How To Apply For A French 5-Year Residence Card

The French 5-Year Residence Card provides a long-term residence in France, allowing successful applicants to live in France for up to 5 years. It has many benefits, such as the right to work and residency rights. However, the card has strict eligibility rules, and the application process can be complex. Here is the information you need.

For expert help meeting eligibility requirements, compiling documentation, and successfully obtaining a long-term permit, consult with an experienced immigration attorney. Our team at Total Law can help. Call our office today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online to discuss your application.

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    Overview Of The 5-year Residence Card France

    The France Residence Card, also referred to as the “carte de résident,” is a long-term permit issued by the government to individuals from outside the European Union who have legally lived in France for at least five consecutive years. It serves as a step towards obtaining residency in France, and offers numerous benefits and rights.

    Holding a 5-year residence card provides the privilege of residing in France for a duration of the permit, with the option of renewal.

    It offers increased flexibility and aids visa holders in integrating into the French society. It gives them access to services such as opening bank accounts, healthcare and enrolling their children in schools. Additionally it also allows travel within the Schengen Area.

    Recently, the French government has made several updates to the policy regarding the 5-year residence card.

    These changes aim to streamline the process and reduce waiting times. Furthermore they have expanded eligibility criteria to include individuals who meet requirements related to family reunification and extraordinary circumstances.

    The French government have also:

    • Relaxed the eligibility criteria for researchers, entrepreneurs, and students.
    • Recognized employment as a key factor in facilitating long-term residency.
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      Eligibility Criteria For The 5-year Residence Card In France

      To qualify for a 5-year residence card, in France individuals need to provide evidence of their continuous stay in the country for a minimum of five years.

      Through other permits, including the Student Visa, Family Reunion Visa or work permits like the Long Stay Visa and European Blue Card.

      Applicants must also demonstrate that they have means to support themselves and their family members throughout their time in France. Typically, this entails having an income that’s at least equal to the current French minimum wage (which is approximately €2,000).

      Applicants must also have:

      • Valid French health insurance coverage.
      • Demonstrate they have suitable accommodation.
      • Have lived in France uninterrupted for at least five years.
      • Have no criminal convictions or pending legal proceedings in France.
      • Demonstrate they have integrated into French society. This may include learning French language proficiency to a certain level such as level B1.
      • Have sufficient means to support themselves, (minimum wage, i.e. €20,814.73 per year)

      In addition to the general eligibility criteria there may be additional requirements.

      However, this is based on the specific visa category. For instance, students may need to provide proof of enrolment in an educational institution in France. While entrepreneurs may need to submit a viable business plan and also show that they are financially viable.

      In exceptional cases, those who have not met these requirements may still be eligible for the France Resident Permit.

      Such as, those who are victims of domestic violence, refugees, or applicants who already have strong family ties in France like being a spouse of a French citizen.

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      How To Apply For A 5-year Residence Card In France


      To apply for a 5-year residence card in France, start by visiting the local Prefecture or Sous-Préfecture to obtain the necessary forms. Alternatively, you can find the application forms and guidelines on the official website of the French government.

      An application for a 5-year residence card in France typically involves:

      Step 1: Gather The Documents:

      Assemble all required application documents, including:

      • Completed application form (CERFA 11757*02) from your local Prefecture or Sous-Préfecture, or download it from the official website.
      • Present a valid passport or other recognized identity document.
      • Submit documentation confirming your address in France.
      • Provide evidence you have lived in France for at least five years.
      • Demonstrate sufficient financial resources to support yourself.
      • Present proof of valid French health insurance coverage.
      • Obtain a criminal record certificate (bulletin n°2) from your country of origin.
      • Provide evidence of your efforts to integrate into French society
      • Copy of your marriage certificate (if applicable)
      • Provide documentation related to your purpose of stay in France, such as employment contracts or enrolment letters from educational institutions. (if applicable)

      Step 2: Schedule an Appointment:

      Contact your local Prefecture or Sous-Préfecture in France to schedule an appointment for the biometric procedures and submit your completed form and documents.

      Step 3: Attend the Appointment:

      At the appointment, present your application, documents and appear in person for biometric and administrative procedures. Biometrics may include a digital photograph and fingerprints.

      Step 4: Pay the Application Fee:

      Make the necessary application fee payment, which is typically between €225 and €1,000 depending on the applicant’s nationality and category. For example, the fee for an EU citizen is €225, while the fee for a non-EU citizen can range from €550 to €1,000.

      Step 5: Receive the Residence Card:

      If your application is successful, the Prefecture or Sous-Préfecture will issue a 5-year residence card, which is valid for a period of five years and renewable.

      Additional Considerations:

      When applying for a France Long Term Residence Permit, it is crucial that you provide accurate and complete documentation. And this includes proof of identity, evidence of your financial resources, and documentation related to your accommodation in France.

      Failing to submit accurate information may delay your application from being processed. It may even lead to a rejection. It is also wise to familiarise yourself with the French language and customs to demonstrate your commitment to integration.

