Couple’s French residency cards ‘downgraded’ after income drop

They were given less secure one-year ‘cartes de séjour’ despite many years living in France

Prefecture issued couple with one-year temporary cards and not multi-year cards as they had previously done
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A couple from south-west France say their residency cards have been “downgraded” after storm damage to holiday rental properties they own and run as a business caused their income to drop.

Roof repairs made situation worse

Cashflow issues following damage to roofs in 2022 led the prefecture to issue them with one-year temporary cards and not multi-year cards as previously, they say.

The couple, who requested not to be named, have been living in France for more than 10 years. They are not British but of another non-EU nationality.

The situation worsened, they add, when insurance assessors assigned them a worker who failed to repair the roofs correctly – and caused more damage. He “made a mess, and left”, they claim.

Read more: How to get a second opinion on a French house insurance pay-out offer

Prefecture want to see regular income for non-EU nationals

The couple say they feel entitled to more secure residency status, having paid their taxes and social charges for so many years responsibly.

In many cases, where non-EU foreigners have lived in France more than five years with a stable income, it is possible to obtain a 10-year carte de résident de longue-durée-UE.

Read more: Can we renew a carte de séjour online in France?

For those with salaried or self-employment incomes (usually not newcomer retirees/early-retirees), it is often possible to move on from one-year renewable cards to multi-year cards – often valid four years – in the first few years of residency, if prefectures are satisfied of their regular incomes and intention to stay long-term.

‘Third country’ rules apply to Britons post-Brexit, as they do to other non-EU nationalities, such as Americans.

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