So this year, as I may have already mentioned, I’m asking for a “vie privée” carte de séjour. In English, that means a family residence permit. Since J and I are PACSed and not married, that means proving a year of living together, which we can do, because my residence card expires August 31st and we moved in together August 25th last year (I know, we cut it close, but there were just no good houses to be had before then).
All year long I knew I’d be applying to change status so I kept every bill we ever got. I had our renters’ insurance contract, our water and electric bills, our rent receipts, and since the prefecture asked for them, I got our separate (but same address) health insurance/social security attestations.
Back in May, J and I declared our taxes. The first year of the PACS you can still do it separately so we ran the application twice to see how much it would cost. Individually, it cost us 80 euros less. So we declared individually. At the time, I wondered if I would regret such a decision for a measly 80 euros.
Yes, yes I would. At my prefecture appointment a couple of weeks ago, I turned in everything and the agent said that I needed to bring in our “avis d’imposition” (tax notifications). I mentioned that we had declared separately and she said it didn’t matter, we could just get an attestation from the Tax Service saying we’d declared at the same address.
Turns out, after a couple of phone calls to the Tax Service and rummaging through J’s papers (he hadn’t kept a receipt of his internet declaration OR kept his original mail-in declaration), that J forgot to change his address when he declared. According to the tax service, he still lived at our old flatshare*. JOY. We wrote to them to change it, because he needs to pay his housing tax here and not there, but they can’t give us any sort of attestation since he sort of (precisely) declared, on his honor, that he lived somewhere else. JOY. The only thing we can have from the tax people with both our names on it at the same address will arrive in October or November, and that’s the housing tax.
I wrote a letter to the prefecture this morning saying all of those things, sending in MY receipt for my internet declaration (because I am organized like that), and hoping that they’ll let it pass this year, since the tax calendar doesn’t really lend itself to a residence card application in June (official tax bills won’t arrive till August).
What have I learned from this? I’ll be on J’s back from now on about any paperwork that might help me stay in the country.
I’m counting on this working out, as it always has, with more or less angst on my part. But honestly, I hate asking for a carte de séjour. It always reminds me that the French could kick me out of the country if they wanted to (though the ties to J through the PACS are a bit stronger than what I had before), and that normal people who live in their native countries don’t deal with this mess. It’s not even on their radar. They can feel free to screw up their taxes and without it messing up things for their copine.
*Oddly enough, our taxe d’habitation from two years ago, when we were just flatmates, has only our two names on it, without the other two flatmates.