In order to get your French residency visa, you need to have a medical exam. My friends warned me that you’d basically feel like cattle during the experience, but I have to say it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Or maybe they just prepared me for the worst. So here’s what to expect if you ever have to go through this:
- Once your lawyer’s set up your appointment at OFII, you’ll need to buy your “timbres fiscaux normaux” at a tabac or tax office (“trésor public/centre des impôts”. I chose to buy ours at a tax office since it felt slightly more legit to me. Just make sure you get a receipt since you’ll want to get reimbursed for the hefty fee – 368 per person! Plus – these places only take cash, so don’t count on writing a check or using your carte bleue.
- Once at OFII you’ll need to pass by security and literally three receptionists before getting to the waiting room. Ahh – French inefficiency.
- The first exam is radiology – so that means top off while you march into a larger exam room and have your boobs pressed up against a standing radiology machine. They’re checking for tuberculosis which is apparently pretty prevalent here.
- Then you head back into the waiting room where you’ll then be called to have an eye exam and your weight and height measured.
- Back to the waiting room you go, and then you’re called to another room where a doctor asks you a few questions, takes your blood pressure and heart rate, and shows “le radio” to you and – hopefully – says you’re tuberculosis free.
After that – you’re all set! Well.. at least for the medical exam. You’re supposed to then go to the prefecture de police desk (in the same building) to receive your residency card. But in August, which is when we went, the office was closed on Mondays and Wednesdays (because that makes sense, right?)… and we had a Wednesday appointment. So leaving a bit annoyed and confused, we figured we’d just return next week. But once Rio arrived at his office, his coworker told him that we probably just went to the wrong desk, so off we went back that same afternoon to see if we could get this all straightened out already. After waiting two hours because the office was closed from 12pm to 2pm for lunch, we found out, nope, the office really was closed on Mondays and Wednesdays, so we ended up going back again today. Nothing I love more than making three trips to get one thing done.