Friday, May 4, 2012

Quel Jour

After a lifetime of dreaming, my wife and I are now approved to live in France for one year.  The Office of French Immigration and Integration has issued us our stickers called the "Titre de Sejour".

In Paris, the OFII is located just inside the 11th very near the Place de la Bastille.  Today there are some beautiful paste-up street art just across from the entry to the building.  The interior of the building itself has a common bureaucratic well-worn feel.  There were quite a few people going through the system.  Many of them were called well ahead of us.

France Libre

 Liberty is taken very seriously here.

After about an hour and a half wait, we went to see the first doctors.  It was nearly pleasant.  The doctor I spoke with joked and smiled and we actually had a wonderful time talking about France and life here.  What got the conversation rolling was her noticing my bifocal glasses.  Apparently they are quite passe here in Paris.  She went so far as to show me the "line-less" glasses of her colleague, who joined in the conversation with smiles and laughter.

Then it was off for my chest X-ray.  Strip down out of my shirt and into the X-ray machine room.  Back into the waiting area and I was called immediately by the next doctor.

After initial pleasantries, she put up an X-ray of someone's chest.  It wasn't mine, if the name on the image was any indication.  So I asked who that person might be.  Quickly, the doctor went to search and asked me to remain seated.

Passy Journal Stand

 Journal stands watch your every movement, or so it seems...

After the image was sorted out, my blood pressure taken, and a quick set of questions regarding my vaccination history and general health, I was back out in the waiting area.  Not two minutes later and someone called my name and a small group of people were lead back to another waiting area.

After two people spoke with someone in an office, I was called in and asked for an image of myself (of which I had several), our copy of the apartment lease, and that's where we got stuck.  My name was not on the lease, but my wife's name was.  After I looked through my papers and not finding the transfer of monies sheet, the kind lady quietly added my name to the document, copied it, added the copy to her records, and handed me the updated copy.

The French sometimes amaze me at how accommodating they can be.  I expected the system to be extremely rigid.  Well, it might be, but there are also some rather helpful people in the system.

About this time, my wife joined me and I showed her where to attach les timbres to her immigration tax form.


 Let's not forget where Lady Liberty was born.  OK?

The lady behind the desk then asked for my passport.  She found the visa page (the sticker from the French Consulate in San Fransisco) and went one page beyond.  She then took another sticker and attached it to that page and said nous sommes complete.  Turning to my wife, she then attended to my wife's passport.

In return, I replied that je mis a pleurer, merci bien.  Merci pour tout.


  1. Sweet! Je vous souhaite un bon séjour pour votre première année en France