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Important information

Target audience

AudienceStatutory refugees, Beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, Stateless people

Where is it?

Getting your residence permit

Updated on il y a 4 mois

What is it?

When you obtain refugee status, stateless person status or subsidiary protection, you have the right to settle long-term in France and work there. You must then apply for your residence permit (also called “residence permit”).

  • Statutory refugees are entitled to a 10-year “resident” card in France.
  • Subsidiary protected persons and stateless persons are entitled to a “multi-year” 4-year residence permit.

The prefecture has a minimum period of 3 months after OFPRA's decision to give you your card. This may last longer depending on your situation and the prefecture.

- For refugees and subsidiary protected persons, the residence permit application is now made online. You have to send everything online and you no longer have to go to the prefecture to submit the documents. You will only need to physically present yourself at the prefecture to collect your residence permit.
- For stateless persons, the request for a residence permit is always made at the prefecture.

How to do it?

To apply for the residence permit, you need these documents:

  • Letter with the decision of OFPRA or CNDA granting you the status of refugee or beneficiary of subsidiary protection or stateless person
  • Proof of address less than 6 months old (certificate of domiciliation or certificate of accommodation)
Proof of address is required, which does not mean proof of accommodation.
- If you are without stable accommodation and you only have a postal address to receive mail, the usual domiciliation certificate is accepted.
- If you are staying with someone (family, friend, volunteer, etc.), you must send: a certificate of accommodation from the person hosting you, a copy of their identity card (or residence card) and proof address in their name (electricity or telephone bill).
  • If you are married and a national of a country that authorizes polygamy: sworn declaration of non-polygamy (the fact of not being married to several people in France)
The administration may ask you for other documents, depending on whether you are requesting a card for yourself or for members of your family.

If you are a refugee or beneficiary of subsidiary protection, you must apply for a residence permit online on this site:

  • Connect to your Foreigners in France account: click on your name at the top right of the home page, and select "Access my account" .
  • Or if you've never done it, create your account.

> To read: the sheet “Create a personal account on Étrangers en France”.

Stateless people cannot yet apply on this site. If you have been recognized as stateless, you must go directly to the prefecture near your address to apply for a residence permit. The documents requested are the same as the request on the internet.

If you are unknown to the administration (family member of a refugee or beneficiary of subsidiary protection or stateless), and if you do not have a foreign number or visa number, you must go directly to the prefecture to apply for a residence permit.

Once you are connected to your account on the Étrangers en France (ANEF) website, click on “I request or renew a residence permit” to apply for a residence permit.

You must complete a form and send the documents.

> Also read: the Réfugié sheet “Scan a document”.

After making the request online, you automatically receive a “submission confirmation” by email which proves that you have sent your file. This document does not give rise to any rights, it is only proof.

If your file is complete and sent within the requested deadline, you will then receive a “certificate of extension of instruction” (API). It is a temporary residence document which proves that you have the right to be in France legally and that you can work. The API also allows you to access your social rights, but does not allow you to travel. This certificate replaces the receipt and is valid for 6 months. The certificate is renewable, as long as the prefecture has not rendered its decision.

When the prefecture has validated your request, you finally receive a “certificate of favorable decision”, which is valid until your residence permit is available. This certificate proves that you can work and authorizes you to cross the borders of the Schengen area.

> If you would like to know more about the different types of certificates you can receive during your application, you can read this document.

For stateless persons: after having submitted the residence permit application file to the prefecture or sub-prefecture, you will receive a provisional residence document called a receipt. This document allows you to be legally in France while your file is being studied. It also allows you to work.

Your residence permit application is reviewed by the competent prefecture or sub-prefecture according to your declared address. File processing times are different in each prefecture.

To find out how your application is progressing, log in to your personal account on the Étrangers en France website, click on your name at the top right of the home page, and select " Access my account".

There are four stages:

  • Submission of the request: your request has been received.
  • Instruction in progress: the prefecture has started to study your request, its processing is in progress.
  • Decision made: your request has been processed, a decision has been made.
  • Residence permit available: your card is ready.
The prefecture sends you a message (SMS or email) when your residence permit is available.

