CARTE DE SEJOUR

CARTE DE SEJOUR — Updated as of October 11, 2012

As of August 2012, the carte de sejour is now the size of a credit card.

If you are a student, getting your carte de séjour (student resident card):

Before you leave home to come to France, go to the French Consulate nearest to you and get a Long Term Visa. Bring a copy of your acceptance letter to the program in which you will be studying.

Student carte de sejour are given out in Paris at the Prefecture at 92 blvd Ney in the 18ème, 1st floor (which is the second floor for us North Americans). This is near Porte de Clignancourt at the top of Line 4.

Within the first two months of your arrival in Paris, you need to go to the Prefecture in person and ask for a rendezvous (rdv). If you cannot yet speak French, it is going to be a little challenging even frustrating because the clerks are not going to speak English to you; at least it’s very unlikely. Go in prepared with your questions written out, have your passport in hand. You need a rdv for your first carte de séjour (« J’ai besoin d’un rendez-vous pour ma première demande pour ma carte de séjour, s’il vous plait »).

Once you have finished the first rdv, they will have you take a medical exam with a government doctor. This is no big deal. They do an x-ray to make sure you don’t have Tuberculosis and ask you a bunch of questions. This exam is mandatory.

Once you finish all these steps, you’ll be given a rdv to pick up your official carte de séjour. You will need to pay at this step. Payment is made in France by les timbres fiscaux which are stamps you buy from a TABAC. The person handling your file will tell you which ones to buy (it will total approx 77€ for students). If your French isn’t great, just show the paper from the Prefecture to the Tabac vender and say “les timbres, carte de séjour, s’il vous plaît.”

See list of payment prices here.

If you already have a student carte de séjour, to renew you must make an appointment at the Prefecture by going on their website.

You need to choose the case that corresponds to your situation:

  • The first option is for those wishing to renew their existing carte de séjour.
  • The second option is for those who are students but who wish to change their status, for instance, to get married or beginning to work.
  • The third option is for those who wish to change their address on an existing carte de séjour. Remember you have a very short window in order to update your address. This step must be done ASAP.
  • The fourth and final option is for those who have lost their carte de séjour.

Once you’ve made your choice, you enter the information they ask for on the site and then choice a date for the rdv. Remember, these rdv are given out over a month in advance, so be sure get your appointment well in advance of the expiration of your carte de sejour.

In both cases:

Keep in mind that once you have a rdv, this just gives you the right to wait in line beginning at a certain time. So to avoid tremendous waiting times, be early for the specified time. About 100 other students have your same rdv.

*These rdv can take several hours, so my advice is to bring some work with you, a book, anything that will help you pass several hours of waiting.

You will need to have the originals and two photocopies of each of the documents that they ask for on this site.

Essentially, you must be able to prove the following:

  • You are registered in an academic program (inscription letter, inscription payment)
  • You have sufficient funds to live on while you are in France (approx 620€/month)
  • Proof of your residence in Paris (this can be a lease, a gas or electricity bill or if you are staying with someone an Attestation sur L’honneur stating that they are taking care of you, you live with them, etc, along with their ID and proof they own or rent their lodging.)
  • You will need to bring your passport with your visa in it and a copy of both
  • Three ID pictures you can have taken in the booths in the metro.
  • If you are renewing your carte de séjour, you will need to prove you passed the previous semester/year, so bring your final grades.

*Remember that most documents such as gas and electricity bills, Attestations must be less than 3 months old to be valid proof.

*As a student you have authorization to work 19 hours a week in France (part time).

*As a student, you cannot exchange your driver’s license for a French one.  You are authorized to drive with your student carte de séjour and your home driver’s license.

Once your dossier for the carte de sejour is accpeted you will receive a recépissé de demande de carte de sejour, which is a temporary carte de sejour, and is valid for up to three months. With this, you should also receive a document called a CONVOCATION which tells after what date (à partir de…) you have to return to pick up your carte de sejour.

You will have to pay for your carte de sejour will les timbres fiscaux. Price list here.

If your renewal rdv is after the expiration of your carte de séjour, then you will need to obtain a temporary titre de séjour for the interim.  You can get this extension of your titre de sejour by going to the Prefecture (there are no appointments). If you live in Paris, you need to go to either 19 rue Truffaut Paris 17 (for arronidssements 1-10, 15-18) or 114 ave du Maine Paris 14 (for arrondissements 11-14 or 19 & 20).

Go early as there is always a long line. Most Prefectures open at 9am. Bring:

  • one ID photo for the temporary titre de séjour,
  • your EDF bill less than 3 months old, (if your EDF bill is more than 3 months old, you will have to get an Attestation from EDF saying you still live at your address.)
  • the document proving you have a rdv for the renewal of your titre de séjour.

This is a simple but time consuming process. After you have your RDV, you may have to wait up to three or four months before you have your carte de sejour. It is not advisable to travel outside of France during this time unless you get an extension of your carte de sejour, if you are renewing.

If you are married to a French person (or are getting married), the process to obtain your carte de séjour is a little different from that of a student:

You’ll  need to get a carte de résidence vie privée et familial.  You must already have a long term visa issued by the French Consulate in your home State/Province. This is a visa to stay in France for longer than 3 months.  If you are already a student in France, for example, your student carte de séjour** is sufficient as your long term visa. Once you are in Paris under your long term visa, go to the Prefecture associated with the arrondissement in Paris without a rdv to make your first demand.

Which Prefecture you will have to go to depends on where you live within Paris. So, for those who live in the 1er-10ème, 15ème-18ème, you go to 19 rue Truffaut 75017 Paris (near Place de Clichy). For those of you who live in the 11ème-14ème, 19ème, 20ème, you need to go to 114 ave du Maine 75014 Paris (near Metro Gaîté).

**Note that if you already have a student visa when you decide to marry, you are deemed to be renewing your carte de sejour instead of demanding one for the first time. Therefore, you must make a rdv. To do this, you can either go online or call 01.53.21.25.50. You will need to enter/give your carte de sejour number to get the rdv, do have your carte handy. These appointments are given months in advance. You should make this appointment well before the date limit of your carte de sejour (no less than 2 months!). You will have to present in person and with your French spouse for the rdv at 9 blvd du Palais, 75004 Paris (near Metro Cité).

Once you have your rdv, assemble the documents you’ll need to bring with you. They can be found here.

*Remember that most documents such as gas and electricity bills, Attestations must be less than 3 months old to be valid proof.

The process takes several months. You will have to prove your marriage (marriage certificate and if it was preformed outside France the translation), joint back accounts, the fact that you live together on a permanent basis (joint bills etc). You will also have to prove that you are covered by the health insurance either by your own work or by your spouse. The latter status is called Ayant Droit and you will have to apply to the CPAM (government health care service) to make this declaration. (Details below under HEALTH CARE).

You will have to pay for your carte de résidence with les timbres fiscaux which you can buy at a Tabac. The 2012 price is 162€ for those who marry a French person. List of prices here.

Once you have your first carte de résidence vie privée et familial, you will have to renew it every year for the next three years. To do so, you must make a rdv either online or by calling 01.53.21.25.50 within the last four months before your carte expires (not less than two months). The documentation you’ll need can be found here. Again, the appointments are given well in advance so make yours as close to four months before the expiry date as possible. If you call, note that they are very busy and it can take several tries before you reach someone. It is best to call early in the morning around 8:30am.

You can also find the documents you will need to supply for your renewal listed in more detail on this document: http://www.prefecturedepolice.interieur.gouv.fr/content/download/10900/93699/file/renouv_conjoint.pdf

If you need to update your status or change information regarding your carte de residence, make a rdv here.

For more information in French, read here and here.

265 thoughts on “CARTE DE SEJOUR”

  1. This is such a helpful post!

    • Hi, I’ve been living in France for 11 years and now my carte de sejour is expired. I’m having it renewed tomorrow, actually it is ready to be picked up at the Marie but now I’m stressed about the price. Here you mention that if you marry a French person but I’m divorced from my husband now for several years. Although my daughter is French/American. I’m currently bed-ridden and unable to leave my home so my son will get the carte for me. We still cannot get a straight answer about the price. He thinks it is 162 but when we call the Trésorerie they say that they do not know. *sighs* Any help is greatly appreciated. By the way, I love your blog!

    • I have a question to ask you please. My carte de sejour would be expiring on the 20th of June 2013. I was supposed to go back to my country at the end of May 2013 which is when the academic year is over. However, because I will like to improve my french before I go back to Canada, I would like to stay in France till ending of August 2013 and work as an au pair. Do I have to go through the normal procedure of renewing a carte de sejour considering I only need like 2 months of renewal. This is because I have checked online and most times renewing carte de sejour is done by students who want to stay for another academic year for example september 2013- June 2014. I am not staying for another year, but just for the summer and need just 2 months since my visa expires June and I will be going back in August. Thank you very much.

  2. Erin Goodrich said:

    This is sooo incredibly helpful! I was getting so frustrated trying to make my appointment to renew my carte de sejour, came across this post and now all is taken care of. Thank you so much for your helpful tips! You are a lifesaver :)

    • Erin, I’m so glad the info is useful to you! Dealing with the Prefecture in France is such a pain. I hope it all goes well for you. Don’t forget to take every document you could ever possibly need just in case. They always ask for more than is written on the lists. For renewals, try to call first thing in the morning starting at 8:30am and then keep calling in rapid succession, if it’s busy. It’s a trick I learned trying to get through. Take care!

  3. Postmaster said:

    I have a question abut Temporary residence permt. I want to know what other documents can I submit if my electricity bill is included in my rent and I do not pay anything to EDF and subsequently don’t have an EDF bill to show. Can I include my rental receipts?
    Thank You for this helpful post.
    Best Regards.

    • Hi there, this is always a problem for people with an all-inclusive lease. What you need to do is bring along your rental contract, the receipts from your landlord proving that you have paid each month as well as a phone bill or internet bill or anything that is sent to your name at that address. You might even want to bring along your bank statements showing that the rent has been deducted from the account each month. You will also need an “Attestation sur l’honneur” signed by your landlord saying that you have rented the place at address XY from the starting date until the present. You may need a copy of the EDF bill from your landlord (if possible). I have a form Attestation I will send you by email. I hope that helps! Good luck!

  4. Joelle Tan said:

    Thanks for your post! It’s really helpful – I was wondering if you could clarify something for me – So first you go in person to the prefecture with your passport just to make an appointment, and then you show up for that appointment on a different date and bring all the documents?

    • Hi Joelle, it depends on what type of Carte de Sejour you are seeking. For a student ‘titre’, you should go will all your documents to make the appointment. They very well may ask you to see that you have all the docs before they give you the rdv. So go prepared. Also, check to see if your school has an international student office that takes care of that for you. Eg. Sciences Po does, Sorbonne does not. If you are going for another type of titre, you’ll also need to bring along your docs. They may not ask for them, but this tends to depend on who you end up in front of, so it’s always best to go with your entire folder of documentation. Just bring everything on the list plus any other document you think may be pertinent. Best of luck with the process!

      • hello madam, am a student in Paris, and am from Nigeria, i need to travel back home for my father’s funeral in August but my student visa expires on july 14th. I have already applied for my carte sejour since april, but am not sure wether it will be ready by the time i would travel, and i think that they will give me the recepisse soon, but i heard that i cant go to africa with the recepisse,please i need your advice on what to do

  5. I have to say: MAJOR kudos for taking the time to construct a page like this. The carte de séjour game is such a ridiculous wild goose chase! Anything on the internet that can help demystify it for people is a blessing and valuable resource. Even now that I’m working on my third CDS, I might have to come back to this from time to time for a refresher :)

    • I’m glad you find it useful. I decided to write this one afternoon when I came home from the Prefecture absolutely beside myself with irritation over the ‘process’ or lack there of. I figured if I could help just one other person get through it a little easier than it would all have been worth some good, at the very least. :)

  6. LovingParis said:

    Thank you very much for this blog. It is very helpful indeed. I have some questions. My date the rendez vous for the renewal is two months after the expiry of my titre de séjour. I believe I should get an interim visa for this period as per your blog. However, I plan to quit France permanently before that date. Can the airport authorities detain or fine me for leaving with an expired titre de sejour. I plan to leave about a month and a half after the titre de séjour expires. Can they put an alert against my name for overstaying?
    For the interim visa, can I show this document? http://www.aacft.fr/attestation_hebergement.pdf I do not wish to put lady who will be hosting me in trouble because she is a family friend. Can she face problems for letting me live in her house?

    I’ve asked a lot of pesky question but you seem to be the only source of information in simple language on the World Wide Web for this subject right now. Thanks a lot!

    • Hi there Loving Paris, If you will not be coming back in to France as a resdient, then you do not need to worry about renewing your carte de sejour. (Why did you ask for a rdv to renew then?) However, if you are simply leaving the country on vacation and plan to come back to live here, then you do need the interim titre. The authorities are not going to black list you for over staying your visa for a few weeks or even a month. Remember, you can be in the country as a visitor for a max of three months, so you’re covered. Of course, I say all of this as it applies to US and Canadian citizens. Where are you from? It might make a difference. If you are coming back to France to live, then you will need the interim carte de sejour and, yes, you can use the document you included in your commnet as an element of proof of residency. However, if you are leaving France, no need. You will not harm your landlady by staying in her house over your carte expiration for a few weeks. I hope this helps. Take care.

  7. Thank you very much for you blog!It is indeed very helpful and informative.May I ask some question about carte de sejour as it is my first time here in france?I’m here in France because of my husband however, I’m not really sure if I will be staying for good but I wanted to keep renewing my Carte de sejour.Would it be possible to be out of the country for let’s say 1 year and still keep the CDS at the same time?I will keep in renewing my carte de sejour though.Maybe at that time I would want to live in France permanently.What is interim carte de sejour? Thank you so much!Hoping to hear from you soon!

    • You have to be residing in France to renew your carte de sejour. The temporary carte is for the period between your RDV to renew and the delivery of your carte. Hope that helps.

  8. Hi.. Can I renew my Carte de resident? If so please give me the details. Below is the detail:
    Got married to a french girl in 1997.. have a kid (residing with his mom in France)
    Carte de resident validity:jul 1998 – aug 2008
    Worked Full time from 18-6 2001 to 01-04-2005
    Got divorced in 2005.
    Now residing in Pondichery, India.
    Thanks in advance :)

    • Hello Sir, I don’t see how you would qualify for French residency. You are no longer married to your French (ex)wife and your child does not live with you. I don’t see that you have any grounds, especially since your carte expired and you have not continued your resident status. I am, however, not an immigration lawyer. If you are very serious about coming back to France, I would think you would have to start all over again in the process. I would suggest contacting an immigration professional. You might also check with the Prefecure of the city in France where you received your 10-year carte. If Paris, I have listed the contact info on this page. All my best.

      • Wow.. Thanks for the quick reply. :)
        BTW, the guy I contacted at the Pondichery consulate said that he will give me the visa and I can do the process in France. Do you have any idea how long it will take for the carte to be issued?

      • If you are starting all over, once you arrive in France you will need to go to the Prefecture and begin the carte de sejour process. Full details on this page. With the visa from your country, you will still need to get your carte de sejour in France. This process takes many weeks, sometimes several months. You’ll need to show up at the Prefecture to get an appointment, bring all the required documents. You’ll get a temporary carte until the official carte is issued – this whole process can take anywhere from 2 to 6 months. It seems like its been awhile since you went through the process, so be sure to read the info I posted here and on the Prefecture’s website, especially regarding which documents are required. Good luck!

  9. it is really a useful information, but i jst got my first recepisee thru my baby that is french, am really eager to know long it takes to get the card and how much to pay

  10. This is very much helpful article for me. I have renewed my carte de sejour on 20th sept and I got 3 months(Till 20th Dec) extension carte de sejour. But I have not received the new Carte de sejour card to my residence for long stay permit. Can you please tell me how much time it will take to receive usually?
    And also my company is sending me to Algeria for 6 months for work purpose. But I am unable to do Algeria visa from Paris visa embassy as I have carte de sejour less than 3 months. Can you please suggest how to proceed in this case?

