Newsletter Subscribers



Survival Home in Paris

Visit our partners



Sad Lisa

February 2022

First, I would like to wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2022! There is a point at which we need to fill ourselves with optimism, regardless of what is happening around us.

Happy New Year!

I believe that many of us, and probably all of us, are thinking that the year 2022 has to be better than 2021, which, in some ways, was just as bad as 2020 for a great number of us.

French custom dictates that New Year’s wishes can be expressed until the end of January, so I have managed it a few hours before the deadline.

Sad Lisa
She hangs her head and cries on my shirt
She must be hurt very badly
Tell me what’s making you sad, Li? 
Open your door, don’t hide in the dark
You’re lost in the dark, you can trust me
’Cause you know that’s how it must be
Lisa Lisa, sad Lisa Lisa
Her eyes like windows, trickle in rain
Upon the pain getting deeper
Though my love wants to relieve her
She walks alone from wall to wall
Lost in her hall, she can’t hear me
Though I know she likes to be near me
Lisa Lisa, sad Lisa Lisa
She sits in a corner by the door
There must be more I can tell her
If she really wants me to help her
I’ll do what I can to show her the way
And maybe one day I will free her
Though I know no one can see her
Lisa Lisa, sad Lisa Lis

Tea for the Tillerman was the fourth studio album by singer-songwriter Cat Stevens (Yusuf), released in November 1970. “Sad Lisa” was the fourth song on side 1.

For days I searched for a title, not knowing what angle of life I wanted to share. These days, life feels like a roller coaster. Bad news keeps coming after good, and this is happening too often for a lot of people and destabilizing many. I increasingly hear about people who have been deeply disturbed by nearly two years of a never-ending pandemic that has changed everybody’s daily life. A great many have been hit hard and are really struggling to hang in there. Some have lost jobs, others have lost self-confidence, and some have sought psychiatric help. Many are going through what the lyrics of this song describe. Professionally and personally I know people who have been greatly affected.

So yes, we can be optimistic that the end of the pandemic, the end of several crises, will occur this year. We need to be optimistic to be at our best against adversity, and some of us can manage to do this. But let’s not forget the ones who have a hard time getting through the day and who need tiny rays of sunshine in their eyes.

It is commonly noted that French troops fought on the American side during the War of Independence and that American troops helped liberate France during WWII. This illustrates the strong bond between the two countries. Many American towns and landmarks are named after the commanders of the French troops in the War of Independence, “Lafayette and Rochambeau.” These names are familiar to many but I am not sure everybody knows who they were and why streets and towns are named after them.

Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette (6 September 1757 – 20 May 1834), known in the United States as Lafayette, was a French aristocrat and military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War, commanding American troops in several battles, including the siege of Yorktown. After returning to France, he was a key figure in the French Revolution of 1789 and the July Revolution of 1830. He has been considered a national hero in both countries.

Marshal Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau (1 July 1725 – 10 May 1807) was a French nobleman and general whose army played the decisive role in helping the United States defeat the British army at Yorktown in 1781 during the American Revolution. He was commander-in-chief of the French Expeditionary Force sent by France to help the American Continental Army fight against British forces.

Interestingly, in my day little time was devoted to them in French schools. I learned a lot more about how decisive their actions were once I lived in the USA.

I started to think about all this when Josephine Baker were inducted into the Panthéon on Tuesday, November 30th. Only a few exceptional French people get this honor. In a way, the monuments in Washington, DC named after American presidents serve a similar purpose. Hence it is interesting that this American-born French citizen, remarkable in so many ways, is so little known in the USA.

Josephine Baker (born Freda Josephine McDonald, naturalized French Joséphine Baker; 3 June 1906 – 12 April 1975) was an American-born French entertainer, French Resistance agent and civil rights activist. Her career was centered primarily in Europe, mostly in her adopted France. She was the first black woman to star in a major motion picture, the 1927 silent film Siren of the Tropics, directed by Mario Nalpas and Henri Étiévant.

During her early career, Baker was among the most celebrated performers to headline the revues of the Folies Bergère in Paris. Her performance in the revue Un vent de folie in 1927 caused a sensation in the city. Her costume, consisting of only a short skirt of artificial bananas and a beaded necklace, became an iconic image and a symbol both of the Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties. …

She aided the French Resistance during World War II. After the war, she was awarded the Resistance Medal by the French Committee of National Liberation, the Croix de Guerre by the French military, and was named a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur by General Charles de Gaulle. Baker sang: “I have two loves, my country, and Paris.”

