Last Updated: Friday, 26 December 2014, 13:50 GMT

France: The documents required for a foreign national who is not currently living in France to be able to settle there, the travel document for a foreign national who is a minor, the French identity card for minors born in France; requirements and procedures to follow in order to obtain those documents, the period for which they are valid and the rights they confer on the holders

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 29 October 2009
Citation / Document Symbol FRA103269.FE
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, France: The documents required for a foreign national who is not currently living in France to be able to settle there, the travel document for a foreign national who is a minor, the French identity card for minors born in France; requirements and procedures to follow in order to obtain those documents, the period for which they are valid and the rights they confer on the holders, 29 October 2009, FRA103269.FE, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4b20f044c.html [accessed 29 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

According to SOS-Net, a website that provides access to a legal database designed by lawyers and legal experts who are members of the association Law for Everyone (Droit pour tous) (SOS-Net n.d.), any foreign national who wants to reside in France for more than three months must apply for a long-term visa (visa de long séjour) to enter the country and must then obtain a residence permit (titre de séjour) after arriving (SOS-Net 2008). Individuals under 18 years of age are not required to hold a residence permit in order to stay in France (France 14 Sept. 2009; SOS-Net 2009). The various residence permits include a resident card (carte de résident), which is valid for 10 years and issued only to persons who have resided in France for at least five years, and a temporary residence card (carte de séjour temporaire), which are both renewable (France 22 Feb. 2005, Sec. L.311-2, L-314-8). Moreover, since 1 June 2009, a long-term visa can replace a residence permit in some cases (France n.d.).

Temporary residence card

The notation on a temporary residence card that an individual may be issued varies depending on their reason for residing in France (France 26 June 2009a). According to the French government's website Service-public.fr, there are different types of resident cards, including:

  • Temporary residence card with [translation] "visitor" (visiteur) notation, valid for one year, issued to a foreign national who does not want to work in France and who can demonstrate that they have the financial resources required to live there (France 30 June 2009).

  • Temporary residence card with [translation] "employee" (salarié) or [translation] "temporary worker" (travailleur temporaire) notation, issued to a foreign national who has an employment contract approved by the Departmental Labour, Employment and Training Directorate (Direction départementale du travail, de l'emploi et de la formation professionnelle, DDTEFP), which may not be valid for a period longer than the employment authorization (ibid.).

  • Temporary residence card with [translation] "students" (étudiants) notation, issued to a foreign national studying in France who can demonstrate that they have the financial resources required to support themselves, which is valid for a period equivalent to the period of study (ibid.).

There are other types of temporary residence cards, including residence cards for trainees, scientists, artists, businesspeople, manufacturers and craftspeople, non-employees, seasonal workers and self-employed workers (ibid.). To obtain a temporary residence card, an applicant must apply in person at the prefecture or subprefecture where they reside in France, and provide the following documents:

  • evidence of their civil status and, where applicable, the civil status of their spouse and dependent children;

  • documents proving they entered France legally (passport and, where applicable, a visa other than a long-term visa, if the person holds one ...);

  • a long-term visa (for more than three months) in cases where it is required ...;

  • a medical certificate issued by the French Office of Immigration and Integration (Office français de l'immigration et de l'intégration, OFII);

  • three recent identity photographs showing a perfect likeness; and

  • proof of address. (France 26 June 2009b)

Other documents may be required, depending on the type of card requested (for example, an employment contract or documents attesting to the applicant's financial resources) (ibid.). The fee charged for issuing a temporary card varies between 55 and 300 euros (EUR) [1 euro is equal to about 1.58 Canadian dollars (Xe.com 19 Oct. 2009)] (France 26 June 2009b).

Individuals who have a residence permit valid for at least one year and who have resided continuously in France for 18 months or more are entitled to apply, under the family class, to be joined by their legal spouse and their children under the age of 18 years (France 15 July 2008). The applicants must be able to show that they have sufficient financial resources to support their family and that they have housing that meets the [translation] "habitability criteria" in France (ibid.). The applicant's family members receive a temporary residence card with the notation [translation] "private family life" (vie privée et familiale) that is for one year and that authorizes them to work (ibid.). Foreign nationals who hold a residence permit and have resided in France for at least three months are entitled to universal health coverage (Couverture maladie universelle, CMU) (SOS-Net 2005; France 1 Oct. 2009). Also, children aged 6 to 16 years, whether French citizens or foreign nationals, are required to attend school (France 13 July 2000, 15).

Long-term visa with exemption from the application for a residence permit

Since 1 June 2009, it has been possible to obtain a long-term visa instead of a residence permit at French consulates (France n.d.). The visa entitles the holder to the same rights as a residence permit, and is issued to individuals who want to enter France to work or study or who are entering as visitors or spouses of a person with French citizenship (ibid.). To obtain the visa, the applicant must submit an application with the necessary documents to a French consulate (ibid.). The documents are posted on the consular website (France Jan. 2009). Once the long-term visa holders arrive in France, they are asked to appear at one of the OFII offices to have their visa validated, and they must present their passport, a document attesting to the fact that they reside in France, a photograph, a medical certificate issued by the OFII physician, and OFII stamps showing the amount of the fees charged for issuance of the residence permit (France n.d.).

