If you are in the situation where your French visa expires before the soonest appointment available for renewal, it’s highly recommended to get a récépissé from your local Préfecture to bridge you for the time in between.

A récépissé is an official French document that declares that you have submitted a visa renewal request and are awaiting its processing.

Send a Message

If you live in Paris, you need to start by sending a message to the Préfecture here.

I sent a very simple message on a Tuesday morning and much to my surprise, 10 minutes later, I received an email response back from the Préfecture with a Convocation to get a récépissé just two days later!

Here was my original message:

Subject : Demande de récépissé
Message : Bonjour, Je souhaite avoir une récépissé parce que mon visa expire le ___ 2020 mais mon convocation est le ___ 2020. Pouvez-vous m’en fournir une s’il vous plaît? Merci beaucoup!


The email response was very simple and the Convocation included a short list of documents I needed to bring in order to get my récépissé.

Gather the Documents

Here is what the document listed that I needed to bring:

  • Photo
  • Quittance de Loyer
  • My Convocation for Visa Renewal
  • Passport

I also printed out the Convocation I needed to get the récépissé. So essentially I brought the two convocation papers.

Visit Your Assigned Prefecture

If you live in Paris, you will likely be directed to the 17th arrondissement of Paris with the exception of residents of a few arrondissements. I arrived by metro and the Préfecture is just a short walk away.

My appointment was at 9:45 and I arrived at 9:30. There were 3 people ahead of me. Two of them did not have a Convocation and were turned away, though it appears that the security guard gave them instructions on what to do. The other woman said her appointment was at 9am and she was late. The security guard and the police officer in the lobby were not happy but gave her a number anyway. I got my ticket at 9:40 and was called in at 9:50.

The woman who assisted me first asked for my Carte de Séjour, which was the large visa stamp on my passport. I handed it over to her. She then asked for my “Justificatif Domicile” which for me was my most recent Quittance de Loyer proving my address.

She asked if I had my birth certificate. This surprised me as it was not on the list of required documents. I thought I didn’t have it, so she asked me to write my parents’ names on a piece of paper. I then realized I did in fact have this on me in my folder and gave that to her to make it easier.

Lastly, she asked me for a photo which I had already prepared in a metro station and cut out. She took the cut photo and started printing my récépissé!

All in all, it was a smooth and easy process. I was out of the Préfecture by 10:04 with my récépissé in hand! 30 minutes total, not too bad.

How to Get a Récépissé from the Paris Préfecture When Your French Visa Expires Before Your Renewal Appointment Date

More from the French Long Stay Visas series:


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  1. Hello! I do not know if you would know answers to this but I have a short term type c schengen visa that is expiring on June 1st 2023. I reside in the UK. My partner has an urgent operation booked in Paris literally on 1st June too and he will need support from me post-operation. I am unable to find an earlier slot to renew my Schengen visa so I would like to ask for extension. I am wondering where can I find the Prefecture in the UK to do this as I plan to go to Paris on 29th of May? I just need extension for a week to help my partner. Thank you so much; I am super stressed about this.

  2. Hey, Can you please tell me what is the process after obtaining the Recepisse? And what is the process and timeline to get the renewal?

  3. Hi,
    Thanks for sharing your experience, it was useful. However, the link for sending messages to prefecture doesn’t work. I think they changed their procedure.

    My employer applied for my visa but they didn’t respond yet and my visa expires soon. What is the procedure to get a recipesse? or do they email you to take an appointment and then I can go apply for recepisse?

    The process is very unclear, pls help.

    1. Hi! Is this for a renewal of your visa? If so, you should have received a “Confirmation du Dépôt” document upon submitting the renewal documents online. This seems to have replaced the récépissé we used to get at the renewal appointments.

      1. Hi yes, I have this document. And I finally received my convocation its after my visa expiry date in 2 months. Not sure what to do with this ?

  4. Hi Victoria,

    I realise I’m posting this two years later but this information and has been really helpful and also given me some hope, because I’m in Lyon and find myself in this exact situation – I applied to renew my visa a month ago, which is in total three months before the expiration of my visa in October, but the earliest appointment I could get at my local prefecture is at the end of January! I’m panicking because I have two weddings abroad to go to during this time (which have been booked for ages) and am worried I won’t be allowed back in to France (I also read your article on being able to travel with a récipissé, which is encouraging).

    However, I have already emailed the prefecture in Lyon pretty much saying exactly what you did to the one in Paris, and they simply said they wouldn’t issue me any document other than my convocation for the appointment, which states that it protects my visa rights in France. I’m a bit reluctant to travel just using this though (coupled with my passport and expired visa of course) because it’s not got my photo on or anything.
    Did your convocation say anything about maintaining the rights given to you by your visa?

    Do you have any other advice on what to say to the prefecture? I’d assume that they’d be uniform across France but maybe Lyon is different to Paris. I’m thinking of heading down there and queuing without an appointment because I really need some reassurance that I can travel – I can’t miss these trips.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi James,

      I wish I could reassure you but I do not work for the Préfecture so it’s up to them to help you out with a recipissé.

      Furthermore, the renewal process has switched to online for us in Paris. We get two documents after renewing online – one saying we’ve filed for renewal, but don’t get to keep our “rights” after the end of our visa – and a second document saying the renewal has been approved and the printing of the TDS is in process, so our “rights” have been extended. I’m guessing the Lyon prefecture has not switched to the online system!

