Wait, what ? No problem ? This time last year, going to the préfecture was a big problem. Huge. Well, the powers that be finally realised that there must be a better way and boom. Out with the old system and in with the new. Now, when you need to go to the préfecture, the lists of required papers have been condensed and you can make an appointment. Yes, that’s right.
I needed to go to renew my carte de séjour earlier this month. From the comfort of my couch, I checked the préfecture website, created an account and chose an appointment from several available dates and times. I received a confirmation email, printed it off and voilà. I was ready. I didn’t even have to organise a new translation of my birth certificate because let’s face it – that thing’s not gonna change !
My appontment was at 10:30. We got there at 10:25, showed the confirmation email at the door, got a ticket and were settled in the waiting room by our appointment time. Sure, we had to wait (our actual face to face, 15 minute meeting didn’t come up until 11:45) but still, 1.5 hours at the préfecture is an out of this world improvement. The atmosphere, usually so tense and hostile, had changed too. It’s wonderful what not having to spend the night on the street just to be sure of an appointment can do for one’s morale.
I need to go back in March to pick up the actual card. But who knows ? Perhaps La Préfecture will learn how to use La Poste between now and then !