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Applying for a WA RP when you reach 18 years old


Article 15 sets out that a person covered by the WA, who has lived in France for longer than 5 years, has acquired permanent rights. Therefore, they should receive a ‘permanent card’ which will be valid for 10 years. The card must be renewed on expiry, but the rights are permanent. The rights are lost if the holder is absent from France for more than 5 consecutive years.

Under 5 years residence?

Those with under 5 years residence at the time of application, should be issued with a temporary card, valid for 5 years. They acquire permanent rights on the 5th anniversary of moving to France and the WA affords them the right to accumulate 5 years of residence.


Please note that at present préfectures are not generally upgrading temporary (5-year validity) cards for permanent (10-year validity) cards on the holder’s 5th anniversary, until the temporary card is due to expire. However, the holder will have acquired permanent rights on the 5th anniversary of living in France.

It should also be noted that the residence must continue to be in accordance with the terms of EU Directive 2004/38/EC (Freedom of Movement Directive).

We wrote a Bitesize guide about what constitutes legal residence under EU Directive 2004/38/EC (Freedom of Movement Directive) in July 2020 which you can read here.


Cards issued under the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) (Accord de retrait du Royaume-uni de l’UE) should be issued free of charge.

Article 18 of the Agreement/Accord sets out all the requirements of the EU country (and the UK) of the ‘Issuance of residence documents’


Generally, the card must be applied for within a year of the person’s 18th birthday.

Here is a link to the original application website which says – 


However, there are situations in which the application can be made earlier than the 18th birthday.

Here is a link to the French government website about applying for a CdS for a child.


We have been made aware that some préfectures cannot or will not issue a CdS to a person aged 16 or 17 despite the decree as set out above. If this happens, please let us know via email to and we will inform the British Embassy who are working to resolve issues such as this.


Flowchart for applications


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The information provided on this group is for personal use only. The information may not be used for commercial purposes.

We are experienced in citizens' rights but are not lawyers & we do not give advice.

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Page updated January 2023

Withdrawal Agreement Residency Permit (WA RP) - Carte de Séjours for UK nationals living in France and reaching their 18th birthday (and for 16 & 17 year olds in certain circumstances).

As time passes, we are hearing from many members who children are now reaching 18 years old and are looking for information about applying for their first WA RP CdS. We've set out the information and relevant links in this Bitesize guide.

Assuming the 18-year-old (see below for those who are not yet 18) was resident in France on 31/12 2020, they are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) (Accord de retrait du Royaume-uni de l’UE) and should therefore receive a Carte de Séjour – Article 50 TUE.

In accordance with the WA, this card should be issued free of charge.

The card should include the wording

CARTE DE SEJOUR – ARTICLE 50 TUE on the front and 

ARTICLE 18(1) ACCORD DE RETRAIT DU ROYAUME-UNI DE L’UE in the observations section on the back



The application should be made at the préfecture local to the applicant. Find your local préfecture here.

The method of application will vary from préfecture to préfecture, so it is prudent to contact the local préfecture to confirm how to apply.

Ensure that the initial correspondence sets out clearly that the application is being made under Section 18 of the WA (Accord de retrait du Royaume-uni de l’UE).

Always keep copies of any correspondence with the préfecture. If correspondence is via letter, ensure that it is sent lettre recommandée avec accusé de reception (LRAR).

Many préfectures have online contact forms you can use and they will then reply by email.

It’s very important to set out clearly on the application the situation of the applicant, to demonstrate that they are covered by the WA.

They need to apply for a Carte de Séjour which is issued in accordance with the terms of Article 18(1) of the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) (Accord de retrait du Royaume-uni de l’UE) and should be issued with a certificate of application (not just a récépissé) and free of charge.

Here is a link to the Withdrawal Agreement.

It’s the EU’s website and as you can see at the top, you can select it to be displayed in English and French simultaneously.

Scroll down for the relevant section.


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