Some American groups in Paris have expressed interest in having Baker’s American citizenship reinstated; she lost it when she married a Frenchman. Such a move would make sense: The USA would recognize that this French heroine born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1906 and who moved to France as a young adult, also had a significant impact on strengthening the ties between the two countries. Sadly, it would also be about the Jim Crow era at the time, when she had to move to France to be able to have a career as a performer.

The metro stop Gaîté was renamed after her at the time of the Panthéon ceremony. There are streets, a swimming pool and other places named after her throughout France.

There will be those who think that Baker, after leaving the USA at the young age of 18 and spending her life and career in France, did not retain enough ties with the USA to be recognized this way. But I find it interesting that on February 6th, 2016, a transport station named for Rosa Parks was inaugurated, even though the civil rights activist never came to France or had any interaction with Paris.

Until 2011, the station was to be called Évangile, after the rue de l’Évangile and the wayside cross from which the street takes its name. The name Rosa Parks was first given to the nearby tram station in 2012. “We wanted at least 50% female names. There was a lot of debate, in particular with the RATP, which favors existing place names, but for Rosa Parks, there was a consensus: this is a must for a tram stop, it is a strong symbol,” recalled Annick Lepetit, Mayor Bertrand Delanoë’s deputy in charge of transport. People living in the nearby Curial-Cambrai social housing project were asked to vote on a list of ten names; their top choice was Bernard Tétu, a local doctor who died in 2003. But Rosa Parks ran a close second. “We then had the idea of changing the Évangile name to that of Rosa Parks, which gained a consensus and made sense,” said a spokesperson for François Dagnaud, mayor of the 19th arrondissement. The Syndicat des Transports d’Île-de-France, now called Île-de-France Mobilités, agreed. The name caught on and was also given to the Rosa-Parks/Macdonald neighborhood council and a community center opened in 2016.

I find all these juxtapositions interesting. I believe the Franco-American friendship still exists and can be seen in multiple ways.

A reader recently wrote to me:
“Dear Jean, your newsletter was excellent. This quote stuck in my mind. I like your word “fascinate”, which could be written ‘I don’t understand how’” Americans can live in a foreign country, learn computer skills (to renew their Carte de Séjour Temporaire) yet not speak or try to speak French. It is beyond me and makes Americans look (in my book) not so good. I am here to experience France, to learn to communicate and to speak French. When I lived in NYC, Puerto Ricans (a very close-knit people) would live in NYC for 40 years and still not bother to try to speak English. I know this, not only by living in NYC but also from teaching English in Puerto Rico. Stubborn and scared. A great letter! Thank you.”

I professionally help foreigners with their French immigration issues. After all these years, I am familiar with the numerous reasons why foreigners settle in France. It can be a short-term assignment by an employer, which gives little motivation to do the hard work of getting deeply acquainted with the French lifestyle and culture. As I was an immigrant when I lived in the USA, I understand the trials, tribulations and hardships one goes through when starting a completely new life in another country. This reader talks about a different issue, which I would like to address.

I rode Greyhound buses across the entire country, starting in New York and going to Los Angeles CA, Spokane WA, Cheyenne WY, Birmingham AL, Indianapolis IN, Montpelier VT and back to New York before I lived for a few years in the USA. For historical reasons, ethnic neighborhoods are often found in large cities. I had a heartbreaking experience walking for an entire day, pretty much from dawn to dusk, all over southern Chicago in the summer of 1981. The walk took me through block after block of rundown African-American neighborhoods but also through Chinese and Italian areas, as was to be expected, as well as Spanish, Greek, Irish, Polish and Russian enclaves. The last was the one that surprised me the most, with signs written in Cyrillic. I could visualize the different waves of immigration coming to the USA. In those days being part of such a community helped with getting a place to live, a job, starting a new life. This was imperative; it was a matter of survival. With some imagination, after seeing pictures and stories of immigrants just off the boats at Ellis Island, I could visualize their lives decades ago, living and working in a new land.

