Changing Jobs and Renewing a Carte de Séjour

15

PréfectureQUESTION:

I have had a carte de séjour in France for over six years: one with a student card, the rest as an employee. These last two years have been very rough. I have been employed most of the time but have changed jobs several times and I was underemployed for almost a year. So, to make a long story short, I have been without a valid carte de séjour for over seven months and my upcoming appointment is in two months. A couple of months ago I changed jobs so that it is now a different one from the one I had when I submitted my request to renew my card last February. At that time, I showed the unemployment documents and a part-time contract, since I had lost a good job about six months before. So I believe that I will receive another récépissé and when they see that I have a new employer as they look at the pay slips, they will send the entire voluminous file once again to have the work contract reviewed and hopefully renewed. What makes me so mad is that this summer I finally received the approval of my right to work from the DDTEFP, the Main d’Oeuvre Etrangère (MOE) office, which will be useless when it was so hard to get.
I am sick and tired of having my life in France put in danger every time I change jobs because the economy is really bad in the retail business (I work in clothing). I have a daughter born in France going to pre-kindergarten here and I live with the British father but was born American. I feel stuck in France and cannot secure my stay here. All the options for a family carte de séjour require at least that he pass his British nationality to the child but he still has too many strings attached from the UK since he is not divorced from his wife and until this is done, he cannot do anything for us. So will I have to go through this all over again in February 2011 since technically this year I have again had two employers? When can I get permanent residency?

ANSWER:

Your situation illustrates very well how it is possible to be continuously on the verge of losing the carte de séjour even though it is clear that you have anchored your life in France for good. The double effect of the economic crisis and the sudden increase in requirements to renew as an employee jeopardize your right to renew your employee immigration status. Your private life grounds you in France, but the legal ties are not strong enough to change your immigration status. You feel that you could or even should be awarded the carte de séjour on both accounts, but for each of them you are always close to the legal requirements issued by the prefecture yet you fall short, putting your entire stay in jeopardy. The prefecture is known to deny or postpone a decision because just one document is missing or incomplete.

I need to answer your questions before explaining, in the hope that this will make the explanation easier to understand.

“So will I have to go through this all over again in February 2011 since technically this year I have again had two employers?” It is absolutely certain that because you changed jobs once again, the prefecture will apply this procedure again. I would even say that you would be lucky if it happened in February 2011, giving you the time to get ready. I fear that it could happen at your upcoming meeting and chances are that you will not be ready by then.

“When can I get permanent residency?” For me, it is quite certain that that you are not even close to getting permanent residency status any time soon. The earliest you can secure the request for a carte de résident would be in February 2013.

Now, I would like to first address the issue related to the most urgent issue, the renewal of the current employee carte de séjour, then define the concept of permanent residency since it can have more than one meaning.

I – RENEWAL OF AN EMPLOYEE CARTE DE SÉJOUR WHEN ONE HAS CHANGED EMPLOYERS

For the employee card, these are the documents that the prefecture expects:

1 – Proof that you registered with the unemployment office called Pôle Emploi right after you lost your last job; you need to update the situation with them every time.

2 – Proof that you are entitled to the unemployment subsidy, with the amount and the duration of the payment, even though you might not have received the full amount if you worked some in the meantime.

3 – The three legal documents proving that you lost your job against your will: these are l’attestation de travail, le solde de tout compte and l’attestation ASSEDIC.

4 – The official labor contract to be approved by MOE, filled out and signed by both parties.

5 – Proof that the company really looked for someone to fill the position when they hired you.

6 – The seal of incorporation of the company (called K. Bis), less than three months old and an original, not a photocopy.

7 – Copies of the last two pages of the registre unique d’embauche, the legal notebook that lists all employees, equivalent to the payroll.

8 – Copies of your employer’s last two URSSAF declarations.

9 – Copies of your employer’s last two tax declarations, usually the TVA one.

10 – Copies of your passport and carte de séjour, which you already have in the file.

11 – A copy of your diploma if you have not already provided one.

12 – A copy of the actual labor contract that was signed privately between you and your employer.

13 – The original of the letter explaining the reasons for hiring you, which should indicate definitive and compelling reasons why you were the perfect fit.

This is only the beginning of the file, since you need to convince MOE, and prove with documents, that you are the only person for the job. Indeed, even this will not necessarily challenge the veto right MOE has over the request.

