Closing the Loop

I did it again. I let weeks and weeks go by without writing anything for the blog. I’m sorry about that. I’ve had some news to share with you, but I’ve been (1) busy with the new job, (2) chronically sick with a tenacious springtime head cold and, most recently, and (3) on vacation in the States. Since today marks the one-month anniversary of my last visit to the prefecture, though, I made some time today to share that story with you before it becomes really old news.

Now, if you haven’t read about my visit to the prefecture back in February, you should read it here. It’s too unbelievably good to skip. Go ahead; I’ll wait …

You’re back? We’re on the same page now? Cool. Okay. So …

After that February visit (my seventeenth visit to the prefecture since April 2011), I had to go back to the prefecture in Bobigny (my eighteenth visit since April 2011) to get yet another récépissé (the document that proves you’re legally in France even after your residency permit has expired) and — crucially — put my 106€ in revenue stamps in a very safe place until my corrected residency permit was finally ready. Well, the récépissé part went relatively well but the revenue stamps part … well … let’s just put it this way:  “If you put something valuable in an envelope, write what it’s inside on the outside. Otherwise, you might end up throwing it in the trash.”

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 1.32.18 PM

On March 26, I got an SMS from the sub-prefecture telling me that my corrected permit was ready and that I had an appointment to pick it up on April 7 at 10:45. Woohoo!

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 1.44.39 PM
“Sub Pref St Denis : RDV April 7 from 10:45 am to 11:30 am to pick up your residency permit [_____] with #amount#E in revenue stamps + passport”

Interestingly, the amount I had to bring in revenue stamps was blank in the SMS (#montant#E). As much as I wanted that to mean that my permit was free — because of all the grief the prefecture had put me through during the previous three years, of course — I knew better. It was back to the Public Finance Center for another 106€ in revenue stamps for me.

When I went back to the sub-prefecture on the 7th (my nineteenth visit to the prefecture since April 2011), it was with a bit of trepidation; I was convinced that something was bound to go wrong. In the end, though, after just twenty minutes in the waiting room, they called my number, I walked up to the window, and I signed for my new residency permit:

“Temporary Residence Card … Private and Family Life, authorizes its holder to work”

Whew! No errors! No more prefecture ...

… until November, at least.

To be continued … of course.

© 2014 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved


6 thoughts on “Closing the Loop

  1. I just don’t understand why in the world you don’t have at least a 5 year titre de sejour. Even I have one of those now. I have learned that it’s more difficult for non EU people who marry French citizens than those who marry EU citizens…a strange, incomprehensible, and unfair quirk of the law. But hownis it that you have abtemporary card again? And don’t worry about not posting…we’re just glad to hear from you!

    1. As I understand it (and who knows the truth?), my next card will be a 10-year card but, in the meantime, I’ll probably apply to naturalize based on the marriage to a French citizen. We will have been married for four years in July, and (again, as I understand it) I’ll have the right to ask for citizenship after July 19. Keep your fingers crossed!

      1. My fingers are crossed for you. I know eventually you’ll have citizenship, and you are a very patient man. 🙂 I want to send you some information about my son, in the hope that you might just tweet about it and like it on FB. I’ll explain in an email in the next couple of days. Hope that’s okay. ❤

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