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The New Online CdS System

Bitesize FAQ 

The New Online CdS System



13th October 2019 - RIFT ©


  1. The new online TdS system


The online French government platform for non-EU citizens' cartes de séjour applications for British citizens went “live” on 9th October 2019, even though it was not expected until after the current scheduled Brexit day of October 31st. You may have seen this discussed and seen people apply. The new site has been attracting mixed feedback from users varying from some finding it easy and others refusing to ever fill it in! On the day of release, I commented this “Frankly, I think it's premature. I'm not entirely sure what purpose it serves to release it already when we don't yet know if there will be a deal or not.” "There could also be an extension to the Brexit deadline. We have approached the embassy and requested clarification." The Embassy has stated since that there is no urgency. The Interior Ministry has also clarified that there is no urgency for Britons living in France to use the new site. RIFT continues to advise the same. 


There could be some merit in new arrivals completing this as it will generate a document proving you are in France before any cut-off date which could be useful for your paper trail. 

Note that your file will not be processed until a possible no-deal is confirmed. In the case of a no-deal Brexit, current cards remain valid for one year. There will be 12 months with residency, work rights and social security rights being maintained but you will need to apply for a card within 6 months after Brexit and any new card should be issued within 6 months after that (12 months total). 


This is the process in brief.


You click the terms and conditions and say that it's a first time application - the other box is for questions later on this same application. 


For less than 5 years you input your name, age, address, marital status and then choose a category of employed, self-employed, student, etc - look at the flowchart to find your one - see link below. The next step is to add your supporting documents - again see the flowchart.


For 5+ years and no current permanent card, you need to put in your arrival date and then add your supporting documents - passport, proof of residency (EDF bill, tax, etc.) and something for arrival date - rental contract, house purchase, ticket?


For 5+ years and with a permanent card already - that’s the easiest - see flowchart again.


Check question no 11 for uploading information.


There are some issues with the length of passport validity


Here are some of the questions we have been answering in RIFT. We’ll expand this list if more issues arise and hopefully delete it if Brexit is cancelled! 


2. What if there is a deal?

The French government has concentrated on the no-deal scenario :( So what happens if the UK does not leave on 31st October? Data will be stored in this system for up to 18 months (so the T&Cs say). In case of a deal, it's possible this system could be tweaked and in case of no Brexit, it's likely to be unnecessary. If there is a deal, the timetable will be different (and longer). We don't yet have any details of the income requirements if there is a deal. Note that for settled status in the UK there is no minimum income required and we will campaign for this too. Part of the issue is that French social benefits are typically more generous than UK ones. If there is a deal they'd probably have to change this system quickly! The Withdrawal Agreement (section 18.1) has very specific requirements for any card issued. It is questionable whether this system adequately meets some of these such as the family application procedure referred to. See the RIFT Website for important links and more on the Withdrawal Agreement.


3. How do I access this?

The links to English versions. Click the flag box at the bottom to switch languages.


English version of start page



English version of the flowchart



4. Do I need to apply right now?

Please note there is no urgency to apply for this TCN status unless perhaps for new arrivals as it'll generate a paper that could be handy to show you are in France. Some may like to use the paper when travelling but it shouldn't be necessary. If Brexit happens “fast and furious” you will need to apply for a new card within 6 months. 


5. When must I apply ?

If there is a no-deal exit you'll have up to 6 months to apply post-Brexit. If there is a deal we’ll be advised later


6. I have a permanent card what do I do?

You just need to add details according to the flowchart - see link 

Flowchart PDF

As detailed in the decree any holder of a carte de séjour permanent as EU citizens can have a straight swap and the system allows for this.


7. I have a temporary card what do I do?

Look through the flowchart 

 FLOWCHART PDF and find the section best suited to you. If you have a temporary card and not a CdS permanent you'll need to make a new application from scratch. You cannot just exchange your current card. Those with cards that aren’t permanent cannot expect a swap unfortunately as no provisions were made in the ordonnance or decree. The website also asks everyone for the date you moved to France


8. I don’t have a card yet what do I do?

Look through the flowchart

 Flowchart and find the section best suited to you.


9. I have already applied and haven’t got my card, what do I do?

We don’t yet know and are waiting for clarification. The CdS applications as EU citizens are largely on hold at préfectures but some are being processed.


10. I am the Spouse of EU citizen - what card do I apply for?

You should qualify for a card based on your spouse’s rights but you can also apply for one in your own right through this system. The former may afford better terms. Please compare them and find what suits you best. I expect a card based on a spouse’s rights will be direct with the préfecture and not through this online system. Be sure to meet the TCN spouse deadline. Also - it's free! Normally it's applied for within 3 months of entry into France. I'm guessing this could be within 3 months of becoming a TCN. It is compulsory for TCN spouses of EU nationals. The site says this" Le membre de votre famille doit faire sa demande à la préfecture de votre domicile dans les 3 mois de leur entrée en France. " If you apply late they charge you 340€ ! Here is more detail on the card - click on the right-hand tab (the non EU one :()


11. How do I get my paperwork scanned and what can I input?

Documents can be submitted as PDFs, JPGs or PNG files and can be either scanned or photographed. Some members have come up with ideas on how to “squash” all onto one page of under 5mb.


Please ask in RIFT for clever ideas on this - some of the following are either technical or more based on my abilities - so somewhat Heath Robinson :) 


  • There is a 5mb limit. Try to set your scanner to a lower resolution - perhaps 150 dpi and then save as a PDF and combine as one document. 

