Demande de carte de sjour en France

For the next two years or so, while Britain negotiates its post-Brexit deal with the EU, nothing will change for British citizens living in France.

It is also likely that existing British residents in France will be able to continue living in France after Britain leaves the EU. Some lawyers argue that if you have lived in France for a while you will have “acquired rights” under the 1969 Vienna Convention which says that the termination of a treaty “does not affect any right, obligation or legal situation of the parties created through the execution of the treaty prior to its termination.”

The House of Commons Library says that “withdrawing from a treaty releases the parties from any future obligations to each other, but does not affect any rights or obligations acquired under it before withdrawal.”

Nevertheless, nothing is sure. If Britain expels EU citizens living in the UK, as UKIP-type Brexiteers want, EU countries could take tit-for-tat measures.

One step you can take now to protect your right to remain in France is to apply for permanent residence. Unlike French nationality, which is discretionary, if you have lived in France for five years or more you have a right to a permanent residence permit.

The titre de séjour permanent, (also referred to as UE séjour permanent, toutes activités professionnelles or carte de resident ) allows you to live and work in France and enjoy the same rights as French citizens to benefits and healthcare. It does not, however, give you voting rights or allow you to hold public office.

The card is automatically renewable every ten years as long as you continue living in France; you lose your right to the card if you are absent from France for more than two years.

You will have to apply in person to your local prefecture. You will need copies of your birth certificate, passport, tax declarations and bills, such as your electricity bills, to prove you have lived in France full-time for a minimum of five years. However, prefectures differ in exactly what documents they ask for so it is as well to contact them and find out before you apply.

As an EU citizen you do not need to provide proof of work or income to apply for the card. The EU website states clearly that the card must be delivered as quickly as possible and that you should not be charged more than the cost of a standard identity card:

Les autorités doivent vous délivrer le document dans les plus brefs délais et moyennant des frais ne dépassant pas ceux demandés aux ressortissants pour la délivrance des cartes d’identité.

If you run into problems, contact the EU complaints department here.

Visit the Brexit zone to find out more >>

4 Responses to “Staying on in France post-Brexit: Permanent residence”

  1. Avatar


    On L’europe est a vous website no email or website available.
    Residence formalities
    Ministry of Interior
    of foreigners in France Branch
    Place Beauvau
    FR – 75800 Paris Cedex 08
    Tel .: +33 1 77 72 61 00
    E-mail: NA – not available Website

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  2. Avatar


    I have recently applied for a ‘carte sejour – UE carte permanent’. During this process I was informed that, if successful, this would be valid for only 5 years, not the 10 years stated in your article. After this period of 5 years it may be possible to renew the carte.

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  3. Avatar


    Presumably you did not already have a titre de séjour. I did (5-year, last renewed in 2011) and so getting the 10 year permanent card was straightforward. The rules are here: – note the first two lines (about current card coming to expiry).

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    Be warned that today I visited my prefecture to reapply for a carte de sejour UE permanent, and was told that presently they are accepting completed dossiers but aren’t issuing any cards. There has been a directive to put them all on hold, I guess until decisions are made concerning free movement?

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