France Residence Permits for UK Citizens

Anyone other than a citizen of an EU country or Switzerland wishing to enter France and remain as a resident must apply first for a French visa and then for a Residence Permit. However, there are many types of permits, and it can be difficult to know which is best for your situation.

If you are unsure which is the right path for you to stay in France we will guide you through the process and help you find the right Residence Permit for your situation. Contact Total Law today on 0333 305 9375 or contact us via our website to find out how we can assist you with your application.

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    What Are the Types of France Residence Permits?

    All foreign nationals wanting to enter Metropolitan France or a French territory for more than 90 days must have a French Long Stay Visa or a French Residence Permit.

    There are several types of French Residence Permits including the Long Stay Visa equivalent to a Residence Permit or Visa de Long Séjour valant Titre de Séjour (VLS-TS). This is available to the spouse of a French national, students, intra-company transfers and temporary workers.

    The Temporary Residence Permit or Carte de Séjour Temporaire can be used for private and family life, students, employees or temporary workers, trainees, visitors, and professionals/entrepreneurs. A Multiannual Residence Permit or Carte de Séjour Pluriannuelle is valid for up to four years but cannot be issued as a first permit.

    A Talent Passport or European Blue Card is aimed at those with a Master’s Degree or equivalent qualification while a 10-year Residence Card or Carte de Résident allows permanent residence in France but must be renewed every ten years. The Provisional Residence Permit or Autorisation Provisoire de Séjour (APS) allows the holder to remain in France for up to 6 months.

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      Eligibility Criteria & Requirements of French Residence Permit

      The eligibility criteria and requirements for the various types of French Residence Permits will vary.


      A Visa de Long Séjour valant Titre de Séjour (VLS-TS) acts as a French Residence Permit for up to one year. Therefore you don’t need to apply for a separate Residence Permit when you arrive in France.

      However, the VLS-TS needs to be validated within 3 months of your arrival by Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration (OFII). This is the French Office for Immigration and Integration. Validation is done online and your VLS-TS is thereafter considered a Titre de Séjour.

      You will be invited by OFII to attend a medical examination and to sign a Republican citizen contract or Contrat d’Intégration Républicaine (CIR). On the day of the medical exam, you will be asked to pay a tax for your first Residence Permit, commonly called the OFII tax. The amount will depend on which category of VLS-TS you have.

      The documents you will need for a VLS-TS application include:

      • Valid passport
      • Two passport photos
      • Long Stay Visa application form Cerfa 14571*05
      • OFII form
      • Certified translations of any document not in French

      Eligible candidates for the VLS-TS include:

      • Spouses of French citizens
      • Spouses of non-EU citizens holding a valid Titre de Sejour and entering France under the family reunification procedure
      • Employees of companies located in France coming to the country to work for at least a year
      • Employees of companies based elsewhere but sent to work in France for at least 3 months
      • Students enrolled to study in France

      When your validated Titre de Séjour is within 2 to 4 months of its expiry date you can request a renewal provided you still meet the eligibility conditions. You will have to go to your local préfecture for the renewal.

      Carte de Séjour Pluriannuelle

      You cannot have a Multi-year Residence Permit in the first year of your stay in France. It must be preceded by a Temporary Residence Permit or a Long Stay Visa such as the VLS-TS. Only when these types of visas have expired can you apply for a Residence Permit valid for several years.

      To apply for a Carte de Séjour Pluriannuelle you must meet the same entry requirements as for a Temporary Residence Permit or VLS-TS. You must show that you have adhered to your Republican citizen contract.

      French Residence Permit applications must be done at the préfecture closest to where you live in France. If you live in Paris this will be the Préfecture de Police de Paris.

      To apply for the Carte de Séjour Pluriannuelle you will need the following documents:

      • Valid passport
      • Proof of residence e.g.electricity bill or rental agreement dated within the last 3 months
      • Two recent passport photos
      • Your Republican citizen contract
      • Certified translations of any documents not in French

      The fee for this permit is €225, payable in tax stamps.

      Carte de Séjour Temporaire

      A Temporary Residence Permit or Carte de Séjour Temporaire allows visitors to remain in France for an extended period of 3 to 12 months. It is means-tested and used by those exercising a religious function in the country, dependent parents of children living in France or those in civil partnerships.

      Holders of this permit are not allowed to work and will need a minimum income of €1,398 per month after taxes to be eligible. However, these resources can either be the applicant’s own or those of a family member. You must provide proof of your or your family member’s income through bank statements or similar.

      You can apply for a Temporary Residence Permit when your visa or VLS-TS expires. Documents required include:

      • Current passport with visa stamp
      • Valid Residence Permit if applicable
      • Proof of address less than 6 months old e.g. utility bill
      • Three passport photos
      • Birth certificate
      • OFII medical certificate
      • Proof of financial resources
      • Declaration of honour not to work while in France
      • Evidence of payment of stamp duty and tax

      The cost of a Carte de Séjour Temporaire is €225 which is payable by tax stamps available online or at a tobacconist shop.

      Talent Passport or European Blue Card

      Employers don’t need to apply for a work permit for holders of a Talent Passport or EU Blue Card. It is available to people with a Master’s Degree or specialized equivalent qualification.

      Alternatively, those with 5 years of professional experience can apply. You will need to show an employment contract for more than 3 months with earnings above €42,400. Family members of Talent Passport holders are entitled to come to France and will be issued Multi-year Residence Permits.

      Documents needed to apply for a Talent Passport include:

      • Long Stay Visa
      • Current passport
      • Three passport photos
      • Medical insurance
      • Proof of address less than 6 months old e.g. electricity bill
      • Employer attestation
      • Employment contract
      • Copy of diploma or degree

      The Talent Passport fee is €225, which comprises €200 tax and €25 stamp duty payable by tax stamps.

