Assistant Assistance #1: Getting an Assistant Visa (TAPIF)

Hello all! This is the first installment in a little series I will be starting as I go through this process myself for the first time. The “Assistant Assistance” series will be a more practical How-To for the various things you will have to do before/when you move to France.

That being said, the first task I am going to outline is getting your visa! Now, as a language assistant, you have a special type of visa specifically geared toward our job.  It is fairly easy, providing you have everything you need ready at the time of your appointment, and it is processed rather quickly.

Disclaimer: I went to the French Consulate in Washington D.C.  I am writing according to this. Take my word as  GUIDE and not as LAW. I do not take responsibility if other consulates have additional requirements. 🙂

Now, here is a step-by step process of everything you will need to do:

  1. Look up which French Consulate you are supposed to go to. Depending on which state you live in, you are assigned to certain ones, and you can ONLY go to the one you are assigned to. To find out, click here.
  2. Schedule an apointment at the proper location. (Note: BE ON TIME. If you are late, you will need to make another apointment.)
  3. Prepare a passport that is valid well past the the date the visa would end, and make a copy.
  4. Fill out the long-stay application form found here, in French.
  5. Prepare a recent, passport photo (in style and size), where you are showing face front the forehead hairline and ears on a white background, neutral face, no smiling, mouth closed.
  6. Prepare a proof of adress (drivers lisence, original copy of a recent utility bill, etc. Bring the original AND a copy.)
  7. If you are NOT  U. S. citizen prepare your proof of resident status (Green Card).
  8.  Prepare the original and one copy of your arrêté de nomination.
  9. Fill out the top portion of the OFII form.
  10. Bring all items in steps 3-9, as well as your apointment ticket from the Consulate.Make sure to bring an oringinal and a copy of ALL documents.

If you are going to the Washington D.C. Consulate, you can either leave your passport there, or take it with you. If you leave it there, prepare a prepaid, express envelope from either UPS or USPS, and leave it with them to be mailed back to you. If you take it with you, you will have to return to the consulate to get your visa stamped any morning they are open before 10 AM with the approval-letter you recieve in the mail.

This is a guide based on my experience and everything I needed for my apointment.  I do not speak in absolute truths! Nevertheless, I hope I helped!

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