The Online Portal – Breaking Through The Fog Of Technology
There are many of us that remember having to go to the Préfecture, armed with a forest worth of paper, in order to apply for our Carte de Séjour under the old EU system – and not always having the correct documentation, even after felling that many trees.
So, the trepidation of completing an online form fills many people with dread and leaves them coming out in a cold sweat – but is the reality different from the perception? In this case it certainly is.
Tip Number 1 – Have a Plan
Before you do anything on your computer, decide which category you come under when applying for your Residency Permit. If you fall into more than 1 category, choose the path of least resistance i.e., the route that will be simpler to prove.
Use the official French Government table linked below to find your personal situation and what documents you will need:
Tip Number 2 – Preparation
Choose a place and time when you know it will be quiet, and you can concentrate on what you are doing. Once you have decided which documents you will need, scan/upload them onto your computer and name them for easy use e.g. Mike Passport, Mike Health and so on. It's important that each document has a different name otherwise the upload may be rejected.
Scanning your documents
You can upload your documents in the following formats: .pdf, .png, .jpeg or .jpg. Remember files need to be less than 5MB each.
If you don’t have a scanner you can take photographs with a smartphone or one of the many free scanner apps available for Android and Mac IOS devices. We like Camscanner but there are lots of options.
French or English?
Decide whether you are going to complete the French version or the English version – the French version is more effective especially if you have an automatic translate option on your computer – BUT the English version works just as well.
Put the kettle on! With brew in hand, take a deep breath and click on the link to access the online Portal:
Tip Number 3 – Confidence
Just remember if you make a mistake you can either go back a page to correct, or, if you are not completely sure you can cancel completely, and start again so don’t panic. Make sure you take your time and read everything slowly. If it is an error of omission you will not be able to move onto the next page, and can correct as you go along.
Main areas of previous mistakes are:
Not completing in capital letters where asked,
Confusion over names – surname in the first section (nom de naissance/surname), and for married women your married name in the ‘preferred name/nom d’usage’ section. Men have to leave this field open unless they have a different surname they use.
Not typing your Commune name after the Postcode.
Re-read your information when it gives you the opportunity before you submit your application, and don’t forget to complete the extremely difficult (not) mathematical equation (in numbers not letters) at the end to prove you are not a robot.
Tip Number 4 – You Are Not Alone!
If you are struggling with a particular piece of the form don’t panic – we are here to help.
Call one of our friendly, experienced caseworkers on 00 33 (0)5 32 80 00 05 who will guide you through the process.
Once submitted you will receive an email acknowledgement – although it might not come immediately – do not panic, if your application form has registered properly you will get acknowledgement (it has been known to take more than a few hours).
One of the things we have learned over the past months is patience, and how ever long it takes it is far easier and more simple than before!