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Stay in France of the family of a European citizen

Verified 16 août 2019 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

If you are a citizen of a European country, you can be accompanied or joined in France by the members of your immediate family (spouse, children, ascendants), whatever their nationality. Other persons with whom you are connected may also be allowed to live with you in France (spouse, partner, dependant, etc.), but this is not an automatic right.

If you are an EU citizenEEA or Switzerland, you must have a right to stay in France as worker, inactive or student to bring your family.

This may include your spouse, children under 21 years of age or dependent, and your spouse's children, ascending direct dependants and your spouse's direct dependants.

  Warning : if you are a student, you cannot bring your ascendants to France.

The formalities concerning the stay in France of your family members vary according to their nationality (European or not).

European or Swiss family

The first 5 years

Family members must have a valid identity document or passport.

They must not pose a threat to public order.

Major members of your family, who have been living in France with you for less than 5 years, can request a residence card of a family member of a Union/EEA/Switzerland citizen-All professional activities.. However, it is not an obligation.

This residence permit has the same period of validity as yours or, if you have not requested it, it has the period of stay to which you can claim, up to a maximum of 5 years.

After 5 years of stay in France

Your family, who resided legally and continuously in France for the previous 5 years with you, gets a right to permanent residence.

Once acquired, this right allows him to remain permanently in France, subject to the absence of a serious threat to public order.

Your family can prove the continuity of their stay over the 5 years in France by any means (for example: rent or charge receipts, invoices).

Certain absences are permitted, in particular:

  • temporary absences not exceeding 6 months per year,
  • absences for the performance of military obligations,
  • or an absence of up to 12 consecutive months for an important reason such as pregnancy.

In case of distance measurement, the continuity of the stay is interrupted.

Major family members can request a permanent residence card (mention EU/EEA/Switzerland citizen - Permanent stay - All professional activities or Directive 2004/38/EC - Permanent residence - All professional activities by nationality). This card is not required. It is valid for 10 years and is renewable.

A person who acquires the right to permanent residence loses this right if he is absent from French territory for more than 2 consecutive years.

  FYI : if you are a worker, your family may acquire in certain situations a right to permanent residence before the above 5 years (for example, if you die as a result of an accident at work).

Family of another nationality

The first 5 years

Major members of your family (or over 16 if they want to work) must hold residence permit..

They must ask for it within 3 months of their entry into France.

Within a maximum period of 6 months, a residence card family member of a Union citizen they shall be issued, subject to the absence of a threat to public order.

This card has the same validity as your residence permit, or if you have not requested it, as the length of stay to which you can claim, up to a maximum of 5 years.

Your family's right to stay ends with yours. However, in certain situations and under certain conditions, your family may continue to live without you in France (in the event of divorce or death or if you leave France, etc.).

If the card needs to be renewed, the application must be made within 2 months prior to its expiry.

After 5 years of stay in France

Your family, who resided legally and continuously in France for the previous 5 years with you, gets a right to permanent residence.

Once acquired, this right allows him to remain permanently in France, subject to the absence of a serious threat to public order.

Your family can prove the continuity of their stay over the 5 years in France by any means (for example: rent or charge receipts, invoices).

Certain absences are permitted, in particular:

  • temporary absences not exceeding 6 months per year,
  • absences for the performance of military obligations,
  • or an absence of up to 12 consecutive months for an important reason such as pregnancy.

In case of distance measurement, the continuity of the stay is interrupted.

Major family members are required to request residence card Directive 2004/38/EC - Permanent residence - All professional activities.. They must do so within 2 months of the end of their 5 years of uninterrupted stay.

A person who acquires the right to permanent residence loses this right if he is absent from French territory for more than 2 consecutive years.

  FYI : if you are a worker, your family may acquire in certain situations a right to permanent residence before the above 5 years (for example, if you die as a result of an accident at work).

Terms

A partner of Pacs (or foreign equivalent) may request a residence card of a family member of a Union/EEA/Switzerland citizen-All professional activities..

The minimum common life required (in France and/or in another country) is 1 year.

Card request

European partner

For European or Swiss, the card request is optional.

The person must submit his application personally to the prefecture or sub-prefecture of his home.

It shall provide the following:

  • Valid identity document or passport
  • Home information: provided by any means
  • 1 photos identity
  • Proof of right to stay of the European host (as worker, inactive or student)
  • Family link justification: birth certificate and birth certificate Pacs + certificate of non-dissolution of the Plan (or birth certificate and foreign partnership certificate + certificate of non-dissolution of the foreign partnership)
  • Justifications establishing common life over 1 year: bank statements, tax documents, insurance certificate, common loan certificate, etc.

While waiting for her request to be processed, she receives a receipt..

Foreign partner of another country

Only a person of age (or over 16 if he wishes to work) who is not a European citizen is required to apply for a residence card. She must do so within 3 months of her entry into France.

The person must submit his application personally to the prefecture or sub-prefecture of his home.

It shall provide the following:

  • Valid identity document or passport
  • Home information: provided by any means
  • 1 photos identity
  • Proof of right of residence of the European host (as worker, inactive or student)
  • Family link justification: birth certificate and birth certificate Pacs + certificate of non-dissolution of the Plan (or birth certificate and foreign partnership certificate + certificate of non-dissolution of the foreign partnership)
  • Justifications establishing common life over 1 year: bank statements, tax documents, insurance certificate, common loan certificate, etc.

While waiting for her request to be processed, she receives a receipt..

General case

Who shall I contact

  Warning : some sub-prefectures cannot do the paperwork. Find out more on the website of your prefecture.

Terms

The spouse, with whom the European has a relationship attested by a certificate and proof of common life, may apply for a residence card of a family member of a Union/EEA/Switzerland citizen-All professional activities..

