22 Months Later ……………………………….
Written July 12, 2013
Did someone very important say once, “It is necessary to have goals and work hard to get anything done in this life.” Yes, I’m sure. I think many people over the course of centuries have said this profound sentence. SO! That being said …….. Vacations are your reward, usually. So when you leave your country and visit another for a vacation, it’s meant to be relaxing, – hopefully. When you leave your home country to stay and work in another country, on your own, without the benefit of a COMPANY* doing the paperwork FOR you, it is not a vacation, it is complicated and triple the work.
That being said, I wouldn’t have traded that “surprise of bureaucracy” for anything, because it is worth it to live in France.
Today, 12th Juillet 2013, 22 months after arriving in France, my coveted Titre de Sejour, arrived in my hands. I wrote about round 1 of this process in __________. The Carte de Sejour is like the “green card” for foreigners living and working in the United States. It is the French equivalent. It costs a fortune for the GREEN CARD. It costs NOTHING but your time in bureaucracy in France.
*( my friend Eleanor, had carte blanche everything rolled out for her when she and husband did a 5 year stint with an oil company in Paris. Not only were they able to bring every stick of furniture, every dish, from their Texas home, but also their antique piano, down to the quilts on their beds. Her Titre de Sejour was handed to her, with no trekking, no filing, no paperwork.)
For me, NONE of this, – the paperwork, the translations, the legwork, would have been possible for me, without my husband. He’s the one that used all the French in speaking and comprehension, untold trips back and forth from Paris to Pointoise for the Social Security and Paris to Sarcelles GENDARMARIE for the monthly disappointment of bureaucrats flipping through our enormous file , slamming it shut, and saying emphatically, “you need more of this this and this…….so- “NON” and Good day!
We started the process over when moving from Paris to Marseille, and within a few months, were able to actually see the forest for the trees – SO, lesson here? = it depends on 1) How much French you comprehend and can speak 2) how much work you’re willing to do, 3) where you are living 4) the particular Gendarmerie that is assigned to you dependent on your house address and 5) who you get in front of you when confronting the Bureaucrat with your file, – for that coveted card.
The following are coming……photos of my day, and the little celebration that my husband and I enjoyed despite a week long marathon teaching schedule on his part for extra classes. He’s a little “coup de barre” (hit over the head tired) from the holiday classes this week, but he shared so much in my happiness to get my coveted Carte de Sejour or in French, “Titre de Sejour” enabling me to reside, live and work in France.