Residency rights for people who have lived in France for more than ten years

A residence permit or “titre de séjour”, can be issued to individuals who can prove that they have lived in France without interruption for more than 10 years, with or without residency rights.

Verified by FNCIDFF on 06/10/2023


The only condition is that you must be able to prove that you have lived in France continuously for ten years, even if you did not have valid residency rights during this period.

However, this residence permit or “titre de séjour” is not issued automatically: the local French administrative authority responsible for examining “titre de séjour” applications, known as the “préfecture”, makes this decision at its own discretion. It will take into account your integration to life in France, for example:

  • your level of French
  • the possibilities offered by your socio-professional status: diplomas, level of school education, work in France, work completed abroad, etc.
  • your social engagements e.g. volunteering, gym membership etc.
  • your social ties in France: family and friends.

Applicable law: Article L.435–1 of the “CESEDA”.

Evidence to provide

Proof of your life in France must cover the entire period concerned: approximately one piece of evidence per month.

Note: only the date on which the document was drawn up will be taken into account to prove your presence in France. For example, a tax notice only proves your presence at the time it was issued, not for the period it covers.

  • Some evidence is more valuable than others.

    • Unquestionable evidence: documents submitted by a French public administration.
    • Concrete evidence: documents provided by a private institution. For example: payslips, bank statements, doctors’ certificates.
    • Evidence rarely considered: personal documents. For example: an envelope with an address in the name of the applicant or a certificate from a close relative, etc.
  • During the examination of your application, the “préfecture” has to call upon a committee known as the residence permit committee or “Commission du titre de séjour” for its opinion.

    This committee will invite you to a meeting to ask you questions and then issue its opinion on your application. However, the “préfecture” is not obliged to follow their advice. In many cases, the “préfecture” does not call upon this committee, although it is required to do so by law.

Type of “titre de séjour” or residence permit issued

  • You might receive a temporary residence card or “carte de séjour temporaire”, stating “vie privée et familiale” or private and family life, valid for one year. It allows you to work.

  • Your residence card or “carte de séjour” can be renewed if you still meet the conditions.

    You will then be able to receive a multi-year residence card or “carte de séjour pluriannuelle” valid for four years if you request one. You must also have signed an immigrant integration contract with the French state known as the “Contrat d’Intégration Républicaine (CIR)” and comply with its commitments.

  • If you have lived in France for at least five years, or three years in certain cases, you can request a “carte de résident” if you meet certain conditions. Learn more

Citizens of Algeria and Tunisia

In your case, the local French administrative authority responsible for examining residence permit or “titre de séjour” applications, known as the “préfecture”, is obliged to issue you with a “titre de séjour” if you can prove that you have lived in France continuously for more than ten years.

If you have lived in France with a “titre de séjour” stating “étudiant” or student, you must provide proof of more than 15 years of continuous residence in France.

Find support

In France, there are many services that can support you, give you advice, and assist you with procedures and paperwork. Most of them are free of charge.

  • La Cimade” is an organisation that specialises in supporting all immigrant and migrant people, and refugees in France, particularly people facing violence.

    • This service is free of charge.
    • They will be able to inform you and support you in your administrative procedures related to the right of residence in France, and direct you to other services depending on your personal situation.
    • Languages available: French, English and Spanish.
    • Contact :
      • without an appointment at a centre near you
      • by telephone on 01 40 08 05 34 or 06 77 82 79 09 on Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Gisti” is an organisation specialising in legal advice to immigrants and refugees in France.

    • This service is free of charge.
    • They will be able to inform you about your rights relating to your residency rights and explain how to obtain them.
    • Language available: mainly French.
    • Contact:
      • By phone on +331 84 60 90 26 from Monday to Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and also from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday. The line is sometimes saturated, do not be discouraged. It is sometimes easier to reach them towards the end of the day.
      • By post to “Gisti, 3 villa Marcès 75011 Paris, France”. Print and complete this form and include in your letter with a photocopy of any administrative documents that could be relevant. Be sure to specify your question as clearly as possible, including all elements that could help the “Gisti” advisor to understand your situation.
  • Associations” are organisations that offer various services. Some are specialised in immigration.

    • These services are free of charge.
    • They can inform you about your rights in France, and sometimes support you with immigration procedures.
    • Language available: mainly French.
    • Contact: you can search by region and department in this directory.
  • Authorised associations or “associations habilitées” can offer highly specialised services to asylum seekers.

    • These services are free of charge.
    • They can inform you about your rights, advise you, support you in your administrative procedures and come with you to your meeting with the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons or “Office français de la protection des réfugiés et des apatrides (OFPRA)”.
    • Language available: mainly French, interpretation possible.
    • Contact: you can find a “associations habilitées” near you in this directory.

While the utmost care has gone into providing you with the most accurate and up to date information, this page is not intended to replace legal or professional advice. Laws and procedures change regularly so it is important to consult qualified professionals.

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