You must then make an appointment on your prefecture’s website to collect your permit. Example: Paris Police Headquarters

If you do not receive any message, you must go to the website of your prefecture to find out how to retrieve your residence card.

The day you pick up your residence permit, you will have to prove that you have paid €25 in tax stamps (with proof of payment of the stamp duty).

Tax stamps are sold only on the website and in tobacconists).

See the Réfugié sheet on the purchase of a tax stamp .

What happens next?

Your residence permit is valid:

  • 10 years if you have refugee status, it is the “resident” card,
  • 4 years if you have subsidiary protection or stateless person status, this is the “multi-year” card.

If you have a technical problem (blocked page, error message, etc.), you can contact the Citizens Contact Center (CCC):

  • by telephone at 0 806 001 620 (free number),
  • or with the contact form (“Contact” button at the bottom left of the screen). You must clearly explain your problem and send screenshots (site, date and time visible) with the error message if you have one.
If you cannot complete the process online, you can also receive help at a digital reception point of your department, prefecture or sub-prefecture. On site, you will have access to a computer with the Internet and professionals will give you explanations on how the Étrangers en France (ANEF) site works.
The CCC and the digital reception points can only assist you with technical problems.
For special cases, the CCC can provide a certificate proving the impossibility of making the request online. This certificate allows you to contact the prefecture directly to make an appointment and apply for the permit on site.

If you do not have any response from the prefecture or if it is a negative one to your residence permit application, even though you have sent all the documents within the deadline, you can challenge this decision (say you don't agree).

To challenge the decision:

  • You must contact the Administrative Court of your place of residence. To have contact details for the Administrative Court in your department, click here.
  • Seek help from a lawyer . If you don't have a lot of money, you can request legal aid to cover all or part of your legal costs.
    To read: the Réfugié sheet on legal aid .
  • You can get help from an association helping foreign people.
  • You can contact the Defender of Rights, an administration which helps people in difficulty to access their rights.

You must declare online on the Étrangers en France (ANEF) website:

  • if you move,
  • if you lose your residence card or if your card is damaged,
  • if your residence permit has been stolen.

This Réfugié sheet explains how to do > “Declare a change of situation on Étrangers en France (ANEF) ”.

Producing a new residence permit is not compulsory in the event of a change of address. When you make the declaration, you can choose whether or not to produce a new title. Your residence permit remains valid until the expiry date, even with your old address.
To prove your new address, a certificate with your new address will be available on your ANEF personal account.

Your status as refugee, stateless person or beneficiary of subsidiary protection allows members of your family to have the same card:

  • The person you are married to, if they are over 18 years old and if you were officially married before making your asylum application,
  • Your children under 19 years old,
  • Your parents if you are still a minor and not married,
  • The person with whom you live as a couple, if they are over 18 years old and if they have been authorized to stay in France with family reunification (if you had a sufficiently stable and continuous life together before the date of your asylum application ).

> Read: the Réfugié sheet “Apply for family reunification” .

The members of your family must prove their identity and family ties between you (with a marriage certificate, a family record book, a birth certificate for example).

The card given to members of your family authorizes them to work in France.

Minor children do not need a residence permit. But from the age of 16 onwards, they can apply for a residence permit if they wish to work or do a professional internship. Depending on their situation, they may have a temporary residence card or a resident card (find the conditions by clicking here).

To travel, minor children must take with them a travel document for minor foreigners (DCEM). This document must be requested by parents at the prefecture. It is valid for 5 years in the Schengen area. To obtain a DCEM, you can complete the process online by clicking here . Outside of Schengen, you must apply for a travel document for children, with a visa depending on the country.

> Read: the Réfugié sheets “Request a DCEM” / “Request a travel document” .

The request must be made between 4 and 2 months before the expiry date of the document:

  • online on the Étrangers en France website if you are a refugee or a beneficiary of subsidiary protection (log in and click on the same button “I request or renew a residence permit” and follow the steps),
  • at the prefecture if you have stateless person status.
After 4 years of residence in France with the beneficiary card for subsidiary protection or stateless person status, you can apply directly for a resident card (10 years)

> To read also: the sheet "Renew your residence permit" .

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