10-Year Residence Cards in France

If you are considering a move to France we can help you to understand the process of obtaining a Residence Permit for either five or ten years.

Our lawyers are widely experienced in the French immigration system and will help you navigate the complex process of applying for a French 10-year Residence Permit. Call Total Law on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or contact us online.

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    What Is the 5 and 10-Year Residence Card in France?

    A French Residence Permit is generally referred to as a Titre de Séjour and the holder of a Residence Permit has the right to live in France. There are different types of Titre de Séjour, including Carte de Séjour and Carte de Résident.

    The category of Carte de Séjour includes the Visa de Long Séjour valant Titre de Séjour (VLS-TS), which is valid as a Residence Permit for up to one year. This category also includes the Carte de Séjour Pluriannuelle, which is usually issued for four years.

    Both can be held consecutively, giving five years of continuous legal residence in France. This will then allow you to apply for a 10-year Residence Permit.

    There are three kinds of Carte de Résident which allow the holder to live in France for long periods – Carte de Résident de 10 ans, La Carte de Résident Longue Durée -UE and the Carte de Résident Permanent.

    Foreign nationals who have resided legally and continuously within France for five years can apply for a long-term Residence Permit. In some cases, three years of uninterrupted residence is sufficient.

    Only nationals of the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland are exempt from the requirement for a French Residence Permit. Third-country nationals living in France without a valid Residence Permit are residing illegally in the country.

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      Eligibility Criteria for 10-Year Residence Card France

      Under certain circumstances, a 10-year Residence Card may be issued as a first Residence Permit or more usually as a renewal of a multi-annual card.

      To obtain a 10-year Residence Card in France you must belong to one of the specific eligible categories. Certain criteria need to be fulfilled in each case for those who belong to one of these categories.

      Eligibility for a 10-year Residence Card in France depends on whether one of the following criteria applies to your situation:

      • Married to a French national for a minimum of three years or one year if you are a Tunisian national. Your spouse must have retained their French nationality, and marriages conducted abroad must be transcribed onto the French civil registry.
      • Dependent child of a French parent below the age of 21.
      • Spouse or child under 19 of a foreigner who holds a Resident Card. You have been living in France continuously for a minimum of three years and have applied for a Residence Permit under family reunification.
      • Father or mother of a French child residing in France and holding a Residence Permit under ‘private and family life’ for at least three years.
      • Recipient of a pension paid by a French organisation for a workplace accident or occupational disease at a permanent disability rate of 20% or more. Successors of the recipients of this annuity can also apply for a 10-year Residence Permit.
      • Former service in the French army, an allied army, the Foreign Legion or the French Interior Forces.
      • Foreign national who holds a Residence Permit bearing the word ‘retired’. However, you must prove that you intend to make France your principal residence.
      • Victim of domestic violence who is under a protection order and your partner has been convicted as a result of your complaint. Or you have complained or testified against convicted human traffickers.
      • Refugee, stateless person or a beneficiary of subsidiary protection. Depending on which situation applies to you the conditions for obtaining a 10-year Residence Permit will vary. Stateless persons and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection will need to have held a multi-annual Residence Permit for four years.

      You will need to prove that you can financially support yourself and have an income that is equal to or greater than the minimum wage in France, currently €20,814. You will also need to have adequate health insurance.

      In addition to the specific criteria that need to be met for each category of applicant, some categories must meet the conditions of republican integration. These will be examined in each case and include your commitment to and respect for the principles which govern the French Republic and a sufficient knowledge of the French language.

      Step-By-Step Application Process for a 10-Year Residence Card in France

      To apply for a 10-year Residence Permit you will have to go through the préfecture closest to where you live. If you live in Paris you will apply to the police préfecture nearest to you for a change of status.

      The application must be done within two months of the expiry date of your existing visa or Residence Permit and should follow a step-by-step process.

      1. Check that you meet the conditions for applying for a 10-year Resident Card and that you can prove your eligibility to the French authorities.
      2. Pay the tax stamp which can be purchased in electronic format online or at a tobacco shop.
      3. Prepare all the documents which form the evidence for your claim. These documents may vary depending on your particular situation.
      4. Submit your application online at the earliest four months and the latest two months before the end of the validity of your current Residence Permit or Long-Stay Visa. You will receive a certificate of submission.
      5. If your application is approved you will be able to collect the Residence Permit from the offices of your préfecture.
      6. If the prefect intends to refuse to issue the card even if you meet the conditions they must contact the Residence Permit Commission. You will receive notice 15 days before the meeting with the commission. It is permissible to have a lawyer, interpreter, the mayor of your municipality or any other person of your choice to help you at this meeting.

      Required Documents for 10-Year Residence Permit

      Typical documents required for the application process for a 10-year Residence Permit include the following:

      • Valid passport, consular card or certificate with photo, identity card with photo or certificate of nationality less than six months old with photo
      • Current Residence Permit or Long-Stay Visa
      • Proof of address issued in the last six months old
      • Marriage certificate, if married
      • Birth certificate for any children
      • Three recent passport photos meeting French specifications
      • Proof of living legally and continuously in France for at least five years
      • Evidence of French health insurance
      • Proof of refugee status, if applicable
      • French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII) medical certificate
      • Proof of French nationality for any family members connected to your application
      • Proof of shared living arrangements e.g. joint declaration of honour, joint utility bill
      • French language certificate for those under 65 years of age
      • Evidence of integration into French society, such as a signed Republican Integration Contract

      Our specialist lawyers have the expertise to align your applications with the best possible chance of success. Contact Us

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        Processing Time & Fees for 10-Year Residence Cards in France

        Several factors can affect the processing time for a 10-year Residence Permit and these can vary from one préfecture to another. However, a general timescale is around two to three months.

