There is no longer a legal obligation for citizens of EU states to have a carte de Séjour to live and work in France as it was when I first came.

The Carte de Séjour was used as an identity card and could be used on internal flights in France or as a proof of identity, which meant that a passport didn’t need to carried at all times.

EU citizens (inclusing Swiss nationals) who are married to, or PACSed with a French citizen can apply for a “CE” Carte de Séjour to live and work in any sector they wish in France – but it is NOT an obligation to have one.

For the first 5 years, the partner of a French Citizen can receive a “Carte de Séjour – Toutes Activités”, which means they can work, or do business in any trade or profession in France?

After 5 years, a permanent “Carte de Séjour – Toutes Activités” can then be issued.

In order to receive the card, the following must be carried out:

1. Fill out an application form at your nearest Pr̩fecture Рyou can also do this at your local Mairie, Sous-Pr̩fecture or Commissariat de Police.

2. While the application is being processed, you will be given a proof of application, valid for 1 or 2 months, which can serve as identity in France.

To make an application you will need the following:

1. A valid passport

2. Proof of PACS (loans, rental agreement, joint bank account details etc.) or Marriage certificate.

3. 3 identity photographs

The “Carte de Séjour – Toutes Activités” is free of charge, but it can take some time to arrive – just be patient …

There is a charge of 15€ made to renew an expired card, which must be paid by  “Timbre Fiscal” available at a post office or a tabac timbre fiscal “OMI” ou “ANAEM”.

Although there is no need to have a Carte de Séjour for EU or Swiss citizens, it always seems to me, more desirable to carry (and risk losing or misplacing) one rather than my passport on a daily basis.

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