated country) you are going to jail"... there was animated discussion among the foreigners in my civics class audience in the afternoon during the discussion of womens rights. I did not understand most of that discussion because it was in French.

r13
 

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quite a long wait to see a half-hour video about "liberté, égalité, fraternité" (of which I understood the very basics only)
r13
They had little personal translators for my video, they looked like remote controls for a television and they had a little speaker that you hold against your ear and when the video starts you press play on the little translator and the prerecorded translation in the language the immigrant requests plays out.

I thought they were pretty awesome, i had it in english, there was a chinese woman who had it in mandarin, an afghan who had it in farsi etc
 

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Hi, I am getting ready to go to the OFII interview in about a week. Thanks for the up to date information!

I can confim that getting a spouse visa in france is free. But you pay a tax of 340 euros *before* the OFII interview.
 

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Thank you for sharing this info, gave me a good heads up of whats to come. Im waiting for medical appointment, they did say June (so keeping my fingers crossed) Willpost more soon...
 

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I'm getting ready for my move to France and was wondering if I am supposed to do a physical here in the US and bring the results with me to my OFII or do they take care of everything there? Thanks.
 

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I'm getting ready for my move to France and was wondering if I am supposed to do a physical here in the US and bring the results with me to my OFII or do they take care of everything there? Thanks.
Among your visa papers should be the forms that you send to the OFII to request your appointment on arrival. It's at that appointment that you get your physical, so no need to mess with it before your departure. (It's really a pretty superficial physical - main things are a chest x-ray and list out what vaccinations you've had.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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It concerns me that there is continued doubt about our abilities to work before we have the OFII stamp. I just received my visa de long séjour, vie privée et familiale(married to a French woman), and it clearly states that I am authorized to work. I'll post an update as soon as I can.
 

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It concerns me that there is continued doubt about our abilities to work before we have the OFII stamp. I just received my visa de long séjour, vie privée et familiale(married to a French woman), and it clearly states that I am authorized to work. I'll post an update as soon as I can.
I don't think there is any legal doubt about your ability to work. But it depends on the employers you're dealing with and how up to date they are on the regs for hiring a foreigner. (Or how willing they are to hire one.)

Not yet having your carte de séjour (or your validated visa - your "vignette") can make a convenient excuse for an employer who simply doesn't want to bother with hiring a foreigner. In the current job market, there isn't much you can do about that.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Perhaps we can find some legal literature to bring with us in case there is any push-back. I could see this happening at a TPE/PME but would be shocked to see it occur at a large MNC that has hundreds of foreigners on its payroll.
 
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