French residency card: how long does it take prefecture to issue this?

A récépissé is given to you while you wait for the response

Residency cards can be issued for different durations
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Reader Question: I applied for a 10-year carte de résident a couple of months ago and it is “still processing”. How long will it take to receive this new card? I took the required language test and did my civic training etc.

We presume you are applying for a carte de résident de longue-durée - UE. In which case you would have been in France for five years on another form of card or cards. 

You did not mention which card you currently hold, but it is presumably one of the ordinary cartes de séjour which are issued for between one and four years, depending on category (employee, self-employed, retiree etc).

To successfully apply for the 10-year carte de résident, you must be able to prove you have lived in France for at least five years (there are other criteria, such as showing a certain income level and, if you are under 65, a language test).

It is important to note that you should wait until you have all of the paperwork required to apply for this card, including proof of residency for a full five years, before doing so. 

The documents required to apply for the card can be found here (also available in English).

In theory, you should apply for the 10-year card when you have around two months left on your previous card. 

If you do not have all of the paperwork required at this time, however, you can apply for another carte de séjour under your existing category before applying for the 10-year carte de résident.

The application for the carte de résident is made through your local prefecture, whereas most applications for the shorter-term cartes de séjour are now via a website.

Applying for a new kind of card often involves a wait of several months, so two is not unusual.

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

What can I do if I am still waiting for my French residency card? 

Once you have submitted your application, you will receive a récépissé (receipt) saying that you have done so, which acts as proof to authorities you have applied for a renewal, even if your card has expired. 

This usually lasts between four to six months when applying for a new kind of card as opposed to renewing a category of card that you already held or asking for a replacement for one that was lost, for example (in which case it lasts three months). 

If you have not heard from the prefecture before this time about your card being renewed, you can apply for the récépissé to be renewed by contacting your prefecture.

You will be informed whether your application has been accepted – in which case you will need to go to physically pick up the card from the prefecture – or rejected. In the latter case there is an appeal process.

Read more: Can I travel freely in the EU with a French 'Brexit' residency card?