Monday, September 7, 2015

carte de séjour "Compétences et Talents" - SUCCESS!!

Aix-en-Provence sous-préfecture the day I picked up my
new carte de séjour!
I'm finally getting around to reporting back here with the good news! I GOT THE VISA!!!

So I now know from first-hand experience that these visas do exist and that it's possible to receive them.

Back in April almost exactly at the six-month mark from when I submitted the dossier back in October 2014, I received a letter in the mail. With trepidation, I opened it. Within was a standard letter saying to come to the préfecture to pick up my new carte de séjour.

There wasn't even any confetti inside! Can you believe it? This is a BIG DEAL!

But apparently to the administrators who mailed my letter, I was just just another item ticked off their to-do lists. So much so that they didn't even mark on the letter which visa I'd gotten or how much money I was supposed to bring in the form of timbres (stamps) to pay for the visa.

Within a couple days, I went to the sous-préfecture in Aix and picked up my new carte de séjour without any further fanfare, except in my heart. ;-) The carte de séjour was dated as beginning in March, a month before I was notified that it was ready, but it is indeed otherwise valid for three years from that date. i.e. Not three years from when I submitted the dossier.

Besides that the carte de séjour of course comes with no instructions. I thought that it immediately gave me the right to work for French clients. However, I learned in July that one still has to register as an auto-entrepreneur in order to be official. Visit this website for more on that: Once registered here you will receive a SIRET number which is something most clients will ask for. The Compétences et Talents carte de séjour is listed among the residence card options permitted to register. And the registration is quick and pretty easy online. From there you're plunged into many more administrative realities of life in France, and I still haven't completely figured it all out. But registration means you will need to pay taxes on income you earn from clients in France, and it also seems to enter you into the social security system for healthcare.

Good luck with your quest for the the carte de séjour "Compétences et Talents"!

The standard letter I received telling me to come pick
up my new carte de séjour.

The waiting room for services for foreigners,
Aix-en-Provence sous-préfecture.