Experience and advice:
how to get by in Marseille

Here you will find a selection of extracts (both text and audio) taken from accounts by people who have arrived in Marseille in recent years. The extracts share their experiences, tips and advice.

Extract from Récit de Momo • 35 years old • Man • Comorien

As for clothes, I know that at the headquarters of the Restaurants du Coeur in Les Aygalades - Padouane have a lot of donations, clothes for adults or children that can be collected, but also things...

Extract from Récit de Momo • 35 years old • Man • Comorien

For health issues, it used to be hard in this neighbourhood. A visit to the doctor costs 25 euros, even for people who had no papers and no health coverage. But now there's the Château en Santé,...

Extract from Récit de Mosa • 35 years old • Man • Soudanais

Finally, there are some very important meeting places for me, the only ones that allow me to forget our various troubles: on Thursday afternoons we meet with friends from Italy, Sudan and Afghanistan...

Extract from Récit de Koda • 25 years old • Man • Ivoirien

The OFII gave me the CERFA "Asylum seeker's medical file - confidential medical certificate": this is for my state of health and for accommodation (assessment of my "vulnerability", for referral to...

Extract from Récit de Koda • 25 years old • Man • Ivoirien

At the Prefecture they put me in Dublin (procedure), (towards) Italy. They gave me a form to fill in, to write why I don't want to go back to Italy (DUBLIN observations). As for me, I know why I left...

Extract from Récit de Momo • 35 years old • Man • Comorien

In the meantime, I had the chance to discover the Jardin de Aures, during an out-trip of my nephew's kindergarten class, which I accompanied. It is a garden where several associations collaborate:...

Extract from Récit de Muharem • 30 years old • Man • Croatian

At the new PADA they told me they no longer provide "social services". When I got out of PADA I didn't know what to do and a friend advised me to go to Cimade where they helped me apply for legal...

Extract from Récit de Daniel • 40 years old • Man • Cameroonian

Two days later, during a second appointment at the Prefecture, I could to talk about my health conditions; I was given a medical certificate for the OFII. So I had to go and see a doctor, do the...

Extract from Récit de César • 30 years old • Man • Venezuelian

Before coming to Europe, I was looking for volunteering on a site called HelpX.net. I found an opportunity in Marseille with Yes We Camp. It was interesting to do this volunteer work in parallel with...

Extract from Recit de Ahmad • 25 years old • Man • Afghan

The Prefecture placed me in Dublin procedure, because my fingerprints were taken in Bulgaria, and told me that I could not have accommodation while I was in Dublin procedure. As they said, I might be...

    Extract from Récit de Dawood • 30 years old • Man • Afghan

    There I had an OFII interview which explained the ADA allowance to me and it works well for me. I asked if there was any possibility of finding a place to sleep, but they told me: "There is no place...

    Extract from Récit d’Ibrahim • 25 years old • Man • Guinéen

    I go to ADJ Marceau and they explain to me how to reach the addresses I am looking for. There is a very kind man there who helps me a lot. When I have problems and difficulties, I can go and see him....

    Extract from Récit de Sekender • 30 years old • Man • Afghan

    Finally the Platform gave us the document to go to the doctor (CMU), they told us that with this document we can go to the doctor for free. They helped us with the procedures.

    Short audio extract produced by the group Atelier avec Hors pistes (Parrainage citoyen)

    One initiative I like is the Kafé Calangues, a language café where you learn languages through games. It's an itinerant encounter, but often they're in Nour of Egypt. On arrival, you are...

    Extract from Récit de Blessed • 35 years old • Man • Nigérian

    Since I'm in this situation, I don't have accomodation. I stayed 5 months at La Madrague... there people are crazy ... then I used to call 115 and they always say there is no place, I have tried...

    Short audio extract produced by the group Publication de QX1 Welcome Map

    Prefecture has released recordings in several languages with explanations of containment measures for Covid19 prevention.

    Extract from Récit de Jorge • 40 years old • Man • Angolan

    My profession is that of mechanic: I've already done some trials at garages here. It went well, but they couldn't hire me because I didn't have any papers. So it's very difficult to get by...

    Extract from Récit de Mounir • 45 years old • Man • Algerian

    Since my legal status changed, the renewal of my residence permit (always for one year) has become easier. But (before) for these procedures, I always had to take up to 3 days off. Each time, I had a...

    Extract from Récit de Alì • 30 years old • Man • Moroccan

    Once i had found a room,i struggled a lot to ask for the APL (financial housing assistance). The first time i received the APL, I was paying the rent for about one year ! You can ask for the APL only...

    Extract from Récit de Mounir • 45 years old • Man • Algerian

    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 :...

      Extract from Récit de Blessed • 35 years old • Man • Nigérian

      When i arrived, somebody  brought me to the Platform, I went there immediatly and they gave me an appointment for the Prefecture 6 weeks later (Author's note :  the law provides a period of 3...