        Workloads can vary according to the time of year and even the day of the week. This can be affected by staffing levels at the préfecture, the effect of official holidays or the volume of applications. Processing times may also be impacted by strike action.

        Other issues affecting processing times can be caused by individual cases being more complex than others or even production delays with the physical Residence Card itself.

        To ensure your 10-year Residence Permit is processed promptly you should ensure that you have submitted all the required documents.

        Most applicants will have to pay €225 per tax stamp consisting of €25 stamp duty and €200 tax. Refugees and veterans only pay the €25 stamp duty while stateless persons and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection get the first card free but like refugees will pay for a renewal or duplicate.

        Victims of domestic violence and human trafficking do not have to pay the tax stamp.

        Applicants who entered France without a Long-Stay Visa have to pay an additional €200 visa regularisation fee by tax stamps. This includes €50 when submitting the application which is non-refundable if the application is refused.

        If you submit your application after the deadline you will have to pay the cost of the card as well as a regularisation visa fee of €180.

        Holders of a workplace accident pension, veterans, those born in France to foreign parents and people with a Residence Card marked ‘retired’ must attend an appointment in person in most préfectures.

        How Does Private and Family Life Affect Residency?

        The definition of tax or fiscal residency is quite straightforward in France. There are three tests to establish where an individual is fiscally resident. If one of these criteria is met then you are considered a fiscal or tax resident of France.

        • Your household or the location of your main home is in France. This means you live there permanently and most of the time either with your family or alone.
        • You have a professional activity which is your primary occupation either as an employee or self-employed in France and to which you devote the majority of your time.
        • France is the centre of your economic interests. This is the case if more of your income comes from a French source than from foreign sources.

        There is a common misconception about the 183-day rule and its relationship to determining residency. Many people believe that if you spend fewer than 183 days per year in France you will not be considered fiscally resident.

        This is completely untrue and the tests listed above are used to determine residency for tax purposes being based on economic and life factors rather than time spent in France.

        Renewing the Residence Permit

        Your 10-year Residence Permit in France will remain valid unless you leave the country for more than three consecutive years.

        Your renewal application must be done within two months of the expiry date of your current Residence Permit.

        When you need to renew a 10-year Residence Permit you can request a Carte de Résident Longue Durée UE or a Carte de Resident Permanent.

        The Carte de Résident Longue Durée UE is available to third-country nationals who have been in France for at least five years legally and uninterrupted. It is also available to European Blue Card holders.

        All applicants must have valid health insurance, meet the resources criteria and demonstrate integration into French society.

        The Carte de Resident Permanent allows the holder to remain in France indefinitely with the right to work. This card needs to be renewed every 10 years. It is only possible to apply for permanent Resident Cards when a 10-year Residence Card, or Carte de Résident Longue Durée UE if you hold one, is due to expire.

        Those over the age of 60 will automatically qualify for the Carte de Resident Permanent when their current permit expires.

        You may be asked for your tax notice, payslips or employment contract as proof of resources. You will also have to provide proof of your knowledge of the French language in the form of an exam certificate.

        As evidence of your integration into French society, you may need letters of support from an official or someone in a respected position.

        a passport with stamps

        Rights and Benefits of the 10-Year Residence Permit

        Holders of the 10-year Residence Permit have the right to live in France and to engage in work as an employee without their employer having to apply for a work permit. Other benefits include being able to visit other EU countries without the need for a visa for up to 90 days and as a path toward permanent residency in France.

        With a 10-year Residence Card, you will be able to access the French health care system, work as an employee or be self-employed, and take part in educational training among other benefits. You will also be able to change jobs or companies, unlike other Residence Permits which are often tied to a specific industry or role.

        Although you will be allowed to stay in France for the duration of your 10-year Residence Card if you leave the country for more than three years in a row the permit will no longer be valid.

        If you have justifiable reasons such as military service or hospitalisation your case may be considered by the préfecture. You must also not be a threat to public order or take part in any criminal activity to retain the rights of your 10-year Residence Permit.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        France is a popular country for those who wish to move to the European Union and has many attractive features as a place to live. However, it also has a reputation for confusing bureaucracy and complex paperwork which can make applying for a Residence Permit a daunting task, particularly with the addition of a language barrier.

        Total Law is well-versed in the French immigration system and can provide you with expert advice and guidance for your 10-year Residence Permit application.

        We can help you assess your eligibility, guide you through the supporting documents, and check that you have not forgotten to include anything relevant to your application. Call us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or contact us online.

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                  Related pages for your continued reading.

                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Many French Residence Permits are temporary Residence Permits in that they need to be renewed regularly and often have conditions or restrictions attached. However, a French Permanent Resident Card allows the holder to live and work permanently in France once they have resided in the country for five continuous years.

                  In general, it takes five years to get French citizenship but there are exceptions. If you have completed a course in higher education in France you can apply for citizenship after just two years.

                  The main differences between citizenship and permanent residence in France are the ability for French citizens to obtain a French passport, vote in French elections and leave France for unlimited periods.

                  You can remain in a second EU country for more than three months for work, training or study, but you must apply for and be granted a Residence Permit in that country.