    • Hi there, When you renewed your carte de sejour did you not receive a document telling you when you should go back to pick up the carte? In any case, if you were given an extension for 3 months, that should be sufficient to cover the renewal process. If you did not receive a document when you left your rdv to renew your carte, you should check back each week starting at about 4 weeks after the rdv to renew. As for Algeria, I need more information to help you. Where are you from? What embassy are you dealing with? In general, you would need to wait for your carte de sejour.

  11. Many many thanks for your immediate reply. I read the complete process from your article and got carte de sejour for 3 months from 20th oct to 20th dec. Awaiting for the carte de sejour card for 1 year extension. Do you know when I can receive that card.
    I am from India and staying in paris for last 18 months. For Algeria visa, I am looking for Algeria embassy in paris. But As per there custom, I should show minimum 3 months carte de sejour to proceed my visa for Algeria which is now I have 2 months 10 days. And I have very less time to apply my Algeria visa as per my project requirement.
    Please suggest me..

    • UPDATED: I see your predicament. It usually takes about 30 days- 3 months after your rdv to renew to receive your carte. The strange thing is that you don’t have a CONVOCATION to go back to get your carte de sejour. When you renewed your carte de sejour did they not give you a paper marking when you should come pick up your renewed carte and what documents you will need to bring? If you have that convocation and you are running out of time for your job, then try taking the recépissé with your extended carte de sejour to the Algerian embassy. This proves that you have been accepted for and will soon receive your 1 year carte de sejour. If you don’t have a convocation, then I would go to the Prefecture and ask them when you might expect your carte de sejour, ask for a convocation.

  12. ParisTales said:

    Hello! This is a very helpful blog.
    I have a question that I think might help a few people when they are late in applying for CDS and most importantly ME ;)
    My VLS-TS visa expired 20th August 2012 and I took the appointment at the Paris Prefecture in July 2012.(I know – a bit late). Got an appointment for 27th September. In the time between July and September moved to Rueil Malmaison, outside of Paris. So I had to apply to the prefecture there. I went there on the 23rd of August and got a recipisse and submitted my dossier on the 28th/29th of September. The recepisse says that it s valid for three months.
    I want to know if I am in situation irregulier for getting a recepissay after my Visa expired, although I showed them my RDV Doc when they issued me a recepisse. Also how long does it generally take them to issue a CDS?
    Thank You for your help in advance.

    • UPDATED
      Hi there, you are fine. So long as you have the valid recépissé, you are fine. You should have also received a CONVOCATION. You have until two months after the date indicated on the convocation to pick up your carte de sejour. If this is your first carte de sejour, you cannot travel outside of France until you have your carte de sejour. If this is a renewal and you want to travel outside of France in the meantime, you will need to get an extention of your carte de sejour.

      Between the time you hand over your complete dossier for the carte de sejour and the time it will be ready to pick up takes several weeks- 3 months. The convocation should have a date saying the carte will be ready à partir de…. If the Prefecture accepted your dossier and gave you a recépissé, then you are simply waiting until the carte is ready to pick up. Don’t worry! You aren’t breaking any laws.

      To answer your question more specifically, yes, your situation is irregular because you are supposed to go to the Prefecture within the first three months of your sejour in France and apply for your carte de sejour, well before the visa is expired. In future, remember to make your RDVs about three or four months in advance of any expiration dates. That will keep you in the clear.

      I’m a little confused by your last sentence. You said you submitted your dossier on 28th of Sept and you received a recépissé – do you mean a temporary carte which allows you to stay in France while your carte is being prepared? You should have also received a document telling you to come back after a certain date to pick up your carte de sejour – the convocation. This process can take up to or over two months. But they gave you three months so that you are covered. Your RDV doc should have been for the date you handed in your dossier. That’s where I am confused.

      Let me know if I’ve understood your situation.

      • Hi again, I’ve just realized the confusion: the recépissé de demande de carte de sejour is the temporary carte de sejour. You are covered until the end of that date regardless of your visa. You should also have received another doc called a CONVOCATION which tells you when to come back in to pick up your carte de sejour. That date should be within the date of your temporary carte de sejour (the one with your picture on it). Hope that is more clear.

      • ParisTales said:

        Dear Becoming Madame,

        Thank you for all the help. I guess I was just worried about the status of my application. You surely lessened some of the stress.
        But I rencently went to the Prefecture. I had a very grim view of the operations there, but turns out they are quite friendly and are willing to help. They said that there is no problem with my situation and I feel much more assured now. I will try to do the process on time the next time around.
        Many thanks again.

        ParisTales

      • Very glad you had a good experience at the Prefecture, likely due to your move to a smaller town. A personal touch is always an advantage! :) Once you are given the Récépissé, you don’t have to worry about your dossier. But you do have to renew every year. I’m so glad all worked out. My best.

  13. It is very useful document . I must appreciate for your very much detailed information.
    I have got my second time temporary carte de sejour .First time when I applied they have given 3 months extension and I have not received any Convocation letter within that period. When I went to prefecture and showed my temporary carte de sejour , They gave me another temporary carte de sejour. So whether I have do renew my temporary carte de sejour every 3 months or I will be getting my permanent card? If , I will get then how much it takes to receive.
    Thanks for replying in advance.

    • It depends on your status. If you are a student, you should receive a 1 year renewable, temporary carte. If you are in France on a work visa, it is different. If I’m not mistaken, you are the same person who asked about getting a visa to go work in Algeria – in that case, you should take your renewed temporary carte to the embassy when it has the three months required still valid.

      Normally, if you gave your dossier to the Prefecture and they gave you a Récépissé (temporary carte de sejour) for three months then you should get your carte de sejour within that period. What is troubling about your case, is that you were not given a convocation. This should have been given to you when they gave your temporary carte (Récépissé). This might mean you are not entitled to a longer carte de sejour.

      You will not receive a carte de sejour in the mail. You are required to go pick it up in person. I would go to the Prefecture and tell them that you did not receive a convocation and you don’t know when your carte will be ready to pick up. They will either tell you, you aren’t entitled to one for whatever reason in which case you will have to continue to renew every three months (seems unlikely) or they will tell you when you can pick up your carte.

  14. thank you for this it help a lot…pls i will like to know if i still need to pay for carte de sejour after paying for visa…bcos i was send a letter that i should bring 349euro when coming to collect my carte de sejour. and they send it before that i should pay 340 euro before they give me the my recepicess which i did already…now am confuse i cant pay almost 800 euro for CDS…pls help me with any advise thank you

    • Well, I’m afraid to say that I think you have to pay both. I, for instance, had to pay about 400 dollars for my visa before I came over to France, then for each of my carte de sejour each year another 300 or so euros. You need to pay with fiscal stamps which you can buy at a Tabac. The letter should give specific details.

  15. Hi thanks for the reply.. but my visa was made here in france preferteur…what type of visa do you own? mine is (ceseda) and i heard is free…

  16. Hi,
    Thanks so much for you very helpful post. I have a convocation to renew my titre de sejour (for a salarié) at the préfecture de police at Cité at the end of November, but my current titre de sejour expires this month. (It took over 5 months to get a rdv instead of the suggested 3….sigh.) So I am wondering if, in order to get the extension/recepissé, do I go to the Hotel de Police for my arrondissment, which would be the one in the 17th at Clichy as I live in the 10th, or do I go to the Pref de Police at Cité? Many thanks for your help.

    • Hi there, not to worry. With your convocation, you are okay until your appointment in Nov. The key is that you CANNOT travel outside of France without a valid carte de sejour. So if you need to travel outside of France, you’ll need to get an extension carte for the interim. The procedure is on the page. It is not necessary to have the extension unless you are going to travel. Keep your convocation with your carte de sejour so that you can prove you have a rdv if required to show valid ID. However, if you do want to have the extension, then, yes, you go to the Prefecture for your arrondissement, as listed on the page. Don’t forget to bring all the docs listed too. Go early, there is always a line.

      I know how frustrating this can be. For my last carte, it expired in March and I didn’t receive my new one until October, and that one expires in next March again. It’s a never-ending series of rdv! :) Hope this helps.

  17. Bonjour,
    je suis nouvelle sur la forum, mais je suis contente de partager mes soucis avec vous.
    ça fait trois ans que je suis marié avec un français, j’ai déposé un demande de la carte de résidence cette année, mon problème que mon mari trouvé un travail en Europe et je dois partir avec lui, on a fait un transfert des courriers via la poste vers l’étranger, le problème que je sais pas les procédures appliquer par la préfecture pour avoir une carte de 10 ans sur Montpellier, est ce que il ya un enquête de la police et quelle est la nature de cette enquête.

    • Immy, Je suis désolée mais je n’ai pas la réponse à votre question. Votre situation ne figure pas dans mes propres expériences ni dans celles de mes connaissances. J’imagine que les années qui comptent pour votre carte de séjour de 10 ans s’arrêtent à partir du moment où vous n’habitez plus en France. Cela me semble logique, mais peut-être sont-ce les années de mariage qui comptent pour ce genre de situation. Je vous conseille de vous déplacer en personne à la Préfecture et de leur demander la procédure adéquate. Bon courage!! Bien à vous.

  18. Hello everyone. The following message won’t add any value to this already extremely valuable information page, but I felt I had to apologize on behalf of my country for the way things are handled regarding Visas and residence permits for foreigners.

    My wife is Russian, so I had and will have (again) to go through all the excruciating and incomprehensible processes of the French Prefecture. Standing in line for hours under the rain, check. Being told in a condescending way that a paper that was never mentioned in any official list is absolutely critical, check. Being told that an essential temporary permit (“récépissé”) we need is no longer delivered because X obscure criteria out of nowhere isn’t “respected” and / or the legislation has been changed, check. Grumpy, inefficient, rude and disrespectful clerks who direct their frustrations to the people they are supposed to inform… triple check.

    I’m not the patient type, and witnessing the lack of decency and respect toward foreigners, being French myself, made me lose my temper on several occasions.

    (I must precise that I, unfortunately, live in Paris. By far the worst place for any kind of administrative procedure, but I guess the above is not so bad in smaller cities).

    Bottom line is, sorry to all of you who will have to go through this ordeal, it’s a blatant shame. Just grit your teeth and bear with it, prepare for multiple visits for a missing document nobody ever heard about and bring a book with you to pass time! Good luck all, cheers.

    • Alex, thanks for your words of encouragement. It’s just a matter of getting used to the system. Like you say, take a book! :) And you shouldn’t feel too badly. I’m sure other countries are just as strict and irritating. It’s hard to know when you are a citizen, unless you are in it with a spouse or relative. My husband had a very similar shock himself at how some of the people spoke to us. He had a fit once, and then everyone seemed to be much more accomodating. Plus, it helps when he speaks up and they hear his perfect, non-accented French (unlike my giant North American accent). All my best to you an your wife. Know you’re not alone! :)

  19. Hello,
    Thank you so much for the great info! I have a question. My one year student visa expires in a few weeks, and I have a renewal rdv, but not until the end of January (the earliest date I could get). I’ve already bought my plane ticket to go back to the US for X-mas break. You said that it’s not recommended that I travel while waiting to renew. What do you suggest I do?
    Thank you again,

    • Hi there,

      Yes, you definitely should NOT travel on an expired carte de sejour. You’ll need to get an extension. The process for this is described on the Carte de Sejour page on this blog under the title “If your renewal rdv is after the expiration of your carte de séjour”, about half way down the page. Hope this helps.

      Just so you know, you might not have a problem getting back into France at Customs, but when you have your RDV they will look at your passport and see that you left the country – stamps – and this can cause you serious headaches, eg. they can refuse to renew your carte de sejour.

      All my best. Let me know if I can help any further.

  20. Hello Mme

    Bonjour

    Thanks for all the information above, I have one question, Now i live in France since a year with the Titre-de-sejour , with STAGIAIRE. my Titre-de-sejour will get expired by end dec 2012. Now if I get a French permanent employee contract from any company, Can i renew my Titre-de-sejour from france for the new title as work permit. Do i need to go back to my contry and come with new visa ?

    • Hi there, I am not sure about this. I have no personal experience with work visas. As a general rule, however, you do need to return home to renew your visa if your current one expires as well as your carte de sejour. To get more specific advice, I suggest that you go to the Prefecture in the 4th and ask at the information desk, just after the security checks. If you are comfortable reading French, you might look here for more detailed info: http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/F15922.xhtml. All my best with the process.

  21. Hi Mme-
    Thanks for this excellent blog, it’s super-helpful!
    I have a question about working as a student – I have recently arrived from USA, with a Type D Student Visa (1-year). On the visa, it says, ‘autorise travail limite 60% duree legale.’ I have been told to send my ‘Demande d’attestation OFII’ form to the OFII, and that in return I will go to the doctor, make a payment with les timbres, and then receive ‘Vignette’ sticker from the OFII. It seems as if this process is the same as un premiere demande d’un carte de sejour, but there is not CDS mentioned, just the sticker.
    Does this allow me to work in France as a student, or do I have to request a CDS in addition to all this stuff?
    Thanks!
    T

    • Hi Tim, as a student you are authorized to work for what amounts to 19 hours a week in France. The process that you have undergone/are undergoing is the process for getting your carte de sejour. You will receive a carte that says Etudiant. It is renewable so long as you are in school. What’s important is that your carte de sejour says autorisé à travailler, which it will. When you get a job, your employer is going to have to declare you. If you are working in one of the businesses that are used to taken on international students eg English bars, English language schools, etc, they used to the process.

      There is not a seperate process to obtain your carte de sejour. With your visa, you go through all the processes you described above and at the end of all that they will issue your carte de sejour.

      Let me know if that helps or if you have any other questions.
      All my best.

  22. Hi and thanks for the detailed responses!

    My wife is studying here in France, and I got a Type D Visa as her conjoint. We also got the OFII Vignette last year. As the Visa expired on October 21, we asked for a RDV with the prefecture, and we submitted the documents, to get the “recepisse”. It is valid for two months.
    Now, I’m a little bit confused: Is this recepisse considered as a temporary CDS and allows me to travel outside France (actually outside Europe) and come back before the expiry date, or as you mentioned in one of the comments, for this time (the first CDS after the Vignette OFII) I cannot make foreign travels?

    • The recepisse is a temporary CDS. Do you have it in your hands? was it issued to you or are you waiting for it? You may want to read the fine print on it if it’s in your possession, however, just in case, but that’s the idea of a recipisse — it’s to take the place of your CDS in interim. BUT! as I don’t know your specific case, you may just want to wait for Becoming Madame’s response :) as they’re probably more versed.

    • Hi there, if you have a recepisse, the one with your picture on it, expriation date, address, etc, you can travel with this document as well as your passport. What you cannot do – or at least what is strongly ill-advised – is to travel between the period of time your CDS expired and you were issued your recepisse – when you just had your rdv paper. That can get you into trouble. However, when makes your travel plans, be sure to get back to France well before the expiration of your recepisse. Allow a margin for cancelled flights etc. You may run into trouble if your recepisse is expired and you try to get back into the country. Same goes for your wife’s CDS. Hope this helps. Take care.

      • Thanks again for your response.
        Just wanted to confirm that I traveled out of Europe, and came back to France about a week ahead of expiration date of my Recepisse, without any problem.

  23. Thank you for this blog. As I’ve gone through Long Term Tourist Visa, Carte de Sejour for a student (renewing at least 5 times — I swear I know Porte de Clignancourt office like the back of my hand! –heaven forbid you don’t have all your documents there!!), and now I’m changing my status from Student to Vie Familiale, I’m quite familiar, myself, with the whole process — however, I wouldn’t have been able to be as articulate as you if asked! Anyway, glad you posted the tax amounts as I’ve been looking for that all over the place!! Merci!

