French residency permit delays spark protest - how long should it take?

Demonstrators say titre de séjour renewals take too long - costing people their jobs and homes

Frustrated woman at laptop
Renewing your French residency permit can be a headache
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A rally was held near Paris last week to complain at the delays in the French residency permit application process which, protestors claim, are costing people their jobs and even homes.

“People can wait over two years to get their titre de séjour,” Pablo Krasnopolsky, from the Réseau Education Sans Frontières [Education Without Borders Network ], who attended the May 29 protest, told The Connexion. “People are waiting far too long.” 

He said while the waiting times to renew the titre de séjour (a generic term for many types of residency permits) in general were not as long as making an initial application, they were still taking several months for some people resulting in serious issues. 

“You still need to get an appointment, which you must do two months before your permit expires, and often there are no appointments within that time. This can result in people losing their jobs or even their housing, so it has very serious social consequences,” he said. 

Read more: How is a French ‘carte de résident’ different to a ‘carte de séjour’?

The protest at the Val-de-Marne prefecture in Créteil was attended by around 30 people.

Mr Krasnopolsky put the delays down to there not being enough staff to process the applications. 

The decision to go paperless and more online “has not sped things up” either, he said.

“There is still a queue, but now it’s virtual, behind your computer.” 

Advice for people renewing their titre de séjour 

If you are working in France, it is worth contacting a union in your department, Mr Krasnopolsky says. 

“The worst thing you can do is stay alone and think that you won’t succeed because you are the problem. No, the problem is that there are not enough means,” he said. 

There are also English-language groups on social media that can be useful when going through the application or reapplication process. 

When should you apply to renew your titre de séjour? 

For most card renewals, people are asked to apply two to four months before. 

Applying after deadlines can result in a face a fine of €180. 

For certain cards, it is necessary to apply direct to prefectures, and make an appointment to submit your file. Appointments are usually available on the website of the prefecture. 

If they are not suitable, applicants are advised to make an appointment and check the website regularly – places can become available because of cancellations. 

How long should it take to renew your titre de séjour?

Some departments give the expected wait times on their official websites. 

For example:


8-12 weeks 


67 days 


Two months from the expiry date of your permit 

However, the majority of departments do not give an estimate of the wait time. 

Where has the longest wait times to renew the titre de séjour?

Prefectures within regions that welcome the most foreigners tend to have the longest delays. These include many within the Paris region, according to Mr Krasnopolsky. 

Have you experienced delays with applying or renewing a titre de séjour? Tell us about it via