What is regularization on humanitarian or exceptional grounds?

Verified 25 February 2021 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

If you are a foreigner national (except European), you can benefit from a temporary residence card private and family life or temporary worker/employee for exceptional or humanitarian reasons, subject to conditions. You must submit your application for a residence permit in the prefecture. The card authorizes you to work, but its issuance is not legal.

You can apply to be admitted if humanitarian considerations or exceptional grounds exist.

You must provide proof of any of the following:

  • Your private and family life (length of stay in France, private and family ties, children attending school in France, victims of violence, etc.)
  • Your work (length of stay and employment in France)
  • Outstanding talent or community service (cultural, sports, community, civic or economic)

One temporary residence card private and family life or a temporary worker/employee residence permit may be issued to you.

You must not pose a threat to public order, nor live in a polygamy situation in France.

You must submit your application for a residence permit to the prefecture or sub-prefecture of your residence.

You will be provided with a list of the parts to be supplied.

Who shall I contact
Who shall I contact


it is not possible to carry out the procedures in some sub-prefectures. Find out more on your prefecture's website.

These are regularizations on a case-by-case basis. The prefect has a discretionary power to admit you to the stay, depending on the elements of your file.

No visa is required.

If you have resided in France for more than 10 years, the prefect must refer the residence permit to the committee for an opinion if he intends not to issue the permit. This request for an opinion is accompanied by the necessary documents to examine your file, including your proof of residence for more than 10 years in France.

To be heard by the Commission, you receive a notice by mail at least 15 days before its meeting date.

You are informed of your right to:

  • be assisted by a lawyer or any person of your choice,
  • to be heard with the assistance of an interpreter,
  • and to benefit, if necessary, during this procedure from legal aid.

You can explain the reasons and circumstances of your application for a residence permit.

You also have the right to request that the mayor of your municipality of residence (or his representative) be present and heard.

If you do not have a residence card or if your card is out of date, a temporary residence document is provided.

Your explanations shall be forwarded to the Prefect with the reasoned opinion of the Committee on the Residence Permit. The opinion of the committee is also sent to you.


the prefect may decide to refuse you the issue of the card, even if the commission gives a favorable opinion.

If you are admitted to the stay, a card of 1 year duration is issued.

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