France never used to have anything like this long tradition of ethnic neighborhoods. It was said, and for centuries it was true, that French cities, especially Paris, had neighborhoods defined by profession. One of the best known is the rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine, where artisans specialized in woodworking and producing furniture opened shops. That is why French people always used to say that ethnic neighborhoods could not and did not exist in France, until the evidence of such areas became glaringly visible. The first one started in the early 20th century, just north of the metro station Barbès, located in Paris’s 18th arrondissement. The adjoining neighborhood is now world famous for its North African identity. Algerians were the first to move there in the 1920s, on and around the rue de la Goutte d´Or, which is a couple of streets north of the Boulevard de la Chapelle. Gentrification has greatly diminished their presence.

There are two Chinatowns in Paris. The older one, in the 13th, was located historically between Porte de Choisy, Porte d’Ivry and Place d’Italie. It was begun by Vietnamese boat people who fled to their former colonial power, France, after the Vietnam War ended in 1975. Such migration peaked in 1978-79 but was still going on in the early 1990s.

It is difficult to determine whether the existence of concentrations of immigrants helps or deters their acceptance into the general population. In the USA, integration came about haphazardly in the work place, while France focused on encouraging assimilation through the education of schoolchildren, although both countries used both methods.

In France and the USA alike, as in many other countries, if surviving as an immigrant who has arrived with nothing necessitates staying in the ethnic community, nevertheless this strong connection with the other immigrants from the home country can considerably delay integration into the general population, especially because it makes it so difficult to learn the new language. My initial comment was never meant to describe such immigrants.

Furthermore – and to a certain extent I will contradict myself from one issue to the next – while all immigrants have a story, they do not always tell it fully. When they are sent by their employer, they leave their country for that reason. Another reason may be a romantic partner waiting for them. Or they may be leaving behind a traumatic life: perhaps in the USA they lived through a traumatic divorce or the death of a parent or other loved one. Does it really matter what made them come to France? Some manage to rebound as they create a new life. Some carry hidden emotional scars and do their best to get by and adapt to this new world.

I admit that the statement I made in the December issue might seem harsh and insensitive when seen from that angle. I was talking about how not speaking some French is a severe handicap for people living in France. It often has a compounding effect, not only making it harder on them and thus creating cultural misunderstandings, it also leads them to do the wrong things. But this is the life some have chosen, and the best thing is to be there, walking along with them. This is the part of their life that is deeply buried. We never know their entire story, even if we get a glimpse of what brought them to France. I feel privileged that several have confided in me.

Another reader has this to say:
“I was interested to read that article in the Q&A section of your newsletter from the person who had a bank account closed. You hooked me up with Barclay’s in 2005, which later became Barclay’s France, then Milleis. I also got the 60-day closure of the account letter.

The entire process was a three-month disaster. They blocked my account and CB and would not return my calls.

Fortunately, I was able to open a new account at BNP Paribas and all is OK now I have gotten my balance back from Milleis.

It took two months from the first visit to receive a checkbook and a CB from BNP – they said the delay was because I was American.

All of my direct debits (SFR, EdF, Orange, AmEx, etc.) were rejected, and since I had no approved account from BNP I was making transfers from my US bank and paying extra fees. The long nightmare is now over.”

I understand and respect your initial reflex, starting with disbelief that the decision is final and therefore thinking some explanation to the bank will fix the problem. It is quite common for banks to give no warning signals that the client can pick up. The exchange with the bank often drags on for days or even weeks before the client realizes the decision is definitive. Since the client does not know the reason for the decision, they are destabilized, which often further delays looking for another bank. Opening an account takes a long time, so in such situations there is a long wait between the closure of the old account and the moment the new one becomes fully operational. This reader’s experience underlines my advice: Do not wait or argue. It is essential to realize the bank’s decision is final. Contact other banks as soon as possible and get a new account opened without delaying. This may make it possible to have a smoother transition and avoid cancellation of services such as cell phone and internet because monthly payments are not wired when due, as this reader testified. There may also be fees or fines linked to the lack of payment.

For a long time, the only way to get documents notarized by an American notary public was to go to those working at the US consulates in France. The one in Paris is expensive at $50 per notarization, and sometimes the schedule is such that the first available appointment is weeks away, while the need that expats have is often urgent. Lately, however, online notarization services have appeared, making the task much easier.

A French notaire is a completely different professional from a notary public, but some of them accept to notarize documents. The problem is that, increasingly, American entities asking for notarization do not recognize the French process of notarizing documents, even when they are in English.

