Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

As a reminder, I just moved to Grenoble. Starting my 3rd week so far. I moved with my family (wife and 3 kids).

I am here on a working visa arriving on a job.

I had to bring some cash with me to cover my expenses as I will not be paid except by the end of the month.

First thing upon arrival I declared the cash I have, though for a family of 5 I was not exceeding the limit of 10k Euros per person but I wanted to have a legal document for this cash to save me any trouble while depositing in the bank. Customs were very friendly, they asked some questions about why I am coming to France, what is the money for, where is it coming from ... etc. then they just filled a form, stamped it and gave me a copy.

My first challenge was to get a bank account without having a permanent address, company I am working for had some contacts in a bank branch (the branch was titled international) that helped me. They accepted to open an account on the temporary address based on submitting my work contract. The account was opened and I deposited the money in the same day, the account manager was happy with the form provided by customs and she said this was a saver and that they should not allow cash transactions over than 3k and starting September it will be 1k. Worth mention that the lady was speaking good English :)
One set back was that I had an amount in USD, I realized that I can't have a USD account and I would just deposit the money in USD to be exchanged by the bank for commission which was very high. The account manager directed me to a place for exchange whose commission was much better than that of the bank, and again the customs form for the declared money was very helpful.

In the same time, I had to work on the titre de sejours papers, my visa was issued for only 3 months with a note that I have to deal with the prefecture not more than 2 months upon arrival. As I have business trips scheduled in September, and as I know things tend to move slowly plus the fact that July and August are adding to the slowness I had to work on this application very soon. The company is providing legal aid for that, they had all the required papers. I had to get some photos according to certain requirements (strict ones) and fill a couple of forms. Then the aiding firm submitted all required docs to the prefecture by registered mail by the end of my second week. Hopefully things will take the 10-12 weeks they said the process will take.
The legal aid suggested to apply for what is called DCEM for my children, they required a certificate from a local doctor that he/she is following up the kids. I tried to get an appointment with a pediatrician and here was my second surprise with the system, the appointment was 3 weeks ahead which is too late. A friend of mine explained to me that this is normal and for some specialties like dentists or ophthalmologists you can get an appointment months later not just weeks !
My friend knew my case and he was the one suggesting the doctor as he knows him, he managed to get me an appointment the day after, so it went fine and I got the required certificates and the doctor explained to me that I have to get "carnets des sante" for the kids to log their medical history starting now.

The company HR are working on the social security and health insurance, they told me it will take at least a month to be enrolled in the system.

My current project is the hunt for a my permanent apartment, checked some ads, short listed what I saw. did an initial check of the addresses and areas the apartments are located. I should start calling this week so see the different apartments and decide on which to take.

So far things are moving smoother than what I expected before coming. People are always friendly and helpful even when I am stuck in any situation (due to my poor french) they always try to explain more or get a colleague that can help with english.

I will keep posting on this thread any updates about my situation and different moves that I will do or issues that might appear as it might be of help for someone.

Have a nice day
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
49,785 Posts
Thanks for that account of your arrival. I'm sure it will help someone lurking out there.

One thing to note is that having an employer sponsoring you can help you over many of the hurdles most expats encounter.

Keep up the good work and keep us posted how you're doing!
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Some updates, today my application to rent an apartment that fits all my needs was accepted.
I expect to move in within the next 2 weeks, meanwhile I will start shopping for furniture and white goods... Soldes everywhere so I guess its perfect timing.

Also today I received the receipts of my TDS from perfecture by post, didn't check what is written yet.
Do you think with this I would be able to travel outside the EU and get back after my visa expires?

Next big move (not before a month or so) is buying a car and drivers license exchange :)

Wish me luck
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
49,785 Posts
If you're getting a titre de séjour (i.e. a sticker in the passport rather than a card) chances are you can probably travel outside the EU and show the receipts on re-entry. (But do check what is written on the receipts first.)