      Short audio extract produced by the group Atelier avec Hors pistes (Parrainage citoyen)

      When we arrive at Marseille, it's nearly impossible to feel homesick ;  wherever you come from, you will quickly meet somebody from your country !Per exemple, on the National Boulevard, not...

      Extract from Récit de Alì • 30 years old • Man • Moroccan

      The student visa lasts one year. After one year, you can ask to renew your visa, You have to ask at the CROUS (Regional Centre for School and University Services). At the CROUS, there is a policeman...

      Extract from Récit de Jorge • 40 years old • Man • Angolan

      My asylum request will probably be refused, as i can't prove enough the risks related to my activism in my country, and furthermore, when talking with other angolans, I learned  that no request made...

        Short audio extract produced by the group Planète sans visas (Cours de français)

        Near the station, at Place Marceau, there is a day reception for people with or without papers. You can take a shower, be helped on files, be advised or cared for by a nurse, drink a hot drink and...

        Extract from Récit de César • 30 years old • Man • Venezuelian

        The information for my residence permit, i searched for it at 66 rue St Sébastien, it's the Prefecture for foreigners, When you ask an information overthere, normally they have this information but...

          Extract from Récit de Amadou Diallo • Man • Malien

          Now i receive the ADA, but before receiving the ADA, i had big problems to eat. I asked few times at the PADA to go to the NOGA restaurant but we didn't give me. I didn't give me. I received the ADA...

          Extract from Récit de Amadou Diallo • Man • Malien

          When I arrived in Marseille, I went to the day-care centre Marceau, They accompanied me to the hospital of La Timone. Once we got there, I have been told that my medical treatment will take time, but...

          Short audio extract produced by the group Atelier avec les compagnon.e.s de Emmaûs Saint Marcel

          In Saint Marcel, in the 11th arrondissement of Marseille, there is an Emmaus community, called Emmaus Saint-Marcel. It is an association that welcomes people in difficulty. There are people from...

          Short audio extract produced by the group Atelier avec les compagnon.e.s de Emmaûs Saint Marcel

          In Saint Marcel, in the 11th arrondissement of Marseille, there is an Emmaus shop, where you can find everything: cheap clothes, furniture and electrical goods, crockery, books, toys... It is a...

          Extract from Récit de Amadou Diallo • Man • Malien

          An African guy I met at the train station told me I could call 115 on the third day. They came to pick me up and took me to UHU Madrague where I stayed for 4 months. It wasn't good there. From 7...

          Extract from Récit de Dawood • 30 years old • Man • Afghan

          I bought this book (he shows us a french manual, the “Vocabulaire Progressif du Francais”) every day I go to the park next to Castellane (Park du XXVI Centenaire), but it’s starting to get cold...

          Extract from Récit de Dawood • 30 years old • Man • Afghan

          I didn’t know anyone in Marseille, I arrived at St. Charles and there they told me to go down the stairs of the station and go to the right for the refugees. When I arrived to (what is it called?)...

          Extract from Récit de Waheed • 25 years old • Man • Afghan

          The OFII wanted to speak French and I said “No, I speak English,” but she insisted on French. I told them I don’t have money, I begged to speak with a friend who speaks English, so that he...

          Extract from Récit de Amadou Diallo • Man • Malien

          I went to the PADA, they gave me a meeting to register my claim. A woman received me one afternoon. She asked me for my papers, I gave her my birth certificate because the doctor at the hospital had...

          Extract from Récit de Saïd • 45 years old • Man • Afghan

          I stayed until July 2017. OFII chose where I had to go, which village, which center… If I didn’t accept OFII’s offer, I didn’t have options for a year, two years, three years, five years.......

          Extract from Récit d’Ibrahim • 25 years old • Man • Guinéen

          Yesterday I met with the service WELCOME who offered me housing starting in November, but before that I don’t have a solution, the 115 told me “tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow…” But there is...

          Extract from Récit de Sekender • 30 years old • Man • Afghan

          In order to eat, we went to the NOGA Restaurant for 1 month, then we had to stop because there was no more space. We were able to go again later, until we received ADA, at the beginning of the month...

          Extract from Récit de Raba • 40 years old • Man • Algerian

          I am with my family. I have three children aged 10 to 16. We applied for asylum in March at GUDA. I stayed in the streets for one month with my family after the meeting with the Plateforme. After...

          Extract from Récit de Camilla • Family • Kosovar

          We hadn’t been oriented to NOGA, someone told me that there was no more room at the social restaurant… We sorted things out.. We buy slices of pizza in Noailles with the small amount of money...

          Extract from Récit de Daniel • 40 years old • Man • Cameroonian

          I don't know how it's going to be until April, and especially after that. I have spoken with friends who are also "dublinable" towards Italy, and who are at a more advanced stage in their...

          Extract from Récit de Daniel • 40 years old • Man • Cameroonian

          At the police station, they took my fingerprints, made a report and gave me a summons to the Prefecture. When I went to the Prefecture, I was again fingerprinted and photographed and explained the...