      Provisional Residence Permit

      A Provisional Residence Permit or Autorisation Provisoire de Séjour (APS) is available for non-European Union citizens who are parents of a sick child in France. To apply you will need to provide a medical certificate issued by your doctor or hospital.

      This can only be done by obtaining a medical file from your local préfecture containing documents which must be completed by the medical staff treating your child. The file contains a medical secrecy envelope which is addressed to OFII’s medical services who may request further details or additional documents.

      You must include original documents about your child’s health situation such as hospital reports and biological analyses. These are sent to OFII’s doctors who give their opinion to the préfecture dealing with your application.

      Your child may be summoned for a medical examination by OFII’s medical services if deemed necessary. This examination is free. You will need to present proof of your identity. If you do not respond to the OFII doctor’s request you won’t be able to obtain a receipt for your Provisional Residence Permit application.

      The required documents are:

      • Full copies of birth certificates
      • Current passport
      • Three passport photos
      • Proof of address no older than 6 months
      • Evidence of the length of your usual residence in France with your child
      • Documents proving your parental relationship to your child
      • Evidence of your financial support of your child

      If approved you can collect your Provisional Residence Permit from your local préfecture. The permit is free, valid for six months and allows you to work in France. If your child’s treatment is longer than expected, you can request a renewal of the permit. You must make this request within two months of its expiry date.

      Carte de Résident

      The Carte de Résident or 10-year Residence Card France is available to several categories of people who wish to live in France long term. It can be approved as a first French Residence Permit or as a renewal of a Carte de Séjour Pluriannuelle or Carte de Séjour Temporaire. Those who are eligible include:

      • Spouse of a French national
      • Spouse of a foreign national holding a resident card
      • Child under 19 years of age of a foreign national holding a Resident Card
      • Parent of a French child
      • Child of a French citizen
      • Dependent parent of a French citizen
      • Refugees, stateless persons, or beneficiaries of subsidiary protection and their family members
      • Recipient of occupational illness pension paid by a French organisation
      • Victims of domestic violence or human trafficking
      • Veterans of French armed forces, an allied army, Foreign Legion or French Forces of the Interior (FFI)
      • Young person entitled to French nationality
      • Retirees

      With a Carte de Résident, it is possible to become a long-term resident of France with the opportunity to work without needing a work permit.

      The documents needed will vary according to your situation but in general, the 10-year Residence Card France requirements are:

      • Long Stay Visa or Residence Permit
      • Evidence of regular stays in France for three years e.g. renewal certificates
      • Current passport
      • Proof of residence document dated within the previous six months
      • Three passport photos
      • OFII medical certificate
      • Evidence of Republican integration

      For most applicants, the cost of a 10-year Residence Permit is €225. Victims of domestic violence and human trafficking are not charged and refugees only have to pay €25 for the first permit. Renewals and duplicates are chargeable at the full rate.

      Steps to Obtaining a Residence Permit France

      For non-EU citizens to obtain a Residence Permit in France a set procedure must be followed.

      • Check that you meet the conditions for a Residence Permit.
      • Make an appointment at your local préfecture at least 2 months before your visa or current Residence Permit expires.
      • Find out how much your Residence Permit will cost and how to obtain the tax stamps to pay for it.
      • Gather all the necessary documents to support your application. These will vary depending on the type of Residence Permit you are applying for and your situation.
      • Attend the appointment at the préfecture.
      • Keep the receipt for your application while waiting for a response from the French authorities.

      Processing times can vary across different departments in France. Make sure to submit all the required documents and fill in your application form for your French Residence Permit carefully.

      French administrative processes can be confusing and complex. To improve the chances of your application being approved call Total Law on 0333 305 9375 or contact us online. We can guide you through the process, check your documents and advise you on the most appropriate Residence Permit for you.

      Next Steps after You Arrive in France

      If you wish to come to France for more than 3 months you will need to apply for a Long Stay Visa at the French Embassy or French consulate in your home country.

      For those with a VLS-TS, when you arrive in France this visa will serve as a Residence Permit for a year but you must validate it with OFII within the first 3 months of your arrival. The Long Stay Visa will then be considered a Titre de Sejour valid for 12 months.

      When your VLS-TS is close to expiry you must apply for a Residence Permit at the préfecture nearest your home. Most people apply for the Carte de Séjour Pluriannuelle after the VLS-TS.

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        Renewing / Extending France Residency Permits

        If you wish to renew or extend your Residence Permit you must apply to your local préfecture between 2 to 4 months before the expiry date. You must still meet all the eligibility conditions and supply all the necessary documents for the renewal.

        Remember that processing times can vary in different departments so it is worth contacting your prefecture well in advance of your Residence Permit’s expiry date to get an indication of how long it will take.

        Without a valid Residence Permit, you will be living in France illegally so it is important to allow yourself enough time to renew your permit.

        Our Team at Total Law Can Help You

        French immigration procedures can be difficult to navigate. The language barrier and the often challenging procedures that are required to obtain a Residence Permit can be intimidating. Let Total Law make the process less stressful and more straightforward by helping you with your application.

        Our experienced immigration specialists can check your documents, advise on the best approach for your situation and offer assistance with anything you are unsure of. Call us today on 0333 305 9375 or get in touch via our online chat or contact form.

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                  Related pages for your continued reading.


                  French residency allows you to live and work in France either as self-employed or as an employee without needing a work permit. It gives you access to healthcare, education and the social security system.

                  All residents in France must complete an annual tax return even if they are employed and their income tax is paid via their employer. Everyone living in France must declare their worldwide income.