Obligatory titre de séjour freak-out

I knew it was coming. And it’s not exactly a freak-out. But we all know by now that by the time I overcome one problem, I start obsessing about the next. My stage has come and gone and it went by without a hitch, despite the stress of setting it up. You would think I would learn from these things but no, here I am thinking about the next step and therefore about every possible contingency if things fall through.

Here’s the logic.

I’m hoping to pass the CAFEP CAPES in July, which would, if I were a European citizen, give me the automatic right to work in an assigned open position in a Catholic collège or lycée, most likely in the Poitou-Charentes region. There here would be no trouble with a titre de séjour.

Unfortunately, I’m not a European citizen, and I’m here in France as a travailleur temporaire with a valid titre de séjour until the very beginning of September.

Here’s the ideal situation: I pass the CAFEP, the Rectorat gives me the autorisation to work for them and sorts out my status at the Prefecture. I get a position in Poitiers or the Poitiers-area, move in with J, and all is peachy keen for years to come (of course that first year you do have to pass inspection in order to become a full titulaire, which means having tenure and full salary in the Catholic system). We could live our lives like a normal, un-foreign couple. (Have just e-mailed the Rectorat again to see if the woman in charge of Catholic schools knows anything about this process).

Here’s the worrisome situation: I pass the CAFEP, the Rectorat tells me that actually there is no exact procedure for approving a foreign worker without a titre de séjour salarié or vie privé (vie privé being marriage or PACS, salarié being a magical mysterious status I really know very little about). No one is able to figure it out, or there’s just actually no way to do it, and I fall through the cracks.

Here’s the contingency plan (also, by the way, the contingency plan if I don’t pass the CAFEP in July): I’ve already dropped off my file for the M2 of the MEF program in Poitiers. Most likely I’ll be accepted to that. If I pass the CAFEP yet can’t get the right to work, I’d have to ask to delay (reporter) my stagiaire (training) year, which is possible for certain reasons (I don’t know them, but among them is asking to go work abroad for a year), and which is allowed for one year. I’d move in with J in September, stay in Poitiers, do the M2 and ask to be an assistant as a recruté local in order to get by. After living together for a year, we could get PACSed which would most likely give me the right to work (the living together for one year being a requirement for that). There are a few possible hiccups in this plan: 1) Would this be a valid reason to delay my stagiaire year? 2) Would all this happen in time for me to go home and get a student visa in August? 3) Will it have been an entire year already by the time I’d need a vie privé titre de séjour?

To apply directly to work in Catholic schools, without the CAFEP, you have to have a titre de séjour salarié or vie privé (according to application forms). This is called being a suppléant. I’m starting to look into this process because of a promising opportunity that I won’t talk about for the moment. But it has started me worrying about all of the above. Obviously, I would love to get my dream job in France without relying on my boyfriend, or losing a year due to red tape.

In an effort to remain sane, I try to remind myself that I love him, and that a year isn’t all that long to wait, so would Plan B really be so bad? It’s just if things go the right way, I’m so, so, so close to having everything I want by September.

(That is, if I pass the freaking CAFEP.)

Words of wisdom are welcome. Here is the post where I recapped all the tiny bits of information publicly available about this.

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3 thoughts on “Obligatory titre de séjour freak-out

  1. If you guys are serious, get pacsed now! There is no one-year requirement for getting pacsed, the un an de vie commune only matters to the préfecture. So the sooner you get pacsed, the sooner you start accruing (and getting your name on those all-important EDF/FT/etc bills. And the sooner you’ll have the right to work. Plus if you only get pacsed right before you ask for the cds vie privée et familiale, it looks suspicious and they might deny your demand. So if you do it now, at least you know you’ll for sure have the right to work when fall 2012 rolls around…

  2. ” 2) Would all this happen in time for me to go home and get a student visa in August?”

    I changed to a student cds from a lectrice cds without going home to get a new visa. The overtime hours from my lectrice job were paid in July, so I had the 4000 needed and the prefecture let me do it. I also went in to the uni with a check all ready to register in July, or they would have waited until September to even send me the acceptance letter.

    A support letter from the parents might work too for the money part, since it works for the visa in the states. I also was already pacsed but not yet at 1 year vie commune, so I suppose his income could have counted towards the 4000 or as proof of support for the student cds, but did not have to do this so not 100% sure if that would work.

  3. ksam: You’re right, the way I wrote that makes it sound like I would wait till the last minute to do a PACS, which isn’t what I meant. I just meant that we would move in and then during that year we could get PACSed, so that by the time the titre de séjour question rolls around, we would have the un an de vie commune. I would definitely not wait till the last minute. It’s just I don’t think I’d have the brain power to work on getting all the documents together till at least August, with an actual appointment probably a couple of months later. But, thanks for the advice.

    Andromeda: I would totally prefer to change status at the prefecture rather than go home, and I’ll definitely have 4000 euros saved up by then. I’ll look into it. I just wasn’t sure if it was possible everywhere, and the Poitiers prefecture is hard (maybe impossible) to contact for questions without an appointment, and appointments can take weeks or months to get sometimes (not always).

    Thanks for the comments ladies!!

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