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You might be lucky enough to not need a recepisse for your France visa but I definitely needed one.
What on earth is a récépissé? It sounds a little like a recipe in English. Although you are in France, it has nothing to do with gastronomy.
A récépissé-intercalaire is a temporary visa. The recepisse for your France visa allows you to stay in the country (and the EU) after your current visa expires. It will tide you over until the meeting date to renew your French visa at the Préfecture de la Police.
Long-Stay Visa In France:
You will need a recepisse for your France visa if you are already living in France and decide you want to stay longer.
If you are thinking about applying for a French visa from your home country here are the steps I followed:
- How I applied for my long-stay visa in France.
- How to validate your long-stay visa once you have arrived in France.
Please note: I am recounting my personal experience and am not an immigration expert.
Why A Recepisse For Your France Visa Is Needed
If you are living in France on a long-stay visa and decide to extend your visa, the first thing to do is make an appointment at the Préfecture de la Police.
Log into your account using your identification number and set up an appointment. When there are NO available appointments before your visa expires, don’t panic.
Register for a visa renewal appointment, even if the date you select is after the expiration date of your current visa.
Then apply for a récépissé-intercalaire, or a recepisse for your French visa.
A récépissé is the stopgap. The bridge from one visa to the next.
The récépissé allows you to stay in France until the appointment at the Préfecture de la Police for the examination of your dossier (file).
Applying For A Récépissé
When I had the date of my appointment at the Prefecture de la Police to renew my visa and the date was for a month after my long-stay visa expired, I emailed here explaining my situation.
This is what I wrote:
Je souhaite avoir une récépissé parce que mon visa expire le __ février 2021 mais ma convocation à la préfecture est le __ mars 2021. Pouvez-vous m’en fournir une s’il vous plaît? Merci beaucoup!
I heard back quite quickly and was asked to send a copy of:
- my current visa (the one attached in my passport)
- the confirmation of the meeting at the Préfecture de la Police to renew my visa
Once I uploaded those two documents and replied via email, I heard back in a couple of days. I was sent an appointment date for the Préfecture de la Police in the 17th arrondissement. This appointment would hopefully allow me to stay in France until the most important meeting.
Now, I could breathe a bit easier.
Getting Ready For The Recepisse Appointment
Collecting the paperwork for the récépissé meeting is not as stressful as for the real visa appointment but you still need to be sure to have everything. The list of what you are expected to bring is sent along with the confirmation of the appointment.
What You Need For The Recepisse-Intercalaire Meeting:
- the current visa that’s attached in your passport, plus a separate copy
- bring the original and a copy of the convocation (the summons appointment) for the recepisse
- bring the original and a copy of the convocation ( the summons appointment) for the future meeting for the real visa
- bring a recent passport photo ( you might as well get a bunch done as you need them for the next meeting)
- bring proof of rental payments (les quittances) for the past 3 months, or an electricity bill etc
You are asked to come with a pen, wearing a mask and unaccompanied.
On the chilly, damp morning of January 27, 2021, I decided to take a Velib bicycle and not ride the Metro at rush hour.
With my skirt and scarf blowing in the breeze, I cycled off to the 17th arrondissement, a part of the city I don’t know well. Thank goodness for google maps which has been leading me around Paris on a bike all year!
I arrived in plenty of time to the visa centre on the left side of the Préfecture entrance doors.
Painted stripes on the ground denote where one should be lining up for renewing or initial requests.
On this January morning in the midst of a pandemic, there was no line-up.
A policeman greeted me at the door, I showed him my sheet confirming my convocation and was given a number (B27). I waited patiently.
At exactly 10 am my number was called. I climbed the long flight of stairs and entered an office full of desks surrounded by plexiglass. Such is life nowadays.
Of course, we started with “Bonjour” but after that, there was no chitchat. We got right to business and I slid the required papers under the plexiglass.
When she asked me for my birth certificate (which was not on the list), I told her I didn’t have it with me.
She needed the names of my parents.
She worked away and produced an official-looking paper but had incorrectly recorded my parents’ names. Oops. She started over.
Once again, I checked the document. Correct this time, she affixed the passport photo.
Voilà! I got an extra month in France until my important appointment. The expiration of the recepisse is exactly the date of my next meeting.
I find these official visa meetings a bit stressful. This was my first one in Paris at the Préfecture de la Police but it reminded me of the rigour of the two visa meetings I had in Vancouver, Canada.
I breathed a sigh of relief and with my récépissé in hand, I decided to flâner back to the 7th arrondissement. I got a takeaway coffee at Terre de Cafés, recommended by my friend Iva, and walked down to the Parc de Batignolles. I watched Parisians enjoying a chilly January morning and reminded myself that the stress of applying for a visa is worth it to stay in the city that I love.
Please note: One is not able to work on a recepisse-intercalaire. If you have the right to work in France, this might not be the answer for you.
I hope this article helps you if you find yourself in a similar situation to mine.
Until next time,
More Paris Info…
Moving to Paris, I never expected COVID-19. I mean, who did? I decided to stay in Paris during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 ( and still continuing in 2021) Here is a photo walk through the streets of Paris during this bizarre time in history.
Moving to Paris has allowed me to observe Parisians closely. Here are 15 Things I have discovered about Parisian Culture.
Are you a solo traveller? Here is my post Travelling to Paris Alone: Solo in the City of Love about how to live your best life as a solo gal in Paris.
Looking for more details on discovering Paris? Here are all my Paris posts where I am sure you will discover a few tasty tidbits.