Visa appointment this week…

I am getting nervous folks…I have my student visa appointment in Washington DC this Friday at 845am! I have filled out the paperwork, as of yesterday I feel that my file is complete. Here is what is included , in detail … the extra stuff (that they don’t specifically ask for) is in italics:

  • Receipt for Appointment Booking – you need this to enter the consulate at all
  • Letter of motivation –  can’t hurt to put in words why you wanna be there
  • CV – showing off, on paper 🙂
  • Grad School Transcripts – this includes the proof that I took French classes, again, can’t hurt
  • Official Acceptance Letter from Alliance Française in Marseille (signed and stamped, addressed to me)
  • Payment confirmation from Alliance Française (registration fees)
  • Email from CampusFrance that says my application is complete and to schedule a visa appointment
  • CampusFrance payment confirmation
  • TWO completed (in black ink) long-stay visa application forms
  • Completed OFII form
  • One color copy of my passport identity pages
  • Original Passport
  • TWO Passport size photos (I took these at the post office to be sure they were correct, pricey but worth the peace of mind)
  • Savings account bank statement showing proof of sufficient funds (as of today, you need to show you have $820 a month for the duration of your stay. I have saved like a crazy person to show I have $1000 per month. Better safe than sorry)
  • Plane Ticket Reservation (I went ahead a bought my ticket for November 1, not crossing into schengen territory until November 2, this is the date I asked for my visa to begin)
  • Positive proof of residence in consulate area – (I included a signed sealed envelope from my registrar of my university showing proof of enrollment at the time of the visa application, an electric bill with my name and address in the geographic area for the DC consulate as well. I also have a Penn State student ID. Hopefully all of those things together are enough!)
  • Proof of insurance coverage internationally – this is not specifically stated anywhere but I feel like they will want to see something like this. I am covered through my school and I asked my insurance company for a letter stating my coverage dates and that I am covered internationally … I don’t know if that is sufficient but I did it anyway. I am also including the policy in my application packet which shows the coverage details … just in case. They may not want any of it but again, better safe than sorry!
  • Proof of residence in France – this one I have not procured yet, I am trying to get in touch with my future landlady in France but it hasn’t happened in a few weeks, I may have my French friend call her again. It makes me nervous but I am sure she is just out of town or something… They also do not ask for this piece of information but I know I will need a letter like this once I arrive so I figured getting a draft now would be helpful.
  • Must bring the visa fee of 50 euro payable by debit/credit. I believe it is by visa or mastercard.
  • Copy of the entire file

I made a nice folder with tabs showing where everything is. For my benefit and theirs. I will show up dressed very professionally and be polite. Use a bit of French (why not) and have my fingers secretly crossed behind my back. I will show up 20 minutes early and be prepared to wait.

Other helpful blogs for visa help: Chez Loulou, Becoming Madame, Lost in Cheeseland and Prêt à Voyager.

Hopefully things go okay for me. I really hope that I am prepared, to be honest I feel like it is %100 possible that after all of this prep work and payments sent, plane tickets bought, that they could look at my file, look at me and say, “yeah, no thanks”. I would be so very sad. I think that everyone going through the visa seeking process feels this way. I will keep you all updated on the progress, hopefully by Friday of next week (October 12) I will have a beautiful French visa in my passport (Please please please!!).

Do you have any French Consulate / visa seeking stories to share? Good or bad, I’d be happy to hear them!

à bientôt!

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