Therefore the second part of the file must address this issue, but it is never mentioned by the authorities, even though it is crucial for a normal position (i.e., not upper management or cadre supérieur; the MOE veto right is lost for positions paid a monthly gross salary of 4,000€ or more).

II – PERMANENT RESIDENCY

This can be understood as either acquiring a carte de résident, which lasts for 10 years and grants full immigration and work rights, or a private-life carte de séjour since most of the latter are granted on the basis of an existing permanent status (or at least one that is defined in that way even though many romantic relationships do not last until death and children cease to be dependents at age 18)

A – CARTE DE RESIDENT

Regarding the request for a carte de résident, bear in mind that its automatic issuance after 10 years or 15 years was terminated about four years ago. You must comply with the requirements related to your situation, knowing that there are some generic guidelines regarding this special request, i.e., a five-year stay in France earning at least minimum wage, fluency in French and proof of stable and solid roots and integration in France.

Five years:

You already have lived five years in France, so you should meet the requirement. In most cases, the prefecture asks for five years holding a carte de séjour, which delays some applications. In some cases they ask for five avis d’imposition, the income tax form issued in August that summarizes the amount owed on the income earned the previous year. This often means at least one full extra year is required before you can submit the request.

Earning minimum wage:

For five years, you must also have had a net income exceeding the minimum wage, which is currently about 11,000€ per year. One would normally think that if in one year your income dropped below this, then it is a “blank year” and you just add another one. In some cases, however, the préfecture demands five consecutive years with the required income in order to prove sufficient integration. As you can see, each of these elements is analyzed from several angles.

Fluent in French:

This guideline is very subjective, since the civil servant does not give a standard test, and therefore I cannot give a measurable level that would guarantee passing except complete bilingualism, which is unrealistic for most applicants.

Roots in France:

The civil servant evaluates your roots in France and how stable you are here, which in cases like yours means how stable you are in your job. You pretty much need about two years in a job to prove enough stability. This puts you in 2013 minimum. Bear in mind that anything can be used to question your stability in France, including frequently moving, going through a divorce or separation, long stays in the home country, and so on.

In closing this section I would like to emphasize that the list of documents issued by the prefecture must be interpreted a certain way, since the proof of stable and solid roots and integration in France is not mentioned as such in the list. In many ways, the list is just a base to work from; applicants should write a motivation letter and bring, in addition to the expected documents, everything they can think of that clearly points to complete integration and deep roots. The latest change of law shifted the focus from the length of stay to proof that the applicant deserves the carte de resident.

B – PRIVATE LIFE CARTE DE SÉJOUR

There are so many grounds for issuing this card that it would be just plain boring to list them, never mind explaining them. In your case, since your relationship with an EU citizen cannot legally be used, your request would be based on the American nationality of yourself and your child. The provision that you would use is Article L 313 – 11 – 7º of the CESEDA, which has been drafted in a very confusing way and which is difficult to use. In short, the foreigner must prove strong, lasting ties with France, with the proof depending on the nature of the ties. In your case, you must prove that you have had family ties in France for a minimum of five years. Since your daughter was born in France, when she is at least 5 years old you will have a good chance of getting this card. If everything works well, assuming your child is about 4 now, you could try in February 2012. This means you could ask for a carte de résident the year after, in 2013. At that time, her French birth certificate and proof of schooling in France will be the most obvious documents to include in the file.

As you can see, you have urgent and pressing matters to address now, and you will not be off the hook for a long while. My advice to you is to stay focused on the immediate issues, your upcoming appointment and the February anniversary date of your carte de séjour, which will be difficult times for you. If you handle them very well, then you will be out of immediate danger and you will have more options. My advice is that you should not take any chances: have your employer fill out the forms and give you copies of all the documents needed, and prepare a perfect file even though it was not requested for the meeting in two months. You know by now that this is what they will expect from you once they find out your situation. So your best bet is to convince your employer to do it right, and right now. I wish you good luck; you will definitely need it.

 

 

 

15 comments

  1. Ketan

    Hello Jean,

    I am working in France on salarie en mission visa (ICT transfer). I have Titre de sejour with a validity of 3 years. It will expire next year in March. I have accepted a local employment contract with a new French employer. My new employer is now aware of the process and have contacted prefecture. I would like to get your advice in this scenario.
    I would like to know what is the process related to Titre de sejour when changing the employer. Is it possible to do the entire process from France or do I need to travel to my home country to obtain a new visa?