      Due to the complexity of French Resident Permits, we recommend you seek guidance from a specialised immigration lawyer like Total Law. Call our office today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online to discuss your application.

      Remember to stay informed about changes or updates in the 5-year residence card policy at the local Prefecture or Sous-Préfecture.

      The Typical Processing Time Of The Application


      The average processing time for a 5-year residence card application in France typically ranges from three to six months. However, this timeframe may vary based on your circumstances, and the workload of the immigration authorities in France.

      Other reasons include:

      • High volume of applications, especially during peak seasons, may lead to longer as the French immigration offices work through an increased workload.
      • The complexity of an applicant, such as the need for extensive documentation or addressing specific legal considerations.

      Checking Application Status

      You can check the status of your Long Stay Visa or French Residence Card applications with the French immigration authorities. Typically, through an online portal.

      It’s crucial for applicants to keep track of their application status regularly to stay informed about any updates or additional requirements that you need to adhere to.

      Here are the key websites for checking the status of an application:

      The Renewal Process Of The 5-Year Residence Card In France


      Renewing your 5-year Residence Card in France requires you to gather the necessary documents, such as a valid passport, proof of accommodation, and evidence of your financial resources.

      You will then need to complete the renewal visa application, available on the French government’s official website or at your local prefecture.

      Step 1: Gather Required Documents:

      1. Present your current and valid passport as primary identification.
      2. Provide documentation confirming your current address in France.
      3. Submit evidence of continuous residence in France for at least five years.
      4. Provide proof you can support yourself and a dependent family member, or members.
      5. Present proof of valid French health insurance documents in France.
      6. Obtain an up to date criminal record certificate (bulletin n°2) from your country of origin.
      7. Complete the official renewal application form (CERFA 11757* or carte de résident) available on the French government’s website or at the local prefecture.

      Step 2: Schedule Renewal Appointment:

      • Contact your local Prefecture or Sous-Préfecture to schedule an appointment.
      • Ensure you have the required documents before attending the appointment.

      Step 3: Attend Renew Appointment:

      • Present all the collected documents and attend the appointment in person.
      • Undergo biometric procedures, including digital photographs and fingerprints.
      • Pay the renewal application fee, typically between €225 and €1,000.

      Step 4: Receive Renewed Residence Card:

      • If successful, the Prefecture or Sous-Préfecture will issue a new 5-year residence card.
      • It will have a validity period of five years from that date it is issued.

      When renewing your long term resident card you will need to start an application at least two months before the end of your current visa’s expiry date. Failing to meet this deadline may lead to complications or even rejection of your application.

      Changes Compared to Initial Application

      When renewing a 5-year permanent residence card, there might be changes or updates to the process compared to your initial application.

      Such as, new documentation requirements or changes to some of the procedures you followed previously. Therefore, it is crucial to stay informed about any changes by checking official sources or seeking guidance from immigration lawyers like Total Law.

      Contact our experienced lawyers today and obtain your 5-year French residence permit. Contact Us

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        Benefits And Rights Of The 5-Year Residence Card


        The 5-year residence card grants many privileges to long-term residents in France spanning healthcare, education, employment and social integration. Specifically, card holders can access the public health insurance system allowing comprehensive medical coverage.

        Their children also have equal rights to enrol in French schools. Additionally, you can enjoy access to the French labour market making securing employment much easier.

        The card also allows successful applicants to open bank accounts, rent or buy property in France and participate in various other activities. It also provides deportation protection and conditional access to social security benefits.

        Importance of Understanding Your Rights

        While the 5-year residence card offers substantial benefits for applicants, it is important to recognize that it does not offer full citizenship. It may still be subject to certain restrictions, such as limitations on voting rights and participation in certain government programs.

        With the privileges granted by the 5-year residence card, it is also essential to exercise these rights responsibly and in accordance with French laws and regulations.

        This includes fulfilling tax obligations, respecting the legal system, and adhering to social norms to maintain a positive contribution to French society.

        How Our Team At Total Law Can Help You

        If you require assistance processing your application for the 5-year residence card in France, it is recommended to contact our team of immigration law experts.

        We have deep knowledge of the French visa system with specialised experience helping applicants apply for residence permits.

        We’re dedicated to empowering qualified international residents in entering France legally to integrate into society. Our tailored services for applicants include:

        • Evaluating your personal eligibility based on experience, and integration efforts
        • Compiling and verifying all necessary application documents
        • Completing and submitting your residence card application form
        • Providing regular updates on your application status
        • Liaising with French immigration authorities on your behalf

        To discuss how we can help with your 5-year residence card application, contact us at +44 (0)333 305 9375. You can also email or connect via live chat on our website.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  You can stay in France for up to 90 days without becoming a resident. After this period, you can apply for a Long Stay Visa or a Permanent Resident Card, although this does depend on your situation. For instance, if you are employed in France, you may be eligible for a work permit that allows you to stay for longer than 90 days without applying for a residency card.

                  The longest visa for France is typically the Long Stay Visa, which can be valid for up to one year. It is suitable for those who plan on living in France for longer than 3 months for purposes work, studying, family reunification, or retirement.