US

Feb 22 2019

In-Country Visa Validation Process Simplified

France

The situation

Effective February 18, 2019, many categories of long-term visa holders with visas valid between three and 12 months can validate their visas on the French Ministry of Interior website rather than visiting a regional Migration Office (Office Française de l'Immigration et de l'integration or OFII office).

A closer look

The policy change encompasses the following: 

  • Eligible visa categories. Foreign nationals in the following visa categories, among others, can benefit from the new online validation process: EU Intracompany Transferee (ICT) Permit and their family members; all subtypes of Talent Passport, including the EU Blue Card and Salarié en Mission, and their family members.
  • Validation timing. As before, the validation process must be completed within 90 days of arrival in France.
  • Steps following online registration. Following the online registration and government processing, applicants will receive an attestation via email that they must print out and carry with their passport visa sticker. If further in-country formalities such as a medical exam, language test or integration check are required (e.g. for the Introduction de Salarié and Service Provider Work Permit (Prestataire de Service) statuses), the regional OFII office will send an appointment notice by email inviting the applicant to complete these steps.
  • Previous process. Under the previous policy, applicants were required to personally visit a regional OFII office to apply for visa validation. Processing times ranged between 28-150 calendar days.
  • Unaffected categories. The changes do not affect foreign nationals with visas valid up to three months, who are still required to apply for a residence card at the local town hall (Préfecture), as before.



Impact

The process change saves eligible applicants a personal visit to the OFII office, which often involved long wait times for an appointment, and significantly streamlines the in-country validation process. Employers should benefit from their foreign workers spending less time on mandatory in-country formalities.

Background

The change seeks to expedite the immigration process for foreign nationals and reduce the workload of regional OFII offices.

OFII offices have been struggling with increased application volumes for several months; current changes would harmonise the process nationally and will streamline it, which would alleviate pressure on OFII offices with high-volume jurisdictions.

Looking ahead

Fragomen expects the authorities to consider expanding the online validation process to more immigration categories if experiences with the online validation process are positive. Fragomen will report on related developments.

Fragomen in France is Fragomen France AARPI., operating as an immigration consultancy/law firm in France. This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to parisinfo@fragomen.com.