Carte de sejour interview

I’ve recently applied for my Carte sejour and am awaiting my interview.
Other than fingerprints and passport photos, what else happens?
My conversational French is not too confident at the moment (obviously something that I’m working on), could this cause a problem?
Would be grateful to hear what others have experienced.
I’m in Le pays de Loire (Sablé-sur-Sarthe) area.

Not an issue at all. Fingerprints, hand over the photo, answer a couple of questions, ie. how many children you have and whether they live in France and we had to write down our parents’ previous names but other than that plain sailing. I do speak French so wasn’t too bad but they do tend to get by in English so think you’ll be fine

1 Like

If you have a mobile phone a helpful App to download is ‘Say Hi’. You speak English into it and it converts it into French, or whatever other language you may want. Good luck with your interview, just relax.

Recently received my Carte de Sejour in Manche(50). Appointment was for 11am. Got there spot on time, straight to the appropriate desk, Said “Bonjour”, laid down passport and photos. Waited two minutes whilst paperwork was matched up, then asked to place my fingers on the machine, then my thumbs, signed my name on a form the lady had just printed out, and was bid “bonne journee” and that was it.

Yup. Surprised me as well.

What do they mean by that? Cliff Richard was born Harry Webb and Elton John started life as Reginald Dwight but … My father never changed his name.

However my mother, apart from being née Craven and becoming Nation on marriage, at some point, in her early 20’s, swapped her forenames about but not by any formal/legal process.

It will have helped, there being a war on, serving in the QA’s in India and the Far East. Maybe it all started at the QA’s recuiting office, once she’d qualified. Once some Army Paymaster had issued a paybook with a name on it which you gave him when he asked, that was it. That’s who you were.

At the bank and most other institutions such as utilities and insurances she was Edna Lucy but as far as the NHS was concerned she was Lucy Edna. It was most odd hearing the tea-trolley woman in the hospital ask, “Like a nice cup of tea, Lucy?”

So I have never really had a clear idea of what to answer to the question, “What was your mother’s name?” Depends on who’s asking.

And as for who her parents were, she wasn’t saying, tho’ of course her father’s name and profession are on her birth and marriage certs.

She invented a personal history which began at age 17. Before that, she maintained an implacable, impenetrable silence.

At age 17 she emerges, as if springing up out of the ground, at Kendal, training to be a nurse. The couple who she maintained were her ‘parents’ were the parents of a local girl who was also training to be a nurse at Kendal Hospital. This couple took her in and treated her as another daughter, to the extent that the man chose which school I should go to and who loaned my father the deposit on their first house.

These people were known to me as Auntie Annie and Uncle Harry. To anyone who asked, my mother said they were her parents and that Kendal was her home town, tho’ her berth cert has her born in Wolverhampton.

She maintained this fiction to the day she died. She never relented, tho’ she was, of course, depriving me of a pair of grandparents, possibly aunts, uncles and cousins and half my family history.

Then there was the time I heard her describe one of my school friends as her other son … My mother was weird.

Families are, aren’t they?

My father’s half bro’ had MS. He was in a Cheshire Home. Being a doc - as a clinical psychologist his 15 mins of fame was the personality profile of Mary Bell, the child murderess - he could write scrips, which he did - for Class A drugs. He would drive up to Lunnun and queue up outside Boots, Picadilly Circus, at 23.55 along with all the other junkies.

Then he did a runner- disappeared. The Cheshire Home asked my father if he knew where his bro’ might be. No idea

Then one day my father received a postcard from South Africa, informing him that his bro’ had died. It was written in his bro’s handwriting. Some time later he returned from the dead and South Africa.

Interestingly, these were our second rdvs (we already had the old style cards), and whilst they repeated the fingerprinting exercise with me, they didn’t with my wife. Nor with a friend. I feel discriminated against!

And I thought that my family was weird.

1 Like

I was given 2 prenoms at birth but was always called by the 2nd one, David, but throughout my life whenever required to I have varied the two and now can never remember who I am. I am amazed that it has never caused complications, but it hasn’t. :slightly_smiling_face:

To the OP, don’t worry about this interview, straight in and out within 5 minutes and my invalid wife was even helped to the door while another assistant swept the ramp of leaves for her. :hugs:

Chartres prefecture: bonjour, c’est Madame Kirkby…
how are you blabla,
checked my passport,
checked my photo was actually me,
parents’ names (actually if you have your birth certificate take that)
put your fingers here…

This is where it stopped working and took about half an hour of fidding around with the machine, wiping my fingers, wiping the machine, and eventually it worked…

and then it just remained for her to tell me my carte de séjour would arrive in about four weeks, which it did.

You should be okay. Phrases like “Je serais très reconnaisante si vous puissiez parler lentement” (which I may have got wrong) are good to learn first - and DON’T forget to say bonjour when you arrive and bonne journée when you’re finished.


Not sure what it is with the fingerprint machine… tried two machines with me… got there in the end… phew.

My favourite phrase (probably wrongly written) : trop vite… pardon… mais trop vite…
in a sincere/apologetic tone of voice… works well for me. :wink:

Which fingers do they take fingerprints from out of interest.

all of them… the whole hand… I think… I was in a bit of a state as my hands wouldn’t work properly… :wink:

Four fingers in one go, right hand, repeat for left. Then both thumbs at same time. The machine didn’t like the fact that OH only had one thumb - other one wrapped in large bandage. Go there in the end.

1 Like

Yep all of them. Three stages - right four fingers, left four fingers, both thumbs. I still don’t know why, I haven’t got new fingers since they took them two or three years ago.

They are going to love me then :yum::laughing::grin:


I read somwhere of people not being able to get id cards or passports because they have no finger prints though they have fingers ,(some genetic thing that runs in families)

One forum member has already reported that OH had several goes at giving prints at the CdS appointment, but failed… the clerk spoke/checked elsewhere… and OH was given the all clear…

This was at Perigueux I believe… :thinking:

1 Like

My wife was that soldier👍
And we both now have our CDS

1 Like

cheers John…
your good experience should give heart to those who might be worrying… :hugs:

1 Like

My experience with Prefectures so far has been that if a required document/evidence isn’t possible, they will find an alternative one way or another. It’s the great advantage to having a system that still has people in it rather than something rather lowest-common-denominator on a computer. Anyone remember when it was possible to walk into a UK tax office and get help from a human being who knew what they were doing? :grimacing: