What Is The 10-Year Residence Card in France?
The 10-year residence card (‘carte de résident de 10 ans’) is a residential permission (‘titre de séjour’) that will allow non-EU nationals to live and work in France legally for 10 years, after which it may be renewed or replaced with a permanent residence card (‘carte de résident permanent’).
Under some circumstances this permission may be available to you upon first entry into the country, however, sometimes specific requirements for eligibility require previous residence in France for 3 or 5 years.
- What Is The 10-Year Residence Card in France?
- Spouse of a French National
- Family Reunification
- Parent of a French Child
- Child of a French National
- Ascendant of a French National
- Young Person Eligible for French Nationality
- Stateless Person
- Beneficiary of Subsidiary Protection
- Recipient of a Work Accident Pension
- Victim of Domestic Violence, Forced Marriage, Human Trafficking, or Pimping
- Veteran, Soldier, Legionnaire
- Republican Integration Contract
- The Application Process
- Renewing Your Residence Card
- How Can Total Law Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Residential permissions require you to integrate into French society. As such, you must pose no risk to public order or engage in any form of criminal activity.
Your residence permit will no longer be valid if you leave the country for 3 consecutive years. This period may be extended, but your prefecture will decide if your reasons for wanting to do so are justified. Acceptable reasons may include hospitalisation or military service, as well as other professional reasons or extenuating circumstances.
No Residence Requirement
As a non-EU national, you might be eligible to apply for a 10-year resident card right away if you:
- Are the spouse of a French national and have been married for 3 years (Tunisian nationals may qualify after 1 year of marriage)
- Entered France to reunite with a foreign national who holds a residence card in France
- Are a foreign child or dependent of a French citizen (children must be under the age of 21)
- Are a dependent parent of a French national or their spouse
- Are a foreign youth who is eligible for French nationality due to birthright
- Are a refugee or stateless person or the family member of such an individual
- Are a recipient of a workplace or occupational illness or injury pension or are the family member of such an individual
- Hold a residential permission with the denomination ‘retired’ (‘retraité’)
- Are a veteran or legionnaire
5-Year Residence Requirement
After 5 years of continuous residence in France, you may be eligible for a long-term resident card if you can prove that you have access to an adequate health insurance cover. You will also need to show that you have adequate financial means to support yourself, including an income that meets or surpasses minimum wage requirements (SMIC) of €20,814.73 (as of May 2023).
3-Year Residence Requirement (Bilateral Agreement)
If your nationality is recognised under a bilateral agreement in France, you may be eligible for a 10-year residence permit after 3 years of legal residence in France. The following countries are included:
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
- Ivory Coast
You must have been in France on a valid residence permit or long-stay visa (VLS-TS) to meet residential requirements, however, not all permits will qualify. If you have any questions about your eligibility or want to learn more about the permits that qualify you can call Total Law at +44 (0)333 305 9375 today. Your team of experts will be happy to help you.
Spouse of a French National
Spouses will need to have been officially married to a French national for at least 3 years. If you are Tunisian, this requirement is reduced to 1 year.
If you got married abroad, your status must have been added to the French civil status registers. You and your spouse will need to show that your lives are entwined materially and emotionally.
While you may have separate residences, you must share a common address for official documents.
You will need to show proof of your marriage status and cohabitation. You must also provide a sworn statement of non-polyamory.
If you are the spouse or unmarried child under 19 of a foreign national with a French residence card, you may be eligible to apply under the family reunification model. You will need to have been a legal resident in France for at least 3 years.
If you are applying as a child who has reached the age of majority (18 years), you must file your application before the end of the year following your 18th birthday.
You must show evidence of a long-stay visa or permission issued for the purpose of family reunification. You also need to show proof of your relationship and life with the primary French resident (e.g. marriage or birth certificates).
Parent of a French Child
If you are the parent of a French child that resides in France, you may apply after living in France with a permission for private and family life (‘carte de séjour vie privée et familiale’) for at least 3 years.
You will need to show your relationship to your child as well as proof of contribution to the child’s life and education (e.g. child support payments) since birth or for at least 2 years.
Alternatively, you may show evidence of a court decision ordering you to fulfil your duties (e.g. alimony payments).
You must also show proof of your child’s residence in France (e.g. school/nursery certificates).
Child of a French National
If you are the child of a French national, you will be eligible for a 10-year residence card if you are:
- Between 18 and 21 years of age
- Between 16 and 18 years of age and want to work
- Dependent on your parent
You must show evidence of your relationship with your parent. If you are over 21 years of age, you will need to show proof of care by your parent. This includes showing proof that your parent has the means to support you and that you do not have the means yourself.
Ascendant of a French National
Parents or parents-in-law of a French national who are dependent on their child may be eligible to apply on those grounds. You must have entered France on a long-stay visa.
You will need to show proof of your relationship with the French child as well as proof of care. This includes evidence that your child has the means to support you and that you do not have means of your own.
Young Person Eligible for French Nationality
You may be eligible for French nationality once you turn 18 years old if you were born in France to foreign parents. To qualify, you must have been resident in France when you turned 18 or have habitually lived in the country for a continuous or interrupted period of at least 5 years since you were 11 years old.
You must show evidence of your birth in France, proof of your parents’ foreign nationality, as well as proof of your habitual residence in France that meets the requirements.
You may be granted a 10-year permission if you hold refugee status or are part of a refugee’s family. This includes spouses who have been married for at least one year and children under the age of 19, as well as partners of civil union or those who can prove cohabitation since before the refugee applied for asylum.
If you are a parent of a recognised refugee child who entered as an unaccompanied minor, you may also be eligible.
You will need to show proof of your refugee status issued by the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (Ofpra) or the National Court of Asylum (NDA) as well as your civil status certificate (sent to the prefecture directly by Ofpra).
Family members applying under this pathway will need to provide proof of the primary applicant’s refugee status, as well as evidence of their relationship and, if applicable, their dependence.
You may be eligible for a 10-year permission if your status as a stateless person has been legally recognised. You must have held a multi-annual French residence permit for at least 4 years.
You may also qualify if you are the unmarried child under 19, spouse, or partner of a stateless person who fulfils the aforementioned requirements. You will also need to have held a multi-annual residence permit for at least 4 years to be eligible.
Partners must have either been married or in a civil union for at least 1 year or be able to show proof of cohabitation preceding the stateless person’s initial asylum appeal.
You will need to show proof of your stateless status (issued by Ofpra) and provide your civil status certificate (sent to the prefecture by Ofpra). You also need to show your current residence permit and prove that you have been a legal resident for 4 years at least.
If you are applying as a family member of a stateless person, you will need to show proof of their status as a stateless person and proof of your relationship. You also need to show that you have been a legal resident for at least 4 years.
If you are applying later than the primary applicant, you should provide evidence of the status they have been granted.
Beneficiary of Subsidiary Protection
You may apply for a 10-year residence card if you are the beneficiary of subsidiary protection. You must have held a valid multi-annual residence permit for at least 4 years before applying.
If you are applying as a family member, you must either be an unmarried child under the age of 19, the legally married spouse, civil union partner, or cohabiting partner of the beneficiary.
Your marriage or civil partnership must otherwise have been established for at least 1 year. While you may have individual residences, you must share an address for official documents.
If you are cohabiting, you must show evidence that this was established before the primary applicant’s first appeal for asylum.
If you are the parent of an unmarried child who is still a minor and is the beneficiary of subsidiary protection, you may be eligible too. In this case, you may be accompanied by any other minor children, if relevant.
You will need to show the decision letter granting you subsidiary protection (issued by Ofpra or NDA), as well as evidence that you have been a legal resident in France for 4 years.
If you are applying as a family member, you must show evidence of your relative’s subsidiary protection as well as of your relationship. You also need to show proof that you have lived in France for 4 years with valid permission.
Recipient of a Work Accident Pension
You may be eligible if you receive a pension due to an accident at work or an occupational disease that is by a French institution on a permanent disability rate (at least 20%).
You may also be eligible if you are the partner or relative of a person receiving a work accident pension or are the beneficiary of an individual who receives a death pension for a work-related incident.
You must provide proof of your permanent disability rate as well as evidence of receipt of an occupational injury or disease pension paid by a French organisation, such as CPAM (‘Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie’).
If you are applying as a family member, you will need to show evidence of your relationship to the person receiving this pension, as well as proof of the pension they are receiving.
Victim of Domestic Violence, Forced Marriage, Human Trafficking, or Pimping
You will be eligible for a residence permit if you hold a protection order because you endured violence from your spouse or were forced into marriage. Your spouse must have been convicted. When applying under this pathway your application cannot be refused because you ended the relationship.
