The new website for Britons to apply for their French residency cards has been live for a couple of weeks and overall feedback on its usability is positive. The process is not without confusion, however, so this quick Q&A will hopefully help if you've yet to dive in.
I tried the new site but could not transfer my documents to it. Is this a known problem? R.M.
We are not aware of this being a common problem. Before starting, check you have the documents needed at government's online flowchart. They should be digital, such as scans of your passport or carte de séjour photo page.
Each document must not be more than 5MB in size, and can be attached as a pdf, jpeg or png file. Zipped files (without a password) are also usable. When asked to attach one, click the button to attach, find it on your computer and click the file.
Right at the start the site asked for a case file number – what is that? M.L.
You are only asked to do this if you are adding to a previous application because the prefecture asked for more information or documents. Otherwise, be sure to click that it is your first application. This refers specifically to applications on this site.
The site asked for proof of healthcare. What is suitable? The social security office said you need to be a resident. Mutuelles said I need state healthcare first. N.P.
First, the website is only for people who are residents. If you have not been living in France long enough to apply to join the French system via your local Cpam (generally three months) or your work, we suggest making your application when you have this.
The ideal document is an attestation de droits from Cpam or another healthcare caisse. If you are an early- retiree who took out a comprehensive private policy, an Interior Ministry official said a scan of an insurance document is acceptable.
A mutuelle is not essential. This is an extra top-up to French state healthcare. Only people living in France for less than five years have to show
I previously held a carte de séjour but cannot find it. How can I get a replacement or retrieve numbers from it so I can apply? M.J.
Usually when someone loses a carte de séjour, if you declare the loss to your préfecture and ask for a duplicate, they can supply one. The online application asks for a scan of the card, as well as figures from it (card number, found on the right-hand side on recent cards or otherwise at the top right, and issue and expiry dates) so it would be best to try to obtain a new card before using the site.
This may pose a problem if the card is an old, expired one. However, in all cases, we suggest speaking to the prefecture. You could also send a question directly to the ministry on the contact email given at the bottom of the homepage on the site.
Can I save a partially- completed application to finish later? D.M.
To do this, you have to click on Code de Suivi at the top of the page. You can then put an email address in. You will be sent a link that you can use to return to this point in your part-completed form. It is valid for only 20 days.
The site would not accept my name so I could not go further. What went wrong? H.N.
First, note that where the site says “name”, it means surname. The same applies to the term “birth name”. There is also a field called “username”, which refers to the surname you use if this is different from your sur- name at birth.
Under “first names”, put any first, second etc. names in order in the fields marked “name 1”, “name 2”, etc. Contrary to wording saying the first letter should be in capitals, names should be entirely in capitals, as for certain other fields, such as nationality. We have pointed out these minor issues to the ministry.
What is the difference between a carte or titre de séjour, and a residency card? T.P.
There is none. They are all terms used to refer to residency permits, which in their modern versions come as a small plastic card. n A reader passed on the tip that when giving your department, you may be asked to choose between a main préfecture or sous-préfecture with your application. Pick the nearest one, as you will have to visit it to give photos and have your fingerprints