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All French residency card applications set to go digital this year

With fewer supporting documents needed and just one prefecture trip to pick up your card - here is the website to make your application

French prefecture building

Applications have traditionally been made on paper by taking documents to the prefecture Pic: RVillalon / Shutterstock

All residency card applications in France are expected to move online by the end of the year.

The online portal used for Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (WA) cards from 2020 to 2021 was a precursor of this, along with applications for students’ residency cards and passeport talent cards – for certain skilled workers – moving online in 2020/21.

Applications have traditionally been made on paper by taking documents to the prefecture, often involving long queues. 

They will now be made at:

The Interior Ministry says the next cards to go online will be EU cards in the third quarter of the year. 

Just one prefecture trip needed

However, it does not clarify if this refers to non-obligatory residency cards for European citizens as well as EU long-term residency cards and ‘private and family life’ cards for those with close family ties in France. 

Other cards will be involved in the last quarter.

The ministry says the aim is to minimise prefecture trips. In many cases, only one trip, to collect the card, will be needed.

Two will be needed if the person has not already had fingerprints scanned as part of a previous French formality (eg. in their country of origin when applying for a visa). 

The ministry also plans to reduce the number of supporting documents required for some cards.

All WA card related procedures expected to go digital

It says card application queries will be managed, via online forms and the phone helpline, by the customer services team of ANTs, the agency that also deals with driving licences and car registration documents.

The ministry was unable to confirm if remaining procedures relating to WA cards will be included, such as changing a five-year card for a ‘permanent stay’ one, young adults’ first card at age 18, or a first card for family members of WA Britons joining them in France. 

However, this appears likely, as it is already possible to apply to renew WA cards via the new portal – for example, to report a change of address.

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