Temporary residence permit (APS) for volunteers in France

Verified 04 August 2023 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

You are a foreigner and you wish to carry out a volunteer mission in France with a foundation or an association recognized as being of public interest? You can then apply for a provisional residence permit (APS). Your mission must meet certain conditions (social or humanitarian purpose, general interest, etc.). The APS is issued to you for a period equal to the duration of your mission.

Step-by-step approach

You are concerned if you are foreigner (except European). A European volunteer does not need a residence permit.

Conditions to be fulfilled

The volunteer mission you wish to carry out must be carried out in a foundation or an association recognized as being in the public interest.

You can find the list of foundations or associations recognized as public utilities by clicking on the links below:

All of the following conditions must be met:

  • Mission has a social or humanitarian character
  • Possession of a long-stay visa
  • Signing of a voluntary contract before your entry into France
  • Commitment to leave France at the end of your mission
  • Certificate of acceptance by the association or foundation
  • Accreditation of the association or foundation to call on volunteers

Characteristics of the volunteer mission

Your volunteer mission must be of general interest. It must be aimed at one of the following actions:

  • Promoting self-reliance and protection of individuals, strengthening social cohesion and preventing exclusion
  • To carry out solidarity actions for disadvantaged or affected persons residing in France

You must prepare the following documents:

  • Long-stay visa
  • Full copy of birth certificate with the most recent entries
  • Passport (pages on civil status, validity dates, entry stamps and visas) 
    or consular attestation with photo
    or photo ID
    or consular card with photo
    or certificate of nationality under 6 months with photo
  • Voluntary contract
  • Copy of the decision to approve the association or foundation with which you volunteer
  • Letter by which you agree to leave the territory at the end of your contract

You must file your SPA application to the prefecture or sub-prefecture of your home.

Check the website of the prefecture to know the procedures for filing your file (by appointment, by mail, or on another website).

You need to apply for a PSA, within one month of your arrival in France.

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.

The SPA is given to you by the prefecture (or sub-prefecture) where you filed your application.

Please note

if the prefecture (or sub-prefecture) has not replied to you in a four-month period, your PSA request is refused.

The APS is issued for a period equal to the duration of your volunteer contract.

Issuance of a SPA to perform a volunteer assignment is free.

Who can help me?

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