    Thank you in advance!
    Ketan

    Reply
  2. Kanis

    Hello Jean,

    I would greatly appreciate your advice on my Carte de Resident of 10 years. I will be travelling back to the States to take care of very sick mother for a few months but my Carte de Resident will expire while I’m there. The woman at the Prefecture told me I have to absolutely renew in person 2 months before it expires otherwise I should not bother to come back. This is the first time I will be outside of the country for 4 months since moving to France in 2003 and can provide proof. My French husband will be taking care of our 2 kids in France while I care for my mother. I would like to know if I can renew my Carte de Resident in the French Consulate in the States or must I rush back (my mother is not in a stable situation healthwise and I want to be at her side)? Thank you so much in advance.

    Reply
    • jean taquet

      I would like to address your situation at 3 different levels.

      1 – the renewal of the carte de résident and therefore what should happen with the prefecture to make it possible

      2 – what should be the normal consequence if the prefecture refuses to accommodate your situation

      3 – the very disastrous situation – everything falls apart and what should be your move to stay a French resident.

      1 – the renewal of the carte de résident and therefore what should happen with the prefecture to make it possible
      YOU
      I will be travelling back to the States to take care of very sick mother for a few months but my Carte de Resident will expire while I’m there. The woman at the Prefecture told me I have to absolutely renew in person 2 months before it expires
      ME
      The ideal scenario is that you submit the request to renew the carte de résident BEFORE you leave France to take care of your mother. You NOTHING and I underline NOTHING to the prefecture about your desire to visit your mother in the USA for any period of time. You address it as if it was business as usual and the only reason you want to renew that early is because the family has plans to celebrate christmas in some resorts and you are not sure yet exactly when and where will you all be. So in order to be safe rather than sorry, you chose to start early so you can be done with it and not put your carte de résident.
      If you live in Paris, then the procedure is such that it is quite easy as it is a 100% postal procedure. In most prefectures the procedure demands a meeting to physically submit the documents, the request.

      I believe that presented this way you have a decent chance of getting it.

      Now let’s look at the situation if the prefecture refuses to accommodate your schedule and it is impossible to be there 2 months before the expiration date

      2 – what should be the normal consequence if the prefecture refuses to accommodate your situation
      YOU
      the Prefecture told me I have to absolutely renew in person 2 months before it expires otherwise I should not bother to come back.
      ME
      This is pure bullying but it is true that the prefectures do this very often.
      What we are dealing with here is this legal requirement
      the applicant MUST be a full time and complete French resident in order to obtain and also to renew the carte de résident.
      If there is any doubt about this, then you are not entitled to hold a carte de résident. So I would like to “translate” what the woman at the prefecture heard whether it was intentional or not is irrelevant, only the result matters
      “I am abandoning my husband and children as I am moving forever back to the USA since I plan on staying with my mother the entire time she is sick and since she is quite old this will last years.”

      Clearly this description is incompatible with you maintaining your primary residence in France.
      You never had the intention of divorcing or just leaving your husband and children. You just want to spend between 3 to 6 months in the USA with your mother because she needs your presence for a few months. So in this case, you will submit a request for the renewal of your carte de résident probably several months AFTER its expiration date. So if you are extremely lucky, the prefecture will still accept your request as is and issue you a carte de résident. I do not know which prefecture this is and therefore I cannot state how realistic this is.
      The normal consequence of such a delay is that the renewal will be denied but since you are a French resident and still married and still leaving together and everything normal, then you are automatically entitled to the carte de séjour vie privée et familiale. OK this is a serious set back for you but you maintain your residency rights.

      NO you cannot renew the carte de résident at the French consulate but there are exceptional situations where the consulate extends the validity of the card for a few weeks or several months depending of the situation. There is no strict regulation about this and it mainly depends on how the French consulate analyses and interprets your situation. YES it is worth trying as you have nothing to lose and the consulate might be more opened to your situation since the extension might small all things considered.

      3 – the very disastrous situation – everything falls apart and what should be your move to stay a French resident.
      YOU
      otherwise I should not bother to come back.
      ME
      Total disaster, the prefecture refuses absolutely everything treating you as having deserted France and your family. So it refuses the renewal of the carte de résident AND refuses the issuance of the carte de séjour. By then you have been back in France for several months and there is the paper trail that you are here in France, the usual proof that the 2 of you are living together AND that you have been staying in France all those months. Then you go back to the prefecture and you request a regularisation based on 2 grounds
      being the spouse of a Frenchman – L313-11-4è
      being the mother of French minor children and taking care of them, – L313-11-6è

      The prefecture cannot fight anymore, at best it can be picky regarding the documents you are bringing and could ask for more. So if you submit a rock solid totally documented file in the 1st place, you have won that one. BTW, never trust a list from the prefecture, you must understand what is expected of you, which often means 3 times or more the number of documents listed on the list.

