Ofii Meeting

Good Morning to you all.,

Husband and I have our meeting at the Ofii offices in Caen on the 5th - first a medical and then a ‘meeting’ at the offices down the road…

Not so bothered about the medical but the ‘meeting’ is concerning me a bit - just don’t know what to expect… Had anybody been through this that could put my mind at rest a little? What sort of things will we be discussing? etc… Will it be in French or English? French is coming on leaps and bounds, but I am not at the ‘chatty’ stage yet? Will we be interviewed together?

Many thanks]

Hi Jane

Sadly no personal experience, but checking the main website, I notice that the info is given in both French and English…

Can’t see that for the Caen site, but no matter. I really think they will make things as relaxed and unintimidating as they can.

How was the appointment made…? and do you both have the appointment at the same time?

When OH and I went to the Prefecture for our CdS we were both nervous wrecks. We were delighted to find the people dealing with us were so calm and kind… and appreciated how uptight/worried we both were.

I’m sure you’ll be asked easy questions, just take your time to “translate in your head” what they’ve said and then give easy, short answers. I don’t think they’ll be expecting you to be “chatty”.
If you don’t understand the question, just ask them to repeat it… nerves can make everything vanish from one’s brain… they will be aware of this.

Best of luck.

I get confused as to which process applies to which visa, but the most likely is that this is a meetimg to go through and sign the integration contract.

You will probably have to do the civic society training day(s) but if your language skills as ok then that will probably be it (and the required level is A2 which is really low). It is all about helping you integrate, nothing scarey.

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If the term was “rendez vous”, you might find it less alarming if you translate it as “appointment”, as Stella says.
Normally it is just that, an appointment to deal swiftly with the necessaryformalities, not a meeting to discuss complex and meaningful issues.

Well thank you to you both… After reading the link above I am even more terrified now… Just to clarify, it’s a long stay visa and we are both retired (never going to work EVER again!!) My French is better than my husbands (obvs!!), I always thought that these sort of interviews were if you wanted to have French Citizenship… has all that changed now with Brexit… ? Hope you are right Sandcastle, and its all just a formality… Fingers crossed… This process is just one long list of hurdles to cross, my next is registering with Amelie!!!

Good luck, I’m sure it will be much less daunting than you fear!

Just to clarify, which may save you some confusion / time, you’ll be registering with CPAM. Ameli (without an e) is their website. Very confusing but hope that helps!

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Oh yes, much appreciated… I really do need all the help I can get… Thank you.

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[quote=", post:5, topic:42045"]
always thought that these sort of interviews were if you wanted to have French Citizenship…[/quote]

For Citizenship it is an hour fielding non-stop questions about French history, geography, politics, culture etc etc in fast French! This is just a chat I believe…

Really don’t worry, all they will want to do is check that you don’t intend to work and want to try to learn French and get to know the culture. They may ask your husband to attend lessons - so if you have plans for this then have the at the ready otherwise you might be pushed to their ones which could be a long way away.

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I’m sorry to hear you are terrified about the meeting. It’s not something to be terrified about. It’s what must be done, a required step in the process of settling in France. Take a few deep breaths, try to get used to the formality and bureaucracy of France.


Thank you for those kind words… and yes, the older I get the more these things get to me… I know it shouldn’t… and yes, its just a necessary ‘evil’ of being able to live in this wonderful country… forever this time… This is our second time around… We lived here for twelve years between 2003 and 2015 - it was SO much easier then - a combination of our ages now and Brexit!!!

Thank you for that information and that’s a great tip about lining up a French class before we go… thus it is 3:00 a.m. on New Years Day and I am trawling the internet for classes in The Dordogne… !!!

Having recently gone through all of this, I can tell you exactly what happens at that first meeting (as yes it is a black box before you get there). For context, this was the process that I went through in April 2022 for a long stay visa.

So my meeting was a group meeting. You will be there will a load of other expats to sign the contract. It is all in French, however the people also spoke English and there will be 1-2 French teachers there as well. Once you have signed the contract, they will give you a French test. Don’t stress about it at all. It is all writing and reading to begin with and it isn’t designed to trip you up or anything. Once you have done the written test, a teacher will review the test and sit you down 121 and have a very short chat and at the end tell you roughly where they think your level is at. If you are A1 or a complete noob, this is where they will tell you that you must take mandatory french classes (this will all be free and offered by OFII). If you are A2 or above, they will offer you optional french classes (again, they will offer these lessons for free).

After that, you have a very short medical (eye sight, ask about family history etc), they will give you stamped copies of a bunch of important papers and then you are free to go.

So nothing scary :slight_smile:


Welcome to the community, @todd and Happy New Year!

Thank you foe posting this very informative account. It will be, I hope, reassuring for Jane and plenty of others who follow.

As Mary puts it so well,



Husband and I have our meeting at the Ofii offices in Caen on the 5th - first a medical and then a ‘meeting’ at the offices down the road…

Hi Jane and welcome,
Dont panic! We arrived in March, validated our visas on line, and had our convocation in Caen in May.

If the format hasn’t changed, then you can expect a chest xray (for TB), as we are third country citizens now, then take the result across the road to the OFII to show the doctor, who will give you a brief medical (blood pressure etc. and ask about medications. You will be given a ‘certificat de control medical’ which will prove you have passed muster, and ‘the meeting’ will consist of them stamping your visas. c’est tout!
We were together throughout…which was a relief as OH has memory issues and I am becoming her carer.

I have B1 oral but as I often find with official dealings, I converse in French and of course they wish to practise their English so it’s usually quite an amusing conversation in our two second languages.

I now have quite a file on the computer with scanned copies of all documents, and photocopies for posting. you will need them for Ameli carte vitales application and also titre de sejour conversion when you renew your visas in 11 months time. (we have just applied for ours and ten days later had meetings to show original documents, and were given a receipt which acts as a visa extension for six months pending the approval, and are waiting with much anticipation :slight_smile:

Hope this helps. I still have tons to learn but that was our recent experience. So far it has all been much more enjoyable than the visa centre in Wandsworth.

@janejones Hi Jane, funny you should mention the integration contract. I had read about (on here I think), and was expecting to see one. In our case we haven’t yet, but I wonder if it will come as part of the TdS process?

Bon courage

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A very useful point. This is one of the most important things to have in France. We’ve been here a long time, and I still keep my dossier up to date and take the paper file with me to anything official. The number of times it has been invaluable as I am asked for document X - which of course has not been mentioned in the convocation!

Everyone should have one to hand. And I now have French nationality and still need one.

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If you had resided in France for over 5 years consecutive before you left, you were outside France for less than 5 years counting back from the end of transition to the date you left, surely you were entitled to a CdS permanent under the Withdrawal Agreement?

Well thank you for that very kind and informative message Charles… I am beginning to feel a little less stressed about it all. Yes, we went to Wandsworth also, what chaos… !! I am now going to compile my ‘file’ so will be ready… thank you once again and to everybody who has taken the time to respond…

yes, that would have been so much easier wouldn’t it… we were away for seven years because OH procrastinated for 5 years!!! Not that I hold a grudge… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Interesting to read about french language lessons - is that just for visa’s or is there a route for those with withdrawal agreement cards?

Just wondering… when I get going on improving french I had in mind to find a further education college equivalent in france?

The state sponsored language lessons are for those coming in as non-Europeans on the longer term visas and getting their cartes de résidence. From what I have read they are not necessarily the best way to learn as often take place in inaccessible centres and classes are for all, so include many younger people who struggle as they don’t have a great formal educational base.