          Extract from Récit de Jorge • 40 years old • Man • Angolan

          I met a theatre actor who had just finished his show: he told me about the evangelical church "Viens et vois", at the Belle de Mai, attended by Protestants who had also lived in Angola. A few days...

          Extract from Récit de Alì • 30 years old • Man • Moroccan

          If I have any advice, it is to be open and get involved in the dynamics that are happening here. There are many interesting things at the political, human, humanitarian and cultural level. Even if...

          Extract from Récit de Raba • 40 years old • Man • Algerian

          At the Platform they don't help me. To go to Paris l'OFPRA I have problems with the tickets, so I came to SOS Voyageurs. They paid for the OUIGO train tickets. But where are we going to sleep with my...

          Extract from Récit de Kasim, Azita et leur famille • Family • Afghan

          In the middle of September, I received a message from the OFII to tell me that I had collected 124.80 euro, for the last 4 days of August. I had a enrolled in the restaurant NOGA but when the...

          Extract from Récit de Mosa • 35 years old • Man • Soudanais

          I also go to the Afrisanté association, in Noailles, who helps a lot of people. I go there to get help for the administrative procedures (CMU calls 115, ...), but also just to rest and drink tea.

          Extract from Récit de Mosa • 35 years old • Man • Soudanais

          I went to meet the CIMADE, who helped me prepare my appeal. Today I am waiting for a hearing at the CNDA. And the Cimade, besides that for the use of CNDA, has helped me for many steps, like...

          Extract from Récit de Mosa • 35 years old • Man • Soudanais

          I am a class in several places: in the Friche de la Belle de Mai, on the boulevard Baille at the Amicale du Nid, in Tétraccord and at the Manba. (Note QX1: Course schedules are up to date on the...

          Extract from Récit de Mosa • 35 years old • Man • Soudanais

          Even for the ADA I had to insist to the OFII: after 45 days of delay, they made a reminder mail so that my allowance could finally be paid. Moreover, with the activation of the ADA, the OFII...

          Extract from Récit de Mosa • 35 years old • Man • Soudanais

          Seeing all this world at the OFII and finding that no hosting solution was proposed to me, I gave up... In the meantime I had the chance to know people of the collective Migrant Support – El Manba,...

          Extract from Récit de Mosa • 35 years old • Man • Soudanais

          With regard to accommodation (for asylum seekers), no solution has been proposed to me by the institutions: I made 4 attempts, by going to the OFII early in the morning. But every time there was a...

          Extract from Récit de Momo • 35 years old • Man • Comorien

          For work, I was also helped by the ADDAP13, street educators who helped write my CV and gave it to the Régie Nord at Saint Louis. And the Régie Nord offered me a 6 month position, a maintenance...

          Extract from Récit de Momo • 35 years old • Man • Comorien

          I had worked at a European construction site for les Compagnons Bâtisseurs [French volunteer construction company that helps renovate housing projects in urban areas] here in Kalliste, my housing...

          Extract from Récit d’Ali et Sarah • Family • Soudanais

          After our meeting at the Plateforme Asile, we stayed in the streets for two weeks, it was very cold… I said that we were in the streets and the man who works at the Plateforme took our telephone...

          Extract from Récit d’Ali et Sarah • Family • Soudanais

          Since our arrival, we have slept in the street in front of the Gare Saint Charles. The day after our arrival, we went to the Plateforme, we were received the same day and we had the meeting at the...

          Extract from Récit de Jamal et famille • Family • Soudanais

          The Plateform sent us to the Secours Populaire for food and toiletries, but they didn’t have anything but a pack of nappies...

          Extract from Récit de Jamal et famille • Family • Soudanais

          I asked the Platform (PADA) what we were supposed to do after the 10 nights provided by the 115... In response, they told me to see directly with the 115, so I called them the last day… but they...

          Extract from Récit de Fatima et Malik • Family • Moroccan

          A Sudanese family we knew from Italy... explained to us how to apply for asylum and told us that we had to go to the platform. We went there but we arrived too late, at 8:30 am there is already more...

          Extract from Récit de Fatima et Malik • Family • Moroccan

          We arrived at night in Marseille, we slept in the street in front of the station Saint Charles. A gentleman spoke to us and told us that we could call 115. We tried to call the 115 all night but...

          Extract from Récit de Camilla • Family • Kosovar

          It's important that children go to school, for their stability but it is very difficult to manage alone to find help and to do the procedures of registration at school.. The Platforme Asile does not...

          Extract from Récit de Camilla • Family • Kosovar

          The day after I arrived, I went to the Asylum Platform (PADA), we were received the same day. An Albanian employee did the translation. We were set the rendezvous at the prefecture (NDA. at GUDA) 49...

          Extract from Récit de Ahmad et famille • Family • Syrien

          At the Platform (PADA), they gave us an appointment for the Prefecture, almost one month later… The PADA did not call 115 for us. It asked a fellow citizen from our country to find a solution...

