Yesterday myself and Nikki decided to tackle the infamous application for CAF (Caisse Allocations Familiales), which is an allowance to help poor students like us to cope with pricey Parisian rent. I had psyched myself up for a long and difficult process seeing as everything else here has been accompanied so many complexities and with a pile of paperwork! Plus, I had already heard various nightmarish stories on blogs and from fourth years. I had done a bit of research before online (http://www.caf.fr/) and to be honest I was completely lost. What is good about the site is that it is possible to find your local bureau to hand in your forms, which just so happened to be round the corner for us.
Luckily we had help on hand at our student residence who gave us the forms we needed. I had a heart attack at the number of forms that shot of the printer, but it turned out that we didn’t need to fill out half of them! Plus, all we needed to take was a photocopy of our passport and our bank details (RIB). Once we had handed the forms in to our local bureau, I was suspicious that it had all been far too simple… We’ve been told that we’ll hear in about a month, so we shall see!
For anyone still needing to apply for CAF, here are a few tips I can give:
Before you apply:
1. Have a French bank account – it’s the only way to get your money.
2. Get your landlord/student residence to give you an ‘attestation de loyer/logement.
Things you need when applying:
1. Your bank details (RIB)
2. Assestation de loyer
3. Photocopy of passport
We have seemed to be lucky and needed nothing else, but just to be on the safe side I would say take a ‘juscatif domicile’ and some form of proof that you’re a student (student card or loan).
I don’t know if it’s possibly because I have become slightly acclimatised to the French administrative system, but the process seemed rather stress-free and simple. Good luck to anyone who still has to apply!