I am informed that online residence permit renewals are being rolled out department by department. Anyway, my wife and I, who arrived with a VLS-TS visa in September, have just renewed ours online (we are in Gard 30) and it was much easier than expected.
We just logged in Foreigners in France which is the same website we used to validate our visas on arrival. Used our login credentials and ID number that we obtained during visa validation. You can switch to English if you wish!
From the main screen, you select “apply or renew a residence permit”.
The process is very similar to the ANTS system for exchanging driver’s licenses. You are asked a series of questions and attest to a number of things. Nothing too unexpected, except the “I certify that I do not live in France in a state of polygamy”.
Interestingly, the system had my wife’s “birth name” incorrect and showed the name under which her visa was issued, her married name. This also happened to our friend who was in the same situation. There is a space where you can leave comments for the reviewer. We just noted down the correct birth name and noted down his use name. I must think they are used to seeing this.
Conveniently, the system will tell you the amount of resources you need to demonstrate in your finances, so no more guesswork about “is that enough”.
After answering the questions, you upload your supporting documents. From memory, we provided:
1. Passport data pages.
2. Residence permit (in our case a copy of our visa and the validation letter)
3. Proof of residence (certificate of subscription from our electricity company)
4. Digital code of our local photo booth machine
5. Proof of financial resources. We uploaded a file with four-month bank statements showing regular deposits above the monthly minimum.
6. Proof of health insurance. We have downloaded a copy of our “Certificate of health insurance rights” and for good measure our certificate from our mutual insurance company.
No birth certificates, marriage certificates, translations, etc.
We submitted the application on June 24. You will then be able to download a “confirmation of deposit” form.
We had an answer on June 28. They wanted me to make a correction and upload my visa separately from my passport pages, although they didn’t ask my wife to do the same.
Later that day, we received emails stating that we were approved and were able to download a “favourable decision certificate”. The system has also notified us that our maps are being produced and we will be notified by the prefecture when it is ready. At that time, I think we will have an appointment to collect it and have our fingerprints taken, and have the option of paying our tax stamps for €200 each.
So remarkably easy and fast….so far.