  24. Hi,

    Thank you so much for the great and detailed info on this blog! I have a question,

    I am a visa national and have been married and living in France with my French husband since March 2009. I originally came to France with a long stay visa which was changed to a 1 year carte de sejour. I renewed it and the last one I had expired in 2011 and I was not able to renew it as my passport had expired. I received my new passport from back home last month and have been dreading going to the prefecture since. I have a 3 yrs old son and am expecting another in April.

    I know that I have to face the prefecture, but just wanted to know whether anyone knows or has been in a similar situation, to tell me the documents that I will need, so I can prepare myself mentally for when I get there (Val de Marne), as they can be very rude!!!!

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi there,

      I know how you feel! I dread going to the Prefecture every year too. The documents you will need are listed on the pdf linked below. Essentially, you’ll need your passport plus copies, carte de sejour plus copies, joint bank accounts for the previous three months (before rdv date), EDF bill in both names or an attestation from EDF not older than 3 months before the rdv date. If you are renting, an attestation from your landlord that you have both been living there since XY date or your rent receipts for the last three months. (Note I always bring six months worth of bank records from the joint account and rent stubs, etc,just to be safe). If you were required to do any civic courses, the documentation that you attended will be necessary. Bring your Livre de Famille. Bring four ID pictures, plus you’ll eventually need the timbres to pay the fee when you go to pick up the carte (this can take a few months after your rdv to renew).

      I wouldn’t wait too long, though, for your rdv. They are even more unkind when someone comes in with an expired carte de sejour and having to explain why just aggrevates the situation. At least now, you can say that you just received your renewed passport.

      Here’s the link to the docs: http://www.prefecturedepolice.interieur.gouv.fr/content/download/10899/93696/file/1ere_demande_conjoint.pdf

      Let me know if I can help in any other way.
      Take care!

      • Hi,

        Thank you very much for the quick and detailed information.We are in the process of putting together all the documents you highlighted and I will update you of our progress.

        Once again thank you very much for your help and take care!!!!!

      • Hi Becoming madame,

        Apologies in advance for the long post, I just wanted to give you an update as to whats been happening since my last post, which might hopefully help someone else.

        As per my last post, having queue at the prefecture from 6am on the 18th of Dec, I got a ticket at 8am when the gates opened, and was finally seen at about 1:20pm. The lady I found myself in front of was very rude and started asking us questions like whether I was in jail, when my husband explained that my passeport was lost, thus the reason for me not having renewed the old Carte de sejour, she then told us that she does not care and that she will just be sending the form and documents to the authorities, who will be making the final decision. She gave us a form and told us to fill it and take it to another area that she pointed out to us, anyday from 1:30pm.

        Instead of going home and possibly queuing another day, we decided to join the queue she indicated. We were given a ticket and again waited for another 21/2 hours to be seen (whilst waiting, my husband filled the form). This second lady took my documents, verify all my photocopies to the originals, the timbre, and 4 passeport size pics, and then gave me an attestation which had my pic on, confirming receipt of the application.

        Last month, in Feb, I received a letter from them for us to go back on the 8th,at 11am, with a new form for me to fill as the mother of a French child, along with our mutual, his birth certificate, carnet de sante and his school registration, as he is 3years.

        We reached there around 11am, only to find out that loads of other people were also given the same time as us, thus another ticket queue after which, it took us another 4 hours to be seen as there were about 60 people before us.

        At just after 4pm, our number was called. Fortunately this time round, we got a supervisor, who was very polite. She took all the documents they asked for, and when my husband asked why the change in my status, she said that as I had not renewed my last expired CDS, and with my old passport that has my visas lost, I can not apply as the spouse of a French (as I would need proof of my short and long stay visas that was given to me when I first came in, showing how I entered the country)

        She gave me the recepisse, along with a Naturalisation form, and when my husband asked when I will be eligible to apply, she said anytime now as we will have been married for 5 years this coming May, and she said I have been eligible since last year.

        Having looked at the form, we have found that I need to pass a French test, which I will be doing next month. Once the results are out, I will be putting my application through.

        I hope this is helpfull to someone out there and I also wanted to say a big thank you to you for the indept informations this this blog has.

        Take care and may God Bless you and your family!!!!!

      • Thank you for your kind words and your update!! All my best!

  25. Hi, really a nice informativ blog…

    I have a question regarding renewal of my titre de sejour scientifique

    I want a convention or attestation de acceuil for its renewal beside other documents. This attestation would be provided by the university or my professor by apparantely it will tak atleast 2 more weeks or so…

    However, my titre de sejour has been expired and the lady at perfecture told me that she will not take docs without the attestation ir convention de acceuil…

    Kindly tell me whether it is ok to wait for two weeks and apply for renewal afterwards or do i hav any other option as well???

    • I think you’ll be fine for two weeks. There is a grace period which changes depending on where you are from, but I wouldn’t worry about 2 weeks in any case. Just be sure to get the docs and go to the Prefecture as soon as you! The other option you have is a temporary renewal (see details on carte de sejour page here under ‘If my carte de sejour expires before my RDV to renew). But I don’t think this is necessary for two weeks.

  26. Hi,

    I have a complex query and request you help / advice.

    I have come to Paris, France on 1st June 2011 on a long term Work Permit (Salary) valid till 9th May 2012. My company is in Paris latter confirmed my employment and moved me from Temporary to Permanent (New CDI Contract). Hence in the Month March 2012 my company applied with the Prefecture for an extension / renewal of the work permit. Mean while once we approached the Prefecture with relevant docs they gave me a temporary Cater de sejour with the following text in it.

    “RECEPISSE DE DEMANDE DE CARTE DE SEJOUR” with the following notification :-“ A DEMANDE LE RENOUVELLEMENT DE SON TITRE DE SEJOUR DONT LA FIN DE VALIDITE EXPIRE LE 31/05/2012 CE RECEPISSE N’EST VALABLE QU’ACCOMPAGNE DE CE TITRE DE SEJOUR N………..(VLS)
    UNE CONVOCATION SERA ADRESSE POUR LE RETRAIT DU TITRE DE SEJOUR.”
    VALABLE JUSQU’AU 19/12/2012.

    Meanwhile in the course of my job I need to travel to Algeris (For Implementation of one project).

    This week I received the convocation letter (CONVOCATION pour Remise de votre titre de sejour) The date of this convocation is 11th Feb 2013.

    As I have mentioned above in this that my RECEPISSE DE DEMANDE DE CARTE DE SEJOUR is valid till 19/12/2012 I will visit the prefecture at 19, 21 rue Truffaut 75017 PARIS and get a revised RECEPISSE DE DEMANDE DE CARTE DE SEJOUR valid till or after 11th Feb 2013.

    My Important Question – as this waiting period is quite long and I need to immediately go to Algeris or India for the purpose of my job and be back by 11th Feb 2013 for my convocation here, will it be possible.
    Will it be possible to travel and come back with the revised RECEPISSE DE DEMANDE DE CARTE DE SEJOUR (Will be valid till 11th Feb).

    My Passport visa validitity is over since 9th May 2012 but I have this revised RECEPISSE DE DEMANDE DE CARTE DE SEJOUR (Will be valid till 11th Feb).

    Is it possible and there will not be any problem at the Immigration etc at the airport. Pls advise. I can share the copies of these validity letters if you need and clarification or understanding of the situation.

    Many Thanks.

    • Hi there, the rule for North Americans, and I presume for other countries as well, is that you have to get the extended recepisse de demand de carte de sejour before you can legally leave the country. Once your carte de sejour is expired, you should not travel outside of France without the extension. Once you have the extension, it is as if you have a carte de séjour valid until the extended date. So, in your case, it is imperative that you get the extension at the prefecture and be back in Paris well before the extension deadline. In other words, with the extended recepisse you should be able to travel outside of France and return before the extension expires. Be sure you travel with all the documentation, eg. the expired carte de sejour, the extended recepisse, passport. All three.

      All my best.

    • Just to know what company do you work for in france ? And you also said ” you need to travel to Algeris (For Implementation of one project). What kind of project is this or what field do you work for?

  27. hello,
    I am married to a french man and we have a child. I am going on my 4th year in france and upon renewing it for the 4th time, they asked me a the prefacture if i would like the 10 year carte de residence. Do you know anything about the “test” or evaluation? I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon to speak with my mayor at the local Maire. I live in quite a small town so I am really crossing my fingers they will give it to me. Unfortunately, I dont know what to expect. My french isnt bad but its not great either. I can understand 75% of the time what they are saying and i can convey a simple message or get my point across one way or another. Do you have any idea what they want me to know? i have been “studying” and learning about the french government and etc. Any help will be appreciated. I have been googling things all day and have gotten no where.
    thanks.

    • Hi there,
      This is similar to a citizenship interview in the States. They will likely ask you about the government, the last elections, how you find living in the community, maybe about your child’s experience at school. Did you take the French civil course when you had your carte de sejour? It will be that type of information. French history, how the government works (Assemblee Nationale and Senat), color of the flag, capital of France, etc.They will ask general French knowledge questions. They are not hard questions. Just to see that you have assimilated into the culture. Things like what you like about France, why you live here, why you like France. They ask you to write an attestation that you will respect the laws, etc.
      Some prefectures don’t ask anything at all just for all the necessary docs.
      The conversation will be in French, so I’d try to write down some points if you don’t feel comfortable with the language.
      All my best.

  28. I wanted to update you on yesterday I stufies everything in French. Even practices writing letters to the prefet. Well. All my mayor did was ask me to confirm a couple dates (marriage and the birth of our daughter and when we purchased out home) we also had some friendly conversation and jokes. He was so nice. I live in a town of 300 so it went better than probably a city like Paris. I didn’t need to know anything. He explained to me how the school system works in our town because my daughter will be going in two years. He also mentioned that I really need to embrace the town and start participating in the town’s activities. Which is really hard when you are busy and on your free days you just want to be with your family. Anyways, he copied all my ofii diplomas and my diploma for taking French classes and my temporary carte de sejour. That’s it. He sends that along with a letter to the le prefet and we await to hear from the prefecture when I go pick up my card. So I guess this will be a surprise when I get there. Cross your fingers that its 10!

  29. Studied. Sorry :)typing on small phone.

  30. Great website indeed, and also very fruitful discussions!

    As the holiday season is soon to come and I need to apply to renew my carte de sejour, I am wondering which days the prefecture office shall be closed in December 2012?

    December 25th? any other day?

    • The Prefecture in the 4th is open from Monday to Thrusday from 08h30 to 16h50 and Friday from 08h30 à 16h15. There is no notice on their site stating certain hours they will be closed during the holidays, but to be safe I would say the 24th, 25th and 31st would not be the best days to try. If you are renewing, use the website to get your rdv (see how to info on this page) and you’ll see which appointments are available on there. You’ll need to type in your CDS number and name, then choose the renewal option, then the dates for the rdv will appear, pick whichever one suits you best.
      Good luck!

  31. I am a student and originally my company is supposed to have sponsor my education here in France ,I am here in France now started school have rented an accommodation,have a bank account as well. I had an appointment with OFII but my school called it off because they want me to pay the first half of my tuition fee which is around 5000 euros but i have paid 1000 and waiting for the my sponsorship package from my company in order to pay for the tuition.i contacted my company and they told me they are still in the process of getting my sponsorship package for me and normally it takes about five month for the company to process you study leave package.and if my school had not call off my first appointment I could have gotten my sticker by now and started some work to raise some money for my tuition.my second issue is I have now OFII has sent me a second convocation and I have already spend three month in France and so I can not move out of France,with this new appointment can I travel out of France because I need to get some money for the school .I want to know if it was proper for the school to have called off my appointment, ans also know if i can travel out of France since i have the new appointment date.
    Thank you
    Le Monte

    • Hi Le Monte, it doesn’t seem normal that your school postponed the rdv. The Prefecture would want to make sure that you are indeed going to the school so you will have to show that you paid the first deposit. Perhaps your acceptance to the school is conditional on receiving the sponsorship package from your job? Having said that, all I needed to show in terms of proving I was in the school was my acceptance to the school and my student card. If you haven’t paid, you likely can’t get your student card. That might explain why the school intervened.
      As to your second question, if this is your first CDS, then you have a little more flexibility to travel. You are essentially travelling on your visa and passport. Whether or not you can come and go after three months in France depends on the visa you received from your country before you came to France. You have exhausted your three month visitor status in France but you are covered to stay in the country because of the Convocation. Check on your visa in your passport to see if it says a certain length of time (for instance I originally received a 10 year student visa from my country) or consult with your Embassy to make sure that your visa will not be affected/invalidated if you leave France before you have completed the CDS process.
      If you are renewing your CDS, you should go get a temporary extension to your carte de sejour BEFORE you travel outside of France. The instructions on that process are on this Carte de Sejour page under “If your renewal rdv is after the expiration of your carte de séjour”. You could run into problems if you leave the country with an expired CDS even with the Convocation.
      I hope this helps point you in the right direction.
      My best.

    • what is the name of the school you are attending, also what is your nationality, and what company was suppose to sponsor you in?

      • Larri,I think these are presonal questions i prefer not to say any of them here.I need general advice on this issues. thank you

  32. I have a one year multiply visa with ceseda r311-3 6° and limited 60% duree Legale,
    Now my sponsorship package is not in yet I am suppose to pay my tuition before the new semester begins, I can only get some money to pay for me tuition if i travel out of France or I have to wait until some where February when my sponsorship package comes in and I am afraid I will be facing the same issue of the school calling OFII to call off the appointment .I have my letter of attestation from the school,and i could have started some part time work to pay for part of this tuition if i should have my student residence permit.can you please advice me .

  33. What about a carte de sejour for a stagiaire? I know I need one, and also to pay some tax that was not collected at the consulate in America. Is this the same process? Thanks!

    • I should clarify. I have been told by several people that the law has changed this year, and that I may not need to have a carte de sejour at all. Instead, just paying my “tax” at the OFII office. My internship ends in July 2013, and my visa in my passport says it is valid until August. It notes that it is for a stagiaire. So do I actually need a carte de sejour at all? If I can avoid going to the prefecture, I would like to. It seems that the process is very time consuming and painful. I have a rdv with OFII January 28th, and they said I would pay with my stamps at that time.

      • I’m not sure about an internship. If you have been told that you don’t need one, I would confirm when you are at your rdv in January but it seems logical that you would be covered by your visa, especially if it specifically states stagiaire on it. Do any other readers have any experience with internships?

  34. Paris Ravi said:

    Dear Mme,
    I am quite desparate and seeking help. I feel like I am being cheated and let alone in the middle of nowhere. In 2010, a major French international company, with whom I was working in another country, offered a French employment contract(contrat a Duree Indeterminee’) with Cadre 3.1.2 Coefficient 190 and asked me to come to France. In fact, my employment with the same Frech company started in 2009.
    Nov 2010, we arrived in Paris and subsequently received the Carte desejour for 3 years. But in my carte desejour , the purpose of my stay says that ‘Salarie en mission’ which prohibits me to accept other job offers. When I approached Prefecture to change my status they told me that I must leave France after the expiry of the carte desejour (in Dec 2013) . My concern is that now I received a good offer from another French company but they are not able to offer the contract due to ‘Salarie en mission’ status. What is the process to change my status in the carte desejour. Also do have the right to change employment in France. Please note that I pay my income tax and all other local taxes and maintain good social status. I will be grateful for any advice in this regard. Thank you.

    • Gosh, this is so dificult. The problem is that you are in France on the visa, essentially, of one company and for a duration of 3 years. You likely do need to leave the country and return on a new visa from your country under the new work proposition.

      I have never had to deal with work visas, so I’m sorry not to be able to help you more. I just have never gone through it, so I have no expertise. Maybe someone else reading here has other advice?

      I’d talk to the new company and ask them what they need. It may very well just mean that you need to return home for a week, get a new visa, and reenter France on the new contract.

      Wishing you the best.

  35. I’m an American nurse wishing to come over to france and live for good and work, I will like information on where my first step is gonna be…..so any advice will be really important.

