Wednesday, August 31, 2011

French Visa Renewal -- First Appointment, So Far So Good.

This afternoon was a clear reminder of my status in Paris. "Immigrant". For some reason I like the term "foreigner" much better, but today I was clearly an Official Immigrant as I followed the stream of non-Parisians through the prison like enclosure and security of the immigration office. My one-year visa expires in a few months and it was recommended to start the renewal process early.

I was pleasantly surprised (once again) of the efficiency of the French immigration process. The office was located in a modern building and the processing system was set up very similar to the DMV system in the states, only an almost modern luxury interior with state of the art numbering system and modern design wooden seating. Very clean, very impressive.

Within 20 minutes of passing through the security entry, I was given a number, called to Window 4, processed and on my way back out the door. Done!

Granted, this was my initial renewal visit, so I was only registered and given a second appointment date to return with a list of documents. My only concern is that the return appointment is one week prior to my actual Visa expiration date. (I'm going to trust the "system") The required documents are basically the same requirements as the initial visa: Photocopies of Passport pages, Bank Statements,  Proof of Living arrangements in Paris, copy of the initial visa, and the one exception (now needed) is a translated copy of my Birth Certificate.

The only part of this renewal process (so far) that annoys me, is the birth certificate translation requirement. However, it's only a minor document to take care of, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the actual renewal process will go smoothly in a few months. So far, so good. On my way back home, I decided to snap a few photos of the area to share with those who's lives don't involve a visit to the immigration office.

The immigration office was just around the corner from a very modern "Paris".
My Immigration office (based on where I live) is very close to La Defense.

Yes, this is Paris...well, actually this is the La Defense Area, just above the 17th Arrondissment.

La Defense. 

Once again, my experience with the French Immigration was a pleasant surprise, since I have only heard horror stories of crowds, long waiting periods, and rude administration. For this initial renewal appointment, I was in and out the door in less than 30 minutes. (I decided to arrive at 3:30 in the maybe I missed the morning rush?). Today was just one more day to add to my reasons for absolutely lovin' life in Paris!

No comments:

Post a Comment