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.

Dr. Wagner has a PhD in Linguistics and is dedicated to learning and teaching languages online and abroad. She has studied in Quebec and Australia, taught English in France, and is currently based in the US.