    • It is not easy to immigrate to France right now. The economy is not great, so jobs are anything but plentiful. You’ll need to start my looking for a job in your sector. If you find one, the company will need to sponsor you.

      I don’t have any personal experience with work visas, so I don’t know the process personally.

      Another idea is to look into international organizations like Doctor without Borders. This is an French association, maybe they have some openings.

  36. Is it possible to travel outside of Europe under the following scenario?

    – carte de sejour valid until departure but expires before arrival date
    – recipes de demande de carte de sejour valid until arrival date

    • Sometimes people get confused between the different documents. The recépissé de demande de carte de sejour is what you need before you can travel on an expired carte de sejour. It’s the extension. The convocation is the rdv to renew your carte. You can travel on the recépissé (which has your carte de sejour stapled to it). If you have this, you are okay. If not, the process is under “If your renewal rdv is after the expiration of your carte de séjour” on this page. You might not have a problem at the border if you don’t have the entention, but when you go to your rdv and they see that your passport is stamped when you weren’t supposed to leave the country, that could be a problem. They can deny to renew your carte. The safest thing to do is get the extention (if you haven’t already). It not a dificult process. Just try to go early so you don’t have to wait in line too long. To be sure, I put some pictures with this section so confirm that your recépissé is the extention and not the convocation.

      • Thanks for the clarification between “recépissé de demande de carte de sejour” and “convocation rdv to renew your carte”

        Just to be sure that I understood correctly and do not fall under the following situation:

        “You might not have a problem at the border if you don’t have the extention, but when you go to your rdv and they see that your passport is stamped when you weren’t supposed to leave the country, that could be a problem. They can deny to renew your carte.”

        Here is my concrete example:

        – carte de sejour valid until March 15, 2013 + stapled recépissé de demande de carte de sejour (i.e. extension) valid until April 30, 2012

        – Departure date: February 20, 2013
        – Arrival date: March 30, 2012

        Is it ok to travel with carte de sejour + recépissé de demande de carte de sejour, and then have no any problems in obtaining my renewed carte de sejour?

        Thanks in advance!

      • Hi SH, You’re good. You did everything you need to do. The recépissé stapled to your expired carte is what you need to travel correctly out of France. You have a month between the expiration of that extention and your rdv. You’re fine. Bon voyage!

  37. Greetings,

    Perhaps you’ve already answered this, but I need help. My student visa D expires on 20 May 2013 (was issued for 10 months instead of one year for some reason), and I’ve received the OFII stamp (which serves as the carte de sejour, if I’m not mistaken) Now, is the carte de sejour good for a year after it’s issuance? Is it any good if the visa itself expires? What do I need to do to extend my student visa?

  38. lydiamarie1 said:

    Bonjour Madame,

    I’m desperately in need of clarification concerning my tourist visa renewal. I have found a lot of conflicting information online, and am getting nowhere fast…

    I am a single US citizen, retired and independent financially, and I own my apartment in the 3rd. Have a 1-yr tourist visa, valid until 04/13, and passport valid until 2016. I want to get started with the renewal process, but don’t understand it. I am reasonably fluent in French.

    I intend to stay in Paris, but will not be applying for school, work or residency. I am confused about the difference between visa and carte de sejour. I have found conflicting information about where I must go, whether I renew visa or apply for c-d-s, whether or not a rdv is needed, a tax stamp purchased beforehand…

    I have enough paperwork to sink a ship – just need to know exactly where to bring it all, and which step to take next. I would be grateful for any enlightenment.
    Merci infiniment!

    • Hi Lydia,
      You received your visa from the consulate at home before you come over to France and then you are required to apply for your CDS once you are here, normally within the three months following your arrival. Your visa gets you into France, the CDS keeps you here. To know which procedure you need to follow, look on your visa. There are two distinctions on 1 year long séjour visas: “carte de séjour à solliciter dès l’arrivée en France” or “visa de long séjour valant titre de séjour”. Which one is printed on your visa? In both cases, you need to go to the Prefecture and go through the process of getting your CDS. The process is called OFII. Given that you live in the 3rd, it looks like will need to go to 48 rue de la Roquette, 75011 PARIS (see bottom of site linked below).
      If you are comfortable reading in French, here is a government site which explains the process you need to undertake: http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/particuliers/F39.xhtml. It costs 241€ (timbres fiscaux) and under the section Demarches, you will find all the paperwork/documentation you need. (It’s always so much!!) If I can help in any other way, or if you have trouble deciphering the linked site, please let me know. Bon courage!!

  39. Hello,
    please i will like to add to my question,can i travel to another schengeen country with my family with my first RECEPISSE DE DEMANDE DE CARTE DE SEJOUR AND MY PASSPORT. please i need your advice.

  40. You give very detailed & useful information to people !
    I need to consult my queries & problem with you: “is there big risk of withdrawal of carte de resident after my divorce”?
    I’ve got married to a french girl in march 2006, joined her in france in may 2006.
    signed my CAI in dec 2006 & passed in 2007, also did my master study course in 2008 (nantes)
    got my Carte de resident in may 2009 validity:2009 – 2019 in Nantes (adresse)
    in 2009 I came to Paris for 6 month for my internship, in mean time she shifted adresse from nantes to Saint-nazaire at her parent’s place. she told me to divorce & i refuse it on what ground! so I was stuck in Paris with Nantes adresse on Carte de resident. in 2010 I found CDI job in Paris and I will be working upto mid 2013 (my company will close due to crisis)
    finally, we did mutuel divorce in nov 2012 with no kids, (in judgement of divorce it’s written “Marriage dissous” do you know what does it mean?)
    Now I want to do the changement of adresse on my carte de resident from “Nantes to Paris” but I am worried they will withdraw it??
    Also I paid tax from 2010 to till now on both names on the adresse of her parents !
    she also paid tax d’habitation on both names in Saint-Nazaire!
    Can you please guide me what to do ?

    • Hi Jinu, I can’t be sure about this particular situation as I have never gone through this procedure myself. My best advice is to make an appointment to update your status and change your address. This is necessary and you can get in trouble if you don’t do it. Since you have your ten-year CDS, you are okay for those ten years. What might pose a problem for you is after it expires, you likely won’t have grounds to renew it. “Mariage dissous” means that your marriage has been dissolved – that you are divorced. You’re other option is to apply for citizenship which you have the right to do having been married for over 3 years. I hope this helps a little. All my best.

      • Thanks for your immediate reply.
        I do want to change address & status but I am worried that they will “Withdraw” it definitive my Carte de resident ?
        I don’t know if they can withdraw CDS 10yrs due to divorce mutual (amiable)?
        Also do you know any address for “Free legal consultation” at any service or advocate ? in Paris
        Thanks again.

      • I don’t know if they can withdraw your CDS. As I mentioned, I don’t think they can after it has been issued, save for you breaking the law. You should have the 10 years. Your problem, as I see it, will be when it expires: I’m not sure you’ll be able to renew it as a “vie familiale” CDS given that you are no longer married. Again, this is not something I have ever personally dealt with and therefore do not have the exact answer for you. As for legal advice, try this organization: http://www.cdad-paris.justice.fr/home.html, you can try your own Embassy to see if your country has a Citizens Abroad Action Association or something similar. There are such organizations in France, for instance, for Canadians, Brits and Americans. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help.

  41. lydiamarie1 said:

    Bonjour Madame, and thanks very much for your reply. I am still not clear on what I must do, however…

    I acquired my 1 yr visa at my regional Embassy in the US last April. The visa is “type D” – whatever that means – and the only other notation, apart from the 12-month expiration date, is “Comments: Visiteur”. When I arrived in Paris last April, I went directly to l’OFFI, presented documents, passed the medical exam, paid with the tax stamp, and was sent on my merry way.

    Now I am not sure what I do this time around. Because my visa will expire in April, do I apply at the Prefecture for a carte de sejour? If so, is it the Prefecture de Paris, 75004, or should I go to the one in 75003, where I reside? I have also read that I should instead go to the Centre de Reception des Etrangers, 14, rue de l’Etoile 75015 – or to 19, rue Truffaut, 75017. Or – worst case scenario – must I return to the US and go through the visa business again? So you see, I am still “in the weeds”!

    Again, merci infiniment for your help. I have found your site to be very clear and informative – it should be required reading for all ex-pats. There is just ‘way too much misinformation out there…
    LydiaMarie

    • Hi LudiaMarie, once your visa is close to expiration, you need to demande a carte de sejour. This process is done at the Prefecture de Paris in the 4th (the big one) given that you live in the 3rd. You’ll need to go in and get an appointment. It is your ‘Première demande’. They open at 8h30-4 and I’d go as early as possible. Always a billion people. You’ll need to go to the North American wing (it’s marked or ask at the reception desk after security – I think it’s C-1). Do this as soon as you can, as they say the process must begin within 2 months of the expiration of your visa. Here’s the page that tells you what you’ll need to bring in terms of documentation and the cost etc. http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/particuliers/F15922.xhtml. You belong to the second category on this page. (The one thing that worries me is that your visa doesn’t mention ‘valant titre sejour’, but I think it’s okay. I think my first visa didn’t either.) Definitely go to the Prefecture and begin the process as soon as you can.

      I hope that helps. Keep me posted if there’s anything else I can do.

  42. lydiamarie1 said:

    Bonjour Madame.
    I knew you would know! Thank you for such succint, correct information. I will be in line early Monday morning, paperwork in tow. I will send you an update – hopefully, others may find it useful.
    Thanks again for providing such an excellent service, and in such timely fashion.
    LydiaMarie

  43. jonadine said:

    hello there,

    good day i am from nantes…..and i already have done pacse (PACS)… i just want to ask some help if what are the requirements needed as a proof to be given as i have to go back to the prefecture 9 months later to obtain my carte de sejour….hope you could help me out as we have a new president and law already…is there a payment to have carte de sejour? if so, then how much? thank you very much

    jonadine

  44. Hi there-
    I have a quick question about traveling on a student visa. I am on a VLS-TS long stay student visa, which expires at the end of 2013. Can I travel outside of France before receiving my CDS?
    I was at the prefecture today, in fact, for my final rendez-vous to pick up the CDS. the process had gone smoothly so far. However, once I arrived, the prefecture basically said ‘oops, sorry, we scheduled your appointment today, but the CDS isn’t ready yet.’ when i asked for an explanation, they simply told me that i would receive a phone call in the near future, and could come back another day to pick it up…..but no recepisse, no temporary CDS, no new convocation was given to me, they just took my cell-phone number!
    I have a flight to germany this weekend, and am a bit nervous because the date on my old Convocation has now passed, but I still don’t have a CDS, and am unsure if a visa allows for travel outside of France?
    sorry to vent my frustrations here, but thanks as always for this incredible blog, it has helped so much already!

    • Hi there, it’s not ideal, but I wouldn’t worry about your trip to Germany. You’re still in the EU. You won’t have any problems getting back into France. The question might arise when you have your next appointment, but you can easily explain that the carte wasn’t ready… KEEP your convocation document from the day you went and they told you it wasn’t ready. Your visa should say something like + 1 Transit Schengen. Hope that helps. (Sorry it took me a few days to get back to you… I’ve been away.)

  45. Hiya becoming madame,I was so releaved to come across yout site as it looks like u have all the answers I am a british citizien who moved to france two and a half years ago,with my former boyfriend who is an algerian and has no papers , so I came and worked here for 5 months starting may I got married in june at the la mairie then stopped working september as I fell pregnant and was very ill I aplied at the prefecture so I can try get him his carte de sejour they gave us rdv on the 30 november, we went to our rdv and the woman was not nice and refused to talk with me in english as my french is not so good she told me how she will not accept as I was not working, for 3 months prior to our rdv.I was shocked how she expected me to work while I was ppregnant , so we left and done another rdv which is on the 26 of february 2013! My baby is due on the 12 march I have all documents I need caf,allocations familie,bail,quittance du loyer,justificat domicile even for my husband. I am so afraid they will turn us down again due to the fact I’m not working I really need helP if there’s any way around it or shouid I wait till child is born or was it just that day I came across a really bad woman PLEASE HELP thank you so much

    • Hi there, first of all, the people at the Prefecture do speak to you in French. Which, if you think about it, makes sense given that we live in France. But I think this is just a matter of time for you. You need to show how you are taking care of yourself (financially) in France. If you are in France and living off social security, then that could pose a problem. However, when your child is born in France, your situation will change. As the parent of a child, you have access to a French CDS.
      I don’t have a lot of experience with this particular case, so I’m sorry not to have more info for you. All the best.

  46. Katherine said:

    Dear Madame,

    I’ve just found your blog and it is obvious you are a wealth of information. I have read through all of the above, and cannot find anything about my situation. I will, of course, understand completely if you don’t know either, as your situation is different. I’ll be as brief as I can.
    I’m an American, married to a Brit. We moved to France last May, after 11 years in Ireland. Because of my long term residency in Ireland ( I have the card) I knew I had to appear at the prefecture before 3 months had passed. I was called back to the States for a family emergency, which meant I only applied for my CDS one day before the three months expired. We were then told that because we are considered “inactif” (I have a job offer to teach English but the school won’t take me on without the CDS) we were required to present an attestation of private health coverage.
    (This is actually illegal for France to require and the EU Commission has demanded they change it but the French govt has ignored this). We arranged for private health insurance (at great expense) but it took many weeks to organize and my dossier was not completed until November. I was not issued a recipesse.

    Yesterday, I received a letter saying that because my dossier was not complete until after 3 months my situation is considered “irrégulière”. They have asked for a copy of my new passport ( was renewed recently) and a fee, but have said nothing else. The local Mairie, who is helping with this, is confused herself. Do you have any idea of the implications of being irrégulière ? My daughter is due with our first grandchild in early April and I had hoped to return to the States for the baby’s birth, but I am afraid that if nothing is resolved by then, and without a recipesse, I will not be able to return home to France. Any ideas or advice you may have would be greatly appreciated.

    • Dear Katherine,
      It’s a scary word that doesn’t have that much to do with your situation… Meaning that being irregular, if you were not making the effort necessary to regularize your status would have consequences if the police stopped you and asked for ID. However, you are simply in the process of getting your CDS, and in the meantime you are technically outside the bounds of their boxes.
      The process is going to be difficult and long. They are going to ask you for a hundred different documents and most of it seems like they are doing it just to irritate you. Go with the flow. Give them what they want. You’ll be fine.
      Be sure you keep the process going. You have a EU card from Ireland, so you aren’t in a position like an American or Australian who stays passed when his CDS expires….
      I hope this helps.
      Sincerely, BM.

      • Ps. I would definitely wait to return to the States when you have a recépissé or CDS. The Prefecture is assumingly going through your dossier now, reviewing it and as soon as they as satisfied, they’ll send you a rdv and you’ll get your carte. Your situation is not the kind they go after in terms of “irreguliere”. If worse comes to worst in terms of timing for the birth of your daughter’s child, you could always go to the Prefecture and ask them for permission to leave (essentially for a recépissé) until the CDS is ready. The process for this is above (if you CDS expires before your RDV). But don’t worry. The word sounds scarier than it is. They just want to make sure that you continue the process of getting your CDS in place. The problem arises when people stop or don’t bother going through the process… those are the people they are most interested in pursuing.

  47. Katherine said:

    Merci, merci Madame! It’s reassuring, and I am doing all I can to keep them on my side!

  48. Hi. Quick question… I apologize in advance if it is a repeat! I need an extension for my carte de sejour – vie privée et familial. Do I go to the same prefecture listed for the student who needs an extension or do I have to painfully deal with the main prefecture de police?

    Thanks for your time!