For the license exchange, I think you'll need the actual TDS (or CDS) in hand.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
well, I don't have a sticker on my passport, just the visa that would expire end of July. the receipt has my info and the basis that TDS will be issued (carte bleu eurpeenne) and that it is not valid without my passport and that it can be used as my identity and alowing me to work.

guess this means can't be used as an entry document :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Welcome in France and Good luck , i took the risk and traveled out of france be4 getting the sticker in my passport and entered france again without any problem and i have it sticked in my passport Now , but yeah as per the document they handed to me when i got the visa its mentioned i can not travel be4 sticking the sticker .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
So far things are moving smoother than what I expected before coming. People are always friendly and helpful even when I am stuck in any situation (due to my poor french) they always try to explain more or get a colleague that can help with english.
So funny you wrote this cause the French are not known for their welcoming attitude towards foreigners, quite the contrary, but I have had similar experiences. Except for the part where they have colleagues that speak English, that never happens to me. But yes, so far the people I have met here, at customs, at the hospital, at the vet clinic, in stores... they are all really very accommodating and friendly!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
363 Posts
So funny you wrote this cause the French are not known for their welcoming attitude towards foreigners, quite the contrary, but I have had similar experiences. Except for the part where they have colleagues that speak English, that never happens to me. But yes, so far the people I have met here, at customs, at the hospital, at the vet clinic, in stores... they are all really very accommodating and friendly!!!
I think it greatly depends where you are. In the bigger cities, like most places, people aren't very friendly. I have to say that despite my complaint of a few days ago, I still overall find the people in southern France as very kind overall. Despite the particular preconceived notions I had of the Basque, I've actually found them unusually kind and welcoming. I think Grenoble is small enough of a city that you don't get kind of awful big town attitudes like you tend to in places like Paris and Marseille. Down here, you still get people who will say "Bonjour" even to complete strangers, something I think I never saw in France before moving here!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Welcome in France and Good luck , i took the risk and traveled out of france be4 getting the sticker in my passport and entered france again without any problem and i have it sticked in my passport Now , but yeah as per the document they handed to me when i got the visa its mentioned i can not travel be4 sticking the sticker .
Thanks, in fact I wanted to take my chances, but the law firm following up my papers strictly advised against this. Anyway, it should be few weeks so I can manage being locked up in Europe :)

So funny you wrote this cause the French are not known for their welcoming attitude towards foreigners, quite the contrary, but I have had similar experiences. Except for the part where they have colleagues that speak English, that never happens to me. But yes, so far the people I have met here, at customs, at the hospital, at the vet clinic, in stores... they are all really very accommodating and friendly!!!
I am aware of this reputation but my experience is as yours, one shouldn't believe everything that he reads.

I think it greatly depends where you are. In the bigger cities, like most places, people aren't very friendly. I have to say that despite my complaint of a few days ago, I still overall find the people in southern France as very kind overall. Despite the particular preconceived notions I had of the Basque, I've actually found them unusually kind and welcoming. I think Grenoble is small enough of a city that you don't get kind of awful big town attitudes like you tend to in places like Paris and Marseille. Down here, you still get people who will say "Bonjour" even to complete strangers, something I think I never saw in France before moving here!
I agree, it was not that good few years ago while visiting Paris (in general but of course there were nice people but not for the whole experience)
Grenoble is a small town, I think the existence of 3 big universities and students from different parts of the world helped to have this kind of change, just my attribution.

Another quick update: I will be signing the rent contract and doing the etat-de-lieu tomorrow morning. Have been busy in the past few hot days shopping in ikea, conforama, roi du matelas and darty :) wish me luck as I am completely exhausted and can't wait to move to the new place though will not be fully functional but at least it will be my place rather than the aparthotel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
363 Posts
I agree, it was not that good few years ago while visiting Paris (in general but of course there were nice people but not for the whole experience)
Grenoble is a small town, I think the existence of 3 big universities and students from different parts of the world helped to have this kind of change, just my attribution.

