My Love Affair with the Préfecture: A Timeline

October 2006: Apply for first Carte de Séjour at Seynod mairie
December 2006: Receive récépissé #1 in Seynod
February 2007: Receive first CDS travailleur temporaire due to being a language assistant; but need to change adress on it already since I had moved. Since I stayed within the same département, a sticker with the new address is placed on the back of the card.
March 2007: Apply for second CDS at Meythet mairie
May 2007: Receive récépissé #2 in Meythet
June 2007: CDS gets lost in the mail (uknown to me)
August 2007: Re-apply for second CDS at Annecy préfecture; receive récépissé #3 same day
October 2007: Receive second CDS visiteur due to being PACSed, but not having lived together for one year
December 2007: Apply for third CDS; receive récépissé #4 at Annecy préfecture same day
January 2008: Discover that Paris sent the wrong CDS; re-apply for third CDS, receive no récépissé
March 2008: Receive correct third CDS travailleur temporaire due to being language assistant again
April 2008: Apply for fourth CDS at Annecy préfecture; receive récépissé #5 same day
June 2008: Receive fourth CDS vie privée et familiale due to being PACSed and having lived together for one year; and finally have the full right to work in France!

Updates:

March 2009: Wander all over Annecy trying to find out where to request a recent récépissé de PACS that is needed in order to renew my CDS vie privée et familiale for another year. Finally discover that I need to request it from the TGI Paris, but their website no longer exists and they never answer the phone. (Address & Info on what to do is here.)  Finally get the stupid récépissé de PACS and hand in all the paperwork to the préfecture in Annecy. No récépissé though since they assured me I would receive my new CDS before the old one expires.
May 2009: Pay 70€ to a tabac to buy OMI timbres which the préfecture requires. My new CDS vie privée et familiale is actually there with the correct information so I am set for another year in France!
June 2009: Moved to Chambéry, which is in a different département, so instead of just putting a sticker on my current CDS to change the address, I have to re-apply from scratch! Same exact papers that I just gave to the préfecture in Annecy a month ago. ::sigh:: (Luckily none of them were too old, so I didn’t have to get any new documents.)  Find out the préfecture in Chmabéry does not give out récépissés immediately.
July 2009: Receive a convocation to go pick up my récépissé, which is good until September 30.
September 2009: Return to préfecture to ask if my CDS has arrived yet and what to do when my récépissé runs out in a week. No CDS because Annecy has not yet sent my file to Chambéry and I’ll be sent another convocation when my new récépissé is printed so I can go pick it up.
December 2009: Still waiting for a new récépissé and new CDS with my Chambéry address on it. Something tells me I will not receive either one…. My CDS (with my old address in Annecy on it) is good until May 2010, so I’m not that worried about it. I have to do the renewal process in March anyway, so I don’t bother going back to the préfecture to ask what’s going on. I’m sure the answer is: Annecy has not yet sent your file.

March 2010: Still no news about CDS with Chambéry address, but it’s time to renew it anyway. Turned in all the paperwork on the 9th and was told my change of address card (that I applied for in JUNE) would arrive in a few days.  A few days meant 16 days later, on the 25th. Chambéry just said Annecy never wanted to send my dossier so that’s why it took so darn long.

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  • http://unautrejp.blogspot.com/ Justin

    hey… I like the new blog!

  • http://unautrejp.blogspot.com/ Justin

    hey… I like the new blog!

  • I me grant

    this bolg is awesome! i’m (we are) dealing with the same visa issues !! thx pour les conseils about the CDS!

  • I me grant

    this bolg is awesome! i’m (we are) dealing with the same visa issues !! thx pour les conseils about the CDS!

  • lo

    the carte de sejour thing is sooo stressful. im glad im not the only one wishing it was simpler….

  • lo

    the carte de sejour thing is sooo stressful. im glad im not the only one wishing it was simpler….

  • kelicacy

    Hello! I am confused and maybe you can help. A company in France is applying for my CDS, but do I need to be doing anything here in the States, likely applying for a long-stay visa? Is that different? I guess it must be… or do I need to apply for the visa after I get the CDS?

    Merci!

  • http://www.ielanguages.com Jennie Wagner

    You can’t apply for a CDS until you have your long-stay visa and are in France. The company that is hiring you needs to send paperwork to the French consulate that serves your state/province in your home country and the consulate will contact you when they need you to come in for your appointment. They will tell you what paperwork to bring. Depending on what type of visa you get, you might need to apply for a CDS within 3 months of arrival in France, or it might be valid for an entire year and then you would apply for a CDS (which is equal to renewing your visa) for another year if you are still employed by the same company.

Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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