Carte de séjour: What offences can lose you your right to live in France?

Carte de séjour: What offences can lose you your right to live in France?
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin wants to get tougher on foreigners who commit crimes. Photo: Ludovic Marin | AFP
More than 28,000 residency card applications or renewals were refused in the nine months between October 2020 and June 2021, the French government has revealed - and it has also explained why.

Those figures are more than 50 percent up on the same period in the previous year, the statement said.

In total, 20,079 were first applications for the carte de séjour residency permit, while 8,031 refusals to renew were reported to a government committee following a directive in September 2020 instructing local authorities to report on the removal of foreigners who have committed serious offences or represent a serious threat to public order.

A further 699 permits have been withdrawn, according to a statement from the Interior Ministry on Wednesday.

A carte de séjour is required for all non-EU citizens who want to live in France.

People moving to France from outside the EU generally need a visa and then, if they want to stay in the long term, they apply for a carte de séjour. UK nationals who were living in France before December 21st 2020 can apply directly for a carte de séjour without needing a visa – but they must make their application before September 30th 2021.

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So what can lose you the right to reside in France?

Of the residency permits that were withdrawn, rather than refused, 67.9 percent were for ‘public policy’ reasons, almost all related to the person having committed a crime.

A lot of the publicity on this has been around terrorists and extremists, but in fact just 3.2 percent of withdrawals were related to radicalisation.

The bulk of withdrawals were for people who had committed the most serious types of crime including attempted murder, violence, organised fraud and people trafficking.

However 5.9 percent of card withdrawals were of people convicted of driving offences – the Interior Ministry did not specify what type of offence.

The full breakdown for residency card withdrawals is: 

  • 27.6 percent for crimes including aggravated violence, attempted murder, voluntary manslaughter, organised fraud, and threats to a person holding public authority
  • 9 percent for conviction of drug trafficking and concealment
  • 7 percent for soliciting and begging, theft
  • 6.3 percent for domestic violence
  • 5.9 percent for driving offences
  • 3.2 percent for radicalisation
  • 1 percent for human trafficking
  • 8 percent ‘other reasons’ 

The eight prefectures of the greater Paris Île-de-France region reported 33.9 percent of all first application refusals in the October to June period, and 44.1 percent of renewal refusals.

Last June, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin had indicated he wanted to speed up expulsions of certain foreign nationals who had committed crimes in France by asking préfectures to list “the names of foreigners guilty of serious disturbances to public order to be expelled as a priority over the coming weeks”.

In February, Darmanin said: “Foreigners should not be judged for what they are but for what they do for good or bad. And those who commit crimes and misdemeanors must leave.”

Member comments

  1. I agree on the journalism and choice of topics, well done. I look forward to seeing an answer on the Carte de Séjour. Except for essential reasons, applications from US citizens were not accepted during Covid. I don’t know if this has changed.

  2. Do you have the information to follow this up with an explanation for the refusals?
    Might help people who still need to apply.
    BTW, great journal, indispensable.

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