Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am British, live in the Ariege and have a 10-year carte de séjour, but my 18-year-old son had no need of one until this year. The instructions on the website of the Prefecture of Foix, which alone could issue one, are to fill in an online form requesting a rendez-vous to present the necessary documents. An automated reply came saying a real reply would follow within five days. Nothing did. A month has passed. I've tried four times and the same thing happens. Yesterday, I telephoned and ran into the worst bureaucrat I've encountered in my life (and that's saying a lot), a woman who kept reiterating ad infinitum that I must fill in their online form, completely ignoring my repeated statement that I had already done so and had an acknowledgement of that. The prefecture is permanently closed except by appointment, so there is no other means of communication.

Does my son really have to go to London to obtain a long-stay visa (presumably two visits and hellish paperwork) or can anyone tell me of any way round this? Is there somewhere higher up one to whom one can complain about being obstructed in this way?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
53,158 Posts
I take it that your son was not resident in France immediately prior to the Brexit cut off date and/or is not resident in France currently. If this is the case then he will indeed have to obtain a visa - and visas can only be obtained through a French consulate (by definition outside of France).

If he has been living in France with you all this time and simply missed the date for applying for a carte de séjour (i.e. residence permit) under the Withdrawal Agreement, he'll probably have to go the visa route unless there have been further extensions to the filing deadline for those already resident at the end of 2020. (Last deadline extension I recall was sometime in late 2021 - but the folks here may know if there have been any further extensions.)

The visa will depend on what your son's status is - student (will need to be enrolled in a program), employed (in which case it's the employer who must make the arrangements for work authorization) or some other status (only one that jumps to mind here is that he is dependent on you due to his health condition, but there may be others).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,147 Posts
I suspect that's not correct Bev, the WA I believe has specific clauses about minor children not living permanently in France or studying in another country and how to proceed when they turn 18,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,147 Posts
I am British, live in the Ariege and have a 10-year carte de séjour, but my 18-year-old son had no need of one until this year. The instructions on the website of the Prefecture of Foix, which alone could issue one, are to fill in an online form requesting a rendez-vous to present the necessary documents. An automated reply came saying a real reply would follow within five days. Nothing did. A month has passed. I've tried four times and the same thing happens. Yesterday, I telephoned and ran into the worst bureaucrat I've encountered in my life (and that's saying a lot), a woman who kept reiterating ad infinitum that I must fill in their online form, completely ignoring my repeated statement that I had already done so and had an acknowledgement of that. The prefecture is permanently closed except by appointment, so there is no other means of communication.

Does my son really have to go to London to obtain a long-stay visa (presumably two visits and hellish paperwork) or can anyone tell me of any way round this? Is there somewhere higher up one to whom one can complain about being obstructed in this way?
I am surprised your Préfecture is still closed to the public, but I would think they have a main email address, or at least an online form where you could advise them that you have been encountering IT problems and that your online form seems to have disappeared into the ether despite the fact that you have received an acknowledgment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,147 Posts
I suspect that's not correct Bev, the WA I believe has specific clauses about minor children not living permanently in France or studying in another country and how to proceed when they turn 18,
Definitely not correct, under the WA children are covered by the parent's WA CDS until they turn 18 at which point they apply for and are entitled to their own WA CDS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,147 Posts
I am surprised your Préfecture is still closed to the public, but I would think they have a main email address, or at least an online form where you could advise them that you have been encountering IT problems and that your online form seems to have disappeared into the ether despite the fact that you have received an acknowledgment.
They do indeed have an email address, but I can't copy it from my phone.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
53,158 Posts
I suspect that's not correct Bev, the WA I believe has specific clauses about minor children not living permanently in France or studying in another country and how to proceed when they turn 18,
In any event, it does depend on the minor child's status - immediately before Brexit and since the final cut off date. If the child was not living with the parent resident in France, that will have an effect (custody and all that good stuff). Or, if the child is still attached to the household in France, but attending school in the UK, then a different set of rules applies. We really don't have enough information to know what the precise situation is. I only wonder why the "need" for a carte de séjour has only come up now rather than sometime during 2021 (which was something of a transition year).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,147 Posts
In any event, it does depend on the minor child's status - immediately before Brexit and since the final cut off date. If the child was not living with the parent resident in France, that will have an effect (custody and all that good stuff). Or, if the child is still attached to the household in France, but attending school in the UK, then a different set of rules applies. We really don't have enough information to know what the precise situation is. I only wonder why the "need" for a carte de séjour has only come up now rather than sometime during 2021 (which was something of a transition year).
Under the WA minor children of a parent who holds a WA CDS do not need, nor can they have, a WA CDS, but when they turn 18 they must apply for one irrespective of where they live and that right is preserved. The OP has a 19 year card. The child is now 18. The child does not have to return to the UK to apply for the WA CDS but now has to apply for one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Bevedeforges, I think you have misunderstood my son's position. As far as I know, there is no question at all about his entitlement to a carte de séjour. He did not attempt to get one until he reached 18 (two months ago) because he had no need of one as a minor living with resident parents. Now he should have this one year following his 18th birthday to obtain one on the basis of having been resident in France since birth. My post was not at all a query about his entitlement, but rather what to do when faced with mindless bureaucratic obstructionism - the failure of the prefecture in Foix to act on an online application made in the manner demanded and the refusal of its telephone receptionist to offer a remedy. I have in addition tried emailing the prefecture: the result is always an automated reply telling me to fill in their online form requesting a rendez-vous, which I've already done.

What I now badly need is to be told what one can do when one is being blocked from one's entitlement by bureaucratic disfunction on the part of a prefecture.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you so much, BackinFrance, but sadly this is not so. I know both from having attempted to visited the Foix prefecture a few months ago, and from having it robustly confirmed on the telephone two days ago that the prefecture is only ever open by appointment. One can try to sneak in by following rapidly behind someone else for whom the gate has been opened on the basis of an appointment, but one will simply run into a receptionist who will tell one that one has to make an appointment online.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
53,158 Posts
My post was not at all a query about his entitlement, but rather what to do when faced with mindless bureaucratic obstructionism - the failure of the prefecture in Foix to act on an online application made in the manner demanded and the refusal of its telephone receptionist to offer a remedy.
To be perfectly honest about it, there normally isn't an established way to deal with "mindless bureaucratic obstructionism" in France - not for expats and not for the local natives. One possible approach would be to talk to your local mairie to explain your dilemma and your thwarted efforts so far. They often have "alternative routes" to the officials at the departemental level and they can sometimes contact the prefecture for you to ask questions or secure appointments or get detail regarding procedures. One of the reasons we often recommend developing a relationship with the local mairie and the folks who work there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,353 Posts
I can imagine your frustration.
Only thing I can think of - which doesn't help - is that the WA entitlements are still outside the box as far as the préfecture's systems are concerned, causing the online form to be spat out because they don't recognise what you are asking for.
I suppose you could try filling it in with fictitious information that will tick one of their boxes and get through to the processing stage, just to get an appointment, but then it would depend very much on how flexible the person is that you see.
However I agree that the mairie is your best route but you could maybe try the above strategem in parallel, in case that is what's happening.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,645 Posts
The défenseur des droits service exists for when you have problems with govt administrations.
Start first with the service d'état civil at your mairie who should be able to intercede for you.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top