Posts Tagged ‘online’

Can it be?

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

I don’t want to speak too soon but I am going to anyway. Today I may have discovered the one bureaucratic, paperwork-related activity that is easier to do in FRANCE than in AUSTRALIA. This is essentially unfathomable and yet it appears to be the case. I am shocked to the core and while it still appears to be true I must write and tell the world. Of course, as soon as I press “Publish” and this entry goes live, someone in the French Government will read it and make up a new rule that changes everything. But for now I am happy.

In order to apply for my new Visa for France, I need police clearances from the countries I have lived in over the past three years – Australia and France. I sent my Dad on a mission to the Post Office in Perth to investigate whether or not he could apply for my Australian police clearance on my behalf or whether or not I could do it from France as I only have one week in Perth before I fly to Sydney to apply. The answer was no – I have to go to the Post Office in person, fill out a form, have a Post Office worker watch me sign it and then wait for it to come in the mail. For some very obvious reasons, such as what if I was applying for this visa in France and wasn’t returning to Australia to go to a Post Office, this is ridiculous. It is a particularly archaic method that hasn’t progressed with the rest of the world. Boo, Australia.

I was expecting worse from France and had put off the trip to the Prefecture (the local police/general authorities office) in the hope a police clearance would magically appear in my hand without me having to ask for it. Not the case. I realised time was running out and previous internet searches for how to apply for a police clearance and what exactly it is called in France had not been successful. But today I gave it one last try, googling “How do I apply for a police clearance in Paris?”. To my immense surprise, the answer came! On the Australian immigration website there was information for French people wanting to move to Australia and who would therefore need stupid pieces of paper, such as a police clearance. It provided very clear details (in English which is helpful for me but maybe not so helpful for the French person wanting to move to Australia) about how I could go to a website and apply online.

Wait a minute… apply online? For a police clearance? In FRANCE? The land of mega-paperwork, red tape and having to know the exact question to ask to get the answer you need. How on earth can France have a website that allows you to apply for a police clearance and state that by simply sending them a copy of your identity you can receive it in the mail within a few days? French people don’t know how to use the internet let alone make websites! But there it was, in its horrific nineties styling and layout, providing me with instant solutions. Oh happy day! I didn’t need to leave my apartment and hopefully within a few days a police clearance with arrive in the mail. I’m a little bit worried that they will get me confused with the other Jessica Davies who lives in France who killed her lover during a moment of passion. Hopefully they remember that she is in prison and probably doesn’t need/want a police clearance.