You have been living in France for several years and you wish to settle in France for an extended period of time?
You could apply for a resident card. The resident card authorises his or her holder who resides in France to engage in salaried employment or be self-employed.
Upon being admitted to stay in France for the first time
The resident card may be issued under certain conditions upon being admitted to stay in France for the first time:
- To the spouses of French nationals who have been married for at least 3 years, or 1 year if they are of Tunisian nationality;
- To children who are non European citizens under the age of 21 or who are dependent on a French national;
- To the dependent ascendants of a French national or his/her spouse;
- To non European citizens who have entered France on the basis of family reunification with a foreign national who has a resident card in France;
- To non European citizens who may acquire French nationality as a result of having been born in France;
- To refugees or stateless persons and their family members;
- To non European citizens with a workplace accident or occupational illness pension and their families;
- To a non European citizen, who has a residence permit bearing the wording“retired” which provides evidence of their wish to settle in France and to reside there primarily;
- To non European veterans and legionnaires.
The issuance of a first resident card is conditional on republican integration into French society: the knowledge of the French language and the principles that govern the French Republic.
You will find all the conditions relating to obtaining a resident card for one of these reasons on the Service-public website.
Foreign nationals who have been residing in France for at least 3 years
After 3 years of residence in France, you can benefit from a resident card if:
Given your nationality, you benefit from a bilateral agreement signed with France
To do this, In order to apply for a resident card, you must meet the following cumulative conditions:
- Be a national of one of the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad, Togo or Tunisia;
- Have been residing regularly without interruption in France for at least 3 years under the terms of certain categories of residence permits given your nationality:
Moroccan nationals: residence permit bearing the wording “employee” only;
Tunisian nationals: any residence permit;
Nationals of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo: any residence permit or long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit, except “Student”, “Intern”, “Seasonal worker”, “Employee on assignment”, “Retired”, “Spouse of retired person”, “Service provider”, “Employee of a community service provider” and Special card issued by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs abroad, members of a diplomatic or consular mission;
- Have their own, stable and regular resources;
- Meet the condition of republican integration into French society (unless you are a Moroccan or Tunisian national)
Within the framework of family reunification you have joined a family member who is a holder of a resident card (except an Algerian national)
You may apply for a resident card if you:
- Provide evidence of regular and uninterrupted residence for at least 3 years in France;
- Arrived in France as a result of a family reunification procedure;
- Are joining a non European citizen who has a resident card;
- Meet the condition of republican integration into French society.
You are a parent of a French child and have regularly stayed in France for 3 years in this capacity under the terms of a “private and family life” temporary residence permit (except an Algerian national)
You may apply for a resident card if you present evidence:
- Of regular and uninterrupted residence of at least 3 years in France:
There is no length of service requirement if you are a national of one of the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo and Tunisia.
- That you meet the condition of republican integration into French society (unless you are a Tunisian national).
A foreign national residing in France for at least five years – EU long-term resident card
To benefit from the resident card with the wording “long-term resident – EU”, you must prove:
- An uninterrupted residence of at least five years under the terms of one of the residence permits eligible for this card;
- Being affiliated to the Health insurance;
- Sufficient means of subsistence with resources at least equal to the minimum wage, i.e. €21,203.00 as of January 1, 2024;
- Your republican integration into French society.
The residence permits accepted as counting towards the five years
- The Talent Passport with the wording “European Blue Card” (highly qualified employee), “Qualified employee” or “Employee in a young innovative company”, “Investor”, “Company director”, “Business Creator” or “Innovative Economic Project Holder”;
- “Employee” temporary residence permit;
- “Entrepreneur/Liberal profession” temporary residence permit.
The residence permits that are not accepted as counting towards the five years
- “Student”, “Intern”, “ICT Intern”, “Beneficiary of subsidiary protection”, “Refugee”, “Seasonal worker”, “Retired”, “Spouse of retired person” residence permit;
- “Employee on assignment” talent passport;
- Multi-year “ICT seconded employee” or “ICT mobile seconded employee” residence permit.
Good to know
The holder of a Talent Passport bearing the wording “European Blue Card” (highly qualified worker) may be issued this resident card if he or she can prove that he or she has had uninterrupted residence of at least five years in the territory of a Member State of the European Union of which, in France, two years before the application for the issuance of this card.
If the absences from the territory of the European Union do not extend over more than twelve consecutive months and do not exceed 18 months in total over the five years, they shall not suspend the calculation of this period.
Resident card and overseas departments and regions
The resident card allows a non European national to stay in mainland and overseas France. The other rights attached to this card depend on the place where it is issued.
The resident card allows you to exercise the profession of your choice. However, depending on where it is issued, the scope of the work permit may change.
Indeed, only the resident card issued in mainland France allows you to exercise the profession of your choice in this same territory.
The resident card issued in the French overseas departments and regions does not therefore constitute a work permit in mainland France, and the card issued in mainland France does not constitute a work permit in the French overseas departments and regions either.
Authorised length of stay
The resident card is valid for 10 years, renewable.
Good to know
The resident card of a non European national loses its validity after at least 3 consecutive years of residence:
- Outside of France for the resident card;
- Outside the territory of the Member States of the European Union for the resident card with the wording “long-term resident – EU”.
Nevertheless, it is possible to extend this period before departure from France or through the French consular authorities.
Who to contact
You reside abroad
For applicants residing outside France, the French diplomatic consular authorities of their usual place of residence are qualified to issue the long-stay visa with the justification that allows them to benefit from the resident card once in France.
This visa is valid for 3 months and authorises its holder to engage in a salaried professional activity as soon as they arrive in France.
Once in France, you will have to contact the Prefecture or Sub-prefecture of your place of residence to get the certificate of residence of ten years.
You already live in France
If the applicant already resides in France, he or she must request a change of status from the Prefecture or Sub-prefecture of his or her place of residence.
Subject to eligibility, they will be issued with a residence permit (resident card) valid for ten years, renewable.
When to start the procedure?
If the applicant is abroad, the procedure must be initiated 3 months before the date of arrival in France at the earliest.
If the applicant is in France, the procedure must be initiated 2 months before the expiry of the previous residence permit.
What documents are required?
The precise list of documents to be provided in support of a residence permit application is available to the applicant on the website or on the premises of the authority responsible for processing his/her file and on France-visas.gouv.fr.
You will find below an indicative list of the documents to provide for an application for a “resident card”:
Cost of a residence permit
You will be required to pay a tax to the OFII in the amount of €200 upon delivery of the permit. A stamp duty of €25 on residence permits is added to the amount of the tax.
To this administrative cost of €225 is added the cost of the long-stay visa authorising entry into France, namely €99.
Extend your stay
The application for renewal must be made within 2 months before the expiry of the residence permit with the Prefecture of the place of residence.
Upon expiry of the resident card or resident card with the wording “long-term resident – EU”, an indefinite resident card may be issued.
You will find the different conditions for obtaining the indefinite resident card on the Service-public website.
Administrative cost: €225
Is your family travelling with you?
Families accompanying non European nationals with this type of status can apply for a residence permit independent of that of the primary applicant (visitor status, employee status if the person in question has found a job in France for example).
Otherwise, families may apply for residency in France under family reunification terms. Family reunification concerns non European nationals who have been regularly residing within the national territory for at least 18 months who wish to bring their spouse and children into the country.
If the family enters within the framework of family reunification in order to join a non European national holding a resident card in France, they may benefit from a resident card valid for 10 years.
For further information on the family reunification procedure, visit the service-public.fr website