          Extract from Récit de Ahmad et famille • Family • Syrien

          The day after our arrival, we went to the Platforme Asile but PADA is not open for registration in the afternoon, they told us to come back the next day between 8am and 8:30am to register on the list...

          Extract from Récit de Dawood • 30 years old • Man • Afghan

          I called 115 in the morning at 8 o’clock, I  tried about four times and finally they gave me one month in La Madrague… but unfortunately it is not really a good place, there are no normal...

          Extract from Recit de Ahmad • 25 years old • Man • Afghan

          I learn French at Espace Asso and I take courses at the Association "Solidarité Provence Afghanistan". I also participate in classes at another association, near the Vieux Port, named "Osons la...

          Extract from Recit de Ahmad • 25 years old • Man • Afghan

          I asked for help to find a solution for accomodation, but there were no more, besides the 115 and I can’t go sleep in a place like that... The Madrague (Unité d'hébergement d'Urgence) reminds me...

          Extract from Recit de Ahmad • 25 years old • Man • Afghan

          I had ADA (allocation pour demandeur d’asile) for 4 months, the time for the inquiry about readmission to Bulgaria (Dublin Pocedure). The PADA (Plateforme Asile) helped me with my procedures. I had...

          Extract from Récit d’Ibrahim • 25 years old • Man • Guinéen

          I explained to Martine at SOS Voyageur that I want to continue to go to school and Martine sent me to RESF. I went there and they told me how to do it, they gave me the addresses. [...] And they are...

          Extract from Récit d’Ibrahim • 25 years old • Man • Guinéen

          I have a library card, I go to "L'Alcazar", as I do not have a place to stay, I go there...to avoid hanging out at the the Saint Charles train station all the time...

          Extract from Récit d’Ibrahim • 25 years old • Man • Guinéen

          After having passed at the Asylum Platform (PADA), an asylum seeker normally must wait about 3 days until his appointmen at  Préfecture (GUDA). To me, they fixed an appointment 50 days later!...

          Extract from Récit de Amadou Diallo • Man • Malien

          The Cimade directed me to the Medecins du Monde. I created a medical file with them so that I could request at the Prefecture to stay here for treatment. The Cimade has also tried to join the Comede...

          Extract from Récit de Amadou Diallo • Man • Malien

          The day at the PADA when they explained the Dublin Regulation to me, I said that I was sick. The person at PADA called Timone to confirm that I was sick. The woman at PADA told me that I shouldn’t...

          Extract from Récit de Amadou Diallo • Man • Malien

          The doctor made a medical certificate explaining that I need to be followed here and that I shouldn’t be sent back to Italy. I gave a copy of it to the PADA and they didn’t do anything. In my...

          Extract from Récit d’Adnan • 20 years old • Man • Somalien

          For food there are places to eat, I go to the Sisters on boulevard National. At the Plateforme they told me to go to the "Refuge" but they only offer coffee, I don’t go there anymore; I get coffee...

          Extract from Récit d’Adnan • 20 years old • Man • Somalien

          I collect money from OFII (le ADA), every 5th of the month. When I was under the Dublin Regulation, I got 158 euros every two weeks and now that I am in the normal procedure I get 345 per month.

          Extract from Récit de Muharem • 30 years old • Man • Croatian

          One time I went to Popular Relief with a a women of the Education Without Borders Network who helped us in asking for a food package. It is necessary to do the case file once per year. The women of...

          Extract from Récit de Muharem • 30 years old • Man • Croatian

          At noon  we went to eat with the whole family at Noga restaurant. But for Mohamed who was one years old, he had to buy milk powder. I had asked the platform for addresses and help for food parcels....

          Extract from Récit de Muharem • 30 years old • Man • Croatian

          For 6 months we had regular meetings every three weeks at the Préfecture until the sixth month when they told us that Belgium had refused to resume charge of us and so we could start the asylum...

          Extract from Récit d’Adnan • 20 years old • Man • Somalien

          I applied for asylum in Marseille. They gave me an appointment. The first time I went to the Prefecture, I don’t know. The Prefecture told me that you don’t apply for asylum there, they gave me a...

          Extract from Récit de Snezana et Dzemail • Family • Serbe

          We requested accommodation by showing the documents of the Doctor of the Rimbaud PASS (Dzemail had an important surgery in Serbia. It is followed by the hospital of La Timone.) When we showed this...

          Extract from Récit de Snezana et Dzemail • Family • Serbe

          At first the Asylum Platform (PADA) did not register us to go to the restaurant Noga... Today it's been three months since we have the asylum seeker allowance (ADA) We were yesterday at the OFII,...

          Extract from Récit de Raba • 40 years old • Man • Algerian

          I thank Robert from Secours Catholique, he helped me. OFPRA sent the summons for my wife but not for me, we were not together for the summons and the Plateforme did nothing. I asked and Mustafa said...

