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Can I travel in Europe with carte de séjour?

Q: My passport has expired and I would like to know if I can use my carte de séjour – séjour permanent to travel to Spain for a holiday. I am British and live in France. Is this possible? G.S.

19 April 2019
By Oliver Rowland

A: We checked with the Interior Ministry for you and unfortunately no, this is not appropriate.

The carte de séjour is only valid in France. To travel around the other Schengen countries you should have with you a valid passport or national identity card.

Even if this is not actually needed to cross the French/Spanish border (it is needed however for air travel, even within the Schengen Zone), it is needed for example in the case of having to prove your identity to the police in Spain.

A driving licence is not accepted for this either, nor are other documents like bank cards.

The solution in this case is likely to be an application for an emergency travel document which may be obtained in two days. You may be asked to travel to your embassy or consulate.

As mentioned previously, it is also worth remembering for Britons, that in the case of a no-deal Brexit, a British passport with less than six months to run on it would not be accepted for travel into and out of the Schengen Zone.

Those with passports coming up for expiry this year are therefore strongly encouraged to apply for a new one.

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