Getting your residence permit

Getting your residence permit

Last update13 oct. 2022

What is it?

When you obtain refugee status or subsidiary protection, you obtain the right to settle in France for the long term. You must then apply for your residence permit.

  • Statutory refugees are entitled to a residence permit in France for 10 years.
  • Subsidiary protected persons are entitled to a temporary residence permit for 4 years.

The prefecture has a period of 3 months from the decision granting you refugee status to issue your card to you and your family members.

Good to know: The procedure for obtaining your residence permit is now done online. You no longer have an appointment to make at the prefecture. You will only have to physically present yourself at the prefecture when you receive your residence permit.

Who is it for?

Location

France entière

Age required
More than 16 years
Location

France entière

Age required
More than 16 years

What to do?

1

Wait for your OFPRA birth certificate

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You can apply for your card online as soon as you receive the letter recognizing you as a refugee.

But to obtain your residence permit, you must present your OFPRA birth certificate.

Good to know: If you still have a birth certificate from your country of origin, you have to to send it to OFPRA. As you are a refugee, you do not have the right to use it for your formalities in France.

>> To read also: the Refugees.info sheet "Obtaining a birth certificate"

2

Connect to the Foreigners in France website

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Once you have obtained your birth certificate from OFPRA, you can apply for a residence permit.

The process is now done online on this site >> https://administration-etrangers-en-france.interieur.gouv.fr/

Identify yourself to your Foreigners in France account or if you have never done so, create your account.

To create your account, you must specify:

  • Your foreign number (depending on the residence permit model, your foreign number is located above your signature -personal number- or on the right side displayed vertically) or your visa number;
  • The start date of validity of the title, receipt, visa;
  • The expiry date of the title, receipt, visa;

Good to know: You can also connect via your FranceConnect identifiers, using an account you already have (that of taxes or health insurance for example).
> To read: the Refugees.info sheet "Connecting to a site with FranceConnect"

3

Apply online

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Once you are logged into your account, you can apply for a residence permit.

You will be asked for the following documents:

  • Certificate of civil status (sent by the Ofpra to the prefecture)
  • Proof of address dated less than 6 months (or declaration of domiciliation )

Proof of address is requested, which does not mean proof of accommodation. If you are without stable accommodation and you only have a postal address, the certificate of election of domicile which you usually use must be accepted.

  • An e-photo (you must indicate the code specified on the photo board).

To have an e-photo, you must go to an approved photo booth or go to an “Online Service” approved photographer. To find a photo booth or an approved photographer, you can consult the geolocation map on this link.

  • Decision of the Ofpra or the CNDA granting you refugee status
  • Sworn statement of non-polygamy in France if you are married and are a national of a country that allows it

Good to know: After submitting the online application, you will receive an acknowledgment of receipt which does not give rise to any rights.

If you submit a complete application for a residence permit within the required time limit, you will receive an "attestation of extension of instruction" (API). This is a provisional residence document that proves the legality of your stay. You can work with it. This attestation replaces the récépissé and is valid for a renewable period of 3 months.

When the prefecture has validated your application, you receive a certificate of favorable decision which covers you until your residence permit is available.

4

Follow the progress of your request

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Your application for a residence permit is processed by the competent prefecture or sub-prefecture according to your declared residence address. Processing times vary between these jurisdictions.

To know the progress of your request, log in to your personal account and select "Access my account" after clicking on your name at the top right of the home page.

You will be able to access the status of your procedure:

  • Submission of the request: the submission of your request has been taken into account.
  • Examination in progress: the administration has taken note of your request, it is being processed.
  • Decision made: your request has been processed, a decision has been made.
  • Residence permit available: in the event of a favorable decision, a permit will be produced. This one is available. An SMS will inform you of the procedures for recovering it. If you do not receive any SMS, we invite you to connect to the website of your prefecture of residence to find out how to recover a created residence permit.
5

Pay and withdraw your residence permit

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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 timbres.impots.gouv.fr website and in tobacconists).

See the Réfugiés.info sheet on the purchase of a tax stamp .

And after?

If you have obtained your residence permit

 Your residence permit is valid: 

  •  for 10 years if you hold the refugee status (which means you will get a resident's card) 
  • for 4 years if you have subsidiary protection or stateless status 

 It is renewable in both cases. 

 If you change address, it is necessary to notify the prefecture. 

If you can't complete the online process

You can contact the Citizen Contact Center (CCC) on 0 806 001 620 or with the contact form ("Contact" button at the bottom left of the screen) in which you can attach screen copies (URL, date and time visible) with the error message if you have one.

Good to know: If the CCC has not been able to provide you with a solution, you can approach your prefecture of residence to be accompanied by the digital reception point exclusively reserved for foreign nationals present in France, with a right of residence providing for the issuance of a title accessible online on this site.

If you can't get your card

If you are unable to obtain your residence permit even though you have presented your birth certificate and proof of address, you can contest this decision.

To challenge the decision:

- you have to go to the Administrative Court

- you can get help from a lawyer for free if you have little money ( see the Refugees.info sheet on legal aid )

- you can get help from an association for helping foreign people (such as Cimade for example)

- you can contact the Defender of Rights, which is an administration that helps people who have difficulty accessing their rights

What right of residence for your family?

The members of your family living in France can go through the asylum procedure to obtain a right of residence.

  • For spouses or children of persons who have refugee status, the status is issued in the name of the family unit.
  • If they do not wish to apply for asylum, your spouse or your children under the age of 19 can apply for a residence permit as a member of your family.

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

Good to know: To travel, minor children must be able to present a circulation document for minor foreigners (DCEM). This document must be requested by the parents in 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 Schengen, you must apply for a travel document for children, with a visa depending on the country.

Renewal of my residence permit

The request must be made at least two months before the expiry date of the document, online on the site https://administration-etrangers-en-france.interieur.gouv.fr

>> To read also: the Refugees.info sheet "Renewing your residence permit"

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