You may also receive a residence card if you have complained or testified against someone who has been persecuted for human trafficking or pimping. You must no longer be in contact with this person and they must have been convicted.
You must show proof of the final conviction of the perpetrator against whom your protection order was issued, or against whom you testified. This conviction must be for offences stated in your grounds of application.
Veteran, Soldier, Legionnaire
You may be eligible for a residence card if you:
- Served in a combat unit of the French army or allied forces
- Spent at least 3 years under contract with the Foreign Legion or are still under contract and have obtained a certificate of good conduct
- Served in the ranks of the French Forces of the Interior (‘Forces françaises de l’intérieur’ or FFI)
You will need proof of your military service. For Veterans, this may include your veteran’s card, military record book (French or allied army), or your demobilisation certificate/proof of injury (FFI).
If you are serving or served in the Foreign Legion, you may provide your certificate of good conduct, discharge certificate, or current contract.
Retirees will need to prove their intention to settle in France. To do so, you will need to provide a sworn statement declaring that this will be your main residence and show that you entered on a long-stay visa or permission stating ‘retired’ (‘retraité’).
In addition to the evidence needed to support your grounds for application, you will also need to provide general documentation showing your personal details and circumstances.
- Your current passport or alternative form of identification with a photo
- Evidence of your current status (long-stay visa or current permission)
- 3 passport style-photos
- Personal documentation such as marriage or birth certificates (where applicable)
- Proof of republican integration (‘contrat d’intégration républicaine’)
- Proof of fee payment (when your permit is issued)
- Ofii health report (if applicable, when a permit is issued)
- Any other evidence supporting your application
Documents that are not originally issued in French will need to be accompanied by a certified translation.
Republican Integration Contract
Applicants for a residence permission will usually need to prove that they can integrate into French society.
To fulfil your republican integration contract (CIR) you will complete a mandatory 4-day civic training course to introduce you to the principles and values of the French Republic. You may also need to complete a language training course that may range from 100 to 600 hours.
At the end, you will be assessed via interview where further support may be given.
This may not be required for applicants who are over the age of 65.
The Application Process
Applications usually take place in France where you must request a change of status. You may request this from your local prefecture. While this can usually be done online, some applications will require you to make an appointment to attend an in-person interview. This includes:
- Family reunification (except asylum seekers)
- Recipients of a work accident pension
- Victims of domestic violence or forced marriage
- Victims of human trafficking or pimping
- Veterans, Soldiers, or legionnaires
- Young person eligible for French nationality
When filing your application you will need to provide your personal information and supporting documents. Make sure to give accurate information as your application may otherwise be refused and you might face legal trouble.
In general, you will need to pay €200 in tax to the OFII when your permit is issued, plus €25 in stamp duty. When applying without a long-stay visa, you will be charged another €99
A charge of €180 may apply unless there is evidence of extenuating circumstances. Renewal of your residence card will cost €225.
You may pay online or at certain tobacconists by buying tax stamps.
Your stamp may be issued as a PDF with a scannable 2D code or as an SMS containing your 16-digit stamp identifier.
Applicants under these circumstances are only required to pay the following:
- Refugees, refugee families, and Veterans only pay the €25 stamp duty on their first permission card.
- Stateless persons, beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, and their families may receive their first residence permission at no cost.
- Victims of domestic violence, forced marriage, human trafficking, or pimping are not required to pay for their residence permission.
If applying for an initial long-stay visa abroad, you should apply no earlier than 3 months before your date of arrival in France due to its validity period.
When requesting your status change or renewal, you must apply at least 2 months before your current status expires. You may apply as much as 4 months in advance.
You will be notified when your residence card is ready to be collected from the prefecture or sub-prefecture where you applied.
Renewing Your Residence Card
Your residency card will be valid for 10 years and can be renewed at the end of its duration. However, you will usually be able to apply for a permanent resident card (‘carte de résident à durée indéterminée’) at this stage.
How Can Total Law Help?
While there are many pathways to obtain your long-term residence permission in France, it is important that you understand the application process and requirements before you start your application.
Our experts at Total Law are experienced in navigating French immigration rules and will be happy to support you on your journey towards a long life in the country. You can call us at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online, for immediate support.
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Applications for this permission must be filed from within France. You may obtain a long-stay visa from your local French consulate which will allow you to enter France and apply.
Holders of a European Blue Card may qualify for a French 10-year residence card if they have maintained 5 years of uninterrupted residence in an EU member state, including 2 years of residence in France.