      Based on this, I very much doubt that the prefecture will push you to that level since it can see that you have the means to get regularised ASAP. This situation is the least likely to happen, so the choice is between the above 2!

      Reply
  3. Lisa

    Question on changing status:
    I have been pacsed for 5 years and am now depacsing. My carte de sejour expires in November. I am a student and will be done with my internship in mid June. Do I have to change my status now, or only when I reapply for another visa?
    I am afraid to change status because I have heard so many horror stories of the prefecture deporting expats because they believe that they are “cheating the system”. I just want to stay until the end of the visa and I will leave.
    What are the necessary steps I need to take so that I can stay until the end of my visa?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • jean taquet

      You are right to be afraid of what the prefecture can do since you must change the ground on which you request a carte de séjour. Choosing the right one is critical as it has an immediate impact on your life in France when you can maintain this right.

      The very first thing to say is that you are right, the prefecture scrutinises heavily any request for a change of status since it is possible that the applicant/ the foreigner does not fully qualify for this new one. So I do not see this as being punitive but the normal thing to do. This said it means for you to submit the “perfect file” so the prefecture cannot refuse this request.

      The second thing to say is that there are hundreds of grounds to ask for a carte de séjour, and therefore it would be unwise to jump to conclusions choosing what would appeal to you as being the obvious choice. This choice (I assume the student carte de séjour), could be so detrimental to you that you would deeply regret not researching more carefully and retaining a better one (the current vie privée one that you are holding now).

      I wanted to say all this before addressing your questions and concerns so you have the frame of mind to interpret and understand my answers.

      My immediate reaction learning that you were in this relationship for 5 years, is to think that you should qualify for the Vie Privée et Familiale under a different ground. 2 things make me think of this:
      1 – You have been most likely in France for more than 5 years, I would like to know exactly how many – there could be here a ground to ask for this card VPF,
      2 – having being PACSed for 5 years and living together, should also grant you the VPF carte de séjour provided that you can prove the living together for that long.

      So my immediate reaction would be, let’s wait until November and see what kind of file can be put together to maintain this card if it is possible.

      The question is more complex than you think. Also there is some tolerance you should take advantage here.
      1 – If you have not moved from the place you were as a couple, then there is no need to say anything to the prefecture on this ground. If you are American/Canadian or similar, then you do not need to report it right away, avoiding this way to have the prefecture asking questions as to what happened!
      2 – if you ask for a student carte de séjour chances you will not get it even on the ground of doing an internship since it will stop in June, and after that I am not sure that you have something secured.
      3 – the regulation normally asks for you to declare any modification in your status, opening a similar can of worms. So if your nationality protects you from the consequences of not doing it, then you are better off not doing it!
      So bottom line, wait until November.

      WRONG, the prefecture does not believe that ALL the requests for a change of status are motivated by the desire to cheat the system. It reviews the request so it is certain that the applicant complies with the new requirements. A prefecture file is complicated to put together since the majority of the documents needed are NOT mentioned on the list the prefecture gives out!

      In the business I am in, the last thing to do is to burn bridges so we wait until the absolute last minute. This means for you, that you should be ready to submit a VPF request in November in case you need it (everything can change in your live between now and November, and not just in your romantic life).
      So my advice to you is to plan on staying until the end of the validity of the card. Then in the Fall, you see if the situation has changed, a promising job, a business opportunity, the chance to launch your career in France, …….. Then and only then – i.e., about Sept 15th 2015, do you make a definitive choice since it is going to take possibly 2 months or so to put together the perfect file.

      Last but not least, American or Canadian citizens are NEVER deported unless they are true criminals, so this risk as such does not exist for them. This is why it is critical for me to know your nationality to evaluate your risk while living in France.

      Reply
      • Chelsea

        Hello Jean,

        I have a question similar to Lisa’s, though my situation is a little different.

