A couple of years ago, endless waiting lines could be observed in front of the prefectures. Today, this phenomenon is less obvious because most of Ile-de-France’s prefectures have switched to an IT system. Thus, to ask for a residence permit, foreigners have to take an appointment on the website of their assigned prefecture.
A difficult access to the appointment section of the website
This change in procedure turned out underperforming for foreigners. On the one hand, they are often in a difficult situation and can’t have an easy access to an IT tool. On the other hand, the appointment section of the website is constantly displaying messages such as « No appointment available, retry later ».
Indeed, foreign people have to wait for months, while consulting the website every day, to manage to obtain an appointment. On the Internet forum, we can observe their despair. They are daily exposed to administrative or criminal penalties because they can’t register their demand for a resident permit. Moreover, some people, who already possess a valid residence card lose their jobs because they can’t renew it soon enough.
The association La Cimade set up the website “A guichet fermés”, that reveals the situation. A robot connects several times a day on the website of Ile-de-France prefectures. It attests of a high fail rate.
Foreigners who want a more accessible prefecture can go until pretending to leave in Paris where the system is not completely computerised.
Furthermore, there are lucrative services that make people pay for appointments. They set up robots that take up all of the available appointments. Yet, public services are, in principle, free.
Associations Action: “On October 9th, let’s open the prefectures”
Several associations, charities and unions are promoting a gathering on Wednesday, October 9th at 10:00 am in front of the administrative court and at 03:00 pm in front of the Bobigny, Creteil and Nanterre prefectures. They ask for a physical and efficient reception. They want the website’s appointments to remain an option.
Hopefully, legal solutions exist!
Beyond those actions, legal solutions exist. For example, the attorneys from the network TERRAVOCATS ask their clients to take screenshots of their attempts of getting an appointment (with visible date and hour) in order to seize the judge and inform him of this prejudicial failure to finally obtain an appointment.