(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Monday, July 20, 2009

another milestone achieved.

I am no longer classified as a "visiteur" to France via my Carte de Sejour.

I applied for a revised residency card, allowing me to own a business and have an income ... or work independently. In order to receive this, I had to complete paperwork regarding my business plan, projected income, resources to support the business, etc.
I had to provide attestations from my bank and pictures of my inventory. Several trips to the prefecture were required as I either did not understand the requirements fully or additional documentation was requested. In addition, I had two meetings with the Chambre de Metiers to sort things out further.

Le monsieur at the prefecture has been nothing but cordial and helpful. We reached a stumbling block mid-way ... the chambre de metier would not issue my SIRET number without a carte de sejour change to commerçant / professionel and the prefecture would not change my carte de sejour without a SIRET number! After my 3rd trip to the prefecture, he took pity upon me. Excusing himself, he disappeared for about 20 minutes ... he spoke with Madame at the Chambre de Metier and convinced her she could issue the number.

I immediately called and set an appointment. She too was nothing but kind during our meeting, very curious about my new home and activities. Returning to the prefecture, le monsieur decided I had waited long enough. He disappeared again and returned with my temporary Carte de Sejour ... which is typically mailed to the mairie. From that moment, I could conduct business.

But in my mind nothing was official until last Friday ... when my postal carrier delivered my letter from the mairie, summoning me to retrieve my new carte de sejour. Almost as good as my new status is the fact that I have a new, up-to-date photo, minus several chins!!!

I now have my SIRET number, a new Carte de Sejour approved for my second year and commerçant / professionel status.

With this change, it is also possible for me to receive my Carte Vitale, which is the French health care card. My taxes paid will also contribute towards a small retirement fund.

um regarding the carte vitale ... anyone out there have some good tips for applying / receiving? my next residency project awaits!

All in all, telling you I am quite satisfied, trés contente, would be a hell of an understatement!


La Framéricaine said...

And don't I know what an understatement it would be!

Felicitations, ma chère! You are too cool for words. I am not the least bit surprised that the French are conspiring to help you in many ways, large and small. I can hardly wait to discuss it all with you in the flesh, hopefully, over wine and tête de cochon paté!

Loulou said...

Bravo! and my sincere congratulations!

Go to the nearest CPAM with all of your documents to apply for the Carte Vitale. (passport, EDF/France Telecom bill, etc.)

Randal Graves said...

Enjoy the nanny state, commie.

Evelyn said...

Congratulations! I've done some research and know just how hard this simple little card is to acquire!!

Cynthia in the French Alps said...

Way cool! Congrats on this major accomplishment! I received my Carte de Sejour enabling me to work two weeks ago, AND my French Drivers License on the same day. What a relief for both of us! Too bad we don't live near each other or I'd have you here for some champagne. Cynthia

JChevais said...

I seem to remember that I had to take my work contract in. But since you'll be your own boss, this throws everything off kilter.

My advice. Go to the CPAM with everything you took to the prefecture and the Chambre des métiers, your passport, your birth certificate... do you have a lock of Johnelle's first hair? You'll probably need it.

That way, you'll only be missing one or two pieces of paper that nobody knew existed.


I remember doing my carte de séjour once (when I still need to do it, I have a british passport) and the one thing the woman wanted, was my French husband's ID card. Even though it wasn't mentioned on the things that I needed to bring in. Luckily, I had grabbed it off the table right before going to my meeting. No lie.

Congratulations my dear. You're doing what many a French(wo(man)) fears to do most in this country: own a business. GO GET EM TIGER!