        First some background information:

        I am American, and currently living in France under the titre de séjour vie privée et familiale, which I obtained through a PACS. I obtained this carte de sejour two years ago through the process of “régularisation,” as I had been living undocumented in France for the three years prior to this. It is important to note that I originally came to France 7 years ago on a student visa, but upon renewing my student carte de sejour, I stupidly submitted a “certificat d’assiduité” for my language school on which I had falsified the dates, since I did not have the required assiduity, having started working. I was caught, and was told that this was considered a “fraud,” and that I must leave France within 3 months. I did leave, but I came back within a matter of weeks, and continued to live here on and off without paperwork for three years, until I got PACSED. During that 3 year period, I signed up for a French university and returned to the states to ask for a new student visa, but it was denied so I did not attend the university. I then attempted to request a work visa, because my previous employer was willing to sponsor me, but after filing all the necessary paperwork, it was denied for two reasons: 1) My salary was not sufficient 2) My job was not on the list of “métiers en tension” (I am a preschool teacher in a bilingual school)

        Since becoming “régularisée” two years ago, I have successfully completed my first two years of a French “license” at a French university. I will now continue with my third year. I have done this through a distance learning program at the Sorbonne, allowing me to study online, since I also work at the same job I cited before (preschool teacher). My salary is now equal to SMIC (about 1150 a month).

        Now that you have all of the background information, my current problem is this:

        My partner and I are separating, and I would like to ask for a “changement de status” so that I may be independent of him, and allowed to live in my own apartment.

        I have heard that having a “changement de status” FROM vie privée et familiale to any other status is almost impossible, since the French government doesn’t see why the change would be necessary, since with VPF you can already work and study.

        Now that I have completed 2 years of higher education in France, I can ask for French citizenship, and I fully intend to do so. But, since the process is long, I must first get my carte de séjour situation stable. Requesting citizenship now doesn’t seem smart, since if I move out of my boyfriend’s house, the préfecture could come knocking to verify my address (as I have understood often happens when we request nationality).

        I am fully aware that a student carte de séjour only allows me to work 20h a week, but this doesn’t bother me. I also intend to continue my studies after the license. I worry, however, that the préfecture will refuse my request for a student carte de séjour for one of two (or both) reasons: 1) My previous fraud 2) My studies are carried out on the internet, not in-person (only exams are done in person, at the Sorbonne).

        The other option would be to ask for a carte de séjour salarié again, now that my salary is sufficient. I worry, however, since my “métier” is still not on the list of “métiers en tensions.”

        I have been told that once I make a request for a “changement de status,” the préfecture sees this as an official declaration of the separation of my couple, and therefore I cannot return to my previous carte de séjour VPF if the changment de status is refused, and I will find myself once again without paperwork. So I want to make sure that whatever move I make is the right one.

        Any advise that you can offer would be ever so greatly appreciated!

        Thank you,

        Chelsea

        Reply
        • taquet

          Dear Chelsea,

          Thank you for your message.
          I believe that I need to put some perspective before answering your questions and issues as you seem to be either too optimistic or too pessimistic as to your chances of success.

          1 – FRENCH NATIONALITY
          This is the highest level possible of immigration status. It is extremely difficult to get, and one of the major things the prefecture looks at is anchorage in a stable life and an upstanding behaviour.
          so you are parting from your partner, this is not a stable relationship,
          you need to change your immigration status, this is not a stable stay in France, either
          you were a “sans-papier” an undocumented alien which is a criminal offense for 3 years
          you forged some official documents.

          So considering your profile, you should only envision asking for French nationality once you hold a carte de résident. This would be a lot more realistic.

          2 – CHANGE OF IMMIGRATION STATUS
          It is always perilous to change one’s immigration status as you are losing the current one without any certainty to get the new one.
          You are right that the prefecture looks suspiciously at someone who changes away from vie privée & familiale as it is one of the best card. This said, when you cannot produce the attestation de PACS less than 3 months old and the partner is not there, clearly your situation has changed, and therefore you are asking on a different ground. It happens that a carte de séjour vie privée & familiale holder having the relation finish like you can keep this card but it is then ask on a different ground.
          What I am saying here is YES, you are taking a risk when you must change your immigration status, but the prefecture will review your request in a fair way if you clearly do not qualify anymore, which is your case, it needs a minimum of 3 cartes de séjour vie privée & familiale to keep it
          So yes you need to think what else can you ask.

