and thank you for any responses. I am waiting for my family titre de séjour (first demand). Visa type d expired in two months ago. I need to visit the USA for family reasons. I did not get a récépissé. (Prefecture - Paris said they didn’t have to). Can I leave France and return?
Good question. My (very imperfect) understanding is that you can leave and return, but that technically constitutes abandonment of the application, necessitating a new application after you return. I hope someone who knows more definitely than I do will post an answer.– phoogApr 15, 2019 at 15:58
There's something wrong : you should have got a récipissé as it's your first demand, this document is mandatory to stay legally in France (service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F15763) while your file is being examined.– Jean RostanApr 17, 2019 at 9:31
So you had a visa D for when you arrived? I am assuming it's a "visa long séjour valant titre de séjour" for family reasons? Or was it a change of status? Have you already handed in the documents for the renewal or are you waiting for the appointment? And p.s. @Jean Rostan in theory (and legally) you are right but many prefectures (Paris included) do not always give out récépissés - for reasons that are beyond me.– ar5975Apr 17, 2019 at 20:14
Thank you all for your response. Well it’s a type D Long Séjour Temporaire (dispense temporaire de carte de séjour). When I got it in NYC, they specifically, adamantly states that in order to renew, I must return to the USA. My status changed during my stay and now in the process of the application for my Tigre de séjour for family. My appointment in Paris came and went, they are reviewing the file. This was March 22 (last month). They told me they didn’t have to give me a récépissé and the more we insisted, the more they stood firm. It depends on the person I think– Marinela MarieApr 18, 2019 at 11:48
Your additional comment explains a lot and thus I am writing this as an answer.
The visa that you got is a visa long séjour temporaire and not a "visa long séjour valant titre de séjour" or vls-ts, which I mentioned above in my comment. The original purpose of the visa notwithstanding (studies or otherwise) in this case, doesn't really matter. The consulate is right in the sense that your type of visa technically does not allow you to renew it in France. Only VLS-TS visas can be renewed in France (in theory).
Prefectures sometimes accept applications (on a discretionary basis) but they consider it a "favor" that they accepted to look at your change of status request even if they were under no obligation to accept it (sorry to say this, but based on several accounts from various sources, if you weren't American, I doubt they would've accepted your request). And oftentimes in cases like this, they don't give you a récépissé.
Thus, if you want to push through with the status change, I wouldn't recommend you leaving the country unless you decide to forgo the application. If you do leave and then come back, you would be admitted as a tourist (and not a temporary resident), would be subject to the 90/180 rule, and the prefecture could consider that you abandoned your application (like what @phoog said).
If that happens and you want to get the temporary family permit, the prefecture could ask you to leave the country and, as @phoog said in the fomment, re-apply for a new visa D for a different purpose (family visa for example, or something else).
One other option is to try to get what they call a "visa de retour préfectoral" (see here, in French: https://www.demarches.interieur.gouv.fr/particuliers/comment-revenir-france-sorti-espace-schengen) but I heard that they are notoriously quite hard to get and are often only provided for humanitarian considerations. Also, given the type of visa you originally had, it's possible that they will tell you to just apply for a new visa at the consulate anyway.
Presumably another option would be to undertake the planned visit (to the US for family reasons) and apply for a new type-D visa during that trip; is that correct?– phoogApr 18, 2019 at 20:02
Indeed @phoog that is another option. I'll edit my answer to add that option.– ar5975Apr 18, 2019 at 21:54