          Extract from Récit de Blessed • 35 years old • Man • Nigérian

          In February the Préfecture placed me under the Dublin Regulation, they gave me a paper for 1 month, then 4 months, then 4 months, then they gave me the paper that said that I had to go back to...

          Extract from Récit de Sekender • 30 years old • Man • Afghan

          For my sister, we called the 115 numerous times but they were saying that there was not space, they asked does she have children and they said " sorry we don’t have place », we tried so many...

          Extract from Récit de Sekender • 30 years old • Man • Afghan

          The PADA tells me to go to the AADAP 13, I go there with my brother 2 or 3 times a week but they do nothing, just tell me to sign a notebook to say that I came. They say that they don’t have the...

          Extract from Récit de Sekender • 30 years old • Man • Afghan

          Radija and Esmat just joined us in Marseille. In Toulon, the police had stopped the train they were traveling on and asked them how many countries they had crossed and if they had been fingerprinted...

          Extract from Récit de Sekender • 30 years old • Man • Afghan

          When we arrived, an Afghan man approached us at the station, he asked us where we had come from and brought us to his house. He explained the procedures and showed us the way to get to Plateforme...

          Extract from Récit de Mounir • 45 years old • Man • Algerian

          After 3 renewals, it is possible to ask for a 10 year resident card. That is what I did in 2009, but I was refused. I more easily obtained French naturalization, which I had asked for at the same...

          Short audio extract produced by the group Cours de Français du Kiosque (Belle de Mai)

          When I arrived in Marseille I was ill and needed treatment.A friend told me about Médécins du monde. I went there and I saw a doctor who gave me some drugs. He didn't ask for my papers, only...

          Short audio extract produced by the group Planète sans visas (Cours de français)

          Imaje Santé is an association in Marseille. It helps young people between the ages of 12 and 25. They have social workers, doctors and psychologists. It helps young people who are ill, or who...

          Short audio extract produced by the group Atelier avec Hors pistes (Parrainage citoyen)

          We knew of Hors Piste as an intercultural partnership program that they offer: a person from Marseille houses or accompanies a refugee in his application process and daily activities. It’s a...

          Extract from Récit de Alì • 30 years old • Man • Moroccan

          A tip: Enjoy public and open spaces, like for example libraries or beaches. In France there are places, made by the State or by society, that can help us to get out of the feeling of being isolated....

          Extract from Récit de Alì • 30 years old • Man • Moroccan

          The CROUS can give financial aid : they  provided me with a 500 euro scholarship last year.

          Extract from Récit de Alì • 30 years old • Man • Moroccan

          As a refugee, you have social rights, meaning the RSA (revenu de solidarité active) , or medical aid, housing. Those are the rights for French people, Europeans in France, and refugees in France,...

          Extract from Récit de Daniel • 40 years old • Man • Cameroonian

          A month after my first visit to the Prefecture I was summoned their again because my one-month residence permit was coming to an end. They explained that they had discovered that my fingerprints...

          Extract from Récit de César • 30 years old • Man • Venezuelian

          When we arrived in Marseille, it was summer so it was really cool to go to the beach, to the calanques to, all the natural places. We enjoyed being able to be outside. The first Sunday of each month,...

          Extract from Récit de Laura • 30 years old • Woman • Venezuelian

          Noailles is not my favorite place on earth, but when I arrived in Marseille it became my Disneyland. I knew all the shopkeepers: the charcutier, the butcher, the greengrocer. It was a nice feeling;...

          Extract from Récit de Laura • 30 years old • Woman • Venezuelian

          When I lost my documents the Health Insurance Office demanded that I present a residence permit. That's when I went back accompanied by my current employer. He told them that I didn't need a...

          Extract from Récit de Jorge • 40 years old • Man • Angolan

          When I arrived here, I looked for organizations to do workshops with children because this is something I’ve always done and that I like to do. I met the director of Destination Familles, who...

          Extract from Récit de July • 25 years old • Woman • Pakistani

          I went to the CPAM (Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie, Health Insurance Office) to apply for cover twice. The first time I presented my European Health Insurance Card I received in Italy. The...

          Extract from Récit de July • 25 years old • Woman • Pakistani

          Once I have my Pakistani passport, the Italian state will give me a visa with a different code containing two letters (EU, I suppose) that certifies that I can move and work freely in Europe.

          Extract from Récit de July • 25 years old • Woman • Pakistani

          For my ADEF application I had provided an Italian document stating my identity and on which was noted my Pakistani nationality... But in Italy I had had an unlimited residence permit! I didn't think...

          Extract from Récit de July • 25 years old • Woman • Pakistani

          When I arrived (from Italy) I thought I'd sign up for a language class organised by the ADEF (Association départementale d'Études et de Formation, Departmental Association for Study and Training)....

          Extract from Récit de Omer • 30 years old • Man • Kurdish

          Casa Consolat, a social and solidarity centre, serves meals after the lunchtime service if there is any food left.