  49. Hi, I’m in a bit of a confusing situation at the moment, and I’d really appreciate some guidance!

    First off, I had an aupair visa which I switched into a carte de sejour. (i’m from the USA ) My carte de sejour was supposed to be renewed by August, but as my contract took forever to get back from direccte, I pushed it to october. I still didn’t have my contract by then , and my boss at the time insisted it was not necessary to go anyway, as I had a valid work contract from direccte for one more year (max is two years for aupair). I always heard americans would never face any trouble in case of carte sejour expiration, and as I have always had a work contract I think it helps my case. However, I just changed contracts again, and I’m wondering how to go about all of this. since I never officially renewed my carte de sejour, I’m assuming it’s expired as of august 2012, but it is renewable up to august 2013 potentially ( to the two year renewable maximum). Will I be facing deportation if I go in and ask? Is it grave that I have not renewed and yet have aupair contracts that are valid? In august, I’d like an easy transfer from my aupair status to student/married/pacs’d (still trying to figure this out with my partner). Thank you so much in advance! I can’t find any answers anywhere!!!

    K-

  50. Dear Mme,
    I am in a state of confusion now and do not know what to do,I on a one year student visa and I have missed two convocation from OFII, I had missed so many lectures at the beginning of my course that I have decided to take up another program starting march, I called Ofii to explain my situation and they told me my school has informed them that I am no more pursuing the program and some I can not have an appointment with them and that they can not help me but i should go the the prefecture. But i have admissions from my new school. I am confused and want to know if it is not a problem to still go ahead to have have my residents card without the ofii sticker.I have already taken my medicals and have the report with me. and my visa expires in September 2013 I want to go to the UK to visit my relations while i wait to start my school in march, can I apply for a uk visa with my situation whiles i do not have my residence please i need your advice

    • You need to go to the Prefecture and in a way start the process over again. You need to give them the NEW admission documents, medicals docs, everything. They will be able to help you. You need to do this right away since your visa expires in Sept. Go to the Prefecture first, start the process and then you should have no problem going home for a visit.

  51. Hello Madam, I am very much thankful to you and your website. It Guided me all tym.
    Now I am in stage of getting my Titre de sejour for 1 year but there are some problem. I have complected all formalities which is required for the Titre de sejour. Today I went to Prefecture of Cite to submit my Stamps of 87 Euro and 19 euro. They have told that I can collect the document on the same day but today they said my criminal document is missing in their files. How much time it will take them to get the document and when can I get my Titre de sejour. Are there any further problem getting my Titre de sejour?

    • If there is a document missing then it can take anywhere from a month to maybe even 4 to get the carte de sejour. Are you sure you don’t need to supply this document from your country? Be sure that they aren’t waiting for you to give them something. Keep checking back once you know there is nothing you need to submit and try to be patient. I know it’s hard!

  52. Thanks for this excellent blog, this is so generous from you, I noticed that u still replying for the whole question you got! This is really appreciated!

    I have a question about a student visa

    I got a 6 months tourism visa 90 days duration of stay I am seeking to complete my master degree there but I need to take a French course before I start my higher education and I think I’ll be in elementary level so do you think I can get carte de sejour if I apply for french course in Alliance school for ex and start the classes as soon as I get there otherwise i will not be able to apply for Dalf to get acceptance from the university cause I didn’t speak/read French for about 10 years.

  53. Gareth Marshall said:

    Hello,
    Thank you for the great blog, it is very helpful although at the moment it is slightly further ahead then what I am!
    I am a UK citizen moving to France in August after my marriage to my Russian wife and I hope she can join me soon after. Although she will need to apply for the carte de séjour in the future, our concern at the moment is about how to get her to France in the first place. We were hoping that she could just arrive with her shengan visa and then apply at the prefecture for her carte de séjour but I have since been reading that she will need a category D long stay visa and the application for this visa seems lengthy and expensive. Slightly off topic I know and I apologise, but can anybody offer any advice on what the process may be for us? I will have work and accommodation sorted before she arrives, I plan to be living in France for 2 months prior to her arrival. Will she need a long term visa to enter France, will she definatly need one to apply for the carte de séjour or is our situation different from somebody travelling solo to make a new life in France? Also if anybody knows where to apply for the relevant visa that information would be much appreciated,
    Thank you so much in advance, regardless of any replies, I have already bookmarked this page as I know it will be very useful in the not too distant future
    Regards,
    Gareth & Valeriya :-)

    • Hi there,
      The process for you will be much the same as for those who marry in France. The only additional info you’ll need is an official translation of your marriage certificate, plus all the other docs translated related to her not having been married before. All that info is on this page.
      Your wife would enter France as the wife of an EU citizen. You’ll have to prove you live together, joint bank accounts, bills in both names, both names on the rent etc. Get all this sorted before you make the application at the Prefecture. From there, the process will be much like what is explained above. Remember, she will likely have three months on a visitor’s visa, so try to get as much done beforehand and as quickly as you can.
      Hope this help!

  54. arpenteur said:

    Several times you mention:

    “Once your carte de sejour is expired, you should not travel outside of France without the extension.”

    Two questions:

    Why is it that if you leave France without the extension it sabotages the chance of renewal?

    If you are denied a renewal for this reason, do you know how long are permitted remain in France. Are you allowed time to schedule a return to your home country (in the case, the US) to request a new visa?

    Thanks again, its the only information i’ve found on the web which reflects my actual experience at the Prefecture.

    • If you travel outside of France on an expired CDS, yes they can deny to renew your carte. This almost happened to me when I was in France on a student CDS at the very beginning. I had no idea I couldn’t travel until I received my temporary recépissé. The whole thing was a nightmare. So that’s why I caution people. If your papers aren’t in order, you aren’t allow to leave the country until they are regularized. Think of it that way. If you are denied renewal of your CDS, you have about a month I think. But you could likely stay for up to three months. You can absolutely return home to get a new visa and come back. The process would be the same for the new visa. In fact, you if this is your situation, and you want to stay in France, then this is what you should do.

      I’m glad the site is helpful! Take care.

  55. Hi ,

    I was looking thru your blog and I found it very helpful, thanks ! I needed just another information. I am married in France with my wife and she is French. I have taken the RDV in advance at the perfecture for my first renewal or making a carte de sejour and now i need to collect the document needed but i am lacking with 1 document which is the transcription of mariage in country origin and I don’t have it because I just got married in France and not my country. Any advise on this if I will have any problem by not presenting this document ? Thanks

    • If you got married in France then you just need your Livre de famille et the Attestation you were given at the Mairie when you got married. The other document doesn’t apply to your situation if you didn’t get married anywhere else. Take care!

  56. PSHathorn said:

    First off let me say hats off to a pretty awesome blog. It’s seriously packed with information!
    I have a quick question for you, since you seem to really know about this whole french carte de sejour/visa thing… i find it most confusing!!

    I’m a south african passport holder, and i’ve been living in france for 3 years now. I came here under “regroupement familiale” to live with my father and his wife (i was 16 at the time).. i came with the D visa, you know the long stay thing.. and since then i have had a carte de circulation cause i was too young for a carte de sejour.. and i’m now on my second carte de sejour temporaire.. but i’ve already applied for my carte de sejour of 10 years (the residency card) and they say i can pick it up in March… ok so now you know my story a little, here is my question… once i have my carte de sejour, what is the longest period of time i can be outside of france? i’m thinking of travelling during my gap year, and maybe going to spend some time with my family back in South Africa, now that i don’t have school tying me down, and i want to know if they’ll ‘revoke’ my residency if i’m away for too long.

    I would call the prefecture and ask but i don’t want them thinking that i’m done with france and then decide not to give me the card all together. That would really suck!

    Also, i’m aiming for a french passport if i live here long enough. I know it’s 5 years before you’re eligible for the passport, and i would imagine that’s living in france ‘continuously’ for 5 years? is that right or can it be…… spread out?

    Thanks very much!
    really appreciate it! :)

    • Hi there,
      So, the normal rules for citizenship include that you have lived in France, as your habitual residence, for 5 years with a carte de sejour, etc. There are a few exceptions, one of which is that you are a student and you completed at least two years of higher education (university/prepa) in France. If you are doing a gap year, then I imagine that you haven’t yet started university. So the key point for you is that France must remain your ‘habitual residence’. This means that your family is still here, that your source of income is still in France, that your permanent residence is still France, that when you come ‘home’ from travelling it is to France that you come. Travelling for a gap year does not in itself change any of these factors. Here is the web page from the government that explains in more detail these rules: http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/particuliers/F2213.xhtml

      Hope this helps! And thanks for your kind words about the blog!

      Take care!

  57. Thank you so much for this blog! its very essential for international people living in france.
    I have a question please I hope you can help me with, I came one year ago to france as a student with type D visa but it is not schengen its said FRANCE only but i made OFII stamp. my visa expired on last october and I succefully applied for titre de séjour, I received it with one year.
    the question is: now I got an oppurtunity to have internship out of france in Netherland for 6 month, that will be within the validity of my residence, but I really do not know if i am eligible to work in EU too as i am in france or not ? i hope you have an answer for it … many many thanks

  58. I have to add the the whole thank you list, firstly and to say wow bravo for being such cool about responding to everyone and helping everyone out. Not a lot of people out there would be so good to this level. And I hate to do it to you but here goes another one…..

    So I just realized that I completely forgot to renew my CDS before it expired a in December. I am completely behind in getting it renewed and changed, the thing is that I was pacsed to my french spouse last year and also gave birth do a little french/american baby…. so I am hoping that I won’t be sent home to go through the process of renewing my expired visa…. any reasuring thoughts on this??

    Also, I usually do my renewing at my local Marie, I don’t know if I can continue to do so since I am behind on the paperwork and since I am changing from visiter to vie privee …… Thanks again for all of your help with this stuff….

  59. Hi becoming madame,its hajar again! I went to my rdv and they refused to give my husband the recesipisee as I’m british and not working, I’m 9 months today and will be giving birth very sooon, can my algerian husband who has an algerian passport through our baby being born in france get his reecipisee! Or wouid I still have to work. Basically for our next rdv instead of me going to work he can apply through our child being born here or wouid I have to go back to work again. For him to receive his carte se jour please help thank you just so u note I have been living here for 2 years worked for 6 months stopped this september. Thank you waiting for reply

    • Hi Hajar, I’m sorry, as I mentioned before, I really am not familiar with this sort of situation. Normally, in order to get a carte de sejour, you have to have an income. You have to be self-sufficient. You understand, France can’t support people from other countries on the French welfare plan. I wish you all the best in resolving your situation. And congratulations for the birth of your child!

  60. Hello,

    I think this article is absolutely wonderful, and it set my mind at ease about many things, but it also made me realize something. In the course of applying for my visa and going to OFII to take care of my paper, no one ever told me to go to the Prefecture to get my carte de séjour d’étudiant. I was under the impression that it’s the sticker that was in my passport. I have my visa, so I haven’t had any problems, but now I’m realizing that I will probably need it if I want to renew my visa/carte de séjour, and it’s well past the 2 month mark. I’ve been here 7 months already, and I have no idea what to do, and I’m worried that I won’t be able to stay next year because of this. Please, any advice you can give me would be so appreciated, as I’m kind of afraid to go to the Prefecture and ask about it.

    • Hi Chris,

      Don’t worry. This happens to a lot of people. What you need to do is go to the student Prefecture office in the 18th (details on the blog) and make an appointment to get your carte de sejour. Tell them that you didn’t know the procedure and you are now trying to correct the situation. What is important is that you regularize your situation! You will indeed need your first carte de sejour in order to renew it if you decide to stay for another year.

      Don’t be afraid. They are going to give you a hard time. They are not particularly friendly, unless you happen to stumble upon a gem – rare as that is – but you have no choice. You have to regularize your status, otherwise you are in violation of your visa and they can deny you a renewed stay even if you are accepted to a school.

      Just follow the instructions on the blog for getting your first carte de sejour… start by going in person to the prefecture in the 18th and making a rdv. Then gather all the documents. Make sure they are valid within 3 months of your rdv. But definitely go!

      Let me know if I can help in any way.

  61. Thank your for your helpful blog.

    I’m currently on a one-year contract with accompanying work carte de sejour that expires soon. At his point, I don’t intend to stay in France long-term but I’d like to stay for a month or two more to travel or just spend some extra time with some friends I made here. Do you know if this poses a problem? I read on some webpages that I should leave before the expiry date, otherwise they might leave a big mark on my passport when departing that will ban me from entering Europe for a few years, others say I can stay for 90 days and can be considered a “tourist” (I’m Canadian). This seems to be a common issue and hopefully hasn’t been asked too much on this blog.

    • As a Canadian, you normally have up to three months as a tourist in France. So once your visa/carte de sejour expires, you should be fine up to that time line. Enjoy your travels!

      • Thanks for your answer! A quick update, I called the Canadian embassy and also went to the prefecture and they had no idea, but I e-mailed the French consulate in Montreal and they promptly answered my e-mails. They said I can stay on a tourist visa for 90-days but I’d have to exit Schengen and re-enter with the appropriate “cachet” (new French word for the week!) on my passport. I’ll give it a shot in the near future and see how it works out.

  62. Hello! Thanks so much for all the information.
    I studied in Paris during the fall semester of 2011 on a 5 month D student visa. I was only in Paris for 4 of those months. My school applied for my medical appointment for me, but the office was so backed up that I never received an appointment that I am aware of, unless it was scheduled via my school after my departure. Therefore, I never got the stamp or paid the 77 euros. I will be returning to Paris for 5 days this summer as a tourist and want to make sure that I will be allowed back into the country even though I never completed the entire process, and that there will be no problems with my passport. Thanks so much in advance!

    • Hi Tess, you will be allowed back in the country. Coming as a tourist has nothing to do with your visa/carte de sejour. You didn’t do anything wrong. Hope you have a great visit!

  63. I have a question to ask you please. My carte de sejour would be expiring on the 20th of June 2013. I was supposed to go back to my country at the end of May 2013 which is when the academic year is over. However, because I will like to improve my french before I go back to Canada, I would like to stay in France till ending of August 2013 and work as an au pair. Do I have to go through the normal procedure of renewing a carte de sejour considering I only need like 2 months of renewal. This is because I have checked online and most times renewing carte de sejour is done by students who want to stay for another academic year for example september 2013- June 2014. I am not staying for another year, but just for the summer and need just 2 months since my visa expires June and I will be going back in August. Thank you very much.

  64. Thanks so much for your reply. Unfortunately, my country is not in the list of countries who can stay without a visa in France. Come to think of it, my admission letter to my university in Paris here states that my program is on till the end of August 2013. However, the consulate in my country didn’t give me till ending of August 2013 because they said they can’t give me more than one year of student visa so I should do a renewal when my visa is about to expire in France. This is why my visa was given until June 2013. Do you know if I can just take my letter of admission which states my program is still going on till August 2013 and they can just simply give me a renewal of 2 more months. Is this a popular thing done? Thanks so much and sorry for too much questions.

  65. PontDesArts said:

    Great blog! Could I trouble you with another question? I left France beginning of the year to go back to Australia. My Carte de sejour expired end of 2012. I will be going back to France again in August as a student. Do I need to apply for a new Long stay visa? Or could I just make a rdv with the prefecture for renewal of my expired carte de sejour? Thank you so much!

    • Hi there, I think you’ll need to reapply. I’m not sure though. I don’t think you can renew a CDS after a year of expiration. But maybe. In any case, you’ll need a visa from the Consulat back home to come over, so I guess, yes, you’ll need to reapply for a new visa as a studnet at home before coming back to France. Seems the most logical way to go to me.

  66. Hi,

    I thought I’d fill you and others in on the result of my situation, detailed above dated January 31st, as it might be useful for other non-EU spouses of EU citizens.
    First, I learned from a legal advisor that the French can only require an EU citizen’s spouse to leave if there is a criminal record, or other criminal problems. Otherwise, according to EU law no EU country has the right to bar an EU spouse from residing there. Also, it appears I could have travelled back to the States without my CDS as the legal advisor said they never, or very rarely, question Americans on this….they just assume you are visiting, etc, on your return to France. In any case, the good news is that after requesting 390 euros, which we duly paid, the prefecture seemed to have a change of heart and issued me the correct 5 year residency card, allowing me to work. It is a relief, but it did take from July to February, which is, apparently, somewhat unusual. However, I am happy to have it and now can head back to see my first grandchild as planned…she was born last week!

