• French Admin - Andrew

Carte de séjour - Residency Permits

Carte de séjour

Basically, a Carte de séjour is "leave to remain" on French territory, for a set period. The right to stay in the country is granted and proven by the issuing of a Carte de séjour (for anyone outside of the EU member-States) and must be shown at all times when requested to do so, or when the administration requires it. If indefinite residency is permitted, then a Carte de résident will be issued. Since 2002, all EU member-States have had the same model of Carte de séjour, although applying for one was never an obligation since all EU member-States granted automatic right to settle in any other country of the EU, as long as they were within the Schengen Area. But, people could apply for one if they wished to do so.



As we saw in a post yesterday on Identity Papers, that foreigners were the first to get some sort of identity papers in 1917. In 1926, it became also a form of Work Permit and was stamped with the authorisation to carry out work in the country.


There are 7 forms of Carte de séjour that exist in France:


  1. Private and Family Life

  2. Salaried or Temporary Workers

  3. Talent Passport

  4. Seasonal Worker

  5. Intra-Corporate Transferees or Seconded Employees

  6. Visitor

  7. Retiree

Some of the above can be detailed as follows:


Cartes de séjour are usually issued for 1 year if it is the first time that they are granted. They can also be issued (since 2015) for 2 or 4 years if they are renewed. It can be granted if a person is married, PACSed (civil partnership) to a French person or to a person that has a Carte de séjour already, is the parent of a French child, entered France alone as a minor, or is a foreign-born person that is ill and cannot obtain treatment in their home-country.


A salaried-worker's Carte de séjour will be granted to someone that has no ties with French people or that does not have a motive to be granted a Family Life Carte de séjour. They must have the authorisation to work in France already.It is usually valid for only one year.


A talent passport is granted to someone who has come to France to either carry out research or to teach at University level. They must, therefore, have, at least a Master's Degree. But it is also granted to those that wish to come to France to create a company (artisan, business services, industrial company...). It could also be granted to those that have a Specialised Master's Degree and that have a promise of a contract for at least 3 months with a annual salary that is equal to or above 37,310 euros a year.


A Carte de séjour for a European retiree (including a UK citizen up until the Withdrawal Agreement) must be on the basis of having at least 906.81 euros per month as available ressources, for those over 65 years of age and living alone. It is 1,407.82 euro for couples. If the couple is under 65 years of age, then they should have at least 848.02 euros per month together (if there are no children). If they are single, they should have 565.34 euros per month.


Residency Permit

A Residency Permit usually lasts for 10 years. It can be applied for if:

  1. A person has family ties in France but is not a French national.

  2. If the person has provided service to the French State.

  3. If the person benefits from International Protection.

This means that if the person requesting a residency permit is married to a French national and has been for the past three years (reduced to one year if the person is Tunisian), and if the marriage is still financially and emotionally recognised by living together, then a 10-year residency permit is granted. However, there is a language test to ensure that the person has a sufficient level of French. The residency permit allows the bearer to both live and work and no further work permit is required. It costs 225 euros.


A person may also request a residency permit if they are married to, or the child (under the age of 19 years) of a holder of a residency permit valid for 10 years. They must prove that they have resided for at least 3 years consecutively leading up to the request to obtain the permit. This is considered as family regrouping. It becomes invalidated if the holder leaves the country for more than 3 consecutive years.


If a person has a child that is of French nationality, but they themselves are not French, then they can request to obtain a Carte de résident, after living in France on carte de séjour for at least 3 consecutive years. It allows the bearer to both live and work in France. It costs 180 euros. However, the person requesting this sort of card has to prove that they have looked after and provided for the child.


A Carte de résident can be granted to those that are recognised as stateless persons or refugees.


If a person has fought for France, in the French Army or in the Allied French Army, or even in the French Foreign Legion, then they are also entitled to a Carte de résident.



Post Brexit


British citizens in France that had lived here for 5 years prior to the Withdrawal Agreement have permanent residency status. Those that have not lived in France for 5 years at least, have to prove that they have sufficient funds to live here, or that they have assets to be able to do so.


For those that arrive in France after 1st January 2021 and who are retirees, it is slightly more complicated in that there needs to be an application for a Long Stay Visa serving as a Residency Permit (Visa long séjour valant Titre de Séjour - VLS-TS)). It will also mean again proving sufficient funds, or assets, and that there is healthcare coverage that is taken out.


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