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My wife (Canadian) just got a récépissé for her Carte de Séjour application. The agent told us she cannot travel until she receives her CdS!

Unfortunately we already booked a trip to North America for the week before our appointment, and we cannot delay that trip.

  1. Can we get into any trouble when we re-enter France? We will carry our marriage certificate with us (I am EU citizen).

  2. What I am more concerned about: could we have an issue at the Prefecture appointment afterwards if they see (e.g. from a passport stamp) that we left the country while waiting for the CdS?

I asked an earlier question on this topic, but now the situation is more specific.

(Added info: at the time of our re-entry, we will have spent less than 90 days in Schengen and only about 40 days in France. When I mentioned the upcoming trip to the agent, she basically advised to not show the récépissé at the border and not get a passport stamp, or otherwise she said we'd have to start the whole process over...)

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    The greatest trouble you can get into is having to start the process over. As long as she is with you, it doesn't matter how long she stays in the Schengen area, and with your marriage certificate and you, she cannot be denied entry. There's no easy way to avoid a passport stamp, I'm afraid. – phoog Sep 30 '17 at 20:45
  • @phoog: Thank you! Can you be more specific why it would be such trouble? I thought last time you said travel wouldn't be an issue... – travel_phil Oct 2 '17 at 8:02
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    It would be trouble because applying for a carte de séjour is an administrative burden. You'll probably have to pay the €25 fee again, too, though that is probably not a huge cost for you. So travel isn't an issue in itself, but since the agent told you that you would have to start the whole process over, and I have no reason to doubt her, I conclude that getting a stamp in your wife's passport will mean that she will have abandoned her application and need to submit a new one. – phoog Oct 2 '17 at 13:08
  • OK, that helps. We didn't have to pay any fee so far (not counting the cost of translations, etc.). I just hope it will somehow work out even if we travel, since we were planning several trips... It would be awful for my wife to be stuck in France for months. – travel_phil Oct 2 '17 at 14:36
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    If it doesn't work out, she won't have to reapply unless she plans to be in France for longer than three months. Under the letter of the law, if sheleaves more frequently than that, she never needs a carte de séjour (but unless she has one, she should not be in the Schengen area unless she is with you). It's a bit of a mess. – phoog Oct 2 '17 at 15:57
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I have travelled both inside (France - Netherlands) and outside the Schengen zone (France - UK / Croatia) on my récépissé with no problems. The airport I leave from is Marseille and they always check passports coming back in.

Anyway once you have the récépissé, the next step is picking up the carte de séjour when you receive the letter. I can't remember them looking through the passport again at this time.

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