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France - Foreign resident requirements

It's important to go to the City hall (Mairie) of your city or the police head office (la prefecture) in order to obtain your residence card (carte de séjour). This card is valid for ten years.

The residence permit

If you will be in France for more than 90 days, you need to obtain a residence permit. This residence card is compulsory for all foreigners, including European citizens.

All foreigners more than 18 years old who wish to remain in France for more than three months or whose visa has expired are obligated to obtain a residence permit (carte de séjour), although international agreement may allow for exceptions as is the case for citizens of Switzerland and the Economic European Space.

There are different kind of residence card:

- temporary cards (carte de séjour temporaire), valid for a maximum period of one year renewable (with some exceptions)

- the residence permit "comptence and talents" (compétences et talents), valid three years renewable

- residence card (carte de résident) valid 10 years renewable

- residence permit for pensioners (carte de séjour retraité) valid 10 years renewable

Students and researchers can apply, after the expiration of theirfirst residence permit, a new permit valid from 1 to 4 years.

The request should be filed within two months from the date of entering the country.


The foreigners and their family members who are entitled to the "long-term residency" from another EU member state have a three months delay to apply.

Minors between the age of 16 to 18 who seek employment can apply for the same residence permit to which they may be entitled when reaching the majority age.



E.U. Citizens
To gain your residence card you need to go to the City hall (Mairie) of your city or at the Prefecture. It's better to go personally in order to have it quickly. Be patient with the French administration and everything will be fine !
Documents that you will need to present :
- three passport-size photos
- a valid passport
- a birth certificate
- a copy of your work contract (if you have one)
- a proof of your address in France (bills like EDF-GDF or France Telecom…)
- proof you have health insurance or the form E111 will be fine
It's better to have several copies of each documents.

Non-European Individuals
Before obtaining this card, your future employer must submit a dossier to different French Administration offices. When you have got your work contract, you can ask for a residence card within two months of your arrival in France.
Here are the documents that you will need :
- three passport-size photos
- valid passport
- a birth certificate or family record book
- your work contract stamped by the OMI (International Migrations Office)
- proof of your French address (bills like EDG-GDF or France Telecom…)
It's better to have several copies of each documents.


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