A few tips to navigate French bureaucracy
Whenever you deal with French bureaucracy, keep this in mind:
- It’s very likely that most French government employees won’t be familiar with the Working Holiday Visa status. Different employees may tell you different things. Know your rights and duties and be politely persistent!
- Whenever you have to deal with administrative procedures, contact the organization first and confirm required documents, how to apply and processing times.
- For each new process or application, create a file (digital or physical) and document everything. Create a document management system that works for you and keep your files.
- Take a methodical and detailed approach to each application.
- Make sure you have all the required documents before submitting an application. A missing document can delay your application and that would be a waste of time!
- Make sure all copies of original documents are complete and legible. Don’t forget to make a copy of the back of the document, if applicable.
- Whenever you deal with French authorities, it’s best to use email or registered mail. Emails are easy to keep and refer to if needed and registered mail provides a proof of delivery.
- You can always bring more documents than required but only provide them if asked.
Finally, don’t take anything personally. You’ll often hear French people sigh and curse the French administrative maze—getting lost in it is always a ride of passage!