Brits in France urged to share their carte de séjour problems

The British embassy in Paris is asking Britons living in France to share their experiences, both good and bad of getting a carte de séjour residency permit, which many local authorities have stopped handing out because of the Brexit uncertainty.

Brits in France urged to share their carte de séjour problems
British ambassador Ed Llewellyn with French president Emmanuel Macron. Photo: AFP

The embassy has launched a survey asking British people to share details of their residency status and success, or otherwise, in obtaining a carte de séjour (residency card) and also a French driving licence.

British Ambassador Ed Llewellyn said: “We want to make sure we have the best possible understanding of the British community living in France so that we can continue to share concerns with the French authorities, and also to target our information updates and map our future outreach meetings.”

The survey can be found here.


The situation regarding cartes de séjour for British people living in France remains unclear, with some préfectures granting residency cards, but others refusing on the grounds that they will have to process the paperwork again after Brexit so there is no point.

In areas where lots of British people live, local authorities have also reported being swamped by the sheer number of applications they have received.

When The Local asked the British Embassy if it could clarify what people living in France should do, we were told it was “an individual decision”.

An embassy spokesman said: “Before the UK leaves the EU, you can still apply for a European carte de séjour at your local préfecture under the current system, although it is not compulsory.

“However, if you have not yet had your appointment by the day the UK leaves the EU, you may be asked to begin the application process again. It is an individual decision as to whether you choose to apply now or wait for the new system to be put in place.”

Whatever people do now about a carte de séjour, they are strongly advised to make sure they meet the criteria for legal residency under the current system. Find out more here.




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How to adopt a pet from a French animal shelter

Around 300,000 pets are abandoned every year in France, many of them during the summer months. So if you're looking for a pet there are many lovely cats and dogs in shelters looking for a good home - here's how to go about it.

How to adopt a pet from a French animal shelter

Where to look

French animal welfare charity the Société Protectrice des Animaux (SPA) is an excellent place to start – it currently lists nearly 4,500 animals available for adoption. 

But there are lots of other smaller, local organisations – it may be worthwhile dropping in to see a local vet as they will generally know of local groups seeking homes for abandoned pets.

There will be paperwork

First-time buyers of cats or dogs have to sign a ‘certificate of commitment and understanding’ before they will be allowed to buy an animal, and the same applies to those looking to adopt. 

After the signed document is delivered to the authorities, future owners have seven days to change their mind – the idea is to prevent people from ‘impulsively’ buying or adopting pets only to abandon them later. 

The SPA, certainly, demands that would-be adopters are of legal age and are willing to take part in a “responsible adoption process”.

These things take time – as you should expect for a commitment that can last more than a decade. As the SPA website says, it seeks to ensure “that each decision is carefully considered and that the adopted animal matches its new family and way of life”.

The process may include home visits, interviews and discussions to help adopters find the animal to which they are best suited – older people may not cope well with an energetic puppy, for example.

READ ALSO What you need to know about owning a dog in France

Shelter animals

Some welfare organisations ensure their animals spend some time with ‘foster families’ until they are adopted. This means that the organisation has a pretty good idea how that animal is likely to behave when it gets to its new adopted home.

It is more difficult to judge an animal’s character if it has been kept in a pen in a shelter.

It will cost money

A financial contribution will most likely be requested by the organisation from which you are adopting. The sum will depend on the age and type of animal being adopted. 

The SPA, for example, asks for a donation to cover vets’ fees of between €250 and €300 for a dog, depending on its age, and €150 for a cat or a kitten.

Another well-known animal welfare organisation in France, Les Amis des Animaux, has a slightly different scale of fees covering the cost of chipping, vaccinations – including rabies/passport in mature animals, sterilisation, worming, et cetera. 

READ ALSO What you need to know about microchipping your pet in France

What else you need to know

Under French law, pet dogs – and cats and ferrets – over a certain age must be identified and registered on a national database. 

The animal must be identifiable by a tattoo or microchip – the latter is the most common method these days – that is registered on the Identification des carnivores domestiques (I-CAD) database

The procedure to insert the microchip, or ink the tattoo, must be carried out by an approved professional. The procedure should be done by a vet and costs between €40 and €70, the shelter will tell you whether your new pet already has a microchip or not.

You might not believe it if you have walked along certain streets in Paris, but you can be fined if you fail to pick up after your pet. 

The standard fine is €68, but the mayors of some towns have imposed stricter rules in the street, in parks, gardens and other public spaces. 

The French government’s Service Public website lists other rules regarding the health and wellbeing of pets. Read it here.