Here is the website of one of the many online notary services:

I should have learned by now not to write about this. The policies stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic change from one week to the next. It takes me a long time to draft this column: I often start as much as three weeks before it is published. When I was writing this, the French Parliament was discussing whether apass vaccinal should replace the pass sanitaire (the answer was yes, in the end). The key difference is that under the new policy only fully vaccinated people (who may be required to have booster shots, depending on the dates of their prior inoculations) and the recently COVID-recovered are allowed access to a variety of public places.

All European countries have some form of universal public health care covering their nationals and foreigners. In light of the debates, discussions and talk shows broadcast in the USA and France, I believe it might be useful to talk about how France came by its system of universal health coverage, retirement and robust, far-reaching family subsidies.

France came out of World War II with Charles de Gaulle at the head of the two distinct factions who had fought the German occupation: the Communists and the Gaullists. De Gaulle put the country back on its feet. He named members of his own party as well as members of the Communist Party to his cabinet. In those days, the French Communist Party followed the Soviet Communist Party line. Thus in April 1946, the minister of Labor and Social Security, a communist named Ambroise Croizat, introduced his plan for a humanist utopia, which he called social security. As described in the program of the National Council of Resistance, it had three divisions, which still exist:Assurance maladie is the health coverage, Assurance vieillesse is retirement and the Caisse d’Allocations Familiales provides subsidies for families and the poor.

That was 76 years ago. French people are notorious for criticizing everything in France, and it is true that some aspects of the French social safety net are indeed inadequate for the 21st century. But the fact is, none of these programs has collapsed, and the local Caisses Primaires d’Assurance Maladie (CPAM) are handling a very challenging pandemic. I talked earlier about naming public places; it is important to note that many cities have named some streets, etc. after Ambroise Croizat. In Paris, Place Ambroise-Croizat is in the 14th arrondissement.

To learn more: .

Over the holidays, my assistant, Sarah, took an interesting initiative and created a new Facebook page. It is a good move for her since she and I both moderate it. She can show off her expertise and her ability to give good advice and clearly explain solutions. She does this in French, leaving the queries in English to me.

Since I am already active in a few Facebook groups and my website is my main showcase, I did not feel I needed such a page. On the other hand, it will no doubt benefit her. I do not have the time to monitor this forum and so far, it has been fairly quiet. Sarah is still figuring out how to handle this new task, being quite busy herself. I am sure it will be a great space for exchanges and hope it will pick up soon.

You are welcome to join:

Best regards,


I wish that I could tell you that the Paris prefecture has a functioning website. Several sections are totally dysfunctional. In some cases this is by design, as it is about obtaining an appointment for regularization. Since the people concerned are illegally present in France when they start this procedure, the system deliberately makes it difficult for them. This is obvious because there are never any appointments available and getting on the schedule is always well-nigh impossible. Other tasks, like making an appointment to pick up acarte de séjour, should be simple since it is the last step of the procedure and everything has already been settled; it is just about getting an appointment to show up and sign to retrieve the new one while handing in the old one. It is still mindboggling that such a simple procedure involves such a chaotic situation. To get an appointment for my clients, I use two browsers and write down which booth I selected, as there are eleven of them and they all do the same job. Within minutes, I get the same messages you cited. So I go back to the first page of this procedure, which is available, and I am persistent. What I find interesting is that regardless of how often the site crashes or these messages appear, it is always possible to get through eventually and select an appointment. Sadly, however, this is not the end of the tribulations.

First, there is only one appointment per slot. Then the site is so slow that by the time I reach the page to give the name and other information to finalize the appointment, that appointment is no longer available. So the system sends me back to the first page for a new attempt. I fully understand that everybody wants to pick up theircarte de séjour, as soon as possible. But that increases the chances of losing the appointment. By contrast, choosing an appointment further away gives you a better chance of making it through the confirmation process. I recommend you fight your desire to obtain an appointment in the near future. This, of course, requires you not to procrastinate trying to get an appointment.

This situation has existed for several months now: I was already facing this kind of problem in June 2021. Over the phone, people at the prefecture say they are aware of the problem but there is nothing they can do.

