Brexit: Must we carry carte de séjour when out at all times?

Legally, non-EU citizens residing in France should normally carry their cards with them when out and about

1 March 2021
Brexit questions Must we carry carte de séjour when out at all times?
By Connexion journalist

Legally when in France you should be able to prove your identity at all times as well as your legal residency in France if a non-EU citizen - for example if you are asked to do so by police.

Valid identity documents include a driving licence or passport, carte Vitale or elector’s card (or national identity card if you are French). In theory, third-country citizens should also have their carte de séjour (residency permit).

This is expected to apply to Britons once holding a residency card becomes a legal requirement, ie. it would apply to Britons living in France since 2020 or before as of October 1, 2021.

It would apply to Britons coming from January 1, 2021 immediately (though in practice newcomers would usually only be able to show their visa in their passport, as they will not have a residency card immediately).

Paris police suggested to The Connexion that photocopies would do if you do not want to carry documents all the time.

In practice, you can only be asked for your documents in very limited circumstances.

However, it will be necessary to show the card at the border on coming home from a trip, to not be logged as being a third-country visitor with only the right to stay for up to 90 days in any 180.

Related: British residents’ passports stamped against EU advice

It may also be required for many administrative formalities, such as claiming a family allowance from the CAF. Whereas in the case of a French or EU citizen just the identity card or passport suffice to show both identity and legal residency.

This is not the case for non-EU/EEA citizens.

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