vendredi 27 juin 2008
Today, being one of my Fridays off, I decided that we had to go back down to the Prefecture for my tri-monthly happy happy fun time. Quick recap- we went to renew my Oct 2006 - Sept 2007 card in Aug 2007. By October had not received the Oct 2007- Sept 2008 card, and I needed it to go to China and Korea for my work, so I got a temporary recipisée for three months. Got it renewed in January. Got in again renewed in April. At the end of May I received a letter from the Prefecture. I was hoping that it was the "convocation" saying that my card was ready and to come down to the Prefecture and pick it up. Nope. They were asking for two more photos. I figured that they had lost mine. I sent in two more regular ones, the kind that you can get from one of those automated photo booths. My current recipisée expires July 3rd, so we figured that we would go today.
Alain has to go with me once a year to prove that we are still married and sign papers to that effect. Then we are able to have the file that we have to file out showing "proof" that we are still married and living together, like a bank account or something. Though how that is "proof" I don't know. I would prefer for this whole process to be shorter if they would just interview us like in the movie "Greencard" if it would mean that I didn't have to go back to the Prefecture every three months, but oh well.
Anyway, we waited in line for about an hour to get my recipisée renewed and to get the file for the next card. (will it ever end?!) We finally get to the front and the woman tells us that it is ready but that it was my fault it took so long because I didn't send in the proper photos. Well, they never specified anything about what type of photos they had to be. Alain got annoyed with her, she was speaking to us like we were children. And she cannot give us the file for the next year without my having the valid card for this year.
Anyway, she said to come back around 2 pm. However, we decided to wait anyway because we had been told before that it would be around noon. So we went upstairs to the general stuffy crowded, screaming-babies waiting room and waited for another hour.
A little before noon my name is called and I go in, and get my recipisée with a stamp on it, saying that it is good for another three months. Why they didn't make another one like the last five times, I don't know.
We asked the woman about my carte and she said that it should be ready in about a month. Also, that it wasn't a problem with the photos (format) just that they didn't scan in well.
So we will have to go back again, get the new card (which will most likely be valid for about two more months by the time I receive it) and right away get the file for next year.
After three years of one-year cards, I can get a ten-year card. Then after four years of marriage, we can start the file for me to get the nationality, which I guess takes about a year. That is, if Sarkozy doesn't change the laws for foreigners in the meantime.
Sometimes I really wish we did not live in Marseille- that way, we could go to another sous-Prefecture, such as in Aix. It might take just as long, since there is apparently only one central office that makes the cartes, but at least there wouldn't be as many people crowding around and pushing. Sometimes it is just such a struggle to live here in France. People come and visit and think it is great and how they would love to live in the South of France, but they don't see the administrative hassle- getting carte de sejours, and driving licenses, and all the rest.

2 commentaires:

screamish a dit…

Yeah. Anyone reading this who thinks you're exaggerating HAS to go down to that office and sit in the HELL that is the Carte de Sejour waiting room in Marseille.

It's a George Orwellian nightmare...I only did it a few times...now I live in a small town and its sooo much easier. Still have to wait for ages but the people are relatively normal and dont sneer at you thru bullet proof glass

amerigirl a dit…

Oh my, I went down last week to see about my renewal then they said I was too early, I didn't know it would take a year to get it... Crazy. The Prefecture in Toulon is just as bad.

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