What is withholding tax for verifying a foreigner's right of residence?

Verified 18 February 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

A foreigner can be checked directly by the police to verify that he has a residence permit. This verification may also take place during an identity check. If the foreigner is unable to present his residence permit (or visa) at the time of the check, he may be subject to a detention for verification of the right of residence.

Deduction for verification of the right of residence is an administrative measure. It permits the detention of a foreigner who is unable (or refuses) to present his visa or residence permit.

It may intervene at the time of a residence permit check or a identity check.

It allows the police to check whether the foreigner has the right to stay in France.

Detention may be followed, if necessary, by removal.


a minor cannot be detained.

Only one judicial police officer may decide on the withholding.

The public prosecutor shall be informed at the beginning of the procedure.

The officer (or the designated judicial police officer) checks that the foreigner has a valid residence document (passport, visa, residence permit). Foreigner may present it spontaneously.

His luggage and personal belongings can be searched.

If the foreigner does not provide any elements or documents, his fingerprints or photographs may be taken to establish his right of residence.

Minutes shall be drawn up. It's forwarded to the prosecutor.

The foreigner is invited to sign it, but it can refuse to do so.

Please note

the prosecutor may terminate the proceedings at any time.

The foreigner is held in a police or gendarmerie room.

The retention period varies according to the control at the origin of the measure.

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Identity check

Deduction for identity check is limited to 4 hours maximum (to 8 hours in Mayotte).

The time spent to carry out this identity check will reduce accordingly the maximum duration of the deduction for the control of the residence permit (which is a maximum of 24 hours).

Control of residence permit

The deduction for checking the residence permit is limited to 24 hours.

This period should allow for a full examination of the foreigner's situation.

From the outset of the proceedings, the foreigner must be informed of the reasons for the detention and its maximum length.

This information shall be given to him in a language which he understands or is supposed to understand.

The foreigner is also informed about his rights:

  • To be assisted by an interpreter
  • To be assisted by a lawyer (chosen by him or a clerk of the court) and to speak with him as soon as he arrives
  • To be examined by a doctor
  • To inform his family at any time and, if he is responsible for minors, to have contact for their care
  • To notify the consular authorities of his country

The foreigner may ask his lawyer to attend the hearings.

The lawyer must be present within the hour of being informed.

The 1re The hearing may begin without counsel if it concerns the identity check of the detainee.

The outcome of the deduction may be different depending on the findings made.

The judicial police officer may decide:

  • Either release the foreigner (if it is found that he is regular stay or that his application for a residence permit is being examined)
  • Either to pronounce a detention center placement or a house arrest if a removal measure has been decided
  • Or to place the foreigner in police custody, in particular in the case of an offense of unlawful retention (a foreigner who is the subject of a removal order which is still enforceable, but who remains in France without a legitimate reason)