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Problems, Difficulties and Refusals



Some RIFT members have reported problems getting a Carte de Séjour.  These are some options and thoughts. 


My préfecture won't accept my application as they say I don't need a Carte de Séjour!

You're not currently (ie before Brexit) required to hold a Carte de Séjour as an EU citizen but you have the right to request one. The EU site in our links section shows this right

I've been given the wrong card!

Many members who are entitled to permanent cards have been given 5 year one. If you meet the conditions for legal residence for at least 5 of those years, you have a right to a document showing your permanent résidence. EU law also protects 3rd Country Nationals after 5 years of legal résidence. Do challenge the préfecture 


They will not see me! 

This is becoming increasingly a problem. The préfectures cannot cope with all the applications from UK citizens as well as the 3rd Country Nationals. This problem should hopefully be solved with the new online system. Do start on your dossier.

​How can I get help?

If you're struggling - ask in our Facebook group first. We want to help!


Whilst we are EU citizens we can use the European Commission’s free SOLVIT service. This deals with certain rights for EU citizens when they have problems with member states.  Résidence is one issue covered. They working mainly online (no offices) 

Send your problem to SOLVIT 

They will reply with more information and should keep you informed along the way. ​

Your Europe Advice (YEA)

You can also ask for information and advice from Your Europe Advice (YEA). This is also free and is run by ECAS, the European Citizen Action Service 

Check the Your Europe area of the site and link for advice and fill in the form. 

​This is the main Your Europe site


Contacting the British Embassy

The British Embassy in Paris is ready to help people. Please contact them with any problems. 


Refused Residency


Whilst the system is decentralised and local préfectures make résidence decisions it will lead to situations where legal residents are refused. We are assured by the Ministry of the Interior flexible approach should be preferred. Nobody who is legally resident should be refused. 

The refusals we have seen are usually small businesses with work they consider is not 'genuine and effective’ or people are simply no working and never have and don't have resources and perhaps have always relied on income benefits. People in receipt of disability benefits (AAH) will never fall into this category.  ​

What happens in the worst case? 

For the ones we have seen, there is a registered letter sent to your home.  A verbal refusal means nothing. The letter will contain the reason for your refusal, what they intend to do and your options for appeal. 

As a first step, we suggest that you immediately contact the embassy. 


For an appeal - you can go back to the préfecture and ask them to reconsider, or you can go up to the ministry of the interior who are ready to help. You cannot appeal to both at the same time. This appeal process is very time-sensitive and you must act fast. Your registered letter will give you the time frame. The other appeal option is to go to an avocat and make a legal appeal through the court. Going through an avocat should put a temporary delay on the ​​process.

These are useful links for more information



A documented refusal for a carte de séjour typically contains an order to leave France. They will advise in the letter where they think you can live instead. You must take this letter very seriously and either prepare to leave or start an appeal process - see above. 

Permanent Residents should not receive an OQTF. 

This is the government legal site on OQTFs

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