The last sad part of the situation is the wait in the prefecture when you go to pick up the card. Although it has considerably diminished from previous years, there is still a sizable line for most of the day and therefore a wait of about an hour or sometimes more. So again, go against your instinct: taking an appointment late in the afternoon reduces the chance of a long wait.
My last comment is about a terrible situation; the card is expired on the day one has the appointment to pick it up. The normal procedure is to receive the text message stating that the card is available. Then you secure the needed appointment. This happens two to three months after having submitted the request to renew the carte de séjour. Most people rush to get an appointment to pick up the new card. One reason is that the récépissé is often valid only three months, so you can be left without a valid French ID, as it is impossible to obtain a new récépissé while the carte de séjour is being made in the factory. Not having any valid French ID considerably complicates traveling outside of France, especially during the COVID pandemic.
Under normal circumstances, it would be unthinkable for this to happen. Recently, it has happened that some people have gotten stuck for months traveling outside of France while their cards were waiting for them at the prefecture. The problem is that the card must be picked up before it expires. I am helping people who started working on getting the appointment about two months before the new card expired because for some reason they could not do so while they were in the USA. After struggling for a long time, they managed to book the appointment after the card’s expiration date. It is important to understand that not only would it have been impossible to retrieve the card then, but also these unfortunate individuals will have lost their immigration rights pretty definitively. From what I see, the prefecture does not consider the COVID pandemic as sufficient reason to be lenient.

My advice is that if you do not get the text message within three months after the renewal of the carte de séjour has been approved, contact the prefecture through the page dedicated to that, and confirm whether the card is available or not. Usually after three months it is there. Then get an appointment as soon as possible. To avoid not being able to do it from outside France, have someone who is in France do it for you. I have no idea how long the pandemic-related failings of the Paris prefecture website will keep complicating these situations, but we should be prepared for this to continue for months to come.

By the way, I have been unduly harsh about the Paris prefecture website: as it happens, it works better than any of the ones in the Parisian suburbs as well as several elsewhere in France that I have heard about. This is a sobering situation, but would open a different discussion.



When I had the medical exam at the OFII medical office in November, the exam disclosed some issues that were of concern to the doctor. He told me to have a scan done and he wanted to know if I had some pre-existing respiratory conditions. I had the scan in December which disclosed that the spot was an old scar. However, this scan disclosed an abnormality on an artery. The OFII doctor told me to seek a private doctor and have it scanned, which I did quickly. The doctor performing the scan told me that I did not have an aneurysm, and that the artery was enlarged a little and should be checked periodically. My doctor also set up a test for the middle of March for a routine hospital scanning procedure. This doctor said to have the OFII doctor call him. The OFII doctor tried to call my personal doctor from the office when we returned with the latest medical information. He could not reach him. He then told me that he would not sign off because he was unable to talk to my doctor. We have now made three trips seeking the sign-off and each time a new requirement arises. While we were there, he checked to see how much time my husband and I have before we have to apply to continue our long-stay visa. (We have to apply soon, as our year ends this summer.)
Each time I have returned to his office, there is a new reason for not signing. This provokes questions about this process: If he refuses to sign, do we have to leave when our visa expires? If his sole purpose is to find any contagious diseases and check immunizations, why is this process continuing? or is he seeking to protect France’s medical system from reimbursing the costs of extensive medical treatment? Do I have to have a Carte Vitale to apply to continue our long-stay visa or can we continue to pay my medical expenses ourselves and apply? Can we be forced to return to the U.S. because of my medical issues? Needless to say, this has caused a lot of anxiety for us. We spent three years planning for a permanent move here including living in a hotel for so many months during France’s lockout of visa applications. I would like to anticipate what we can do and put a plan in motion in preparation for a return to the U.S if all this is leading to a visa rejection. Thank you for your time in this matter.