  • Others created a word document and copied and pasted in images of the various things then saved it as a PDF. 

  • You could use google docs and save as a PDF

  • You could just shrink pages on your photocopier and cut them and stick them together on one piece of A4 and scan that :)

  • Try a google search for “combine PDF “ or “reduce PDF” 


I think the online system was hoping for one page and one document only but we can’t always make square peg citizens fit in round holes. There is also an information box after the docs upload if you feel you want to clarify something


12. What do they send me after I’ve filled in everything online and what happens next?

This is the resulting email message


 "Vous venez de valider une demande de carte de séjour.


Le dépôt de cette demande au nom de xxxxxx a été enregistré sous le numéro xxxx.


Votre dossier va être transféré pour instruction vers la préfecture de votre lieu de résidence.


Vous serez informé(e) par message électronique des suites de votre demande.


Si votre dossier est complet, vous serez contacté(e) par mail pour convenir d'un rendez-vous auprès de votre préfecture afin de finaliser vos démarches (présentation de votre passeport / prise d'empreintes / fourniture d'une photographie d'identité récente (format 35 mm x 45 mm) / justification du paiement de la taxe sur le titre de séjour de 119 euros).


Si une pièce est manquante ou inadaptée, vous recevrez un mail sollicitant un complément d'information.


Nous vous conseillons de conserver la présente attestation pour vos prochaines démarches en préfecture.


Ceci est un message automatique, merci de ne pas y répondre


In the event of a no-deal Brexit occurs your file will be forwarded to your local prefecture who will then email you about an appointment for a visit. You will provide fingerprints (yes again for those who already did this), some new photographs and you’ll pay the €119 fee. Your card will be posted to your home address.


13. How do I get a Medical attestation?

If you are covered through CPAM try to print one from your online account. You can usually print one off from the "bornes" which are typically at the entrance if it doesn't work online.  Then the options may be to call 36 46 or to send a letter to request one. By letter - here is a draft 

Nom Prénom


Code postal / ville


Numéro de Sécurité Sociale



Code postal / ville



Objet : Demande d’attestation de Sécurité Sociale


Madame, monsieur,


Par la présente, je vous demande de me faire parvenir une attestation papier de

Sécurité Sociale. Mon numéro d’affiliation est le suivant : XXXXXXX (numéro



Voici l’adresse à laquelle me faire parvenir le document : XXXXX (adresse).

Dans l’attente de votre envoi, je vous prie d'agréer, madame, monsieur, l’expression

de mes salutations distinguées.




For self-employed using RSI (now SSI) - they don’t do the health Caisse part - this is with other providers until all switch to CPAM soon (new businesses already have). My health caisse is Harmonie Mutuelle and I can print an attestation from my online account with them. I believe RAM, Soleil and others offer online services. See if you can find your caisse here if you aren't CPAM yet. SSI SECU LINKS


14. How do I make my payment?

You cannot yet. I raised this question a month ago and we are waiting for a reply. Right now there is no system set up as the UK remains a member of the EU and cards, for now, are free.


My question for when / if payment may be required

"Since 1 January 2019, tax stamps have only been sold in “dematerialised” form. The old fiscal stamps can only be used in DOM-TOM. As I understand it, a French citizen when applying for a passport or a CNI through ANTS typically makes the payment online (I did for my child). There is a “fiscal stamp” section that you click and put in your bank card. This generates proof of payment (and also allows for refunds). The préfectures no longer accept the old-style fiscal stamps and most certainly cannot handle cash and cheques would be a new complication for them. Those French nationals that don’t pay online and choose to take their documents to an equipped Mairie typically get a 2D scan on a phone or an SMS with 16 figures and that code is then added at the meeting. Many tabacs also issue proof of payment (often for those lacking computer literacy) and provide paperwork for this but these tabacs are not used to electronic timbres for residency paperwork for foreigners and are likely to issue one for a fine payment unless ANTAI (Agence nationale de traitement automatisé des infractions) provides them with instructions otherwise. I see an issue with préfecture staff and issuing tabacs not knowing what to do as it’s not the current or a familiar system. I can also see many British Citizens lacking the language skills to explain this to the tabac so they may not get the right 2D printed off. Some may also not have the IT skills to scan a 2D on a phone if it was available online. Most citizens may be able to handle the 16 digit SMS though (if they have a phone). Currently, nobody can get one anyway separately online as 119 € is not an allowed figure and 269 € is a standard amount accepted for a foreigner’s title tax stamp. Unless they allow for online payments when inputting in the system or 119€ as a fiscal stamp option then there could be a whole load of extra administration and confusion with people arriving without a 2D or SMS or only one for a fine through the justice system. Basically - I think they should find a way to accept online payment with the new system or it’ll be a potential mess. "


15. I cannot do an online application

It is still possible to apply directly to prefectures if you don’t have access to the internet but do ask at your Mairie who may be able to help you. RIFT is looking at ways to help the vulnerable get cards. Mike Harlow of RIFT admin said  "We are pleased to see that the new system has been introduced ready to use for after the 31st October - although we continue to hope that it is not required - and that the application process appears simple, streamlined and with an English language option." "Unfortunately, it is aimed at those with access to the internet, so there will be many vulnerable UK citizens who need to be reached and supported in their applications, and in a short timescale of 6 months, and this is something that RIFT is actively working on at the moment, trying to find solutions for UK citizens in that position."

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