Application Packet and Letters of Recommendation – Found at frenchculture.org
Medical Report – An essential aspect of the application packet. You must make an appointment with your doctor to have him/her fill it out.
Arrete de Nomination – This is basically a contract that you do not sign. It lets the French Embassy and consulate know that you have been hired legitimately by the French state and you are thus entitled to a visa to enter and remain in the country provisionally. When you arrive in France, the Arrete de Nomination serves as proof to your prospective landlords, your bank, the Préfecture de Police, and the French government that you have been invited as an employee of the French state. The Procés Verbal d’Installation is basically a confirmation that you have begun to undertake the functions outlined by the Arrete de Nomination.
Visa Application – Can be found at the French Embassy or French Consulate Websites.
Passport – If you do not have one, please expect that it will take at least three months to obtain, possibly more.
Visa – Biometric visa will be stamped to the interior of your passport. If you go directly to the Embassy as a resident of the states that they serve, you will get it the same day you apply.
Relevé d’Identité Bancaire (RIB) – This is basically a statement of your banking information so that others can pay into your bank account. This is necessary for your salary, for your Caution Solidaire, for your CAF and for your healthcare application.
Caution Solidaire – This is basically an attestation by someone you know that, should you default on your rent payments, they will be able to provide for you. Recommended that this person be a close friend or member of your family. In a pinch, it is possible that your school can assume the functions of a caution solidaire, but you should ask them before assuming anything. The caution solidaire should write a letter on your behalf, and when you sign a lease, they will have to fill out a form on your behalf. This person should be in France, should have a French bank account with a RIB, and should be ready to furnish proof of income in the form of pay stubs or tax returns. You laugh, but I have been asked for my father’s tax returns, hardly a normal topic of conversation.
RIB from you Caution Solidaire – see above
Proof of Income – Paystubs or tax returns. You may also use statements from your US bank accounts to smooth over the difference.
Previous Rental Contracts – good for recommendations
Translated Birth Certificate – The jury is out as to whether your birth certificate needs to be “officially” translated or not. I got by with my own informal translations, but some people have been asked for officially notarized translations. To be safe, I recommend one that is official.
ISIC – International Student Identity Card. Available online or at STA travel agencies.
Vaccination Calendar – A form proving that your vaccinations are up-to-date. Without this form, you may be asked to remember the precise date of your Measles/Mumps/Rubella or something silly like that.
ANAEM declaration of arrival in France – You receive this form in the packet with your Arrete de Nomination. Should be mailed as soon as you arrive in France. You can still get by without having sent this form in, but sending this in early makes things much easier.
Recipissé – When you apply for your Carte de Séjour, you will receive a recipissé that acts as your Carte de Séjour until the actual Carte de Séjour comes. It should be known that, while you have your recipissé and not your Carte de Séjour, you will need special permission from the Préfecture de Police to leave the country and re-enter.
Carte de Séjour – French equivalent of a green card. Your official government identification in France.
Proof of Address – A signed copy of your lease will work, but most places prefer that you have a copy of your Electricité de France (EDF), Gaz de France (GDF), or France Télécom bill to prove that you live where you claim to live.
Carte Bancaire – Very useful because of the computer chip that allows you to use many self service machines that Americans cards cannot use.
Procés Verbal d’Installation – Declares that you have assumed your functions as an assistant de langue at your establishment. This is necessary to prove that you haven’t just skipped out on your contract.
Convocation – Catchall to refer to an invitation to an appointment. For medical visit or Carte de Séjour, for example.
Certificat de Controle Medicale – Will be given at the end of your compulsory medical exam. To show that you have filled the requirements to get your Carte de Séjour.
Autorisation Provisoire de Travail – Will be given at the end of your compulsory medical exam. Allows you to work in France.
Renewal Application – To be given to you in January/February, and to be filled out and returned by the end of February.
Bulletin de Salaire – A complicated paystub
CAF – Caisse d’Allocation Familiale. You are eligible for rent subsidies. The form to be downloaded at CAF.fr.