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Important information

Target audience

AudienceStatutory refugees, Stateless people, Beneficiaries of subsidiary protection


Be in possession of the birth certificate issued by OFPRA
Have a bank account

Where is it?

Applying for a DCEM (travel document for foreign minors)

Updated on il y a 12 jours

What is it?

The movement document for minor foreigners (DCEM) allows a child under the age of 18 to travel abroad and return to France (or to the external borders of the Schengen area), without the need for a visa. The DCEM proves that the child is legally staying in France.

You must make the request on the Foreigners in France (ANEF) website at least 3 months before the child's trip abroad.

The DCEM is valid for 5 years (renewable) and must always be used with a valid travel document (passport or travel document).

A travel document can be issued to:

  • minor refugees who can obtain a refugee travel document (TVR),
  • minor protected persons who can obtain an identity and travel document (TIV),
  • children of refugees or beneficiaries of subsidiary protection.

> Read: the Réfugié sheet “ Request a travel document

French children, European nationals or those with dual French and foreign nationality are not affected by the DCEM. They can travel abroad with a passport or identity card.

The travel document must be requested before the DCEM if the minor does not have an identity card or passport. It can be used as a travel document and as proof of identity.

How to do it?

It is possible to request a DCEM for a foreign minor if you are in one of these situations:

  • Foreign parent in a legal situation with a temporary residence card , or a multi-year residence card (4 years) or a resident card (10 years).
  • European parent living in France for more than 3 months OR European step-parent with at least one parent living in France for more than 3 months.

Other situations => The DCEM can be given to a minor child residing in France:

  • who has refugee status or beneficiary of subsidiary protection
  • or who was entrusted to the service of the Ase (child welfare) before the age of 16
  • or who entered France with a long-stay visa as a French child or adopted child
  • or who entered France before the age of 13 with a long-stay visitor visa, and who usually resides in France
  • or of whom at least one parent has acquired French nationality.
The request must be made by at least one of the parents who has a valid residence permit or by the representative (i.e. the person officially designated to ensure the protection of the child).

If the DCEM applicant is the parent, you need these documents:

  • Birth certificate of the applicant (you)
  • Identity documents of the applicant and the child (residence card, receipt, passport, identity card)
  • Family record book or birth certificate with the child's parentage
  • Documents on family situation and parental authority over the child:
    • Married parents: extract from marriage certificate
    • Divorced parents: divorce judgment
    • Unmarried parents: birth certificate of the child mentioning the recognition of the minor before the age of 1 year, or joint declaration of joint exercise of parental authority made to the clerk of the judicial court or copy of the decision court ruling on parental authority (if the child was recognized after the age of 1 year).

If the DCEM applicant is a proxy (the person officially appointed to protect the child), he or she must send additional documents:

  • Mandate of the person having parental authority (letter, copy of the court decision delegating parental authority or the decision of the family council)
  • Documents proving that the signatory of this mandate has parental authority over the minor
  • Identity document of the agent.

In both cases, you must add:

  • School certificate given by the school or certificate given by the nursery (or any other document) to prove the child's habitual residence in France
  • Proof of address in the name of the applicant if the minor lives with them, or with the name of the child if they do not live with the applicant
  • 2 e-photos of the child (see the Réfugié sheet “Making and using an e-photo”).
Civil status documents in a foreign language must be accompanied by their translation into French by an approved translator-interpreter.
> To read: the Réfugié sheet “Obtain the official translation of a document”

Other documents are requested depending on the situation , for example:

  • If the minor is a refugee or beneficiary of subsidiary protection: decision of the OFPRA or the CNDA.
  • If the minor is a child of a European: any document which proves the legality of the applicant's stay.
  • If the minor is a French child: valid national identity card or national passport of the parent.
  • If the minor has a parent who has acquired French nationality: valid passport, valid national identity card, certificate of French nationality less than 6 months old or national passport of the French parent.
There are other special cases which require other documents. To find out which documents to send, use this online simulator

The applicant (parent or representative) must make the request on the Étrangers en France (ANEF) website.