The minimum period of common life required (in France and/or in another country) is 5 years for the partner (except for exceptions).

Card request

European Concubators

For European or Swiss, the card request is optional.

The person must submit his application personally to the prefecture or sub-prefecture of his home.

It shall provide the following:

  • Valid identity document or passport
  • Home information: provided by any means
  • 1 photos identity
  • Proof of right to stay of the European host (as worker, inactive or student)
  • Family link justification: birth certificate, foreign partnership certificate, certificate of non-dissolution of the foreign partnership, marriage certificate (documents corresponding to the situation at the time of application)
  • Justifications establishing common life over 1 year: bank statements, tax documents, insurance certificate, common loan certificate, etc.

While waiting for her request to be processed, she receives a receipt..

Foreign spouse of another country

Only a person of age (or over 16 if he wishes to work) who is not a European citizen is required to apply for a residence card. She must do so within 3 months of her entry into France.

The person must submit his application personally to the prefecture or sub-prefecture of his home.

It shall provide the following:

  • Valid identity document or passport
  • Home information: provided by any means
  • 1 photos identity
  • Proof of right of residence of the European host (as worker, inactive or student)
  • Family link justification: birth certificate, foreign partnership certificate, certificate of non-dissolution of the foreign partnership, marriage certificate (documents corresponding to the situation at the time of application)
  • Justifications establishing common life over 1 year: bank statements, tax documents, insurance certificate, common loan certificate, etc.

While waiting for her request to be processed, she receives a receipt..

Terms

A person who has serious health problems requiring the imperative and personal support of the European citizen can obtain a right of residence in France, after examination of his situation by a college of doctors of the French Office of Immigration and Integration (Ofii).

In case of a favorable opinion of the Ofii, a residence card of a family member of a Union/EEA/Switzerland citizen-All professional activities may be issued.

Card request

European

For European or Swiss, the card request is optional.

You must first go to the prefecture and follow a procedure in several steps:

  • In the prefecture, you will be given a blank medical certificate to be filled out by your regular doctor, a notice explaining the procedure and a "medical secret" envelope containing the address of the Ofii medical service.
  • You must then go to the doctor's office that usually follows you or to the hospital to have the medical certificate completed, possibly adding other elements related to your health. This medical certificate must provide the Ofii doctor with the most complete information possible to allow the investigation of your file as soon as possible.
  • You must send the file yourself to the Ofii doctor.
  • Before giving its opinion to the Prefect, the Ofii College of Physicians may ask to hear you and to have additional examinations carried out, in the presence, if necessary, of the doctor of your choice and an interpreter. Where the application concerns a minor alien, he shall be accompanied by his legal representative.
  • The decision on your application for a residence permit is taken, after this opinion, by the prefect. It will be notified to you by the prefecture.

Other situation

Only a person of age (or over 16 if he wishes to work) who is not a European citizen is required to apply for a residence card. She must do so within 3 months of her entry into France.

You must first go to the prefecture and follow a procedure in several steps:

  • In the prefecture, you will be given a blank medical certificate to be filled out by your regular doctor, a notice explaining the procedure and a "medical secret" envelope containing the address of the Ofii medical service.
  • You must then go to the doctor's office that usually follows you or to the hospital to have the medical certificate completed, possibly adding other elements related to your health. This medical certificate must provide the Ofii doctor with the most complete information possible to allow the investigation of your file as soon as possible.
  • You must send the file yourself to the Ofii doctor.
  • Before giving its opinion to the Prefect, the Ofii College of Physicians may ask to hear you and to have additional examinations carried out, in the presence, if necessary, of the doctor of your choice and an interpreter. Where the application concerns a minor alien, he shall be accompanied by his legal representative.
  • The decision on your application for a residence permit is taken, after this opinion, by the prefect. It will be notified to you by the prefecture.

General case

Who shall I contact

  Warning : some sub-prefectures cannot do the paperwork. Find out more on the website of your prefecture.

Terms

A person who is dependent or part of the household of a European citizen (except the spouse, child or ascendant) in the country of origin may apply to stay in France.

It could be, for example, a brother, a sister, an uncle or an aunt.

Its financial and social situation, its need for material support and its assumption by the European citizen are examined.

In case of a favorable opinion of the administration, a residence card of a family member of a Union/EEA/Switzerland citizen-All professional activities may be issued.

Card request

European

For European or Swiss, the card request is optional.

The following parts must be provided:

  • Valid identity document or passport
  • Home information: provided by any means
  • 1 photos identity,
  • Proof of right of residence of the European host (as worker, inactive or student)
  • Any document proving the material and financial support provided by the European hosting in the country of origin or provenance:
    • Documents issued by private administrations or bodies (social services, tax administration, banking institutions, insurance, social protection or other)
    • Or documents of private persons (attestations, letters or other) showing the effectiveness of care or life in the household.

Pending the processing of the application, the person shall receive a receipt..

Other

Only a person of age (or over 16 if he wishes to work) who is not a European citizen is required to apply for a residence card. She must do so within 3 months of her entry into France.

It shall provide the following:

  • Valid identity document or passport
  • Home information: provided by any means
  • 1 photos identity,
  • Proof of right of residence of the European host (as worker, inactive or student)
  • Any document proving the material and financial support provided by the European hosting in the country of origin or provenance:
    • Documents issued by private administrations or bodies (social services, tax administration, banking institutions, insurance, social protection or other)
    • Or documents of private persons (attestations, letters or other) showing the effectiveness of care or life in the household.

While waiting for her request to be processed, she receives a receipt..

General case

Who shall I contact

  Warning : some sub-prefectures cannot do the paperwork. Find out more on the website of your prefecture.