Residence permit


Country Report: Residence permit Last updated: 18/03/21


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Residence permits are granted to refugees for 10 years (Carte de resident).[1] That permit is also granted ipso jure to their family, in particular to:

  • Spouses, partners (PACS) or their domestic partners if they have been admitted to join them according to the family reunification provisions;
  • Spouses, partners (PACS) or their domestic partners in case their union has been sealed after the asylum application and under the condition it has been lasting for already over a year, and if they are genuinely living together;
  • Children within the year after turning 18 years old;
  • Parents if the refugees are still under 18 years old by the day the asylum is granted.

Some difficulties had been identified in the past regarding this provision. Young girls were regularly granted asylum on the grounds of the Refugee Convention, considering the risk of being exposed to female genital mutilation (FGM). Their mothers or fathers accompanying them often had their asylum application rejected, since it is stated that opposing FGM does not expose them to a risk of persecution. However, since 1 March 2019 they are issued a 10-year residence permit.[2]

Since 1 March 2019, residence permits delivered to subsidiary protection beneficiaries are granted for four years (Carte de séjour pluriannuelle).[3] The same residence permits are granted to their family on the basis of the same pattern than the one used for refugees.[4]

Refugees may encounter difficulties to get their residence permits issued or renewed.[5] Their residence permits have to be issued the next 3 months following their request for such documentation. The same goes for the subsidiary protection beneficiaries.[6] OFPRA may take longer than expected to deliver the necessary documentation that has to be submitted for the issuance of their permits.

In 2020, due to health crisis resulting in the temporary closing of Prefectures, the duration of residence permits expiring between 20 March and 15 June 2020 have been automatically extended by 180 days.

According to provisional Ministry of Interior statistics, France granted 18,610 residence permits to refugees and stateless persons and 9,460 to subsidiary protection beneficiaries in 2020.[7] According to OFPRA, more than 33,000 persons (including accompanying minors) have received protection in 2020.[8]


[1]  Article L.314-11(8) Ceseda.

[2] Article L.314-11(8)(d) Ceseda, as amended by Article 64 Law n. 2018-778 of 10 September 2018.

[3] Article L.313-25 Ceseda, inserted by Article 1 Law n. 2018-778 of 10 September 2018.

[4]  Ibid.

[5] See e.g. La Cimade, ‘De longues files d’attentes virtuelles pour accéder aux préfectures’, 19 December 2017, available in French at:, although these have not been encountered by Forum réfugiés – Cosi in the areas where it operates.

[6] Articles R.743-3 and R.743-4 Ceseda.

[7] Ministry of Interior, Chiffres cléstitres de séjour, 21 January 2021 available in French at:

[8]  OFPRA, ‘Les premières données de l’asile 2020 à l’OFPRA’, 21 January 2021,

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation