Permanent residency cards in France: 2024 renewal rules

We also look at the situation with Brexit Withdrawal Agreement cards

a French residence permit or brexit withdrawal card inset against Lyon departmental prefecture
Certain residency cards still need to be renewed at prefectures (pictured: Lyon)
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People living in France on 10-year residency cards that are entering their final months of validity have to renew them or risk a fine. We explain how to go about this in 2024 and look at the situation with Brtions’ Brexit Withdrawal Agreement cards.

The three types of 10-year cartes de résident cards available to non-EU nationals give the holder the right to live in France irrespective of how they earn (or do not earn) a living or their healthcare arrangements.

This is as opposed to the various cartes de séjour which are linked to a particular status such as employee, self-employed worker or being self-supporting from retirement pensions and investments.

However, it is important to remember to renew these cards at least two months before they expire. Not doing so could put your residency rights at risk, and there is also a €180 fine unless there are mitigating circumstances for the delay.

It is preferable to contact your local prefecture for details of application procedures, as some allow applications as much as five months before the expiry date, to allow plenty of processing time. 

What are the different types of residency cards?

  • Carte de résident - for people with family connections in France

  • Carte de résident longue durée - UE - for non-EU nationals who have lived in France for at least five years on a carte de séjour. This card allows people to move to some other EU countries without the need to first obtain a visa

  • Carte de résident permanent - for people who have previous held one of the other types of residency card

Brexit Withdrawal Agreement cards confer similar rights to a carte de résident, even though they are called cartes de séjour.

Those that were issued for five years - for people who could not prove at least five years’ residency in France before Brexit - will be expiring in 2025-2026 (depending on when it was issued). However, renewal should involve minimal formalities.

On renewal, holders will be issued with a carte de séjour permanent, lasting 10 years and renewable unconditionally as long as the holder is still living in France.

Unlike the Brexit WA cards which are issued free of charge, other cartes de résident, including the carte de résident de longue durée-UE, carte de résident permanent and carte de résident, incur renewal fees.

Read more: How do I change my carte de séjour address when moving in France?

Renewing resident’s cards 

Unlike most cartes de séjour, applications for, and renewals of, cartes de résident are via prefectures still, rather than online at the Anef website, with the exception of the ordinary carte de résident for people with family links in France (see below).

You should check the website of your prefecture for its contact details and preferred way of applying for the cards. In most cases it is possible to book an appointment via the site.

Carte de résident de longue durée-UE

This card for non-EU nationals who have previously held a five-year carte de séjour costs €225. 

On renewal, you can apply for another card in the same category or a carte de résident permanent (see below).

A first application for this card can be made after five years in France on a carte de séjour and the requirements include supporting yourself and having income of at least the French minimum wage and healthcare cover, and being able to demonstrate ‘continuity’ of residence in France over the previous five years. In most cases this means not having had stays away for more than six months at a time, or 10 months in total.

However, once a person has acquired this card, subsequent renewals are possible as long as they have not:

  • Lived outside the EU for a period of more than three years consecutively, or

  • Lived outside France anywhere for more than six years consecutively, or

  • Acquired the same long-term resident status in another EU state

Carte de résident

This card for people with family links in France costs €225. 

On the first application, which in this case is via the Anef website, you have to provide documents proving your connection to France, and sign a contrat d'intégration républicaine (CIR), which asks you to agree to uphold ‘republican values’.

These values include freedom of expression and belief, freedom of political opinion, and laïcité – the fact that the state is secular and does not impose any particular religion. It also includes equality of citizens with regard to characteristics such as gender, race and origins and sexual orientation.

You can find a list of other such ‘Principles of the Republic’ on the official Élysée Palace website here.

It also requires proof of your French language level, either via previous qualifications or by agreeing to obtain a certain level in a language test given by Ofii.

Those applying for a multi-year permit are expected to reach at least the basic level of A1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Read more: Do I have to agree to Republican values to get French residency? 

The card can be renewed before expiry as long as you have not been out of France for more than three years consecutively. On renewal it can be replaced by either a carte de résident de longue-durée - UE or a carte de résident permanent

Carte de résident permanent 

This card can be applied for after having held either of the previous two kinds of card, and is systematically offered to people who have already had two other consecutive cartes de résident or who are aged over 60. It costs €225.

It gives the right to stay in France permanently unless the holder is deemed to be a public danger.

Read more: French language tests harden: what changes and how to know your level 

For more details on these visas and residency cards - and for the answers to common questions - see our 50-page 2024 guide to visas and residency cards available here.

Renewing Brexit Withdrawal Agreement cards

In 2020/21, more than 165,000 people were issued Brexit Withdrawal Agreement cards, officially known as titre de séjour portant la mention; Accord de retrait du Royaume-Uni de l’Union Européenne.

Read more: Brexit: We recap the rules for five-year residency cards in France

Some of these permits were valid only for five years, which means that in 2025/2026 thousands are due for renewal.

However, on renewal of a five year Brexit residence permit, you will be eligible for a 10-year carte de séjour permanent since you can now prove that you have lived in France for more than five years.

For the time-being it is not possible to renew these on the Anef site, though this may be offered in due course.

If renewals remain via prefectures, then people should book a slot no later than two months before the card’s expiry date and bring:

  • Their Brexit Withdrawal Agreement card,

  • Passport

  • A justificatif de domicile (or proof of address) less than three months old

  • Three ID photos

Note that five-year cards are officially said to be invalidated if you leave France for more than six months in a year unless it is due to extenuating circumstances such as, pregnancy, illness, or relocation due to study or work, in which case you can leave for up to one year.

Renewal of Brexit Withdrawal Agreement cards is free.