I have a question for those who have gone this procedure before, of knew somebody who has:
I've received my récépissé about a month ago and still waiting for a reply from the préfecture about the status. People around me are telling me that I shouldn't count on the card to be ready anytime within the 3 months period. My récépissé will expire on 4 Jan next year, in the case that I yet to receive it by then, I need to renew it. I hear that I could not leave and re-enter France within this 3 months until I get the card, unless I only travel within Schengen areas. To travel beyond that, I would need to get a préfecture return visa which takes about 10 days to process.
I need to return to KUL for 2 weeks during chrismas. As a Malaysian passport holder, I don't need a visa to enter France or any Schengen countries as a tourist or for short stays. Do I still need to apply for this return visa? I had a student visa with me (just expired), but that was only meant for me to be eligible to apply for the carte de séjour (applies to all non-EU/EEA for long stays). The officer at the préfecture said that I would need a return visa, as would my American colleague who went to the préfecture with me. A French friend of mine said that the officer hasn't a clue of the system, he assume that ALL non-EU/EEA nationals require a visa to enter France, hence I wouldn't need to worry about leaving and returning the country.
Any advice would really be appreciated. Thanks!