“I’m sorry, Monsieur le Professeur. The prefecture ate my homework.”

Photo: “valid until 10/11/2011” © 2011 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved

Today marks 11 weeks (that’s almost 3 months) since I submitted the dossier to renew my residency permit, and 19 weeks and a day (that’s almost 5 months) since I showed up at the prefecture to request that renewal. (I had to wait two months after that visit just to have an appointment to drop off my dossier with someone.) My year-long student visa expired on August 15, but I have a thing called a récépissé that allows me to remain in France legally while I await my new residency permit. It expires in 2 weeks, though.

So what do I do if I don’t have my new residency permit before then (which seems increasingly likely)? Do I just walk around France as an undocumented alien while I wait for someone to call me? Well, no. I have to go back to the prefecture and stand in line for hours and hours so I can ask for another récépissé. Sigh.

I’m a student who can’t go to class, because I spend all my time asking for the papers that allow me to be a student.

French bureaucracy is off the rails. I’m just sayin’.

© 2011 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved


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