Obtaining a residency permit
Once you arrive in France with the appropriate long-stay visa you must present yourself, within eight days of arrival, to the appropriate Centre de Réception des Etrangers with your passport and visa to apply for a carte de séjour. (Please note: Students with the appropriate student visa generally have a maximum of 30 days. There is a separate procedure for students and information will be provided upon receipt of the visa).
The French authorities issue three main types of residence permits, Cartes de Sejour, to foreigners who want to reside and work in France:
Cartes de séjour are issued to individuals 18 years of age and older. Parents of children below the age of 18 should obtain a visa de long séjour for their children before coming to France.
Most people coming to France for stays of more than three months are issued a carte de séjour temporaire. This card is valid for up to one year, and may be renewed. If the French authorities decline to renew a carte de séjour temporaire, the bearer must leave France before the initial residence permit expires.
1. A carte de séjour temporaire salarié is valid for a maximum of one year, with the annotation "salarié" or showing the specific professional activity under which the contract was approved, as well as the French department(s) in which the bearer can be employed. This type of card can be renewed two months before the expiration date and upon presentation of a new work contract. After five years of continuous residence in France, the bearer may request a carte de résident, which is valid for 10 years. The 10-year carte de résident is not automatic. The authorities at the préfecture will review the application to determine whether or not the applicant may receive this special residence permit.
2. The carte de résident is issued to foreig…