It's been a while since we've posted anything regarding our "hoops." So, here goes:
At the advice of my administrator, Bridgette and I visited the prefecture (again) to let them know of our plans to return home for the holidays, and to kindly ask if there would be any trouble returning to France because my visa is technically expired. We learned that my dossier is still being reviewed, and there's not much they can do besides suggest we request from the Chicago consulate a return visa in order to, well, return to France.
I should mention that the attitude and unspoken innuendo was that as Americans, we won't have any problems and could probably claim being tourists to likely enter the country. And that's all only if they check our visas.
I've recently learned (a day or two after the prefecture visit) that my long-stay visa application has been denied, and that I need to completely restart the application process. Whoopee. Luckily the admins here are being more than helpful, and actually have commanded me not to do anything, ha! So it's in their hands at the moment.
So here I go, returning home for the holidays in a few days. Meanwhile my application will be restarted and sent to the Office / Department / Ministry / Whatevs of Labor, where they hopefully will accept my situation for working in France. Then those documents will be sent to who-knows-where. Technically, I believe they're supposed to be sent to Chicago, where I'm supposed to receive the "correct" entry visa, after which I can jump through the expected hoops in France of attaining a residence permit, medical exam, and sommelier lessons.
Oh, and Bridgette's still waiting to hear back from the OFII to keep her papers rolling.
When the legal paths are so long and tedious, is it a wonder that illegal immigration is prevalent in western countries (I'm looking at you, too, America)?