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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I have a visa de long séjour that says I have to apply for a carte de séjour within two months of my arrival in France. I looked through the documents I have to take to my préfecture de police ("Pièces à fournir pour une première demande de titre de séjour valable un an").

One of the documents is the OFII certificat médical, but I can't figure out where I can get this before heading over to the local préfecture. I will be making one or two visits to France during the first couple months, each lasting less than 10 days.

Any idea where I can get the OFII medical certificate before going to the préfecture (or CRE, see below)? And is it likely I can both get an OFII appointment and have the certificate for the carte de séjour application during one of my ten-day visits? I'd rather just get the whole thing over with right away, and not run the risk of exceeding the two-month requirement.

(Another indirectly related question: I will be staying in the Val de Marne (94). It looks like I have to report to the Centre de réception des étrangers (CRE) in the 14th, 15th or 17th arrondissement in Paris, but the information on the web is a little confusing. Does anyone know if I should go to the Paris CRE or to the Val de Marne préfecture? If it's the Paris CRE, which one shoudl I go to?)


Thanks for any information and advice people can offer.
 

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I've moved you out into a thread of your own in the hope of attracting a few more responses.

What sort of visa are you on? (Perhaps a working holiday visa?) It does make a bit of difference in how these things work.

The OFII and/or prefecture you are supposed to deal with depends on where you are going to be staying when you first arrive in France on your long-stay visa. As far as I know, the CRE only applies to foreigners residing in Paris. If your first port of call (on arrival on your long-stay visa) is Val de Marne, then you need to go to the préfecture there. (The préfecture de police in Paris is arranged a little differently than the préfectures in the rest of France.)

Basically you can't do anything about applying for your carte de séjour until you have entered the country on your long-stay visa (had it stamped) and are established in your initial "domicile" in France. That domicile determines which OFII and which prefecture you have to deal with for your CDS. Safest thing to do is to go down to the prefecture first, with as much of the paperwork as you have and ask for their list of what you need to do and provide. They should be able to tell you how to schedule the medical exam with the OFII that covers the prefecture.

Trying to be too efficient will get you no where in France. ;)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've moved you out into a thread of your own in the hope of attracting a few more responses.

What sort of visa are you on? (Perhaps a working holiday visa?) It does make a bit of difference in how these things work.

The OFII and/or prefecture you are supposed to deal with depends on where you are going to be staying when you first arrive in France on your long-stay visa. As far as I know, the CRE only applies to foreigners residing in Paris. If your first port of call (on arrival on your long-stay visa) is Val de Marne, then you need to go to the préfecture there. (The préfecture de police in Paris is arranged a little differently than the préfectures in the rest of France.)

Basically you can't do anything about applying for your carte de séjour until you have entered the country on your long-stay visa (had it stamped) and are established in your initial "domicile" in France. That domicile determines which OFII and which prefecture you have to deal with for your CDS. Safest thing to do is to go down to the prefecture first, with as much of the paperwork as you have and ask for their list of what you need to do and provide. They should be able to tell you how to schedule the medical exam with the OFII that covers the prefecture.

Trying to be too efficient will get you no where in France. ;)
Cheers,
Bev

Thank you for this prompt and detailed response. I am going to France on a long-stay visa for professions libérales ou indépendantes.

Your answer about CRE vs préfecture makes sense to me, but the ressortissants étrangers section of the Val de Marne préfecture website redirects to the préfecture de Paris site, which in turn directs you to the CRE.

In fact, I will only be in the Val de Marne for the first six weeks and then move to Paris proper. The visa itself is actually valid for three months, so I wonder if I could somehow avoid having it stamped until I return for good (about six weeks after my initial 10-day visit). I would still be within the three-month validity of my visa; and that way I can apply for the titre de séjour in the place where I will actually be living long-term (Paris proper), where it also appears that it is in any case easier to tackle these kinds of formalities.

It's true that I'm trying to be efficient and super-organized. So far the entire process has been extremely smooth and prompt. Carefully noting down all the information provided on the official websites (supplemented by information found on excellent sites like this one) well ahead of time has helped me enormously. I'm hoping the same approach will serve me well when I actually get over there!

Thanks again for your helpful comments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hang on...I think I may have made a mistake while looking at the Val de Marne préfecture website. I may not have to go to the Paris CRE after all. I'll be back with an update shortly!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, I made a mistake. Sorry about that. I can go to the Val de Marne préfecture in Créteil. The préfecture website is still a little ambiguous about the certificat médical. My understanding, though, is that subsequent (or simultaneous) to my carte-de-séjour application I will be required to go to the OFII for a medical check-up. It's not clear whether all this can be done within a 10-day period, but it probably doesn't matter too much so long as I get it done within the first couple months.

I would still be curious to know, though, if I could somehow prevent the clock from ticking down on the two-month CDS requirement until I return to France with my family to move into our Paris place of residence (ie. 6-8 weeks after my initial 10-day visit). (I hope this question makes sense!)


Thanks.
 

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On your "preliminary" entry to France, you can always ask the immigration guy NOT to stamp your visa, but rather to allow you to enter on a 90 day "Schengen" visitor visa. (Tell him you're not moving, but just making a preliminary visit to scout out accommodation, etc.) It may or may not work, but heck, it's worth a shot.

The clock starts ticking from the date stamped on your long-stay visa, so if you can legitimately delay that, you can wait until you arrive to settle into your residence in Paris. (But that also means you will have to wait on any of the formalities, including the OFII visit, until after you have officially "arrived.")
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for this new reply, and sorry again for muddying the waters with wrong information about the Val de Marne.

You say: "The clock starts ticking from the date stamped on your long-stay visa."

Do you mean a stamp directly on the visa, or anywhere in the passport?

I highly doubt they will be so nitpicking, but should I also try to avoid getting a stamp anywhere in my passport upon my first arrival? It's often happened in the past that the official has glanced cursively at my passport and just let me through without stamping anything. This time, it would probably be best for that to happen again!
 

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Thank you for this new reply, and sorry again for muddying the waters with wrong information about the Val de Marne.

You say: "The clock starts ticking from the date stamped on your long-stay visa."

Do you mean a stamp directly on the visa, or anywhere in the passport?

I highly doubt they will be so nitpicking, but should I also try to avoid getting a stamp anywhere in my passport upon my first arrival? It's often happened in the past that the official has glanced cursively at my passport and just let me through without stamping anything. This time, it would probably be best for that to happen again!
No, they pretty much have to stamp your passport somewhere. But it's when they stamp your visa that it gets "activated." Still, if they activate it early, just stop in at the prefecture to ask about the OFII medical visit. It will take a while to set up the appointment, no matter what.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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