Another quick update: I will be signing the rent contract and doing the etat-de-lieu tomorrow morning. Have been busy in the past few hot days shopping in ikea, conforama, roi du matelas and darty :) wish me luck as I am completely exhausted and can't wait to move to the new place though will not be fully functional but at least it will be my place rather than the aparthotel.
I only spent a couple days in Grenoble a loooong time ago, but from what I remember it was a lovely town. I hope you continue being happy there!

I so feel for you with the buying of furniture. Before I moved here, my husband lived on the military base, so he owned no furniture whatsoever. So in addition to all the crazy paperwork we had (I was lucky that he'd already secured an apartment before I came over), we had to go buy all the furniture at once. In a way it was nice that it was July because of the soldes, but on the other hand ... when we first went to get all our furniture, it fell during the middle of the rather infamous drinking festival that happens here (les fêtes de la madeleine), which means tons of roads were blocked, and people were sprawled in the street, passed out everywhere. And we had to take these crazy small "ruelles" while driving the Conforama camionette. It was .... an experience I shall not soon forget, to put it mildly. :) Just think of how happy you'll be once it's all done and you can sleep in the bed you bought!
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
18,642 Posts
It's amazing how little furniture etc you can be happy with once you have a place you can call home. Been there, done that - brought nothing from Australia except some clothing and paperwork (in fact I still need lots of stuff), but it was fantastic to move into a rental (had been staying with family who were exceedingly generous in allowing me to do so as frankly they had no room to accommodate another person). That sense of having your own space is just fantastic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
A more recent update:
- We moved to the new apartment for few weeks now, it needed minor adjustments but the society owning the apartment is very helpful, they are sending workers everynow and then to fix things that were seen within the etat-de-lieu, even while living I start to find some other things but they are very reactive and having a good system of reporting issues and responding (despite the fact that we are in August but I do not feel any delay :) )

- Have been busy installing furniture. For appliance, thanks to this forum I went ahead to Darty, they delivered and installed everything (except the hotte, I will be doing that myself).

- School is settled for the kids, currently they are having fun with the MJC nearby doing lots of activities, too bad MJC will be on holidays starting next week, have to think of something to fill there time :)

- For my TDS, my first application was done using the temporary address, I had to submit a new form with the new address and it seems the counter will start counting from scratch so I am expecting to wait 10 more weeks from now (if not delayed due to holidays) and this is too bad as I needed the TDS ready before end of September as I have some business travel to do. The law firm is checking with the prefecture what can be done, but as Bev said in her comment above, it is much better when you have support especially when dealing with the government

- In many cases I was asked about my QF (quotient familiale) which I do not know, but searching for a while on the web I understood what it is but I need to have some french friend with me to go to the CAF and start understanding what documents are needed to know my QF and I understood as well there should be some benefits entitled for having 3 kids.

- I do not yet have any update about my social security situation or being part of the medical system.

- I joined FREE for the internet and TV for 2 weeks now, had many problems, TV freezes, many times the internet link is down ... I followed their online step by step trials and it ended telling me that I seem to have a problem and a technician would be required to visit my place. He was there yesterday, very nice guy with lots of tips to improve the situation. He said it seems I had a minor problem in the connections inside the house and we fixed that but the line should show 18MBs of internet speed and it is only showing 12MBs, he said they have to file a ticket on FT (orange) to check the line. So far since he left yesterday things were improved a lot (despite the loss in speed)

I will keep updating my status hoping someone would benefit from what I have been through :)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
49,785 Posts
Sounds like things are going just great (relatively speaking) and that you're definitely making progress. Keep up the good work!
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Another update, this one even surprised me !
I got a notification that my carte de sejour is ready for collection and I should take it before they can proceed with address change so I went to pick it up on Friday.
It is valid until june 2018, no medical check up was required as I am on carte blue europeenne system.
I even met the lady who received my dossier for address change and she said it will be processed within 2 weeks :)
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top