Carte de Séjour Vie Privée et Familiale: Chambéry Version

Even though I just renewed my CDS at the end of March in Annecy, since we moved to a new département, I had to apply for a whole new card instead of simply changing my address on it. The last time I moved, I stayed within the same département, so they just put a sticker on the back of my card. I waited in line for over an hour at the préfecture in Chambéry yesterday to find out that I needed to bring in all of the documents I had just given to the Annecy préfecture 3 months ago.

Here’s Chambéry’s list of required documents for the VPF card due to PACSing:

  • Copy of current CDS (if renewing); entry visa; and passport, but not just the photo page – every single page that has a stamp or visa on it
  • Copy of ID card of partner
  • 4 ID photos
  • Birth certificate (but it’s not specified if it needs to be less than 3 months old – mine sure wasn’t! Nor is it specified that a translation in French is required)
  • Justificatif de domicile (facture EDF, eau, ou quittance de loyer)
  • Justificatif des ressources (tax returns and/or bulletins de paies)
  • Certificat de PACS (again, not specified it if needs to be less than 3 months old; I also gave a copy of the actual contract just to be thorough)
  • Attestation sur l’honneur de communauté de vie (provided by préfecture, but your partner must be there to sign it with you)

Today was David’s last day off before he starts work, so I wanted to get to the prefecture first thing this morning and hand over all the papers. I was a little worried about the birth certificate situation since it’s from 2006 and the translation was just a copy of the translation I had done in 2006 as well. But the lady didn’t even bother checking the dates. And luckily the certificat de PACS that I got in March was still within the usual “less than 3 month old” requirement (by one day!), so I lucked out on that one too.

And then the lady completely forgot about the attestation for the communauté de vie, so I had to remind her that David & I both needed to sign it to complete my dossier. I love having to tell fonctionnaires how to do their job.

I will be convoqué later on to go back and pick up my récépissé since apparently Chambéry does not print them right away for you like Annecy does. But of course, I got to keep my current CDS anyway, so it’s not like I really need it for anything.

One task accomplished so far. Only about 47 more to go.

Moving was the easy part.

Settling in is the hard part. I am very anxious to just feel at home in the new place, but it’s difficult without furniture in certain rooms. But because it’s Sunday, almost all stores are closed and I can’t accomplish much. I’m going crazy with the lack of, well, everything in the kitchen because it […]

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The Beauty of Istanbul

Aya Sofya (Hagia Sophia) Blue Mosque Basilica Cistern Istiklal Caddesi when it’s not busy Shopping on Istiklal Grand Bazaar Spice Market New Mosque across the Bosphorous Galata Tower Random adorable cat # 2,547 French Quarter Çay (Tea) Hope to see you again someday, Turkey!

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Istanbul in one word: AMAZING

Istanbul was the most beautiful, interesting, amazing place I have ever been. I loved the mixture of old and new and east and west. It is very European in some ways, and not so European in other ways. Trying to figure out Turkish was slightly exhausting as it’s not an Indo-European language, but now I […]

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Thoughts on: Trip, Apartment, and Conference

Trip: Of course my trip was amazing. We saw so many places and I took far too many photos. The weather was mostly hot and sunny and we didn’t have any major traveling problems. I feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface of all the wonderful sites France has to offer, and I’m dying […]

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Week Two: La Camargue and Languedoc-Roussillon

La Camargue Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer La Grande Motte Montpellier Nîmes Pont du Gard Carcassonne

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Week One: Milan, Côte d’Azur and Provence

Just a few photos for now… Milan Lake Como Nice Monaco Antibes Cannes Aix-en-Provence Saint-Remy-de-Provence Fontvieille

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One trip down, one to go

I’m back in Chambéry! Almost 500 photos to sort through and upload, 3 days of work this week, and then Jason and I are off to Istanbul at 7 AM Saturday morning. I love love love the south. Still want to move to Provence. Vacation was too short, as always. Need to finish unpacking and […]

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Off to Milan, and then Southern France

Michelle and I leave tomorrow morning at 10:45am for Milan, and then we’re heading back to France via Nice, and then over to Aix-en-Provence and Montpellier (and all the cool villages in between). We just spent the past two days in Chambéry and Annecy wandering around the old towns and the lake. Today I found […]

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Still No Answer… But Michelle Arrives on Sunday!!!

We still don’t know if we got the apartment. Hopefully they will tell us Monday morning, and they let us sign the lease the same day or early Tuesday since I leave for Milan at 10:45 AM. If not, I have no idea what we’ll do. I’ll be back the 30th, but David will be […]

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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.


The 2nd edition of French Language Tutorial is available as a PDF book. It has been updated with much more vocabulary, sample sentences, and cultural information, plus extended vocabulary lists, cross-referenced topics, and an alphabetical index.

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