    Thanks again, Madame, for your help.

  67. Firstly, Excellent Blog articulating the process. Secondly I wanted to know, if I can bring my children (both below 14years) as dependent to France, given that I am a student & have valid CST. I am currently in France.

  68. I have a question,
    I already have a titre de sejour, and today still in holiday in my homecountry in Indonesia, could I entry by plane from another country for example from Dusseldorf Germany? whether the Germany immigration will be check my visa or my titre de sejour?

    • Normally, the entrance point en Europe will check your paper work. So wherever you land first in Europe, you’ll be required to pass customs and immigration. Whether in practice they will check, I don’t know. I’d be prepared to show your ID though.

  69. Hi,
    First of all many thanks for the helpful website and information, Dear I am an Afghan National, my Wife is a refugee politic in France but our relation is not declare, and 1 daughter I got a visit visa from Kaboul Afghanistan in Nov 2012, and I come to France the validation of visa was 23 days and I tack rdv from prefecture, but I had tack appointment in March 26 2013 its mean after 4 months, and I have received ressepese for 3 months, prefecture told me that u ll be able to get ur CDS in 3 months, so my question is this that I don’t knows French language how can I found job for me, and if I ll not able to find job in a year so after the expiration of CDS prefecture ll send me back to my country? I really become nerves after seeing some information that I ll be bound to go every 6 months to prefecture for renewing CDS and ll present my contracts of work and ect ? also plz cooprate me if there is any job for English language coz I have been work with World Bank funded projects from last 9 years,
    Best Regards

    • Hi there, thanks for your comment. To be honest, I don’t know how you’re going to find a job. You do need, and will need to continue to, prove that you can take care of yourself and your family to renew your CDS. My best advice for finding a job in English is through FUSAC, an English language magazine. You can find it online here: http://www.fusac.fr/ Click on Read the Ads and then Employment and apply everywhere you can. All my best.

  70. thanks a lot dear

  71. Mme Radtke-Chen said:

    Hello, thank you for all the useful information in your blog. If possible, can I please ask you some advice on my situation (thanks a lot in advance):

    – I am a foreign national and my husband is French. We lived in Marseille since 2010 and since last October we moved to Paris for the reason of work (and live in the the 14th district).

    – The expiration date of my carte de sejour is 01/10/2013.

    – Last year, after moving to Paris, I obtained an appointment for the “modification of carte de sejour” (for the change of address) through their online appointment system. The appointment I got was 24/07/2013 in 163 rue de Charenton, 75012.

    – As far as I understand, the above appointment is for the change of address. I should need another appointment for the renewal of my card. I went to the online booking system recently again (hoping to be able to book another appointment for the renewal), but systematically the system does NOT allow me to book another appointment because there is already an existing appointment !

    – Should I wait until AFTER my appointment on 24/07/2013 (for the change of address) before booking another appointment for the renewal ? As the expiration date is 01/10, I am worrying that by that time it is too late to have any available appointment before 01/10…

    – Do you think that I can do both, (1) change of address; and (2) renewal, on my appointment of 24/07 ?

    Any advise is greatly appreciated… Thanks again.

    Mme Radtke

    • Hi there, I would get all your paperwork together to renew your carte de sejour and when you arrive and get to talk to someone, tell them that you would like to renew at the same time. It might not matter and they will let you do both at the same time. However, this is totally dependent on how you talk to. One person might have no problem, another might say no. But I would be ready just in case and that way you don’t have to go back again.
      In case they say no, then yes, you will have to make another rdv once your current rdv is over.
      I hope that helps. Unfortunately there are no rules for this sort of thing. The agent you talk to has the power to say yes or no, so I’d just go prepared for both eventualities.
      All my best!

      • Zhuoying Chen-Radtke said:

        Thanks a lot for the kind advice. Will prepare both situations !
        All the best !

  72. Just to add an updated experience: I went to the Prefecture on rue Truffaut today to get a recipicee for my carte de sejour. I arrived at 9am, a little later than I had planned and there were already 71 people in front of me. I counted, twice. I waited for 4 hours in the rain until reaching the front of the line (at 1pm) and being allowed to enter the building. My poor frozen feet. People’s tempers were getting hot by that point. Pushing and yelling in line. I was going to quit 20 times, and if I didn’t need the extension to travel next week, I likely would have definitely left. By the time I got inside, it took another two hours until my number was called. The paper work process itself lasted a whole 7 minutes. They didn’t even ask me for my EDF bill. So, please keep in mind that you will do yourself a favor if you arrive early – 8am! – and prepare to wait. I left my house at 7am today, returned at 5pm. The Prefecture is all I did!

    • Sorry to hear about it!

      But at least you came out successful! For us it was the same story in last December (much colder!) for myself, my wife and our 2 year old kid, waited in the line for 3 hours to get a ticket, and after waiting until 4 pm, finally the Prefecture objected on your marriage certificate not being correctly translated in French and therefore all the time and efforts went into drain!

      Next time, we went via RDV, and it came out to be a 10 mins job!

      Nevertheless, perhaps an adventurous story for you to tell others during your travel/vacations :-). I am happy that you finally made it!

  73. Dear Madam, I hope all is well with you, I thank you for such a useful blogs from you, Dear finally I got Recepice from Prefecture after 5 months, It is valid for 3 months and I have permission for work too. But I don’t know what should I do now, my social assistant is very busy and I still not have assurance maladi and still didn’t take any appointment from Offi still no French Language. Plz instruct me for further process that what should I DO?

  74. Dear Madam, this is such a informative blog, I have bookmarked it as my favorite. Ofcourse, I also have series of questions. I m Asian, own property in France and living there since Feb 2010, while working in in Switzerland for International non profit organizations. So, I am not eligible for paying taxes, but fill the tax form yearly. Got married and brought my wife to france in early 2011, hadbaby in 2012.

    – Upon expiration of my current CDS temporaire, can I apply for longe sejour 10 years, or should I wait for another year?
    – Do I need certain french level to apply for longe sejour? If so, what french level I need, so that I start getting my certifications B1 or B2, already.
    – My CDS is being renewed on the basis of my job in Swiss, what happens if I don’t have job in Swiss, is there alternative for getting the carte sejour? Or worse case, what happens if I don’t have job, just before applying to the 10 years carte sejour, would all my 5 years stay become worthless, and I have to leave France?

    – I will be completing my 5 years before my wife and my baby, can they all apply with me for their long sejour, though they wouldn’t haven’t completed their 5 years? What will happen, if I get job in another country, right after my 10 years carte sejour, can my wife and kid then apply for carte sejour, while living in third country.

    – How soon, after completion of the 5 years, I can also apply for citizenship, knowing I am not working in France, nor eligable for taxes. Though, I pay tax foncier and habitation, regularly, given my bank details for automatic deductions yearly.

    I better shutup now :), will give you time to breath, before I come up with more questions. Probably, I need to get a lawyer for receiving answers to the many questions. But I am certain, I will have massive information for your knowlege.
    Thank you in advance.

  75. I am waiting for my first CDS. I got married to my French Wife last year. I have to leave France for 3 weeks work in Africa in a week. I have a Recipisse De Demande De Carte De Sejour (with photo address etc). However the fine print also says “a demande de renouvellment de son titre sejour…”. The woman at the Bobginy prefecture assured me I can travel as it says “renouvellment” . What are your thoughts? Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Stev, It is also my opinion and experience that you CAN travel with a Recipisse. In fact, it is the temporary carte de sejour while you are waiting for either your rdv for renouvellement or for the carte to be issued. Be sure you return to France before the expiration of the Recipisse. All the best.

  76. Dear Madam,
    my boyfriend lost his wallet yesterday.it had all his papers including the titre de sejour.He tried to search in the area where he lost it but apparently someone had already taken it. Do you have any idea whether he should report it as lost or stolen(which case is easier)and in both cases how long does it take to have a new one if he needs to go out and and in France during the next couple of months?Thank you in advance

  77. Hello Becoming Madame,
    Thankyou for this very informative site! I have a question about renewing my CDS vie privee familial. I got married in October 2012 and received my CDS vie privee in Feb 2013 (after the 3 month recipisse) which is valid until November 2013. The problem is that I am now divorced (my ex-husband filed for divorce shortly after the marriage because he had a change of heart- unfortunately) and I am looking to renew under a different status if it is possible-I think I will have to renew under ‘salarie’. I have a CDI contract, and have been working in Paris since my arrival in Aug 2011 (although I had a CDD until now). This was not a ‘marriage blanche’ although I’m sure it looks that way- I arrived with a visitor/work visa under the French/Canada Youth agreement and married my boyfriend after a year of living with him in Saint-Ouen. Soon after, he filed for divorce and now I’m in the process of re-applying with a change of status.
    Could you please advise me of my options? What are the neccessary documents required to change my status? I have moved from Saint-Ouen to Paris in the last month (formerly dealing with Bobigny prefecture) so should I first change my address on my current CDS before starting the renewal/change of status process? Is a CDI contract enough to apply for a ‘salarie’ status?

    Thanks for any help or advice in advance,
    Sarah

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  79. Hi,I’m a Filipino national currently residing in Paris, France. I went this morning in POLICE PREFECTURE (Cité) to ask for an ENTREE VISA because I want to have a vacation in the Philippines for 30 days. The POLICE PREFECTURE (Cité) told me that I need to get the ENTREE VISA in French Embassy Philippines. For this time im holding a Récépissé de demande de carte de sejour valid until 03 JULY 2013 and with a CONVOCATION dated 03 JULY 2013. Will I have a problem re-entering France or an Entree Visa is really needed to come back to France? Will I able to secure an entree visa in French embassy Philippines? Thanks in advance!

  80. Lillian said:

    Hi,

    Thanks so much for your blog…it’s very helpful.

    I hope you can offer some advice for my renewal process. I have the carte de séjour “compétences et talents” [3-year visa]. During my first year of the visa, I had to return to the USA [my home country] to help with family responsibilities. I thought I would only be in the US for 1 year, but still haven’t had a chance to return to France.

    So, I know I have to be in France to renew the visa [which expires 21 Sept 2013]. My plan is to move back to France on the 1st of Sept to renew the visa (Unfortunately, I can’t move back any sooner than 1 Sept). I tried to make an appointment online but could not log into the system. What would you advise that I do? Thanks in advance for your help!

  81. Hi,

    I have a question regarding the copy of the lease required, which is supposed to be “not over three months old”. What does this mean? We signed the contract in January 2013, which means 4 months ago, but it will be valid until January 2014. Would that be alright to show the préfécture?

    Another question concerning work: I am here on a student visa and working as an auto-entrepreneur. Is it an acceptable status for the French authorities? If so, what exactly do I need to provide them? And if not, what can I do to prove I can take care of myself financially?

    Thanks a lot!

  82. Dear Madame,
    I can’t begin to tell you how helpful this blog is! I’ve been so relieved reading all the entries, and it has already clarified a lot for me. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind advising me in my particular situation:
    I’m working as an Au Pair, living in the Yvellines. My visa, however, is a student visa and I’m admitted (by letter of pre-inscription) for a Master’s program at Paris 8. I’m going to stay “heberge” at the home of a friend in Paris beginning first of July, but when I went yesterday to renew my visa yesterday in the Yvellines they said that I needed to do so in Paris as i’d be moving there. But I am not able to make a rendez-vous online as i’m registered in the Yvellines. What seems to be the case is that I must first change my address to Paris and THEN apply for my renewal there. However, since I’ll be moving in July and my carte de sejour expires the 1st of august, i’m worried i’ll be too late. Any advice? Is this temporary extension a possibility for me? Thanks so much, looking forward to hearing from you!!
    Alison

  83. Hello , firstly i would like to thank you for this fantastic blog of yours . i need some of your opinion on my case. I have been married since 1 year with my french spouse and soon my long stay visa is going to be expired, I have already took a RDV at the perfecture for getting my first titre de sejour (carte de sejour) on fevrier and they gave me a RDV on beginning of june.

    -What i am worried about is that my long stay visa is ending on mid of june and i personally think the numbers of days for processing a carte de sejour is not sufficient.

    My question is that what will be the process after me submitting all the documents on beginning of june and how long will the process be for me to get my carte de sejour? also will there be any problem if i am missing 1 document which they ask on the day of RDV.

    i will really appreciate your reply and thank you

  84. I came across this post while I was trying to find information about leaving France without my titre de séjour. I am a student in France (since January 2013) and will leave for good in two weeks. I was very late in sending in my paperwork and my appointment at the OFII is in one week, and is one week before I leave France permanently. Should I even bother going to the appointment and paying all the fees when I won’t even receive my titre de séjour before I leave France? Can they prevent me from leaving France since my visa has not been officially validated here?
    Thank you!

  85. RICO Manuel said:

    Situation: Tourist who Loved Paris and stayed in Paris and found a work yet did not have any CDS. wanted to apply for CDS. WHAT ARE THE ITEMIZED REQUIREMENTS / and or ALTERNATIVE REQUIREMENTS to show? If an employer is having a hard time declairing me. I dont have EDF, Apt. Contract & No declaration. Can you tell me step by step application and show me some website i can refer to?

    Another hypothetical question: If i decided to go back to home country, what will happen to me in airport at the border & immigration security when they see my passport overstayed 5 yrs and doing out of country wihtout CDS. What are the possible things to happen. and what should i prepare myself for?

    Need to to choose between starting application for CDS or going back home.but i do want to stay till i get my paper done?

  86. Linda said:

    Hello Madame,

    This was very informative! I hope you are still replying to questions… I was living in France with my boyfriend (I think we can prove one year of vie commune) but I did not have a carte de sejour. I was enrolled in classes at La Sorbonne, but because the courses were less than 6 months, they gave me a special student visa which does not allow me the right to a carte de sejour. After my visa expired at the end of January 2013, I went to London, and was able to come back to France for 3 more months. Now I am back in Canada and my boyfriend and I are intending to PASC so that I can get the carte de sejour with the right to work (since we can prove one year of vie commune). I was wondering if you think I can just come back under a 3 month tourist visa (without getting a carte de sejour) and then change the tourist visa to the “vie privee et familiale” with the carte de sejour, or do I absolutely have to have a visa with a carte de sejour before coming to France and applying for the visa “vie privee et familiale?”

  87. I don’t have a question right now (fortunately we live in the provinces and our préfecture is not too terribly unfriendly, nor are there very many other Americans where we live), but I do want to say that the service you are offering, “Becoming Madame,” is truly remarkable. I have rarely seen such kind, thoughtful remarks and such extensive information to complete strangers. Thank you for what you are doing here!

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  89. Carrie said:

    Hello,
    I see that you were recently active, and was hoping you could briefly help me with the same issue as Mary:

    “I came across this post while I was trying to find information about leaving France without my titre de séjour. I am a student in France (since January 2013) and will leave for good in two weeks. I was very late in sending in my paperwork and my appointment at the OFII is in one week, and is one week before I leave France permanently. Should I even bother going to the appointment and paying all the fees when I won’t even receive my titre de séjour before I leave France? Can they prevent me from leaving France since my visa has not been officially validated here?”

    Thanks!

    • I’m replying way too late to help you, so I hope everything worked out. But just for other’s to reference: if you’re leaving a week after the expire of your CDS/visa, don’t worry about renewing it! You have a certain unspoken grace period anyway…

  90. Elizaeth Stewart said:

    Hi, i just applied for my carte sejour as my daughters want to continue to go to school here. I was asked to return next week to pick up my receipt and my carte should arround in a month. Are my daughters (minors) covered under my carte sejour?

    • Children are normally covered under the status of their parents. (Sorry for the late reply, hope everything worked out!)

      • E Stewart said:

        Thank you for your reply. I really appreciate the support and assistance you have been providing in this blog. Very helpful and valuable.
        The children do not get carte sejours but, according to our prefecture, they need to have a document de circulation from our sous prefecture so they can come in and out of France (and not worry about overstaying the 90 day allowed for US passport holders) . I will apply for this but it appears that tthe sous prefecture need both parents to have carte sejours. My husband cannot apply as he works in the US and we need his income as support. I hope that the local agent will have some flexibility on this when we apply.