French identity document for minors born in France

Foreign nationals who are minors are not required to hold a residence permit in order to reside in France (France 15 Apr. 2009a). However, they may apply for a French identity document for minors born in France (titre d'identité républicain pour mineurs nés en France), which permits the holder to travel within the Schengen Area and to re-enter France without having to present a visa (France 15 Apr. 2009b). It may be issued to a person under the age of 18 years who was born in France of foreign parents who hold a French residence permit (ibid.). To apply, the person with parental authority must appear with the minor child at the prefecture or subprefecture of their place of residence and provide the following documents:

  • the family record book (livret de famille) or, if they do not have one, a birth certificate showing parentage;

  • evidence that the minor is ordinarily a resident in France ...;

  • a document proving that the minor's parents or, in the case of separation, one of the parents, is residing legally in France;

  • documents attesting to the fact that the parent exercises parental authority;

  • two identity photographs; and

  • a tax stamp in the amount of 30 EUR ... (ibid.).

The French identity card for minors is valid for five years and is renewable (ibid.).

Travel document for a foreign national who is a minor

This document allows foreign nationals who are minors to prove that they are legal residents of France and to enter France or the exterior borders of the Schengen Area without having to present a visa (France 15 Apr. 2009a). It is issued to foreign nationals who are minors and who cannot obtain a French identity document for minors born in France, but who have at least one parent who holds a temporary residence card with the notation [translation] "private family life" (vie privée et familiale), a resident card issued under the family class, a resident card issued to refugees and stateless persons, or a residence card with the notation [translation] "skills and talents" (compétences et talents) (ibid.). It may also be issued to minors who, for example, entered France with a study visa valid for a period of more than three months (ibid.). To apply, the person with parental authority must appear with the minor child at the prefecture or subprefecture of their place of residence and provide the following documents:

  • the Cerfa form;

  • a document establishing the parent's identity and nationality;

  • a document proving that the parent is a legal resident in France;

  • documents attesting to their parental authority over the minor or a mandate from the holder of parental authority over the minor concerned;

  • documents relating to the minor's identity, nationality, parentage and residence in France;

  • documents proving that the minor falls within one of the cases for issuance;

  • two identity photographs of the minor; and

  • a tax stamp ... in the amount of 30 EUR (ibid.).

A travel document for a foreign national who is a minor is valid for five years and may be renewed (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

France. 1 October 2009. Ameli.fr. "C.M.U. de base : une assurance maladie pour tous." [Accessed 2 Oct. 2009]
_____. 14 September 2009. Service-public.fr. "Titre de séjour pour les étrangers mineurs." [Accessed 9 Oct. 2009]
_____. 30 June 2009. Service-public.fr. "Cartes de séjour temporaires sauf 'vie privée et familiale' : étrangers concernés." [Accessed 9 Oct. 2009]
_____. 26 June 2009a. Service-public.fr. "Généralités sur les cartes de séjour temporaires." [Accessed 9 Oct. 2009]
_____. 26 June 2009b. Service-public.fr. "Première demande de carte de séjour temporaire." [Accessed 9 Oct. 2009]
_____. 15 April 2009a. Service-public.fr. "Document de circulation pour étranger mineur." [Accessed 13 Oct. 2009]
_____. 15 April 2009b. Service-public.fr. "Titre d'identité républicain pour mineurs nés en France." [Accessed 13 Oct. 2009]
_____. January 2009. Ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes. "FAQ – Visas." [Accessed 13 Oct. 2009]
_____. 15 July 2008. Office français de l'immigration et de l'intégration (OFII). "Membres de la famille d'un étranger." [Accessed 24 Sept. 2009]
_____. 22 February 2005. Code de l'entrée et du séjour des étrangers et du droit d'asile. [Accessed 9 Oct. 2009]
_____. 13 July 2000 (amended 1 October 2009). Code de l'éducation. (Légifrance) [Accessed 14 Oct. 2009]
_____. N.d. Office français de l'immigration et de l'intégration (OFII). "Visa de long séjour dispensant de la demande de titre de séjour." [Accessed 24 Sept. 2009]

SOS-Net. 2009. "Les titres de séjour." [Accessed 29 Sept. 2009]
_____. 2008. "Entrer en France et y séjourner." [Accessed 29 Sept. 2009]
_____. 2005. "Santé, maternité, accidents du travail, invalidité." [Accessed 29 Sept. 2009]
_____. N.d. "Bienvenue sur SOS-Net." [Accessed 29 Oct. 2009]

Xe.com. 29 October 2009. "Currency Conversion Results." [Accessed 29 Oct. 2009]

Additional Sources Consulted

Internet sites, including: Association for the Development of Integration Activities (Association pour le développement des actions d'insertion, adai13), Embassy of France in Ottawa, Embassy of France in Washington, DC, France – Ministry of Immigration, Integration, National Identity and Social Development (Ministère de l'Immigration, de l'Intégration, de l'Identité nationale et du Développement solidaire).

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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