          Short audio extract produced by the group Théâtre de l'Oeuvre (exposition participative)

          There is a big market near the Bougainville métro station. The prices there are very low. It's the flea market and you can find foodstuffs, fruit and vegetables, spices, but also clothes,...

          Extract from Récit de Sabrine • 35 years old • Woman • Egyptian

          A few months later I receive the documents, but it's just a provisional receipt for my application... a receipt is just great! Except that employers don't want to hire you if you don't have a full...

          Short audio extract produced by the group Cours de Langue du Kiosque (Belle de Mai)

          At Saint-Charles station, opposite the university, associations give out food and hot meals at night. You can ask for clothes, blankets. There are supportive people there that help us.

          Extract from Récit de Marcello • 35 years old • Man • Italian

          Some French friends told me about associations that act as guarantors, but in fact all they can do is pay a part (or in some cases all) of the deposit.

          Extract from Récit de Agit • 31 years old • Man • Kurdish

          I finally passed my bac last year. Twelve years after arriving here. In ordre to do so I took French lessons  at the university to learn to read and write and then I sat the literature exam. I...

          Extract from Récit de Omer • 30 years old • Man • Kurdish

          On the Cours Julien is Noga Restaurant, a social restaurant, which serves meals to people in need. However, they need to be sent there by external providers. In the case of refugees they are...

          Extract from Récit de Kenji • 30 years old • Man • Japanese

          My problem then was that I had to go back to Japan in September and I wasn't sure if the receipt (for my residence permit application gave me the right to. I received contradictory advice regarding...

          Extract from Récit de Gabriela • 30 years old • Woman • Chilian

          In any case, financially, it was a complicated period: the master's degree was funded with an Erasmus Mundus grant. These scholarships are aimed at both European and non-European students. For...

          Extract from Récit de Gabriela • 30 years old • Woman • Chilian

          What I learned was that there are a number of ways to obtain a residence permit for professional reasons: you can apply as a self-employed worker("auto entrepreneur"), as a salaried employee, or even...

          Extract from Récit de Kenji • 30 years old • Man • Japanese

          I went to the Prefectture at 6 am and got in the queue. I had to go back a number of times because only a small number of people can be seen each day. When I finally managed to to get a number all...

          Extract from Récit de Gabriela • 30 years old • Woman • Chilian

          This year I worked part-time in a bookshop, l'Histoire de l'Oeil, for a fair-trade association (on a government subsidised contract) helping with setting up a project to sell books, and most recently...

          Extract from Récit de Gabriela • 30 years old • Woman • Chilian

          When I finally registered with Pôle Emploi (the French employment agency) I had a hard time understanding how things worked. I think I was removed from the register twice in the space of a few...

          As an asylum seeker I would have been eligible for a place in a reception centre for asylum seekers (Centre d'accueil de demandeurs d'asile - CADA), but the Asylum Platform always told me that there...

          Extract from Récit de Gabriela • 30 years old • Woman • Chilian

          That was the time when I was closest to reveiving an obligation to leave French territory (OQTF)... at the time it was still called an "Invitation to leave..." They replaced "invitation" with...

          Extract from Récit de Tiziano • 25 years old • Man • Italian

          My employer needed my social security number in order to fill in my contract file (and I needed a Carte Vitale (a health insurance card), in case something happened to me...). And all that took a...

          Extract from Récit de Naima • 35 years old • Woman • Algerian

          So, I found another apartment at 650€, less expensive, with 5 rooms. I found it by chance, chatting with someone. My mother lived just below. I noticed the apartment was empty so I talked to the...

          Extract from Récit de Omer • 30 years old • Man • Kurdish

          They explained to me that to apply for asylum I had to go through the Asylum Platform who arranged an appointement at the Prefecture. That is what I did and I am currently waiting to be summoned by...

          Extract from Récit de Kenji • 30 years old • Man • Japanese

          The residence permit application receipt also enabled me, finally, to sign job contracts in France. Until then I had worked in the kitchens of Japanese restaurants. I had also visited a number of...

          Extract from Récit de Kenji • 30 years old • Man • Japanese

          I arrived in Europe, in Germany to be precise, in 2010. I lived there for 3-4 years, at first on a one-year visa, and then later with two renewals for 2 years each. The first was a Working Holiday...

          Extract from Récit de Naima • 35 years old • Woman • Algerian

          Concerning health, because at first I didn't have the CMU (Universal Health Insurance), people at the Conception Hospital helped me and told me where I should go. At the time, there was a social...

          Extract from Récit de Naima • 35 years old • Woman • Algerian

          "When we first arrived in Marseille, in Belsunce, with Oussama, I had trouble getting milk, nappies. We got help from the Secours Catholique in the Belle de Mai area. it was really a lo. ng way to go...

