Foreigners that come to France, and intend to stay there more than three months, usually have to obtain a French residence permit, which is a document that permits them to remain in France, and often to even work. Anyone who remains in France without a residence permit (or a visa that entitles them to stay) will not only be considered as illegal residents in France, but will also be unable to get access to many state services and aids.
Exempt from the requirement of obtaining a French residence permit are only the nationals of the European Union, the European Economic Area Member States and Switzerland. However, they too are suggested to obtain a residence permit, upon their arrival in France, in order to have access to the above-mentioned benefits.
Short stay visa holders, who are permitted to stay in France for a maximum of three months, do not need to obtain a residence permit, no matter for what reason they are in France.
“Carte de Résident” Residence Permit
Carte de resident is a residence permit for spouses of French citizens, parents of a French-born child, expats retiring in France, or those who have already renewed their ‘carte de séjour’ for more than three years in a row. It permits its holder to stay in France for 10 years, and is renewable.
There are two types of it as well:
- Carte de resident rétraité – which is for expats retiring in France
- Carte de resident – which is for every other category of applicants
Depending on your case, you might be a subject to one of the following types of authorizations of stay of residence permits:
- Carte de Resident
- 10-year resident card of a foreigner in France – issued to family members of a French national (spouse, children, parents) which card entitles its holder to stay in France and work too. the card is also issued to refugees and stateless persons as well as to their families.
- EU long-term resident card – issued to foreigners that have resided in France for at least 5 years or that hold a European Blue Card. This is a renewable card, valid for up to 10 years.
- Permanent Resident Card – If you are a holder of a 10-year resident card, which is close to its expiration, then you can apply for either its renewal or its permanent resident card, which gives you unconditional rights to stay in France.
Carte de Resident Rétraité – for people who move to France in order to retire there.
10-year Resident Card of a Foreigner in France
Foreign nationals in France can apply for this type of residence permit, under certain conditions, which is valid for 10 years. It is usually granted to people who have family ties in France, at the 1st title of stay or at the end of a card of temporary or multi-year stay.
It entitles its holder to remain in France and also engage in paid activity, as an employee or a non-salaried trader, craftsman, liberal profession etc.
Categories concerned to get this permit
If you are planning to apply for this type of residence permit, then check if you belong to one of the categories, which are concerned to get this permit:
- Stranger with family ties in France
- Child or parents and in-laws of a Frenchman
- Refugee or stateless person and their family
- Beneficiary of a work accident annuity and their family
- Veterans and legionaries
- Foreign victim of human trafficking or pimping
- Foreign recipient of a protection order
- Youngster who is eligible to obtain French nationality
In order for each of the categories to be able to apply for a 10-year residency permit, some criteria must be fulfilled. Check below for these criteria and requirements:
Stranger with family ties in France
Only those that belong to one of the following are eligible to apply under this category:
- the spouse of a French national (married for at least 3 years). If you have been married abroad, then your marriage must have been previously transcribed on the registers of the French civil status
- the spouse or underage child (under 19) of a foreign national that holds a residence card, who has entered France for family reunification and remained there for at least 3 continuous years
- the parent of a French child residing in France. The parent must have been a holder of a permit for private and family life for at least 3 years before applying
Child or parents and in-laws of a Frenchman
Eligible for this category are the following:
- Underage child of a French national (under 21 years old)
- Parent or step-parents in care of a French national
Refugee or stateless person and their family
To be considered a refuge you must fulfill one of the following criteria:
- You have been granted with the refugee status by the French authorities
- you are the family member of a refugee in France (spouse, underage children, parents)
To be considered a stateless person you must be either:
- have obtained the status of a stateless person and have benefited for 3 years in a row from a temporary residence permit for private and family life, or
- if you are the member of a stateless person in France (you are the spouse or the child of this person)
Beneficiary of a work accident annuity and their family
If you receive a pension by a French organization for a permanent disability rate of at least 20%, after having had an accident at work in France you are eligible to apply under this category. You can also apply in case you are entitled to a foreigner that receives death benefits by the French organization because of an accident at work.