  • If you already have an account, click “sign in” at the top right of the home page, enter your username and password, then click “Sign in”.
If you are in one of these situations, you already have an account on the Étrangers en France website:
- You have already validated your VLS-TS online. Your identifier is the “reference” indicated in the document “Confirmation of the validation of the registration of your VLS-TS” sent by email.
- You have already applied for a residence permit online on this site. Your identifier is your “foreign number”.
  • If you do not have an account , click at the top right on "Log in", then on "FIRST VISIT? CREATE YOUR ACCOUNT", at the bottom of the page.

For information on each step, read the Réfugié sheet “ Create a personal account on the Étrangers en France (ANEF) website

If you do not have a foreign number or visa, you must specify your email address. You will receive an email with an identifier and a temporary password to confirm the creation of your account: you must click on "Connect" to then choose your personalized password.

Once you are logged into your account, click on "I request a travel document". Then, check “A travel document for a minor foreigner (DCEM)” and click on “I continue”.

Then choose the case that fits your situation:

  • If you are a non-European parent and you have a residence permit, check "Parent / Individual legal representative - AND "I am a non-European foreigner holding a residence permit";
  • If you are a foreign parent (EU national or similar country*) and you have a residence permit, check "Parent / Legal representative in an individual capacity - AND I am French or an EU national or similar country - AND I am holder of a residence permit”;
  • If you are a French or foreign parent (EU national or similar country*) and you do not have a residence permit , check: "Parent / Legal representative in an individual capacity - AND "I am French or a national of EU or equivalent" - AND "I do not hold a residence permit";
  • If you are the agent , check: “Legal representative mandated by a legal entity”.

* The assimilated countries are Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

Then download the list of documents requested according to your situation and click on "I'll start".

Validate and verify, then click “Submit request”.

You will then receive an acknowledgment of receipt by email (inbox or spam) and you can check your DCEM application by clicking on “I open my application submission confirmation”.

It is not obligatory to complete the foreigner number of the minor child if you do not know them or if they do not have one. The prefecture services will automatically give them one, which the applicant will receive by email. An ANEF account for the minor will also be automatically created and you will receive a notification of account creation by email.

To find out how your application is progressing, log in to your personal account on the Étrangers en France (ANEF) website , then click on the notification to check the progress of your application.

There are four stages:

  • Submission of the request: your request has been received by the prefecture.
  • 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 document available: the document is ready.
If you need to send additional documents, the prefecture will send you an email and a notification on the Foreigners in France (ANEF) personal space.

When the DCEM is available, depending on your prefecture, you will receive:

  • a summons by email, to print before coming to the prefecture
  • an SMS or email asking you to make an appointment at the prefecture.
File processing times are different in each prefecture. But if the prefecture has not responded within 2 months, the DCEM request is refused.

Before going to the prefecture to collect the DCEM, you must pay €50 in tax stamps (with proof of payment of stamp duty).

Tax stamps are sold on the website and in tobacco shops.

> Read: the Réfugié sheet “ Buy a tax stamp ”.

On the day of the appointment, you must come:

  • accompanied by the child concerned by the DCEM
  • with proof that you have paid the €50 tax stamp
  • with the invitation or printed appointment confirmation.

What happens next?

If the child is under 13: the DCEM is valid for 5 years and can be renewed when necessary. The online process on the Étrangers en France site is identical to the first request.

If the child is over 13 years old: the DCEM is valid until the child is 18 years old.

The expiry date of the child's DCEM is the same as the validity date of the parents' residence permit or identity documents. For example, if the parents have a residence permit that will end before 1 year, the end date of the child's DCEM is 1 year. If the parents have different validity dates, the earliest date is taken into account.
  • If the child has French nationality or if he/she obtains a residence permit, the DCEM must be returned to the prefecture.
  • If the document is lost or stolen, you must report the loss or theft to the police station.

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 have access to a computer with internet and professionals 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. They cannot give you information on the progress of your file.
However, in the event of a blockage or if you are unable to make the request online, you must notify the CCC.
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