I understand your concern and anxiety regarding this matter. Given the iconic images of American immigration history, I see where you are coming from. Indeed, I often compare today’s French immigration procedure with what took place at Ellis Island in the old days, when clearance was done by the police and a doctor. Today, legally speaking, the procedure is not that different. It starts with obtaining an immigration visa and showing it to the police at the point of entry to the country. For Americans, this initial police clearance is often non-existent: Often the foreigner must remind the officer that there is a visa to review! The standard procedure with tourists is to look at the identification page to recognize the foreigner and swipe the passport for a basic criminal verification.
As in Ellis Island, the next step is a medical check-up. This is how the procedure starts at the Office Français de l’Immigration et Intégration (OFII): Registration of the visa results in the French ID number that each foreigner has, and it triggers an appointment in OFII’s medical facilities for a complete physical. There is a common misunderstanding about the purpose of the OFII physical, which is understandable when one recalls generations’ worth of images and stories about how scared immigrants were of being denied access to the USA because of a medical condition. The misunderstanding can also be blamed on the official OFII communication, which states that OFII checks not only applicants’ health but also the statement of good standing needed to renew the immigration status. The prefecture requires this medical statement to approve a renewal request. The OFII procedure in effect is quite different from the Ellis Island one for several reasons.
Without going back to the creation of the Assurance maladie after World War II, the critical change regarding this matter is the creation of the Couverture Médicale Universelle (CMU) in 2000. It is now called PUMA but not much has changed regarding the scope and the legal grounds of the health coverage.
This legislation, which is now over 20 years old, created a truly universal right to health coverage. It stated that all legal residents in France have the right to be covered by the public system. This explains why the immigration procedure requires one to have health coverage in France even before entering the country. So the OFII doctor does not think about the cost of medical procedures to identify any medical conditions discovered. He is acting from a belief that the foreigner is fully covered. He has no intention to prevent the applicant from immigrating to and residing in France. He is just making sure the applicant is in good health. When a medical condition is found, it is taken care of as soon as possible, in the best interest of the applicant. That is what happened to you.
Let’s sum up your situation. After the private doctor identified the condition that the OFII doctor saw, there needs to be communication between the two doctors to ensure that the OFII procedure is completed and you are in good medical hands. The mission of the OFII doctor stops when the private doctor officially takes over. This should not be difficult. You should get your final OFII statement of good standing any day now.
I understand your worries but right now you are a bona fide immigrant with your foreigner ID number and you hold the right visa, marked visiteur. The prefecture might need to communicate with the OFII branch if the matter drags on. Since the prefecture holds a higher position than the local OFII branch, I am confident that the prefecture will put a quick end to this.
I want to make sure I have fully reassured you about this. I understand how unpleasant the situation is, and I agree with you that, even though it is not a major problem, it is highly annoying to get stuck this way. Something I often see is a civil servant trying, in a rigid and therefore somewhat clumsy way, to help a foreigner who sees this as a personal attack. I know it does not feel like it but the OFII procedure is designed to be in your best interest. Nothing is released until it is certain that you are in good hands with the private sector.
Now, about the topic of renewing the visiteur immigration status, this is what I published in the November 2021 issue:

In my September issue, in the section titled NEWS ABOUT IMMIGRATION: ONE PAGE OF THE GOVERNMENT WEBSITE FITS ALL THE PROFESSIONAL CHANGES OF STATUS, I mentioned the move towards more and more professional carte de séjour procedures going through a dedicated website and the email address I can now confirm that this process is complete for all types of status grounded in a professional activity.

Furthermore, the visiteur immigration status also has its own procedure, going through this website:

There are several glitches, however: the system requires the applicant to create an account with an email address and password. It often happens that this kind of thing is done on the spur of the moment, but it gets quite complicated to go through the procedure necessary to recover your password should you ever have the misfortune to forget it! Having experienced this with a few clients, I advise you to make sure you make a note of this information. The website also requires an ephoto, a new kind of passport picture. The photo comes with an ID Nº that goes into the uploaded file. One can have this ephoto taken in most “Photomatons”, the self-serve photo booths found in public places including many metro stations in Paris. This means that the applicant must be physically in France to get this done …a complication for many people. The only benefit of the site is that you can submit all the documents needed. We will see if this simplifies the meeting at the prefecture to confirm the request.

You also mentioned being covered by the public health system and obtaining a carte vitale. This procedure starts with submitting a request to the CPAM, the local branch of Assurance Maladie, which is in charge of managing it at the national level. This procedure requires two key things:

1 – You need to prove how long you have been in France. This often means having a lease, utility bills, bank statements and pay slips. You will have serious difficulties if you only have the visa and the OFII statement to prove your immigration status, and you have not been able to open a French bank account because you do not have an official domicile. Furthermore, the CPAM much prefers for people to hold a carte de séjour.

2 – The file must include your long-version birth certificate, officially translated, as most of the French social security number comes from your date and location of birth.

I hope I have reassured you that your status in France is secured and this small but highly annoying glitch should be fixed in no time


Survival Home in Paris

Visit our partners



Newsletter Subscribers