  91. Bonjour,
    I need to know something urgently. My Resident card (titre de sejour) expires on 25th of this month. I’ve the work contract for another one year. I applied for the extension of my residence permit nearly a month back. Now I want to go back to my home country and plan to be back here by 24th (just a day before my permit expires). Will that be okay? Thanks in advance.

    • Sorry for the late reply. I hope it all worked out for you. As long as you come back before the expiration of your récépissé you will be okay. I’d suggest having a few days to spare if you can, in case of a cancelled flight or something like that.

  92. Good day! This post could not be written any better!

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  93. hello madam, am a student in Paris, and am from Nigeria, i need to travel back home for my father’s funeral in August but my student visa expires on july 14th. I have already applied for my carte sejour since april, but am not sure wether it will be ready by the time i would travel, and i think that they will give me the recepisse soon, but i heard that i cant go to africa with the recepisse,please i need your advice on what to do

    • I would recommend that you follow the procedure for extending your CDS until your renouvellement. The procedure for this is on this page under the heading: If your renewal rdv is after the expiration of your carte de séjour.

      All my best.

      • Thanks for the reply, but i did everything according to the procedure, everything is fine is just that my card will not be ready by August and i have to go home briefly in august, i just want to know if i can still re-enter france with just a recepisse or do i need a return visa?

      • yes, you can re-enter France on your récépissé.

  94. Lyn2013 said:

    I am from Philippines, im married to a german national but living in France. I was given a marriage visa to be married here in France. After 3 months, i returned to Philippines, I thought the embassy will give me a long stay visa, but they only gave me a tourist visa for 3 months only. Now im back here in France…is it possible to get a residence permit and is it possible to have an extension of my stay here?

    • Hi there, I’m not sure about the rules with the Philippines. You’ll need to check with your consulate. Or, if you speak French, go to the Prefecture in the 4th and ask at the information desk. Normally if you are married to a German, then you are able to live in the EU with him. But I’m not familiar with these rules. My best.

  95. Erika Chong said:

    Hi,
    I need to renew my carte de sejour – I’m currently studying in France. Last year, I received the application from my school but I’m moving schools this year. I’m just wondering – where can I get the application? I made my rdv for the end of September (earliest appointment I could get) and my card expires at the end of October. Do you get the form at the rdv? I’m currently not in France but I will be back in August.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Yes, the renewal form will be given to you at your rdv but you’ll need to go to your rdv with ALL the documents and copies ready. See the list on this page. My best.

  96. Hello Modame!!!
    Your blog is super helpful, thanks a lot for this amazing sharing!!
    I’m desperate about an issue that i have :(
    (°Student- wanna get married in France with her love -who is french°)
    I came to France 13 september 2012 as student (Visa type D) and it expires 13 september 2013.
    OFII put a stamp or kind of sticker inside my passport, and I use that as my reidence permit. I never received a Carte de Sejour, they said its the same.
    Now, I want to extand my visa for 6 months cuz I have an official paper from my univesirty telling that I need to stay till january at least due to my ‘internship report’ stuff and ‘prise de diplome’.
    I will ask for an extension from prefecture (have a rndv) end of August.
    Do I have a right to marry after this extension?
    I am scared that they won’t let us marry cuz the carte de sejour that they’ll give me (yes, this time they’ll give CDS) is from september 2013 to maximum march 2013.
    I never left france since september 2013 and it’ll be full 1.5 years of stay in total but my new and evry first CDS will show the dates as September – to March (6 months)
    Do you think I am authorised to marry with boyfriend (french)?
    Thank you so much, I need your answer so badly, and thaks again for helping us , it is so nice of you! Really, we are so lucky!

    • Hi there, you have the right to marry with the extension but you’ll have to have a valid CDS at the time of your marriage, so you might want to either get PACS right away or take another course at the university so that you can extend your CDS.
      My best.

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  98. Hello!
    I just stumbled across this blog entry while googling something about my récépissé. My situation is the following: I applied for extension of my carte de séjour in June and got my récépissé. Right now I have this récépissé (valid until October) and my expired carte de séjour. I would like to travel back to my home country in August and I think that I have enough documents to be able to come back to France. However, I would like to come back by train that enters Schengen zone through Poland. But I am not sure if having just expired CDS and the récépissé I can enter Schengen through a country other than France. Could you please advise?

    best regards

    • Hi there, normally you have the right to come back into France with a récépissé. As you pointed out, the problem for you might be that you are passing through another country on your way back. But the récépissé is made for this purpose – an extension of your CDS – so I really don’t think it should be a problem. I’ve never come across a case where someone with a valid récépissé was denied access into Schengen. My best.

  99. Pallavi said:

    Superb blog literally…hats off…
    I too hv a question n m really hoping to fond answer here..
    My husband was masters student and came to france 2 yrs back..nwhe is working in paris in a french company and has work permit ‘ carte de sejour temporaire’ (salarie) till 14 april 2014. We both are indian and got married in india last month. I want to join my husband now in paris. I was supposed to apply for visitor visa D type for long stay family visit as my husband had sent me attestation d’accuil and we have marrige certificate and all other documents in order. But i heard dat i cannot apply for visitor visa ad my huband ha temporaire carte de sejour. Is it true? If yes then which visa i should apply for? Please help…

    • Hi there, I don’t have all the answers unfortunately for all the nationalities. My best advice is to go the French consulate in your home town (or the nearest to you) and ask them what you need to do. From what I know of French requirements from other countries a spouse of a non French person with a work visa is authorized to live in France with their spouse for the duration of his/her work visa. You will not, however, be able to work yourself. As for which visa you need, you’ll have to check with the French consulate near you. My best!

  100. I am a PhD Student, I would like to renewal my titre de sejour, what kind of documents I have to prepare?

    and today I bring my wife and children, do you know how could I apply OFII for my family ( wife and two children). And how about the price of stamps for them ( the visa is conjoint OFII)

    thanks for your attention

  101. Hello Madame,
    thank you for such a great blog and such thoughtful responses.
    I have a question that I have not seen yet on your blog concerning 10 year residency cards. Do you know if these cards are difficult to renew?
    My husband and I have our 10 year card, but I am concerned about renewal (several years from now) since my husband is no longer employed with a french contract. We are wondering if we should pursue French Nationality to ensure that we can continue to live here. I am concerned that if our 10 year renewal card is turned down (if they renew based on employment), we would then have to apply for a “retraite” visa, (we are both in our 60s), which is another difficult venture. My husband has rights to a french pension due to years of working in a french company. Do you have any ideas, thoughts concerning this complicated affair?
    thanking you in advance for any thoughts you may be able to pass along.

    • Dear Beverly, A question to you, since you have the 10 years card. I am also living in france, and having carte sejour yearly, by end of next year I will complete five years and will be eligible for 10 years card.
      Can you tell me if it would be automatic, or I should apply for the 10 years. Is the french language requirement mandatory, should I have a certificate i.e. B1 or B2 before getting the 10 years card.

      If anyone else can also help.

  102. Hiya I wonder if u can help me I’m a British citizen marrying a Moroccan now I live in France have been for 2 years, I want to make sure before I apply for rdv do I have to be working part time or full time and how many hours? Does it matter thank you

    • Sorry I forgot to mention I’m trying to do a carte sojour for my husband so as I am British and he is Moroccan and has no papers,I just want to make sure how many hours do I have to be working a month and whether full time or part time for them to accept my dossier

  103. Hello Madam,

    You have become my favorite if possible can we meet up sometime :) Also you are now followed by all my friends circle, who are in Paris. All your blogs are helpful for us. Many Thanks for that.

    My Question :-

    Me and My husband came to Paris in June 2011 from India. My Husband has got a working visa (salarie). And is working for an MNC company here in Paris. He has got a CDI Contract with his company. However the visa issued to me is a dependent visa (status as Visitor). This visa does not allow me to work in France. Every year on renewal we get our CDS renewed.

    I wish is to get unto some work here in France and so will need a work permit.

    Meanwhile have heard from friends, Colleagues and some official that there is an option wherein we can apply for a work permit if my husband have stayed, worked here for a continuous period of 18 months (salary slips) or more. Just wanted to know this process in detail. I want to apply for a workpermit and what is the ideal process.

    So I would like to know few things:

    1. Can I have TDS with Salaried ? If Yes , Pls let me know how can I do it?
    2. Can I do part-time jobs ?

    Kindly advice.

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  105. Hi! thanks so much for your awesome posts!

    a quick question: I came on a student visa which expired in July 2013 and before then I got a recepisse de demande de carte de sejour in order to change my status to scientist (I have a contract with a lab for my PhD until October 2015). The thing I am confused about is when I leave for the holidays (back to USA) what am I supposed to show the border control … my visa is expired, do I show the carte de sejour? Does this card become my visa from now on as long as it is valid, in a way? It’s all soooooo confusing ! :) Thanks for any advice you can offer!

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  107. EU spouse said:

    I have a 10-year carte de sejour (CDS) for EU family members. If I leave France for a year to live somewhere else in Europe, do I have to give up my CDS? What do you think the implications would be for changing my address to a friend’s address here in France? It’s not so much that I couldn’t get the CDS again if I return (spouse is EU), but I just don’t want to have to go through the whole ordeal all over again (it took me 8 months start to finish to get the CDS, loads of expensive documents and translations, and many headache-filled visits to prefecture). Thanks if you have any thoughts!

  108. Good Day, Thank you for making this site. I live on the Island of Saint-Martin, I am French but my husband is American. We got married on August 2nd 2013. He went to apply for the carte de sejour but was told he has to wait 6 months to put in for it….also They wanted proof of that he is residing here, meaning a sort of bill under our names and address. Is there anything other things that we have to do so I can make sure I have everything prepared?

    Also maybe in a few years we are thinking to migrate to France to live. Do we need a visa to reside or does my nationality and his carte de sejour is good enough?

    Thanks!

  109. he im surinamese but illegal in paris but my child is french how could i get my carte sejour in paris

  110. Hi There,

    I am a student of foreign nationality from a french business school in Lille. I am currently in my Gap Year and am pursuing an internship in Paris.

    My visa has expired as of 27th August, however I currently have a recepisse from the Prefecture du Nord ” recepisse de demande de carte de sejour (RDCJ) ” which is valid till the 17th of October when accompanied with the OFII Residence permit.

    Q1. Does this mean that I have to renew to my residence permit or do I have to get an appointment date before the recepisse expires i.e. by the October 17th.?

    Having just started my internship, I am currently looking for an apartment to rent on a long term lease in Paris. However I am restricted in my search by the fact that the appointment dates allotted by the Paris prefecture for document submission for the renewal of the titre de sejour will be well beyond the expiration date of my recepisse de demande de carte de sejour.

    Q2. Can you kindly let me know if I can apply for an extension at the Paris Prefecture that gives me extended time till the allotted appointment date (submission of my documents for the titre de sejour)?

    Q3. Do I get another recepisse when I submit my documents on the said appointment date? As I have heard that certain prefectures like the one responsible for 78000 doesnot provide a recepisse during document submission.

    I want to careful while treading these legal restrictions. I would greatly appreciate your advise on this.

  111. Hello there! Thank you so much for posting this! It’s so hard to find information. Anyway, I just tried to make an rdv online using the link that you posted, so that I can renew my “Carte de Sejour Temporaire”. I entered my information, clicked the button to submit, and NOTHING HAPPENS. Am I supposed to be able to choose a date, or is there supposed to be some kind of confirmation message? I’m worried that my request for an rdv did not work so I’m concerned. I really want to get this process going as I’m travelling abroad over the Christmas holidays to visit family, and just my luck, my card expires on Dec 26 2013.

    This is the link that I used: https://www.ppoletrangers.interieur.gouv.fr/?page=ident

    Thanks!

  112. I am from India and I had been working with a French family looking after their children for around 11 years. Previously they were living in Italy so I had a Italian visa. But my Italian visa expired on 14th February 2013 and I am now living in France. More than six months have passed after my visa expiry. How can I obtain a legal visa now in order to work legally. My employers have consulted many people about this but have not found any solution yet. Please advice me on any possible solution to my problem.

  113. Hello!

    I find this blog extremely helpful. Although I keep on coming up with questions about the carte de sejour and everytime with a new situation :)

    For now, I have CDS Etudiant and I want to take up a CDD Contract to work full time. However I have not finished my degree requirements yet as I still have to do my Thesis in the year ’13-’14 but I have finished all my classes so I have no other school engagements.

    I wanted to know if I would be able to apply for a CDS that will alow me to work full time.
    Thank You in advance.

  114. This is actually the second time I’m renewing my cds, but it’s a bit different this time around. I was an au pair for the last two years, which means I had a student visa and was enrolled in 4 hours of language school a week. Now, I want to stay in France and continue studying French, but I have heard from some people that you must be enrolled in at least 20 hours of school a week in order to renew a carte de séjour and that simply 4 hours a week at a language school will no longer suffice. Is there any truth to this? Basically, I would just like to know if proof of enrollment in any school or university, no matter the number of hours, is sufficient to renew my cds.

    Thank you so much for any help you can offer.

  115. Hello Becoming Madame,

    I moved to France permanently in November 2012 to live with my French Girlfriend(co-joint) and we had our Baby Girl in July this year and last month I received my Carte de sejour marked “vie privée et familiale”

    Prior to my relocation, I didn’t know it would be this difficult getting a job here, because presently I have been unemployed for several months and I am a registered job seeker at Pole Emploi and while waiting for a job, I was expecting to get some training proposal from Pole Emploi in order not to have too much redundant period in my career but my Conseiller said it is quite difficult to get me a suitable training because I am a Phd holder(Doctorat), I know this is not true though!

    My questions;

    1. As a job seeker, am I entitled to any form of benefit from Pole Emploi?
    2. Furthermore, I found a 1 Year French Language Course(FLE) at the University but Pole Emploi said I don’t have the right to get the “Aide Individuelle à la Formation” (AIF), that means I must pay for the Course(~€4,000). With your knowledge and experience, could you please could you advise me on this also.

    I am earnestly looking forward to your response.

    Warmest regards,
    Lincoln

    • The ones entitled for a financial support from Pole emploi are those who were able to work through them and just stopped working, and so far the ones whom I know can get free French courses are the French spouses. =)

  116. HI MADAME

  117. hi madame, I have a question regarding with my papers it is my first time to apply last may I receive my recepicee and it was expired last sept.17,2013 I went to cite to tell that my recepicee is already expired they said I need to wait another convocation that they sent it already. after a couple of days I received a convocation which indicates to bring some docoments this coming oct.3, 2013 will be my rdv….but what makes me confuse is the objective is it written like this(suite accord DIRECTEE JUNE 28 2013) WHAT does it means? do they release me my first carte de sejour or again renewed to another recepecee? i have done all my visit medical or OFII, I went to ministry du travail to ask why untill now my carte de sejour is not yet given to me and they said there is no problem…I felt very stress.THANK YOU SO MUCH IN ADVANCE FOR THE REPLY….:)

  118. Hello,
    I’m so glad I found this blog. So helpful!
    I’m non-EU citizen new to France on a study visa for a 5 year combined Masters & PhD program. How long do I have to be resident here to be eligible for French citizenship? Would I have to get a 10yr CDS b4 I can naturalize or can I naturalize after 2 years of residence here with my student CDS?

  119. Thank you becoming Madame

  120. sydney duriex said:

    How do I find french classes from the Prefecteur in Tours, I have my Visa for this year and am married to a frenchman for 14 years and we have our second home in France. Any advice

  121. toshiba13 said:

    I came to France as a student with a one year visa. At the end of the 2nd semester, i found a full time (CDI) and later applied for a change of status (which was declined). I have since been working for the past 19 months (after losing my right to a permit). I have applied for an ‘examen de situation’ and got a convocation for march 2014. Now the thing is, i want to go to Denmark to stay with my girlfriend until this around February next year. I wonder if my convocation can allow me fly or in the worst case scenario, have me brought back to france should be hiccups when leaving or returning.

