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What really helped me was to be able to speak french and to know how to express myselft. And not to physically look like an Arab : i could look like somebody from here.
And then the strategies : per example, to find the name of a person in charge of a service at the Prefecture, I changed many times the last numbers of the phone number of the telephone switchboard, until i get to the direct line. As i spoke directly to the person in charge of the form, it changed everything.
Finally, we must know the law and our rights, know how to find out.
Per example, under Sarkozy, there was the “Reception and Integration Contract”. I signed it at the status change moment. I accomplished all that was expected from me (language test, integration day…) and when I asserted it at the Prefecture, it unblocked my sytiuation.