US

Oct 31 2018

Visa Validation Appointments Facing Cancelation or Rescheduling

France

The situation

The Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration (OFII) in Paris and Montrouge currently cannot print a stamp required to validate foreign nationals’ visas due to a technical issue. Foreign nationals who are assigned to these OFII branches based on their residence in France are affected by this issue.

A closer look

  • Cancelation/rescheduling of appointments. Due to technical issues, the OFII is either canceling visa validation appointments or requiring foreign nationals to return at another appointment date that will be rescheduled for mid-December at the earliest.
  • Validation process. Foreign nationals who have entered France for assignments of less than 12 months are required to appear at an OFII based on their residence in France to validate their visa after consular issuance. The validation is issued in the form of a stamp endorsed in the foreign national’s passport, which authorizes the applicant to reside in France during the validity of their visa. Without the stamp, the visa issued by the consulate is not considered a valid residence permit.
  • Expected resolution. Authorities have stated that the technical issue will be resolved in approximately six weeks.



Impact for foreign nationals

  • Canceled/rescheduled appointments. Foreign nationals should expect that their scheduled appointments will be canceled or rescheduled. Upcoming appointments are likely to be delayed due to an expected backlog after the issue is resolved.
  • Denial of re-entry. Foreign nationals may leave and re-enter France during the first three months of their initial entry without a validated visa. However, if they do not complete the visa validation process within three months of entry, they may be denied re-entry into France.
  • Possible solution. Affected foreign nationals may be able to request an attestation from the Paris or Montrouge OFII office that may allow them to travel without a validated visa. Foreign nationals with urgent business trips should contact their immigration professional for individual advice on the attestation request process.

 

Background

The visa validation process is a requirement per French immigration law that takes place upon entry to France under a consular visa.

OFII is an administrative institution under the supervision of the Ministry of Labor, and is the authority responsible for overseeing the recruitment of foreign nationals in France. It is responsible for labour market testing and medical examinations for foreign personnel and their dependent family members who seek to obtain residence rights in France.

This is the second time this year the OFII has experienced this issue.

Looking ahead

Fragomen will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates when they are available.

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 [email protected].