          Extract from Récit de Naima • 35 years old • Woman • Algerian

          Once you have the receipt for your application you have the right to work, but that's all, you are not entitled to benefits. Having a residence permit gives you the right to everything.

          Extract from Récit de Omer • 30 years old • Man • Kurdish

          The first problem in Marseille was accommodation: the majority of young Kurds that I met lived with their families, their parents, and they had no way of taking me in. I spent the first two months...

          Extract from Récit de Agit • 31 years old • Man • Kurdish

          It took me 4 1/2 years to obtain a residence permit. And to do so I entered a civil partnership with my then companion. The CIMADE helped me a lot with the administrative steps needed for the civil...

          Extract from Récit de Marcello • 35 years old • Man • Italian

          French institutional websites are much too complicated. You get the impression you are reading the statutes. There are never any simple diagrams letting you grasp the key information easily. You have...

          Extract from Récit de Mahmoud • 25 years old • Man • Senegalese

          It's meeting people that saved me. I walked down the steps of St. Charles train station and on the boulevard I met a Sudanese man. I explained my situation to him and he took me to an association...

          Extract from Récit de Agit • 31 years old • Man • Kurdish

          However, I've applied for state medical support (AME) at the social security office on the Canébière. I went there with a friend and she helped me. Luckily, I'm not suffering from anything. I'm...

          Extract from Récit de Mahmoud • 25 years old • Man • Senegalese

          Concerning food: there's breakfast and dinner at Rue de Forbin. Lunchtime isn't easy there so I was obliged, between 10 am and 11 am, to go to the nuns of the Missionaries of Charity, 11 Avenue...

          Extract from Récit de Omer • 30 years old • Man • Kurdish

          There are lots of associations and associative bars that help a lot and it's easy to get in contact with them and work with them as a volunteer. That is what happened when I found Casa Consolat and...

          Extract from Récit de Omer • 30 years old • Man • Kurdish

          When I arrived in Marseille all I had was a small rucksack because I thought I would be returning home a week later. I found myself here with no clothes and no money. I didn't find anywhere to get...

          Extract from Récit de Omer • 30 years old • Man • Kurdish

          Between the train station and the Réformés neighbourhood there are a number of Kurdish restaurants. Le Marmara, for example. They're good restaurants, cheap, and they are places where you can get...

          Extract from Récit de Omer • 30 years old • Man • Kurdish

          At the Asylum Platform I felt the people there were fully invested in accompanying the applicants, but I also saw that that wouldn't be possible because of the lack of means compared to the number of...

          Extract from Récit de Thomas • 35 years old • Man • German

          As a German, you don't have to go to the Prefecture to register or apply for a residence permit; my German identity card is accepted gives me the right to stay in France.

          Extract from Récit de Thomas • 35 years old • Man • German

          At the same time I was following French lessons subsidised by the EU at the CIERES (Centres d'innovation pour l'emploi et le reclassement, Centre for Employment and Social Reclassification...

          Extract from Récit de Thomas • 35 years old • Man • German

          At the time I was looking for work in the hotel and restaurant sector. To prepare my image for this field of work before going to interviews I went to lots of garage sales and unofficial curbside...

          Extract from Récit de Thomas • 35 years old • Man • German

          I started with some odd jobs: distributing flyers in Aix, for example, for the CRIJPA (Centre régional information jeunesse Provence Alpes, Regional Youth Information Centre Provence-Alpes), on the...

          Extract from Récit de Thomas • 35 years old • Man • German

          I hitchhiked to Marseille, my rucksack on my back. I couchsurfed for the first week. The person who put me up gave me some very good advice: he told me about rezoprospec. It's an exchange network...

          Extract from Récit de Sabrine • 35 years old • Woman • Egyptian

          "Ten days before the mariage, the visa is ready: as I'm collecting it I see on the document that it is a "VISA France", the Schengen area is not mentioned at all. And my flight is with Lufthansa with...

          Extract from Récit de Sabrine • 35 years old • Woman • Egyptian

          The employee at the Prefecture replied: "But you're married! You don't need a residence permit anymore. All you need is your family record book. --- Keep it with you at all times so you can show it...

          Extract from Récit de Omer • 30 years old • Man • Kurdish

          The problem is that since the murder of three Kurdish militants in Paris in 2013, Kurdish cultural centres abroad are hidden as they are frightened of possible actions of the Turkish secret services....

          Extract from Récit de Kenji • 30 years old • Man • Japanese

          The problem is that when we look at the Prefecture's website neither my girlfriend nor myself can understand a thing. It is mainly the CIMADE that helped us by explaining what we needed and what our...

          Extract from Récit de Kenji • 30 years old • Man • Japanese

          Thus, I was able to unblock my situation thanks to the CIMADE and, before them, the people that told me to go to see them, Japanese friends that run the Okasan and Tako San restaurants in the city...

          Extract from Récit de Tiziano • 25 years old • Man • Italian

          It's clear that at first I didn'tb know all the different ways to express myself and the codes used here... Over time, for example, I understood how I should deal with Pôle Emploi. At first, I was...

