Request a document called a “visa de retour” in the event of theft or loss of your “titre de séjour” abroad

If you are not in France at the moment and you lose or have your “titre de séjour” residence permit stolen, you can request a document called a re-entry visa or “visa de retour” from the French consulate so you can return to France.

Verified by La Cimade on 31/01/2024

What is involved?

In the event of loss or theft of your residence permit or “titre de séjour” while abroad, you can request a document called a “visa de retour” from the French consulate so you can return to France.

This rule applies even if your partner has stolen your “titre de séjour”. Applicable law: Article L.312–4 of the “CESEDA”.

How to proceed

You must apply for the re-entry visa or “visa de retour” at the French consulate of the country you are currently in. You must first report the loss or theft of your “titre de séjour” to the local authorities.

  • You must have a valid passport to apply for a “visa de retour”.

    In the event of the loss or theft of your passport, you must first apply for a new passport with the authorities in the country you are in.

    When you have a valid passport, you can then contact the French consulate of the country you are in to request a “visa de retour”. Contact details can be found on this website.

    You will need to provide the following documents with your application:

    • A completed and signed application form
    • Two identity photos that meet the standards requested by the consulate
    • Your passport (original)
    • A photocopy of your passport: the first 5 pages and all pages with visas or stamps of entry and exit from the Schengen states, the United States and the United Kingdom
    • A document showing your marital status and the composition of your family issued by your consulate, known as a “fiche familiale d’état civil”, or civil status family record, dated within the last three months, in French (original)
    • A letter written and signed by you explaining the reasons why you are requesting a “visa de retour” (original) and specifying your home address in France
    • Your declaration of loss or theft made with the local authorities (original and photocopy)
    • Any proof of your usual residence in France, for example: a school certificate for your children, your healthcare record book or social security certificate, etc.

    You should receive a response within two months.

  • If you have been granted a “visa de retour”, you can return to France with this document.

    As soon as you return to France, you can make an appointment with the French local authority known as the “préfecture” of your department to request a “duplicata” or duplicate of the “titre de séjour” residence permit that was stolen or lost, or to request a new “titre de séjour” if the old one has expired.

    Please note: the “préfecture” may re-examine whether you are still entitled to the “titre de séjour” that you are applying for once you are in France.

  • If your application is declined, you can challenge the decision by lodging an appeal or “recours”, to the service responsible, known as the “Commission de recours contre les décisions de refus de visa”.

    It is recommended to be assisted in this procedure by an organisation offering free services or "association" specialised in the law on foreign nationals or a lawyer.

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.

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.

You may also be interested

Requesting a document called a “duplicata” or duplicate in the event of theft or loss of your “titre de séjour” in France

If you have a valid immigration document called a “titre de séjour” and it has been stolen or lost…

Requesting a document authorising you to reside in France, known as a “titre de séjour” or residence permit

In order to live and work in France, you will need to apply for a document authorising you to remain…

Verify my eligibility for French residency rights

This questionnaire has been designed to help you determine the reasons or “fondements” that could…

For police intervention:

Scroll to top