The Saga of the Titre de Sejour, French Paperwork in 4-parts. Part IV

Back to the Carte de Sejour: We now have the coveted visa so we confidently submit our file, once again.  Since it now contains the visa, they actually open it, 10 months from the original submission. Then they send us a list of additional documents that they need – actually papers to clarify the originally requested documents.  Did the thought cross our mind that we could have been gathering these papers at the same time as we waited for the visas? Yes. Did we voice that thought?  No, it would have been met with a blank look. Why would they look at an incomplete file?  We gathered the additional papers. One, a letter from the U.S. took 4 weeks.  Then it had to be translated….officially. In June, one full year after the original submission, we send off all of the additional papers. Great, accept now, I repeat, it's June, which is almost July, which is the month leading up to August when everything closes, so nothing will be done until September.  Mid-September, giving everyone a chance to get over the summer holidays, we call to check the status.  We are told it is ‘en cours’ – in process. We wait some more.  At the end of September, we are asked to come in.  We present ourselves, giddy with excitement… at last, they are here, we think! No, we are given a ‘Récépissé’ (receipt) for our file – proof that it is, indeed ‘en cours’. This is good for 3 months.  It has our photos in it, all very official. We assume that, because it is good for 3 months we will have the actual 'Titre' within that time.  Once again, we assumed incorrectly. In mid-October, just before I leave for a week to visit my mother in the U.S., we receive the notice for the medical exam…scheduled for the week I am gone, of course. We call the number given to use for re-scheduling. No problem we are told. At the end of December, 20 months into the process and 3 days before the ‘Récépissé’, expires we are given our medicals. We pass (tough one – how is your health?  Good. Good, stamp!) Another call from the secrétaire.  Once again, our hopes are up. Once again they are dashed.  Another ‘Récépissé” good for another 3 months (our first one’s expired). In the beginning of February we get another call…Hope goes up…dashed again.  They need more photos – they have used up the ones originally submitted on the two ‘Récépissé’. Off we go to get more photos.
That brings us up to date.  Friday, 22 months after we started this 2-month process we are the proud holders of expired Carte de Sejour.  Oh yes, we had to turn the official receipts in – they were valid until April 15…..
Friday, one week after receving the expired 'Titre" I submitted the renewal….. I am already 3 months behind.

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