Announcement by Edouard Philippe this morning

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Sarah
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Announcement by Edouard Philippe this morning

I have copied the following from our Facebook page but it may be of use to many of you (provided by Claire Godfrey (who has been working incredibly hard for us all) - 

As a lot of you know, I have been working with Christopher Chantrey of the British Community Committee of France in discussions with the Ministry of the Interior for two years now. We explained to them in some detail the situation and I gave the MinInt team many examples of how the préfectures were being ‘recalcitrant’. Kalba Meadows of RIFT continued to gather many cases, passing them onto the same team, who have created a master database showing where the problems were.

We had pointed out that the current situation in most places (some préfectures had started a system for receiving the dossiers by mail) made it very difficult for people to apply for cartes de séjour because:

a) it was hard to get appointments;
b) a lot of préfectures were asking for documents which were not required by the Ministry;
c) some of the préfectures were asking for translations far beyond what is legally required;
d) of the cost of having unnecessary translations done (and I realise that some translators will baulk at this, but it became law in February 2019 that any translations of any European document were technically unnecessary);
e) of the time and cost required to attend two appointments, one to go over your dossier with a civil servant, give your fingerprints and take away (in theory) a récépissé 
f) and one to go and pick up your carte de séjour, again at a time and cost ...

all of which was causing enormous stress, distress and uncertainty, added to the problems that Brexit itself was causing.

Having a carte de séjour is not obligatory at the moment and won’t be if the United Kingdom remains in the European Union, but if leaving with a deal or leaving without a deal is forced upon us, having a carte de séjour will be obligatory.

It could – and this is of course still a hypothetical situation – be much easier in future, because the Ministry of the Interior ‘might’ be ready to test an online portal whereby those who haven’t got a CdeS ‘would’ fill in a dossier online, having attached scanned versions of the documents required by the Ministry. They ‘would’ then receive an acknowledgement of the deposit of that dossier, with a document that would be equivalent to a ‘récépissé’, showing that residence in France under Treaty rules has been proved.

The dossiers ‘would’ be treated in a back office manner and there ‘would’ be only one appointment for the taking of fingerprints, which ‘could’ possibly be done at sous-préfectures and even town halls, with the CdeS being sent out – obviously, hypothetically – by mail.

It ‘would’ also mean that those who already have cartes de séjour ‘would’ also be able to apply for the new card (whichever one that is decided upon by the Ministry of the Interior) and ‘would’ in theory not have to attend any meeting whatsoever, since the dossier ‘would’ be updated online with the CdeS being sent out – again, hypothetically - by mail.

I offered the Dordogne as a test area, saying that if they did use the area as a test bed, we could guarantee them a rapid response …. So I may have to ask you to answer rapidly if it happens, but don’t doubt you will be keen to do so!!

I also then suggested that if this system does work, they could then roll it out to all other nationals applying for CdeS, a possibility which, given the reaction I got, they hadn’t considered …

We won’t know for some time yet whether that could be done – the MinInt are, like all of us, having to wait to see what happen.

So, whilst I do have to say that this is STILL a hypothetical situation (because I cannot say any more!), I do hope that I may soon be able to confirm this and hope this will go some way to helping alleviate some of the stress and worry.