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The importance of the medical examination, signing of the republican contract and language training necessary to obtain a multi-year residence permit.


A foreigner admitted for the first time to stay in France and who wishes to live permanently in the country commits to be effectively involved in a personalized republican integration program.

This program has the following objectives:

  • The understanding by the foreigner of the values and principles of the French Republic;

  • Providing newly arrived foreigner’s means to learn or improve their French language skills;

  • Social and professional integration;

  • Empowerment.


The Republican Integration Contract, a framework for the integration program

The signing of a Republican Integration Contract (CIR), generally applied after 2007, signifies the commitment of the foreigner in the Republican integration program and is carried out by the French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII).

The CIR is signed by all foreigners, including refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, authorized for the first time to reside legally in France and who wish to settle there permanently, called “newly arrived foreigners”.

The following persons are exempt from signing the CIR:

  • a foreigner holding one of the following residence permits: visitor, trainee, temporary worker, person born in France and having resided there for at least 8 years, foreign patient, highly qualified foreigner, foreign entrepreneur, or foreign artist eligible to the “talent passport”, family member of a “talent passport” holder (passeport talent famille), seasonal worker and intracompany international assignee;

  • a foreigner who has completed his schooling at a French secondary school in France or abroad for at least three academic years, or who has completed higher education in France for a at least one academic year;

  • foreigners aged 16 to 18 who are eligible for a residence permit and who meet the conditions for acquiring French nationality;

  • a third country national from a Member State of the European Union, from another State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area or from the Swiss Confederation.

Foreigners who have not signed a CIR when entering French territory, either because they were exempt or because they arrived in France before this mechanism was in place, may request to voluntarily sign a CIR by contacting the OFII’s territorial directorate closest to their place of residence.


The personalized initial interview

Upon his/her arrival in the territorial platforms of the OFII, the newly arrived foreigner benefits from a personalized interview. This interview represents an actual stage of the assessment of the foreigner’s personal situation and needs. It allows one’s social, family and professional situation to be taken into consideration, and helps to accordingly direct him towards the local services that correspond to his needs.

During this interview, two mandatory trainings courses are prescribed:

  • civic training;

  • language training to reach level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), if the need is identified after an evaluation of the language level (oral and written).

Based on the foreigner’s situation and needs, he/she is directed to additional language training and to an employment public services operator for an in-depth interview for professional orientation, followed by appropriate support. If he is not looking for employment, or does not wish to benefit from this support, he may contact the officer to request for an exemption.

Civic training

In order to better appropriate the principles of the French Republic and the values of French society, foreigners are required to participate in civic training. In March 2019, the duration of this training lasted up to four days. It consists of five topics:

  • The picture of France: The main characteristics of France and the fundamental landmarks (geographical, historical, ways of life...) are given. The focus is on the principles and values that form the basis for life in France and the balance between rights and duties.

  • Health: The objective is to help foreigners to quickly identify health professionals and to accompany them in the necessary steps to exercise their rights.

  • Employment: The training explains the legal framework of the French labour market, its main support structures, provides advices for an effective job search and have one’s experience recognised. It also explains the code of life at work, and the opportunities for skill development that become accessible with vocational training.

  • Parenting: This new subject emphasises the concept of parental authority and the rights of children. It also deals with issues related to childcare and schooling.

  • Accommodation: Several courses are dedicated to housing to help foreigners find an accommodation adapted to their circumstances and to remind them of the regulatory conditions and of the criteria for living in a proper accommodation.

How does the welcome visit to the OFII take place?

The OFII medical examination is a completely free check-up and prevention examination.

On the day of the medical examination, bring (if applicable) your glasses, your medical prescriptions and your health record. In addition to medical procedures, its role is to inform you about the French health system and to advise you on care adapted to your situation.

At the end of the visit, you will obtain a medical certificate attesting that you meet the conditions authorizing your stay in France.

All non-European Union nationals are invited to attend this medical examination by OFII, in order to benefit from a complete, free health check-up and a medical certificate that will help them obtain a residence permit.

Although not compulsory for everyone, the OFII medical certificate must be attached to your requests for:

  • residence permit for medical reasons ;

  • renewal of residence permit for medical reasons;

  • Resident Card. 

Note that a medical certificate from the OFII, attached to your application file for a student residence permit, talent passport or even for family reunification can increase your chances of obtaining the document you are requesting. 


Language training

Learning French is an essential requirement for integrating French society. Thus, from his/her first appointment in the territorial platform of the OFII, the foreigner takes a test in order to assess his written and oral skills in French. Depending on the results and the needs identified thereof, six language training courses may be required.

The A2 level is required for a ten-year residence permit. The B1 level is required for French citizenship.

The language training is prescribed if you have obtained results below level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) in the French language proficiency test. It is mentioned in the CIR and you undertake to follow it. At the end of the training, the training organization will provide you with an attestation of attendance, indicating the number of hours worked and the results obtained on the evaluation tests.

You are dispensed language training if you are in one of the following situations:

  • You scored at or above the CEFR A1 level on the French test

  • You justify mastering this level by producing diplomas or tests

As soon as the language level is assessed at the time of signing the CIR, but also at the end of the A1, A2 and B1 trainings, the foreigner can, within a certain time limit, have his language level certified by a specialized agent and use this certification to help his integration and search for a job. This certification fee is covered by the State.


Final CIR interview

Since 2019, the OFII invites the foreigner to another interview at least three months after the end of his trainings. This interview allows to make an assessment about the followed trainings and his personal situation, so that he can be oriented towards the available local services that are the most appropriated for the rest of his process.


The CIR as a balance between rights and duties

By signing the CIR, the foreigners can benefit from trainings, guidance and advice adapted to their situation, provided free of charge by the State. In return, the foreigners are to follow with diligence and commitment the trainings and not to express any reject of the core values of the French society and the French Republic.

Compliance with these obligations along with the other conditions required for a residence permit, is the requirement for the issue of a multi-year residence permit of 2 to 4 years after one year of legal residence.

The contract may be terminated by the Prefect on the OFII’s proposal if it finds that the foreigner, with no valid reason, does not participate in a required training, or doesn’t respect its commitments in accordance with the framework of the CIR, without prejudice to any measures that might be taken by the Prefect regarding the right to stay.

It is important to keep in mind that, for certain residence permits such as the employee or the “vie privée et familiale” visas, if the procedure and trainings are not conducted, the prefecture will suspend the renewal of the permit until they are completed.


In case the OFII does not summon you for the interviews or trainings explained, we can help you obtain an appointment with them. Contact us for further information and/or assistance!

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