Worry over process to obtain French residency card to prolong a visa

We give tips on online carte de séjour applications and what to do if things go wrong

Some Connexion reader are finding the application process worryingly slow

Several readers have raised concerns about the process of obtaining a French residency card to prolong a long-stay visa.

One said he applied online three months ago but since then has had no further contact and is still waiting for an appointment to present his documentation.

He is worried as his visa is about to expire.

Here, we recap how the process should work and possible avenues in the event of issues.

Many readers come on a visa de long séjour valant titre de séjour (VLS-TS), which has to be ‘validated’ in the first three months here: je valide mon VLS-TS.

In most cases an application for a card is at the same address: je demande ou renouvelle un titre de séjour.

In the case of a ‘visitor’ visa – often used by retirees – apply two to four months before it expires.

You will need your numéro d’étranger, also called numéro AGDREF (application de gestion des dossiers des ressortissants étrangers en France).

This can be found at the top of the attestation de visa de long séjour, which you should receive after validation.

Some prefectures, responsible for processing applications and cards, have digital help desks.

For contact details, see interieur.gouv.fr/Le-ministere/Prefectures.

Click the area and the Marianne logo, then see Horaires et coordonnées or Prendre un rendez-vous.

You are asked to attach supporting documents in digital format so you should not have to take them in.

After applying, you will receive an attestation de dépôt.

In a further stage, if the dossier is deemed ‘complete’, you should, if you applied in time, receive an attestation de prolongation de l’instruction de la demande de carte de séjour, giving an extra three months’ residency.

This also applies to an attestation de décision favorable, which confirms a card will be issued.

These, and any requests for extra documents, will be sent via your personal space on the site, so do check this regularly.

The site has a contact section, located by scrolling down, and a helpline on 0806 001 620.

Avenues for urgent help include your consulate, immigrants’ association gisti.org, an immigration lawyer, or the Défenseure des droits.

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