The Actual Process
Renewing a visa has a couple of different options to renew:
- Renew through the University (guichets and offices available on campus for some universities, you simply bring all paperwork and copies and deposit, for this bring a lettre recommandée in order to have the récépissé returned to your address)
- Renew through the prefecture (depending on the préfecture, in Lyon you have to get there at 6am in order to wait in line, in Paris you can take an appointment online)
Remember to really keep the récépissé they hand you in a safe place, it is the only proof you have of a legal stay in France. The new titre de séjour will be ready within 6 - 8 weeks, unfortunately there is no indicator so you sort of need to try to pick it up at some point between that time.
Commonly asked questions
Does this mean you will have to renew your student visa every 3 months?
Once you receive a récipissé, which is a temporary visa, once you get the student titre de sejour it should last for one year, unless your in a special and complicated case where you aren't "inscribed" for school yet (happens in july).
For the renewal do we need to get the prefecture stamps again which can be bought online and in the tabac like I did on my first visa?
Yes. Every renewal needs these timbres or stamps, a student Visa is 58€ of stamps.
For the birth certificate, do you really need to have the original with you?
Yes. Absolutely. All original documents are needed, as well as their copies.
Do you mind giving the contact information of your translator Karen?