This is NOT a walk in the park. But the money you get back makes up for the pain it is to sort out. The CAF stands for Caisse d’Allocations Familiales and is basically available to all those living in Paris on a low-income.

Things you need:

  • RIB – either the bank details of the foyer you’re staying at and they’ll reimburse you each month, or your own bank details and you receive the money, in which case do not fill out the part “demande de versement directe de l’aide
  • attéstation de residence en foyer – dated and signed by landlord
  • Photocopy of passport
  • Copy of National Insurance Card
  • If you’re not from Europe, you need a photocopy of your Visa
  • Proof of student at university two years prior (so if you’re appling in 2016 like I did, it would be your status in the year 2014)
  • Déclaration de ressources two years prior (again, if you were a student you don’t need to fill this out, just tick “absence de ressources”)
  • Details about your parents – names, birth dates and address(es).
  • POSSIBLY your birth certificate, in which case you need it translated into French

Yes, absolute mayhem, and it also takes forever to be checked and have the money actually start to come in, but it is dated, so you will get back payments. The CAF does not give you money for your first month’s rent, so for example, if you’re planning to move in early September, move in on 31 August, so August will be counted as your first month and you’ll receive money for September.

Update 1, 7/10/16: currently still waiting on any recognition of receiving the documents I sent off … And I have a feeling it’s going to take a while longer.

Update 2, 13/10/16: I have received a letter of acknowledgement of my application and they have given me a password to acccess my online CAF account. I need to log in and change/create my own password for my application process to continue.

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