Now on to more practical matters in the world of getting a language assistant visa. How do you get one and what should you expect?
Book your appointment online. Do this in early summer, getting an appointment in late July or early August so you’ll have time to get the arrêté de nomination and deal with problems if they arise.
What you’ll need to take:
- Booking reciept
- Passport + 1 copy
- OFII form
- Visa application
- Arrêté de nomination + 1 copy
VERY IMPORTANT copies MUST be in black and white.
They MAY ask for
- Mail as a proof of residency
- Extra copies of your passport and arrêté de nomination
- Your flight itinerary if you have one
- Your first born child (Ok, not really, but they can ask you for more than they list on their website)
If you studied abroad, this will probably sound very familiar. Go to the address on 74th street E listed on your booking receipt. This is the visa section’s address. Map for the consular visa section- http://www.consulfrance-newyork.org/IMG/jpg/visa_map.jpg. You hand your passport and booking receipt to the guard and show that your phone is turned off. Only you are allowed inside. Once inside, you will be given a number. You sit down and wait for them to call your number and then proceed to window 1. You hand all the forms in here. They are particular about the copies being black and white, or at least were two years ago for my student visa. Have plenty of extra copies. They may ask for a piece of mail as proof of residency in the consulate’s jurisdiction. Once they have all the paperwork, you will be handed a piece of paper. There will be two hand drawn x’s on it. Sign by both of them. Both of them! Don’t make my mistake. If you’re asked to pay, don’t. Modern language teaching assistants don’t have to pay for the visa. You’ll be told to go sit back down. The next time they will call you by name. Listen closely as it may be hard to hear if people are talking and your name may be Frenchified. Personally, I love my name when pronounced Frenchily (or un-Frenchily, just not with a New Jersey accent. No offense), just have an idea of what that may sound like. This time they take your photo and fingerprints and maybe speak to you in French (yay!). You will tell them when you’re leaving for France and when you’re coming back. They can make the visa valid for one month after your arrival date. They tell you a date to come back for your visa and OFII form between 9-10AM. That’s it. You’re free! So go hang out in Central Park, which is practically across the street. If you like museums, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is only a few blocks down. It’s a really awesome museum, one of my favorites. The time you’ll wait inside the consulate depends on the day. It could be 30 minutes or 2 hours. There’s no saying. Fridays seem busier. If you did everything right, you should be able to pick up the visa about one week from the appointment. Barring technical or other problems, that is, which is why you go before September rolls around.