      Find a way to ask them for a recipissé, however you can! That is my best advice.

      Wishing you lots of good luck!


      1. Hello Victoria I love to see that you reply to all of your comments it’s really awesome! I’d like to outline my situation and see what you think about it. I am an American student in Paris. I currently have a physical Carte De Sejour Card. On October 1 I applied for a new Carte De Sejour because mine was expiring. As you mentioned above I received a Confirmation Du Depot ( The type of receipt you outlined above which says I do not get to keep my rights”. On 14 October my Titre De Sejour expired. I have not yet received the second document/receipt saying my application has been approved and the printing of the Carte De Sejour is in progress. I have three questions id like your input on.

        Question 1) To your knowledge is it true that I should wait for the second document/receipt of approval before scheduling my convocation to pick up my new Carte De Sejour?
        Question 2) Since I only have the first document/receipt ( Confirmation Du Depot) am I able to request a recepisse?
        Question 3) I need to go attend my mother’s 50th birthday which is outside of the Schengen. My Carte De Sejour is currently expired. If I leave the Schengen, do you think as an American I could simply return on a 90-day tourist visa?

        Thank you for any help in advance,
        Anonymous Student

        1. Hi!
          1. Yes, you should wait until you get the approval message to make the appointment.
          2. I believe the Confirmation du Depot is now the new “Récépissé” but you can try to request one if you want to.
          3. When I traveled to the US and back with my American passport, I was not asked for other documents even though I had them ready just in case. So if I were in your situation, I would do it and print out your Confirmation du Depot of the renewal. If you get asked at the border, show the paper and say you are waiting on the renewal approval. But it’s definitely a risk!

          Best of luck!

  5. Hi! In the contact form, under « Liste de Bureau » which option did you choose? I had picked Salles des Remises de Titres de Séjour and no response.

  6. Hi Victoria,

    Thank you very much for such informative articles. I also wanted to mention that your photos of French cafes are amazing! I’m planning on applying for a long stay visa in the near future. I’m currently working remotely for a U.S. company that has no presence in Europe (I live in California).
    Could you please share how you managed to renew your visa in France? Your previous article indicated the type of visa you received in the U.S. wouldn’t require you to go to OFII, thus it would be impossible to renew the visa beyond one year. Also, since I’d love to keep working remotely for the same employer, do you think this will be allowed in France as I wouldn’t have a work permit? Many thanks in advance.


    1. Hey Nina!
      I believe at the time four years ago, if you were only staying one year in France, you did not have to go to the OFII. Now, all expats staying longer than 6 months have to validate their visa online within the first three months and visit the OFII with the confirmation form received when validating online. The long-stay visitor visa is in fact renewable, after all. I’m not sure why the consulate told me it wasn’t! I wrote about renewing the long-stay visa here.

      As far as working goes, this is not legal advice but: with the visitor visa you do not have the right to work in France, at all. Some people still work online remotely with this visa even though it isn’t technically legal. I think the French authorities turn a blind eye since those people are not taking someone’s job in France – assuming the work for the American company has nothing to do with France. If you want to get a working visa, I would look into the Profession Libérale visa or the Passeport Talent visa.
      You also need to be mindful of your American employer. They might not be ok with you working from France since it makes them look like they sent an employee there and are avoiding paying French taxes. Again, none of this is legal advice, but speak with a lawyer before moving! :)

      Hope that helps!

      1. Hi Victoria,

        Thank you very much for such a detailed response. I will definitely explore both types of working visas. I would actually gladly change my current employment type to “Independent Contractor”, and pay higher taxes in France for the right to live and work (legally) there :)

        Thanks again!

  7. Hello! First of all I wanted to thank you for this extremely helpful article – but unfortunately the link provided for “sending a message to the Préfacture here” is broken. Is there any way you could provide a new link or give me advice on how to find this correct site to contact them? Thank you so much again.

  8. I am an Indian student. applied online for first carte de sejour on 10th Dec 2020 but didnt get my récépissé till now since the process was online. i am worried and tensed as i need récépissé to continue my stay and internship here in Paris. Tried visiting prefecture but i was chased away and there is no online provision to take an appointment. please help if you have any suggestion. my prefecture is Bobigny. many thanks

    1. Hello! The only advice I have is what is written in the article. Best of luck with your situation!

  9. I got into france as minor 16 years of age and the person took in got italy visa but i later ran and escape to offi home to lodge complain and i was accepted after Interviewed then later posted to another region where i am schooling but the problem am having is recepisse renewal because one month issued for me has expired, though on my appointment day i was unable to provide my identify or passport because is lost but they request i should get another passport which I did and sent to me online yet the reply I got is they were unable to give favourable response due to element i communicated to them… please what can I do because I don’t understand anymore

    1. Hi Samson! Unfortunately I cannot provide individual advice to your situation as I’m not an expert in immigration. I would recommend contacting the Préfecture at the link provided and asking them what is best! Good luck.

  10. Thank you for posting this information. I recently started a new position where I am assisting students with gathering their visas. One of the students informed me that they have to go to the 17th. This is the first time that I have heard of going to somewhere other than Hotel de Ville. Are you on a student visa or something else? How did you know to go to the 17th?

    1. Hi! No, I am not on a student visa. As I wrote in the post, I was directed to the 17ème by the Prefecture after sending a message online. They will give you a rendez-vous with a time and address and that’s where you go! From what I understand, where you go depends on the arrondissement in which you live. It’s not determined by the type of visa you have.

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