So remember that list of documents needed to obtain a vie privée et familiale carte de séjour due to being PACSed for a year? Let’s review and see if it was what I really needed.
1. Copy of passport & visa
2. Copy of ID card of French partner
Ok, these were fine. Except they also wanted a copy of my current carte de séjour, which I should have known they would want.
3. Birth certificate and official translation into French
I probably could have gotten by without these (and without wasting another 35 €) since they were already in my file. At least that’s what the man made it sound like…
4. Déclaration de communauté de vie (à remplir en mairie)
5. Déclaration de non polygamie (à remplir en mairie)
The mairie in Cran-Gevrier had no idea what these were, so they made us just write up an attestation on a blank piece of paper and they stamped it. Then the prefecture said we didn’t even need the non-polygamy one anyway because that’s only for people who come from countries that allow polygamy.
6. Proof of housing, with both names
Just the lease was good enough.
7. 3 ID photos
Impossible to screw this one up.
8. Last 3 pay stubs of partner
Ok, we had those, except the man also mentioned pay stubs for me… not sure why because having a job already is not a requirement in order to get the vie privée et familiale card… but then he didn’t actually require pay stubs for me. So I’m confused.
9. Justificatifs de communauté de vie antérieurs au PACS
I thought this one would be a problem since even though we’ve lived together for over a year, February to August 2007 was in Meythet. We moved to Cran-Gevrier in September. But we didn’t need any paperwork from Meythet, because we’ve been PACSed for a year, which implies we’ve lived together for a year.
Other documents needed!
I brought our original récépissé de PACS and contrat de PACS with us because I assumed they would need it (and I was right), but of course there were other documents that we needed that weren’t on the list:
- recent récépissé de PACS (less than 3 months old)
- déclaration des impôts (though I don’t understand this one since we haven’t done our joint 2007 taxes yet, and I’m not on David’s 2006 taxes…)
So we ran to the Tribunal after leaving the Préfecture, only to find out that the Tribunal d’Instance in Annecy is no longer at the Conservatoire d’Art et d’Histoire, across from the ugly-as-sin-and-soon-to-be-torn-down Centre Hospitalier. It moved to 19 Avenue de Parmelan about a year ago (so right after we got PACSed), which is next to Galeries LaFayette, and right down the street from the Préfecture.
When the Tribunal was at the Conservatoire, you just had to walk around to the back and go in to some small dark rooms. Now that the Tribunal is downtown, there’s a stupid metal detector at the entrance. And the woman at the accueil tried telling us that you can’t get a recent récépissé de PACS because… wait for it… ça n’existe pas ! Luckily she called upstairs to make sure and found out she was indeed wrong. So we got our recent récépissé de PACS, and discovered that David had never notified the mairie that he was PACSed so it could be put on his birth certificate. (Birth certificates in France constantly change, depending on if you are PACSed, married, divorced, have children, become mentally insane, etc.) Not that that really matters to the Tribunal, but it’s just that we could have given the Préfecture a copy of David’s birth certificate with the PACS info, instead of getting a recent récépissé de PACS – at least that’s the what the Tribunal says. But either way, we need some official document to prove that we are still PACSed.
I don’t know yet if I’ll have to do the medical visit again (I hope not since I just did it in December!) or if I’ll have to pay the 70 € renewal fee or the 275 € first-time fee (I’m hoping for the first, obviously). The Préfecture claims I can work with just the récépissé – and it does state that I have the right to work – but I still think most employers are going to require the actual carte…
David’s going to drop off the two missing documents tomorrow morning (they said we could just leave them at the accueil instead of both of us returning and waiting in line). And then in 4-6 weeks, I should receive my card as long as it doesn’t get lost in the mail like last summer.
So I suppose the lesson for today is to never believe the Préfecture’s list of required documents because they’re usually wrong. They would save people a lot of time if they’d just redo their lists, but I don’t imagine that happening anytime soon.