What private and family links can invoke a foreigner to be admitted to France?

Verified 10 April 2024 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

You can request a residence card for private and family life if you are in certain situations provided for by the regulations, in particular the spouse of a Frenchman, the parent of a French child, the beneficiary of family reunification.

If you are in an irregular situation and you do not enter into these cases of issuance of the right of the card private and family life, you can possibly be regularized by the prefecture, after examination of your file and under certain conditions.

To file your application, you must read the procedure indicated on the website of your prefecture.

To make this request, you must in particular meet the following 2 conditions:

  • Not be a threat to public order
  • Not living in polygamy in France

If you are in the case of an exceptional admission to a stay for family ties in France, you will have to prove all of the following conditions:

  • Reality, seniority, intensity and stability of your personal and family ties in France (seniority of your presence and your life as a couple in France, children born of this union, etc.)
  • Conditions of existence in France
  • Insertion in the French business (in particular taking into account your knowledge of the values of the Republic)

The nature of your ties to the family remaining in your country of origin is also examined.


The prefecture may refuse to deliver you your residence card if you are in one of the following cases:

  • You have not complied with an obligation to leave the territory (OQTF)
  • You committed acts of forgery and used false documents
  • You committed crimes offenses bass or crimes (drug trafficking, trafficking in human beings, procuring, working conditions or undignified accommodation, in particular)
  • You have committed acts of violence against elected officials, public officials or security officers

You may be in one of the following situations:

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Past foreigner

If you are a partner of a Frenchman, a European or a foreigner in a legal situation, you can ask for a residence card private and family life if you answer the 3 the following conditions:

  • Justify a Civil partnerships: titleContent
  • Prove the reality of the relationship with your partner
  • Prove the seniority of your common life in France (at least 1 year, except exceptions)

Parent of school-going child

If you are a parent of one or more children, you can apply for regularization if your family life is stable.

You must complete the 2 the following conditions:

  • Prove, except in exceptional cases, a habitual residence in France of 5 years and oral command of French
  • Schooling of your children, at least one of whom has been in school for 3 years, including nursery school

Please note

The other parent is not required to hold a residence permit. 2 parents in an irregular situation can each apply for a residence permit.

Foreigner spouse on legal stay

By way of derogation from the family reunification, if you entered irregularly in France to join your spouse or partner who holds a residence card, you can request your regularization.

You have to show that your family life is in France and that it is old, stable and sustainable.

Except in exceptional circumstances, you must prove that you have been habitually resident in France for 5 years and that you have acquired an oral command of French.

Your husband or wife must reside regularly in France and you must prove 18 months of living together.

Foreigner entered minor who has become an adult

If you are a young adult who entered France as a minor, without family reunification, you can apply for and obtain a residence card for private and family life, subject to conditions.

You are affected if you are in one of the situations following:

  • You entered France or Mayotte (excluding family reunification) before you turned 13. You usually reside since that age with at least your father or mother, holder of the temporary residence card or resident card.
  • You are Tunisian and you entered France before your 10th birthday
  • You have been entrusted to the service ofAse: titleContent not later than 16 years of age (under certain conditions)
  • You were born in France and have lived there for at least 8 years continuously. After the age of 10, you attended a minimum of 5 years of schooling in a French school.

Please note

You can obtain the residence card “private and family life” from 16 years if you declare that you want to work.

If you do not have your main family ties in France but you are studying there, you can exceptionally receive a residence card student.

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