Things are finally falling into place for my ten year residence card. As some of you may already know, when I moved here spouses of French nationals were eligible for a ten year card after two years of one year cards. That changed right before I was eligible, so I had to wait an extra year. Another thing that changed for us is that because we don't live in the agglomeration of Troyes (or what we might call "the greater Troyes area" in the States) we have to go through our Mairie, or Town Hall, where they send my paperwork to the Préfecture in Troyes to be processed.
Alright, now that we're all caught up...
Last September I went to the Mairie with all my papers like a good little immigrant to start the process of having my card renewed/applying for my ten year card. I turned in everything they asked for, and a couple of weeks later they called saying that they wanted additional documents - a copy of Stéph's ID card and a written testament that we actually do live together as man and wife. At the same time I had to sit down with the head of the Town Hall so he could assess my French and see how I was adapting, all of which went fine. So that all went down in October (and now that I've typed that I'm sure I blogged about it at the time). Finally, I received my récépissé, or temporary card, that expired at the end of December when we would have to go to the Préfecture and pick up the shiny new card.
Still with me?
Now, I know I didn't blog about this because of all the other drama going on at the time, but we went to the Préfecture during the last week of December and after waiting for over an hour we were finally told that the card wasn't ready because they still hadn't received the extra documents and the letter from the head of the Town Hall here in Tiny Town. Stéph immediately knew that it wasn't the Town Hall's fault, as the Préfecture receives documents from all over the département so mine were probably just sitting in a big pile somewhere which means they were at least two months behind. Then the lady told us that we'd have to renew my récépissé, which I could do immediately, but I hadn't brought an extra photo, we didn't have enough change to take a photo in the photomat there in the Préfecture, and the office was about to close for lunch, so if we left to make change, we wouldn't be allowed back in. So she told us I could turn in the récépissé at my Town Hall with a new photo, "but you'd better hurry so you don't miss the deadline!"
My card has been in process for three months and we'd better hurry? Nice.
So last month I called the Préfecture to see if my card was ready, even though I hadn't gotten my récépissé back yet. After trying to call everyday for two weeks, I finally got through and was told that my card was not ready, but it should be ready by the time my récépissé expires at the end of April. Well, at least I knew that my répécippé had been created. The next day I stopped by the Mairie to see if they had it, and they didn't.
So. It's been a few weeks and I had a few errands to run around town today so I thought I'd stop in and see if it was there, and lo and behold it was. I am once again a legal alien with proof. (Ok, I was always legal but it still feels better to actually have the papers in my hand!) Now we just wait for the end of April for the next dance...