Now that we’re married, I qualify for a “vie privée et familiale” residency card – the French equivalent of a green card for spouses . As my student residency card is up in October, we decided to head to the Prefecture to ask for an appointment straight away (i.e. less than a week after the wedding).
The French Prefecture is always a fun fun place to go (note the sarcasm), but at least this time, J was accompanying me so I wouldn’t have to wait alone. After handing over document after document (and this was just to make an appointment!) and her criticizing our proof of address even though I’ve always used said document (and always less than 3 months old of course!), she finally agreed to let us make an appointment.
She gave us the long list of documents we need to provide (Including a photocopy of each page in my passport! I just renewed it last week, so it is completely empty) and then turned to her computer. She was like the first available appointment is the 10… I thought to myself “October, not so bad”, December. What?! Nothing available until December?!
She then asked someone higher up if she could give me a récépissé (basically an extension on my current card while waiting on my appointment). Nope, she couldn’t as it’s a change of status. I can have one the day of my appointment though while I wait for the actual card. Oh, yay. And their advice? Don’t leave France after October.
This means that I get to sit around doing nothing from October to December. I hope to give English lessons, job search (though I can’t prove I’ll have the right to work), and hang out with Elliot (who will be ecstatic), but legally, I can’t do anything. And as it’ll be the holidays, I probably won’t be able to really start looking until January. It was a real punch in the stomach for us.
But it gets even better. Another girl in my class also just got married and headed to the Prefecture after hearing there are no appointments until December. She was super super lucky. Someone had just canceled, and they had an appointment in September!
I will officially be the only person in my class who can’t work after graduation. All the other foreigners applied for the APS (a way for foreign students to work for a year after graduating), but I didn’t because I was getting married, and now it’s too late. Fun fun.
On the upside, updating our file at the CPAM was a snap (who would have thought?). And the paperwork is far from over. After I do finally get my new card, I need to go about exchanging my driver’s license.
When will the paperwork be over? Who am I kidding? This is France, there is always paperwork.
So if you have ideas of what I can do to occupy my time once I finish my internship at the end of September and when I can finally work, I’m all ears.