  122. My husband and I recently got married in France. We both planned to move back to the USA so I did not find it necessary to get a Visa at the time. My husband just recieved a job offer that he cannot pass up and now I need to stay in France.

    We went to the prefecture and was told if we could prove that we lived together for 6 months(electric bills etc) I could recieve my carte de sejours and avoid returning to the USA to get a Visa. Has anyone heard of this or been through a similiar situation? Any help would be much appreciate!

    • oui, thats true, as I have heard from a friend that since they were married here in France, she just need to submit proof of living together valid for 6 months living together, like joint accounts, bills etc so you wont need to go back to your country to ask for long stay visa for lesser expenses, =)

  123. Bonjour, I would like to know if the French spouse obtaining the temporary Carte de sejour issued from Guadeloupe France be able to work in Paris or metropole France? I would like to change my status from married to divorce,will it affect my renewal of CDS?

  124. Kashif Abbasi said:

    Hello All

    I was married with a French national 2 years ago in Pakistan … now I came in Italy on student visa and have student Permission for stay …My wife is working in France MArseille , tomarrow I am going to meet her and live with her .. now I just want to say what documents I will need to get a spouse visa in France … please someone guide me briefly , thanks

  125. ahmed mek said:

    hello sir/madam
    i would like to know one thing that is
    I have a carte de séjour (vie privee et fm)for one year ,can i bring my wife or fiancé in france from bangladesh?

  126. Shubho chakraborty said:

    Hi.i am an Indian student and i am going to finish my Masters course in February 2014.Well i did my internship in a French company and they want to give me short term job contract(cdd). Can anyone please help me with the information on how can i proceed as it looks really very difficult.

    Thank you

  127. Hello Madam,
    We are living in France since last 4 years , recently my work contract was finished and my visa status is scientific and which will expire end of the march , I would like to renew my visa without work contract and I have the pole emploi inscription and I suppose to receive chomage and I met the perfecture asking for renewal they said that you need to have work contract and you need to change the status to salary and a letter from the employer but at present I dont have any work contract so letter from employer not possible now I am in search of employment it will take some to get the job .

    At present I need to renewal my visa on chomage or any other alternative to renewal visa please advise me.

    Thank you very much,

  128. Hi there, thank you for writing such detailed post on the matter. It helps so much to navigate through the system particularly when there is such lack of official explanation in English. — I have a couple of questions which if you will be so kind to help out with, it’s much appreciated: I have a Long Stay Schengen Visa for one year, and I got the renewal appointment in June 10, while my visa will be expired on 18 April, they did tell me that I can get what you also described an interim visa, so I think I am all set there. But from the list of papers that I will be needing to bring, one is a proof of income through bank statements, do I simply print out my bank statements from the US and bring it along?

    It asks for notice of tax, but since I don’t work in France, how can I have it? Or do I have to pay income tax in France now that I consider myself living in France?

    Lastly, there is this attestation of promise to not work in France, do I just handwrite it and sign it or do I have to also find a notary to make it official?

    Thanks again for your post and your time
    Best

  129. Hi Becoming Madame
    I have a slightly different situation and am desperate for opinions on my question and hoping you’ll be able to shed some light:
    I hold a 1 year working holiday visa for France (I am Australian). I have not been able to find any regulations saying I must go through the OFII process or obtain a carte de sejour (I can’t figure out if these two processes are the same thing?). My visa states ‘dispense temporaire de carte de sejour’. I have read somewhere that if I choose to work, I or my employer must apply for a work permit. However, if I choose to just travel, must I complete any process or simply just…arrive in France and travel here as I want?
    Would be so grateful for any input!
    Thanks.

  130. hi, i need an information regarding (Carte sejour) i am married to a french citizen in 2011 june and we have been together 2014 january and we are prepared to get separated and my carte sejour is temporary and i have been renewing for almost 4 years , when do they proceed 10 years resident permit and my wife is planning to revenge me on my career , if you please furnish these informations it would be so help for my life and stay in france !
    Thank you in advance and my carte sejour finish in 08/10/2014

  131. Hello Madame,

    Love your website and your advice! I’ve had a pretty thorough look though and can’t find anything for my exact situation. I see you haven’t been that active lately but thought I would give this a try anyway.

    I came to France in September 2013 on a Visa Concours because I had to sit an audition before starting my studies. Not sure if you’re familiar with the Visa Concours but it’s actually a Type C visa (which is usually a tourist visa) but it, along with a letter from the French consulate in my home country, means I can receive a normal student carte de sejour once I pass my audition. And I need to do this at the prefecture rather than through OFII. I can only get this visa if I have return flights back home within three months of my arrival in France, so that if I don’t pass my audition, I’ll go home in a timely manner, and the visa itself is only valid for three months.

    My problem is that, while I did pass my audition, I’ve been unable to get my carte de sejour and due to a whole number of factors (some related, some unrelated) I’ll be returning to Australia in March, just shy of 3 months after my visa has expired, and I’m concerned about having problems when leaving the country, e.g. getting a fine or worse. I’ve read on your website and other blogs that there can be a certain grace period after a visa expiry but not sure if it would extend for 3 months…especially as, at first glance anyway, I was not on a student visa but a “tourist” visa.

    The reason I couldn’t get my CDS is crazy – the prefecture would not accept my justification domicile. They promised if I got a letter they would accept it…then they needed another letter from someone else…then they needed the bills of the owner of the apartment where I was staying…then their passport…then some forms…and then, and then, and then finally they said they should not be accepting my accommodation arrangements anyway and I would need to make other plans (e.g. secure a proper rental and get a lease) in order to receive the CDS. They advised me to overstay my visa during all of this to-and-fro, and to return with a lease and all would be well, but as I don’t have a CDS or a visa anymore, I can’t find any rentals that I can afford – only those holiday agencies will overlook my problems for a very high price, which is too high for me. I told this to the prefecture and they shrugged and said I should have come to France with more money, and said if I didn’t secure a proper lease I would need to leave France.

    As I already had flights home booked for my visa expiry date in December, I just changed them to March when the prefecture told me to overstay, in case things didn’t work out, so that’s the only reason the flights are in March. I often see advice along the lines of “go in and talk to someone else and you’ll receive a different answer” but there is only one prefecture office I can go to due to my visa type (I have tried all the other ones) and the staff know me now since I’ve been in so many times – I’m even at the stage where I can walk in and get seen to immediately because they know me! But unfortunately it means asking someone else is not an option.

    I suppose my other question, is that at this late stage, will they even still accept my application for the CDS? I see the actual rules are that once my visa has expired I’m no longer eligible for a CDS but I’m wondering if you know, anecdotally, how strictly they enforce this rule? If I got the money together or got lucky and got a rental, would they accept my application or might it get refused because it’s so late? While the prefecture said I could provide a rental and things would be fine, they also originally said they would accept my justification domicile if I only got a letter, and as explained they did not honour this promise at all.

    I’ve seen that, upon the expiration of a visa, one can leave the EU and return to activate the “visa-free period” that some people can get (and which I can get, being Australian). I wonder if that will go down as a legitimate excuse for staying so long past my visa? Could I claim that I had a visa, then used my “visa-free period”, then left the country after that? When I leave France should I hope they don’t notice me, or should I admit what happened and explain why I overstayed? My course is a 2-year course, and my wonderful school will let me miss a few months of classes and then return in September for my second year without any problems. For next year, I’ll apply for a normal student visa since I now have a certificate scolarite, and I’ll know before arriving what I need to do to provide the justification domicile that they want! I’m wondering as well if you think it’s likely that I’ll have problems getting a student visa, or that if I get the student visa, I’ll have problems getting the CDS next time because they’ll know I overstayed before.

    Sorry this is such a long post – any advice you have would be so greatly appreciated!

  132. Hi there,

    Thank you for this useful blog!
    I would like to seek your advice. My titre de sejour etudiant expired on 15th Jan. I travelled to UK on 22nd Jan for and back to Paris on the same day. My country is visa free entry to both UK and EU. Can I consider myself having a 90 days tourist visa upon my re-entry from UK to France on 22nd?

    I’m finishing my study and going back to home country by this month, 21st. I called Prefecture and they said for this case I do not need to renew my titre de sejour since I’m not coming back to France to work or study. But I read in some blog that I might get fine at the airport for overstay. I’m quite confused here. Do you think I should at least get a short visa from Prefecture so that I can leave France without hassle this month?

    Thank you very much! :)

  133. Bonjour,

    I have a carte de sejour which is valid till may 2014 and has been holding it from May 2011. Now that it is expiring in few months I had thought of asking for a renewal but got to know that the carte de sejour p for the salarie en mission type cannot be renewed and we need to apply for a fresh work permit and visa. Is that true ?

  134. Rahul Bakshi said:

    Hello Madame, my question is: I am a student and currently working as an Intern at AXA Art France. The company has decided to give me a CDI contract starting March 10th 2014. I live in 94 Creteil Val de marne and have a rdv with Prefecture to discuss the list of documents required to change my status from student to Salarie. is there anything I should prepare myself before meeting Prefecture ? Do I need to carry any list of documents from college or from my office ? Please help

  135. Hello Madame, is it true that you need to have at least five years of legal stay in France by cart de sejour to get a french citizenship? :)

  136. Shalini Gangwar said:

    Hello,

    I am facing a problem right now. I lost my CDS which is to be expired in June 2014. I am going to start my internship for my master studies from 17 feb 2014 till 14 august 2014. Now I asked the international office at my university . She asked me to extend the CDS till August 2014. Now since I lost my CDS can i make both process(new CDS with extended expiration date till August 2014)? If yes, could you pease specify the procedure in short?? It would be really nice of you to help me as I am not dat good in french also so that I can prepare everything before.

  137. Hi
    My visa on the passport expires on 28th Feb 2014, and I have a vignette stamped on my passport issued on 17th April 2013, and at the ofii office they told me to renew it in 2nd week of march…so can I travel, leaving france for few days, even though my visa has expired but Vignette is there. and Vignette does not have a validity date. Please could someone help me.Thx

  138. Hi,
    I have an issue, I have been married to a French citizen and living in France for 17 years. I have never applied for a visa or carte du sejour… I am now interested in working and I have no idea what to do or where to start or even if I’ve done something illegal. I have a carte vital, with a social security number and I am in the livret famillie, but nothing else. Can you possibly suggest to me or know what I should do?
    Thanks

    • Scarlet said:

      I think you just have to go directly to the prefecture and explain your situation and they would tell you what to do and the requirements. With your years of consistency living in France , you may ask for nationality also as far as I have read some online facts about it and you may try to read also in the SOS Droit des Etangers SEARCh that online

  139. Hi madame,

    My all family members have been issued récépissé four months ago. To get passport the matter is under consideration. In this connection I have deposited urgent fee for new passport. However, embassy issued me a certificate stating that passport will be issued as soon as approval of competent authority is received.

    To get rdv I visited the prefecture again and again. I was directed to get rdv online through prefecture website. I have tried my best but failed. The website always shows full occupancy of the month. On the other hand, telephone line is found busy.
    Waiting for your kind advice please.

  140. hi i am about to renew my second one year cds but i really would like to know how and when to apply for a ten years cds i have a child with a french man and we live together but we are not married.

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  142. DeepR said:

    Hello,
    I arrived in France July last year and I am suppose to apply for my carte se jour. My visa expires July 2014 and I will be taking a rendezvous for sunmission of documents on 26 May 2014. I know I am late and mainly because of lack of knoweldge of the process. I read your blog and came to know that you need to apply minimum two months in advance of the date of expiry of your stay. I am bit stressed and worried. Is this an issue or a cause of concern. Would really appreciate your help!

    Regards

  143. Scarlet said:

    Hi , I would like to ask informations about renewal of carte resident (privee familial) its been 7 months since I voluntarily left my french spouse in their family home because of violence but I never had the chance to go to any police station for recording the situation as I thought this might give me peace of mind, but now I need some legalities on my stay now her ein France as my CDS familial will expire on October 2014 DOM TOM as it was done there, but now Im living here in France metropolitan. Ive been a member in violence association so they gave me advices in which I have 3 choices for renewal of my CDS which are , automatic renewal due to conjugal violence, salaire or be a student. I dont have a declared job since last month as I change address but still in Metrôpolitan. Im onjob search as i reinscript in pole emploi, I al waiting for my carte vitale too. Now, I am confused what to do as I want also divorce but I can wait for it.I dont have a child from my french husband. I dont receive any financial assistance too,Im just survving my own now. Need your advice about CDS RENEWAL???? thanks

  144. Michael said:

    Hi,

    Our situation is the following:
    We’ve arrived in France on 1.10.13. My wife had a visa for 3 months only. It took her incredibly long to receive the first récépissé on 9.5.14! Now we were told to wait for the rdv at the OFII the medical visit. The invitation for the rdv is yet to arrive. The récépissé expires on 10.7.14.
    We are leaving France permanently on 23.7.14 and I am afraid that it will not be enough time to get her Carte De Sejour!
    So my question is, can she leave France without Carte De Sejour and with expired first récépissé if we are not coming back?

    Many thanks in advance for your help!

  145. dXJensen23 said:

    Hello madame,

    I live in Montpellier and I came here as a student/trainee at a company and they are giving me a CDI. I did all the procedure and already had my rendez vous at the prefecture and its been 4 weeks since then. After how much time do I receive the new carte de sejour (salarie)? Or can I check when I will receive it?

    Thank you.

  146. Hi there;
    Just wondering if you can help clarify a couple of questions I have relating to the carte de sejour. I am currently in France on a one year working Holiday visa. My boyfriend is french and we would like to stay. We are getting a PAC next week, but im not sure that changes anything? As I understand I must return to NZ in order to apply for a carte de sejour is that right? Then once I return I have to make an appointment at the local prefecture. Will I need to set a sort of test in french, My french is terrible!! Any advice would be much appreciated! Thank you in advance and thank you for all you time helping us all here with the many queries!

  147. agony said:

    hello madame, i have some questions regarding of renewal my Carte de Sejour for the non EU spouse. Where can i find the list of documents to prepare or to bring (in english) for renewing for the second time? And, is there gonna be a problem if my french is still not that good? i have been living in France for almost 2 years now and still not good at speaking the language. Thank you for your help.

  148. Useful info. Lucky me I found your site byy accident, and I’m
    surprised why this accident didn’t happened in advance!
    I bookmarked it.

  149. Satpal Singh said:

    Hi, I am in France on a Salarie an Mission and was given a visaType D in India for 3 months and then I had to apply for my Carte De sejour. I arrived in Paris on the 16th June and immediately started the process through my company. I finished the medicals etc and my biometric was done on the 23rd of September 10 days after my visa expired. I have now received a convocation asking me to collect the carte de sejour on 14th September, but due to a family emergency I need to go back to India. Will I face any problems at the border secutiy. I did go to the prefecture and try to explain to them the situation but they say the carte is under fabrication and can arrive anytime but I need to fly out tomorrow? I am worried.

    • Hi Satpal,

      When you applied for your Carte De Sejour, if you have been given a recipesse de demande de carte de sejour with an expiry date (usually written at the bottom right corner), you could travel to India using this recipesse, and return to France before the recipesse expires.

      So, the key travel document, in your present situation, is the recipesse de demande de carte de sejour with enough validity to make this urgent trip to India.

      Upon arrival in France from India, you can collect your Carte De Sejour.

  150. Bonjour Madame!

    I have to say you website has more information than the official perfecture webpage. Thank you very much for helping out us foreigners!

    I have a <> as my resident permit. I was granted this permit after graduated from MBA in France and it is valid for 12 months until end of March 2015. The purpose of this permit allows me to look for a full time job in France after graduation. It is a non-renewable permit.

    My situation is this: I currently live in Paris but no luck on job search. I am accepted to another school in Paris which starts in January 2015 for a year, what should I do with my resident permit?

    merci!

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