I still have a long way to go in collecting all the documents and ensuring they are all correct. However, I have uncovered some critical facts that I think I should pass on in the hope that they will help others. I thought I would have a look at my préfecture site (Ariège) just to see which office I would be going to in order to submit the dossier once complete. I discovered that Ariège and a cluster of other adjacent départements have delegated this function to Haute-Garonne, with a special office in Toulouse.
This in itself is not a problem, but it is just the beginning of the fun. For Haute-Garonne, you have to go on line and obtain a fixed appointment for an interview when you will be able to submit the whole dossier. Again, not so bad, although I have tried a few times with the reply "no dates currently available".
They also insist that you download their information and guidance notes ....... which turn out to be significantly different from the national ones to which there is, I think, a link on this site. Just a few points to give you an idea -
- 3 copies of the main form, not two, and must be version 2
- 3 photographs, not two
- domicile proof by EDF facture only, nothing else acceptable
- quite different rules on proof of income and assets
- dossier must include Attestation de Sécurité Sociale
- no invitation to include a page on your conribution to French life, Associations etc. up to now
- dossier must include a signed copy of La Charte des Droits et Devoirs du Citoyen Français
................ and many more.
The full impact only hits when you see the massive red print on page 1 of their notes, warning that the smallest deviation or omission will result in automatic rejection of the document, with your going back to the tail of the queue. They even state....... and this takes the biscuit .......that they will automatically reject any dossier where any of the papers are not presented IN THE RIGHT ORDER. (I have had separate confirmation of this having happened - it sounds like the French bureaucracy which we used to be warned about but which I personally have never suffered from).
SO ......... I strongly suggest you check which préfecture you will be dealing with, and which set of rules they will be applying. Sorry, it's no good saying this is nonsense and unfair. It's the way it is and any complaint will definitely merit a Gallic shrug.
Bon courage to all fellow applicants