The prefecture in Poitiers has been a little ridiculous this year. Last year, everything was smooth:
- Appointment made for mid-August. I called a little late to get the appointment because I had wanted to wait for my contract to be ready, which was mid-July, by which time their earliest appointments were in October (my cds expired end of August). But in the same telephone conversation the woman found me an open appointment in August. Score.
- Actual appointment in mid-August. Besides some freaking out about justificatifs de domicile that I had forgotten to get till the last minute, this went smoothly. First and only récépissé delivered. I had to send in a few documents later (pay stubs, when the university re-opened).
- Convocation received in October to come pick up my new carte de séjour. Tax stamps bought to pay for the carte. Under three months time. Like I said, smooth.
This year, it was an entirely different story.
- Appointment made (in June this time) for early August. Papers filled out with the rectorat two weeks before.
- Actual appointment went smoothly (still a justificatif de domicile to send in afterward because I was about to move). Woman warns me to make a new appointment right away since it will possibly be more than three months this time. Appointment made right away for late October, the week before the récépissé expires.
- Actual appointment in October. Woman tells me that the carte should be ready “soon”, but says that I should make a new appointment just in case. I don’t have time to call immediately and leave for Tours for my training.
- I call four days later. There are no appointments available within three months. Woman on phone seems utterly unprepared for this possibility (surely am not the only one calling about this??? wtf Poitiers pref!). I make an appointment anyway for the 8th of February (after the new récépissé expires) and woman says to call again to see if there are any cancelations. I warn all my friends to make their new appointments in advance.
- I call this morning to see if there are any cancelations available. My appointment has already been canceled because my carte is ready! Woman informs me that the letter went out yesterday and my appointment to pick it up is, unfortunately, twenty-five minutes after my last class ends on a Thursday. Am going to try to trade that hour with someone because it seems there are no other possibilities for an appointment.
I have three primary reactions to this:
- WTF Poitiers pref?? Seriously?! No appointments available within three months and they just decide to not do anything about it.
- Things must sort of suck over there right now though. Numerous reports are circulating about the immigrants sent home because of new policies from Claude Guéant, the minister of the interior: (articles in English): The New York Times, Global Voices Online, Foreign Policy Blog. I wonder if this process might be screwing things up for the people working at the Poitiers pref.
- Relief. This was the first time I was asking for a carte de séjour not in the framework of a position expressly for a native speaker (assistant, lecteur, maître de langue), and I was slightly worried with the new immigration policies that I might get refused, even though this carte de séjour is still a temporary one, and so not really the target of these new policies. Every once in a while I’d worry that I might be refused, and have to stop working, and fight for my rights, or something, like this woman did (article in French, here in English).
I also got the last piece of paper for our PACS in December (certificat de non-PACS), so looks like everything paperwork-wise is pretty much set! (Till I ask for a vie privée cds next year!)