Quick Tip: Bring Your Birth Certificate

I guess I never mentioned this before because I didn’t apply for Sécurité Sociale so I never thought much of it. SS is just like American social security, but also gives you access to healthcare. You will definitely want it, as you are paying tax on it, and if you work long enough you’ll want to collect your pension, and even apply for Pole at some point when you need it. If you are doing all of your OFII stuff you might as well kill two birds with one stone and do them together. I’ve heard horror stories that it can take up to a year or longer to get it. Starting on it right away is important, and to do that you will need a copy of your birth certificate translated into French. This has to be an original copy, which means it needs the stamp or the seal. It cannot be a copy of a copy (for some reason some birth certificate offices give you that because in America it doesn’t always need to be ‘official’).

I say bring it with you because if you are American, you can’t just order it online. The national government has nothing to do with it. You need to get the copy on a state level, and when I went to Texas Public Health Records or whatever it’s called, the lady charged me $70. She “accidentally” overnighted it, and then refused to refund me for her mistake. I had Société Générale at the time, and despite providing them with emails where the lady clearly states that she knows I didn’t ask for it, and she did it of her own accord, they wouldn’t let me dispute the charge. To top it off I never received it. It went to someone else so I hope they enjoyed it. Don’t trust your shitty local government to do the job. Just make sure you take it with you when you leave for Paris. If you ever want to get married you’ll also need it for that so having it with you is helpful. 

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