Veterans and legionaries
You can apply under this category if:
- you have served in a fighting unit of the French army or an allied army
- you have served for at least three years in the Foreign Legion
- you have fought in the ranks of the French forces of the interior
Foreign victim of human trafficking or pimping
Persons who have been victims of human trafficking or pimping can apply for this category of residence permit. The applicant must fulfill some requirements as:
- having filed a complaint of testified against one or more persons for using her/him for human trafficking
- the applicant must no longer be in contact with the person being prosecuted
- the applicant must not be a threat to the public order
Foreign recipient of a protection order
If you have a protection order because of the violence committed by your spouse or partner you can also apply for a residence permit. The main requirement is that your spouse or partner must have been sentenced as a result of a complaint filed by you.
Youngster who is eligible to obtain French nationality
If you fulfill the criteria to obtain France nationality, since you have been born and lived in France for at least five years, then you can apply for a 10-year residency card in France.
If you are planning to apply for this residence card, then you have to apply within two months of arrival in France at the prefecture or sub-prefecture that is the closest to your home in France. Submit the following documents:
- Your passport
- Your long-stay visa or current residence permit
- Marriage certificate extract, if you are married
- Birth certificates of your children, if you have any
- 3 photos according to the ICAO standards
- Documents that prove you fulfill the eligibility criteria
- OFII medical certificate
- Proof you fulfill the language requirement
- Proof of republican integration (spouse of a French, parent of a French child, family reunification)
- Do not forget that all documents in another language must be submitted alongside a French translation
The fees for a 10-year residence permit vary from one category to another. These fees are as following:
- Stranger with family ties in France 269€
- Child or parents and in-laws of a Frenchman 269€
- Refugee or stateless person and their family 19€
- Child entering minor by family reunion 139€
- Child beneficiary of a family reunion on the spot 269€
- Beneficiary of a work accident annuity and their family 79€
- Veterans 19€
- Legionaries 269€
- Youngster who is eligible to obtain French nationality 269€
EU long-term resident card
If you are a third country national and you have lawfully and uninterrupted remained in France within the last 5 years, or you hold an European Blue Card, then you are eligible to apply for a long-term resident permit, which allows you to travel and live in the whole Schengen Area. The card is renewable, and you will have to meet some other criteria in order to be able to obtain it (as financial means, health insurance, integration etc.)
In order to be able to get this permit, you will have to fulfill a few eligibility criteria, as following:
- You must have been a regular resident for at least 5 years in France, on one of the following permits:
- long-stay visa equal to a residence permit
- on a visitor’s temporary residence card
- in a private and family life residence permit
- on an employee residence card
- on a passport talent card
- resident card
- Whereas EU blue Card holders must prove that they have spent five years in European Union
- Health Insurance
- Financial Means – You must have an income of at least € 1,498.47 gross monthly (not applicable to holders of allowance for adults with disabilities or the supplementary disability allowance)
- Integration in the French society – you must prove that you can integrate into the French society and show that you have sufficient knowledge of French language
*You can be absent from France for no longer that 10 months in total within 5 years, and a maximum of six consecutive months in order to be eligible.
Application Process & Fee
File your application at the prefecture or sub-prefecture that is the nearest to your home in France. You need to do that within two months before the expiration of your current residence permit.
The documents you will need to submit are as following:
- valid residence permit
- marriage certificate in case you are married
- Birth Certificates of your children, if you have any
- 3 photos according to the ICAO standards
- Proof of republican integration
- health insurance evidence
- proof of French language requirement
- proof of financial means
Remember that every document that is not in French must be submitted with a translation in French.
The application processing of this visa is 269€.
Permanent Resident Card
The permanent resident card holders are entitled to stay in France unconditionally. Eligible for this card are only those who have held two consecutive resident cards or a 10-year EU long-term Resident Card that is expiring.
You will have to file your application at the prefecture or sub-prefecture that is the closest to your home in France. Because of organizational reasons, some of the prefectures will make the applicants apply four to five months before, online. Therefore, consult the website of the prefecture near your home and find out more.
The documents required to apply for this permit are as following:
- Information on your marital status
- home address in france
- resident card expiring
- 3 photos no older than three months
- declaration of non-polygamy if you are married
- proof that you have not spent more than 3 consecutive years outside of France within the past 10 years (outside of Europe if you are a EU Blue Card holder)
- proof of your French language knowledge
The fee for this residence card is 269 €.