Photo Credit: Subsconsi Productions, via Flickr, Creative Commons License

A few months after you arrive in France, you’ll get a letter from the Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration, or OFII, making an appointment for you to come in for your OFII medical visit. Once you get this letter, stating the date and time for your medical visit, clear your calendar for that day, as it will take you a few hours to go to the OFII office in the 11th arrondissement and to complete your visit.

Sometimes, the OFII staff will send you an appointment notice after the appointment has already passed (or with only a few days’ notice). Since it can take a few weeks to get a new appointment, you should try your best to make the first appointment date they send you.

If Your OFII Appointment Has Already Passed

Or, if there’s no way you can go to the appointment they’ve scheduled, don’t worry. Here’s what to do:

1. Go to the OFII office in the 11th arrondissement with the letter.
2. Explain at the desk that you’ve just received it and that the appointment date passed.
3. Fill out some additional paperwork.
4. Wait for them to send you a new convocation by mail for a new appointment.

This sort of thing happens often enough that they won’t give you a hard time about it. If you do receive the letter in time but can’t go, be vague about why.

Preparing for Your OFII Medical Visit

When you get an appointment you can make, you’ll need to prepare a certain number of documents to prove where you live. Here’s what they’ll ask for:

  • The letter they sent you with the appointment date and time. (OFII Convocation)
  • Your passport, with visa and entry stamp.
  • A “justificatif de domicile” less than three months old. Must be either an electricity or gas bill for your apartment in your name, or one of those in your landlord’s name, accompanied by a copy of his national ID card (front and back) and a note explaining that you live in his apartment.
  • Passport-size photo.
  • Timbres fiscaux, available in most Tabacs. They’ll tell you the amount in the convocation.
  • Make sure you have an extra photocopy of everything and that you show up in plenty of time for your appointment.

Your OFII Medical Visit

The medical visit is very simple. Once you’ve presented your documents and been admitted to the waiting room, the process should take about than two hours. The OFII processes about three hundred people per day, so they’re very efficient.

When you arrive, you’ll be given a file and asked to answer some questions about your medical history in the waiting room. Once you’ve gone into the exam room, your file will be placed in order, and a doctor will call you for each part of the exam, always in line.

In the first room, you’ll be weighed, measured, and have your vision checked. Next, you’ll be called into a hallway with three doors. This is where they’ll x-ray your lungs to check for tuberculosis.

When someone exits the door in front of you, you go into a dressing room, lock the door behind you, and remove all jewelry and clothing from the waist up and put up your hair. When it’s your turn, a doctor will open the door and escort you to the x-ray machine. It takes about 30 seconds for the x-ray to be complete. Then, you can get dressed and wait for the next step.

If you’re modest, you may want to bring a scarf that you can wrap around your chest. You can walk up to the x-ray machine with it and then drape it over the machine’s arm for the x-ray.

In the final step of the appointment, a doctor will call you into an office and ask you questions about your medical history, vaccinations, and health insurance while in France. If you have a complicated medical history or a chronic illness, you may want to bring additional documentation from your primary care physician to avoid problems at this step.

At the end of the appointment, the doctor will sign your file, saying that you “fill the sanitary requirements necessary to remain in France,” and your medical visit is complete. When you present the signed file to the front desk, the receptionist will attach the timbres fiscaux to the file and place a yellow sticker in your passport to validate your visa. This sticker serves as your first “titre de séjour,” and you are considered a legal student resident in France.