          Extract from Récit de Tiziano • 25 years old • Man • Italian

          In the meantime, I had already started going to Casa Consolat. That is where I was advised to contact the Local Mission on the Avenue de Toulon because I was still under 26 years old (that was the...

          Extract from Récit de Tiziano • 25 years old • Man • Italian

          After 2 months I felt confident enough to talk in French and look for a job. I translated my CV into French and I began to distribute it all over town. Later, I was told I should change it a bit in...

          #CV
          Extract from Récit de Tiziano • 25 years old • Man • Italian

          It seems that procedures are not set in stone. Once, a Social Security Office employee asked for my Italian health insurance card, assuring me that it would facilitate my application in France. In...

          Extract from Récit de Omer • 30 years old • Man • Kurdish

          Not knowing anyone in Marseille I decided to go to Switzerland where I had friends and acquaintances who were from my hometown. I took a train to Basel where a friend offered to put me up. In...

          Extract from Récit de Mahmoud • 25 years old • Man • Senegalese

          And there's the housing commission of the Soutien Migrant collective (El Mamba. That's how I managed to find new accommodation when Forbin told me that I couldn't stay any longer. I thought I'd be...

          Extract from Récit de Mahmoud • 25 years old • Man • Senegalese

          Sport also helped me meet people. Football, going to Vallier sports ground; ther are matches every wednesday and thursday ay Korsec stadium in Belsunce. I've got to know lots of people through sport,...

          Extract from Récit de Kenji • 30 years old • Man • Japanese

          At the CADE (Centre d'Accès au Droit des Étrangers, Centre for Foreigners' Rights) they explained that I had no choice: I had to return to Japan to request a French visa. This solution, however,...

          Extract from Récit de Omer • 30 years old • Man • Kurdish

          The fact that I couldn't go back to Diyarbakir also meant the end of of my university career. I only had two more exams to sit before finishing my course. I asked the Asylum Platform: could I finish...

          Extract from Récit de Gabriela • 30 years old • Woman • Chilian

          "Studies finished, this is now my situation: I have a temporary residence permit titled "jobseeking student post professional master's degree". It's a provisional residence permit lasting 12 months...

          Extract from Récit de Tiziano • 25 years old • Man • Italian

          When I arrived in Marseille I knew nothing about the city or about France (I was trying to reach an English-speaking country), but a friend I knew here put me up for the first month. After that I...

          Extract from Récit de Kenji • 30 years old • Man • Japanese

          We decided to get married, we liked the idea in any case! But because my girlfriend is Italian, and in addition unemployed in France, after getting advice from the CIMADE, we decided to get married...

          Extract from Récit de Gabriela • 30 years old • Woman • Chilian

          Sometimes I looked at institutional websites. You can find precise information about what documents you need to present, for example, but not very much else. Personally, I have always prefered to...

          Extract from Récit de Gabriela • 30 years old • Woman • Chilian

          In order to understand things more clearly I went to the CIMADE (inter-movement committee for aid to refugees) where I was well taken care of. The criteria for obtaining a residence permit were...

          Extract from Récit de Marcello • 35 years old • Man • Italian

          In human terms, and especially thanks to music, I can say that I have never really had any problems. Quite the opposite in fact. With regards to the bureaucracy, things have been harder. When I moved...

          Extract from Récit de Marcello • 35 years old • Man • Italian

          As I said, when I arrived everything was simple thanks to my job and the apartment I was offered. In the long run, it's mostly my French friends who have given me the best tips. The friend who cooks...

          Extract from Récit de Marcello • 35 years old • Man • Italian

          I have often found it difficult to have my Italian diplomas and credentials recognised by Pôle Emploi (the French employment agency). They sometimes told me that I should sit exams in France in...

          Extract from Récit de Marcello • 35 years old • Man • Italian

          After having received my Individualised Housing Allowance (APL) for a number of months a number of different problems occured one after the other leading to my allowance being stopped. For example,...

          Extract from Récit de Marcello • 35 years old • Man • Italian

          At the same time, I went to the CAF (Family Allowance Fund) to get information about housing benefits (Aides Personalisées au Logement -APL, Individualised Housing Allowance). After hours of...

          Extract from Récit de Marcello • 35 years old • Man • Italian

          Getting guarantors was the single biggest obstacle to renting accommodation. My family live in Italy and French landlords distrust guarantors who live abroad. I think they believe that if there are...

          Extract from Récit de Marcello • 35 years old • Man • Italian

          I therefore had to apply for a Carte Vitale (Health Insurance Card) at the Social Security Office by presenting my birth certificate. It can't be the original one like in Italy, it has to be a...

          Extract from Récit de Marcello • 35 years old • Man • Italian

          Before I understood that I needed a French National Insurance number I lost a great deal of time trying to use my European Health Insurance Card (in Italy, the equivalent of the Carte Vitale was...