The Joys of French Administration

I am in the process of gathering paperwork to renew my carte de séjour vie privée et familiale. I thought I had everything I needed, but no, of course not. David & I were running all over Annecy this morning so I could take my stupid ID photos and get a recent récépissé de PACS to prove that we are in fact still PACSed before handing in all the papers to the préfecture.

The préfecture told us to go to the Tribunal d’Instance in Annecy to get the récépissé de PACS. No problem, we did that last year and it worked out fine (after going to the wrong building first, then finding out it had moved to Rue Parmelan.) I had checked out their website beforehand to make sure it was still in the same place, and what do you know? It tells me that the Tribunal d’Instance has moved to the Palais de Justice on Rue Sommeiller.  Ok, we can go there instead, it’s not far away or anything.

“Oh no no, this is the Tribunal de Grande Instance. You only come here to get PACSed, not to get the récépissé de PACS. You need to go to the Tribunal d’Instance on Rue Parmelan for that.”

“Then why does the website say that the Guichet Unique de Greffe, which includes both the TGI and the TI, has moved to Rue Sommeiller?”

“The website doesn’t say that.”

“Oh really?” (Pretending to be surprised, but secretly wishing I had printed the website to shove in their faces and prove that I was right and their stupid website was wrong.)

So off to the TI, wait 30 minutes, and…

“Oh no, we don’t give récépissés de PACS. You have to get a new copy of your birth certificate if you are French because the PACS is mentioned on it, and you have to request the récépissé de PACS from the TGI in Paris if you are a foreigner, as of January 2008.”

“Then how were we able to get a récépissé de PACS here last year in March 2008 when I had to renew my carte de séjour? And why in the world did BOTH the préfecture and the TGI in Annecy tell us to come here???”

“The law has changed and they are not informed. You need to tell them that their information is not correct.”

(Laughing on the inside. Yes, the préfecture will certainly believe me when I tell them that they are wrong.)

Race to the mairie of Annecy to get David’s birth certificate. It took about 10 seconds and the ladies were so nice.  I want to go back just to talk to that adorable lady at the accueil again.

Then come home to figure out how to request my récépissé de PACS from the TGI in Paris and…

WAIT FOR IT….

their website is DOWN!!!

But really, did I expect it to be that easy? Nothing ever is in France.

So, has anyone had the pleasure of requesting a récépissé de PACS from the TGI in Paris in order to renew a carte de séjour? How exactly do I go about it?

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  • ksam

    Before Jan 1, 2007, you got it from the TGI in Paris, but when I sent a letter to them in 2007, they wrote back saying from now on, you get it from the Tribunal where you pacsed.

    And I just replied to you on another site, but I don’t know why they’re calling it a “récépissé” – every time I’ve renewed, they’ve just asked me to get a new copy of our PACS certificate from the Tribunal, with a recent date on it.

    Fab is supposed to be going to the Tribunal today to get a new one, so I’ll let you know if he has any problems or not.

  • ksam

    Before Jan 1, 2007, you got it from the TGI in Paris, but when I sent a letter to them in 2007, they wrote back saying from now on, you get it from the Tribunal where you pacsed.

    And I just replied to you on another site, but I don’t know why they’re calling it a “récépissé” – every time I’ve renewed, they’ve just asked me to get a new copy of our PACS certificate from the Tribunal, with a recent date on it.

    Fab is supposed to be going to the Tribunal today to get a new one, so I’ll let you know if he has any problems or not.

  • http://kiwigirl-infrance.blogspot.com/ Kim

    oh how frustrating for you! this is one of the most annoying things in France is to hear a different story from everywhere you go and still you have no idea what’s going on!

    Good luck, hope it doesn’t take too much time or hassle to get sorted out.

    Kims last blog post..Day 3 Week 1

  • http://kiwigirl-infrance.blogspot.com/ Kim

    oh how frustrating for you! this is one of the most annoying things in France is to hear a different story from everywhere you go and still you have no idea what’s going on!

    Good luck, hope it doesn’t take too much time or hassle to get sorted out.

    Kims last blog post..Day 3 Week 1

  • http://noemagosa.wordpress.com/ N

    My experience is that, yes, French administration is a pain in the butt, but at least you know that you will get you documents in the end… Whereas Italians… And Argentines… :roll:

    Ns last blog post..Salade niçoise

  • http://noemagosa.wordpress.com N

    My experience is that, yes, French administration is a pain in the butt, but at least you know that you will get you documents in the end… Whereas Italians… And Argentines… :roll:

    Ns last blog post..Salade niçoise

  • http://www.correresmidestino.com/ Zhu

    Phew, I feel for you. French bureaucracy is quite famous… There is always always a paper missing somewhere, somehow!

    Canada is much more efficient and straightforward, lucky me.

    Zhus last blog post..Cataratas Do Iguaçu (Brazil Side)

  • http://www.correresmidestino.com Zhu

    Phew, I feel for you. French bureaucracy is quite famous… There is always always a paper missing somewhere, somehow!

    Canada is much more efficient and straightforward, lucky me.

    Zhus last blog post..Cataratas Do Iguaçu (Brazil Side)

  • http://chezlouloufrance.blogspot.com/ Loulou

    The certainly have you running in circles! Never a dull bureaucracy moment here in France, is there?
    :)

    Looks like Ksam has the answer to your question. She’s been a great help to me too.
    Good luck!

    Loulous last blog post..La Fête du Fromage – Tomette de Vache

  • http://chezlouloufrance.blogspot.com Loulou

    The certainly have you running in circles! Never a dull bureaucracy moment here in France, is there?
    :)

    Looks like Ksam has the answer to your question. She’s been a great help to me too.
    Good luck!

    Loulous last blog post..La Fête du Fromage – Tomette de Vache

  • http://www.zurika.com/ Jul

    Ugh, I feel your pain! Italy was similarly ridiculous. Germany has its bureaucracy problems, but after living somewhere like that, I am thankful for how few hoops we had to jump through here.

    Juls last blog post..Germans love Obama and his body parts

  • http://www.zurika.com/ Jul

    Ugh, I feel your pain! Italy was similarly ridiculous. Germany has its bureaucracy problems, but after living somewhere like that, I am thankful for how few hoops we had to jump through here.

    Juls last blog post..Germans love Obama and his body parts

  • Robert

    Lire ce récit est aussi amusant que désolant…
    C’est tellement bien illustré dans cet épisode d’Astérix : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4xrbJe1RHM

    (tiré des Douze Travaux d’Astérix)

    Je suis un fan de BDs, en particulier quand elles servent de fresque sociale !! :-)

  • Robert

    Lire ce récit est aussi amusant que désolant…
    C’est tellement bien illustré dans cet épisode d’Astérix : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4xrbJe1RHM

    (tiré des Douze Travaux d’Astérix)

    Je suis un fan de BDs, en particulier quand elles servent de fresque sociale !! :-)

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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