Reader cartes de séjour experiences

Connexion readers talk about their experiences trying to obtain a French carte de séjour

Recently, Connexion published a list of documents needed to apply for a carte de séjour, which the French Interior Ministry said was a definitive list valid in every French department.

The list did not mention needing to produce a birth certificate – however, in the Alpes-Maritimes where I live, they seem to require this.

Sue Rothwell, Alpes-Maritimes

A ministry spokesman said the list ( itself has no legal force but is based on immigration law so prefectures are not supposed to ask for other documents. If an official says another document is required you could ask to see their superior (the chef de service) and / or write to the prefect, heading the letter ‘recours gracieux’.

We see repeated articles saying expats in France are entitled to a carte de séjour. I have applied but the prefecture in Bordeaux says that, as Britain is still in Europe, nothing can be actioned until March next year. I know other Britons in different areas of France have been given cards.

J Cunningham, Gironde

It is your right as an EU citizen and, in the case of those entitled to ‘permanent residency’ ones, EU law says cards should be issued ‘as soon as possible’ (art. 19 at See previous reply. If necessary, apply to

We had a meeting with the deputy mayor regarding our cartes de séjour recently.

After some time researching information on the Vannes prefecture website, we were informed that it is not necessary to apply for a carte at least until December 2020.

Colin Owen, Morbihan

It is not a legal obligation’ yet but it is highly recommended.

Leaving it to that later date assumes there will be a deal and transition period, which is unsure, but even in that case there is no reason to leave it so long as the process usually takes several months at least and prefectures are under pressure.

Your recent article on cartes de séjour is useful but it does not mention the problems of applying for one. I have applied to my prefecture and received the reply that there are so many Britons applying that they cannot make any appointments.

One Briton I asked said they had an appointment for May 2019, two months after Brexit. Does the government care?

Clive CHARLTON, by email

We have passed on these concerns to central government. They are aware, but the situation in many areas is unsatisfactory (see here). You could also tell the British embassy at

My wife and I have just attended our rendezvous in La Rochelle to submit our dossiers for our cartes de séjour. They were accepted by an efficient official who read them cover to cover and receipts were issued.

We were informed that there was never a block enforced on British applications and all would be treated properly, our cartes de séjour will be ready to collect by October 15.

John-David THORBURN, Charente-Maritime

In the course of applying for a carte I have had to have several English-language documents translated. Do you think I could bill Johnson or Gove?

Brian Cloughley, by email

We cover cartes de séjour applications in depth in our ‘Brexit and Britons in France’ helpguide, available at our website (click here to access the relevant page) or by calling 06 40 55 71 63