          YOU WROTE
          It is important to note that I originally came to France 7 years ago on a student visa, but upon renewing my student carte de sejour, I stupidly submitted a “certificat d’assiduité” for my language school on which I had falsified the dates, since I did not have the required assiduity, having started working. I was caught, and was told that this was considered a “fraud,” and that I must leave France within 3 months. I did leave, but I came back within a matter of weeks, and continued to live here on and off without paperwork for three years, until I got PACSED. During that 3 year period, I signed up for a French university and returned to the states to ask for a new student visa, but it was denied so I did not attend the university. I then attempted to request a work visa, because my previous employer was willing to sponsor me, but after filing all the necessary paperwork, it was denied for two reasons: 1) My salary was not sufficient 2) My job was not on the list of “métiers en tension” (I am a preschool teacher in a bilingual school)
          MY ANSWER
          If I calculate accurately this means that you have been living in France for over 10 years, this should be overlooked.
          There is a special situation if the person has stayed in France legally and illegally alike more than 10 years and can prove it that the applicant can get a carte de séjour mention vie privée & familiale. Therefore before giving up on this, I would put together a 10 year presence in France file and be ready to submit it to the prefecture.

          YOU WROTE
          Now that I have completed 2 years of higher education in France, I can ask for French citizenship, and I fully intend to do so. But, since the process is long, I must first get my carte de séjour situation stable. Requesting citizenship now doesn’t seem smart, since if I move out of my boyfriend’s house, the préfecture could come knocking to verify my address (as I have understood often happens when we request nationality).
          MY ANSWER
          When a carte de séjour is issued there is a small police inquiry just a few things, very simple
          When a carte de résident is issued, the inquiry is a lot more
          When the French nationality is requested, it is a full criminal investigation. So with a slight exaggeration you do not need to move out of the home for them to find out that the relationship is over.

          YOU WROTE
          I am fully aware that a student carte de séjour only allows me to work 20h a week, but this doesn’t bother me. I also intend to continue my studies after the license. I worry, however, that the préfecture will refuse my request for a student carte de séjour for one of two (or both) reasons: 1) My previous fraud 2) My studies are carried out on the internet, not in-person (only exams are done in person, at the Sorbonne).
          MY ANSWER
          I do not see the prefecture accepting this request even if you were a student in a local university and with a prestigious curriculum. Since you underlined the weaknesses of your situation I do not need to state more.

          YOU
          The other option would be to ask for a carte de séjour salarié again, now that my salary is sufficient. I worry, however, since my “métier” is still not on the list of “métiers en tensions.”

          I have been told that once I make a request for a “changement de status,” the préfecture sees this as an official declaration of the separation of my couple, and therefore I cannot return to my previous carte de séjour VPF if the changment de status is refused, and I will find myself once again without paperwork. So I want to make sure that whatever move I make is the right one.
          ME
          You are right about the veto right that the MOE office within the DIRECCTE has to say no. This said, before the procedure was ‘l’introduction d’un travailleur étranger en France and the veto was total. Here you are getting out of VPF and therefore the evaluation should be a lot more lenient but it might be enough.

          YOU
          Any advise that you can offer would be ever so greatly appreciated!

          Thank you,

          Chelsea
          ME
          I see 2 strategies for you, very different one from the other.
          1 – you go straight for the request based on 10 years in France

          2 – you ask for the salarié status knowing that should you get a negative answer, your file 10 years in France is ready for you to appeal the decision.
          This is completely up to you.
          I would favour the 1st one just because I like to be in control.

          Reply
  4. anu

    Hello Jean,
    I need some adivce on carte de resident 10 years. I have been living in france on carte de sejour scientific (several CDD’s but at same lab) for more than 5 years now. I got married (my wife is non EU) and my wife joined me and also worked (in IT) for more than 3years in france. We also have a daughter (1 year old) born in france. Later, my wife left her job to take care of our daughter.
    My cdd contract is ending soon and i dont have definite answer for another job right now. We would like to live and work in france. So we thought of applying for carte de resident on the ground that i lived in france for more than 5 years. I do not speak good french but my wife does and she has also taken language courses.
    I wanna know our chances to get the 10 year card given the condition that we both are gonna be jobless soon. Any advice on how can we increase our chances???
    Awaiting your response.
    Thanks
    Anu

    Reply
    • taquet

      Thank you for your message. I believe that you have put the focus on the wrong issue. Therefore I would like to address what I see to be the most pressing issue before addressing the carte de résident request which is an important topic for you for obvious reasons but it is out of reach for you right now but it could be soon.

      1 – I have been living in france on carte de sejour scientific (several CDD’s but at same lab) for more than 5 years now.
      MY ANSWER
      Scientific status often grants a 3 year carte de séjour, so I assume that you are on your second one and normally you are not allowed to renew it a 3rd time and therefore no matter what you must plan on changing carte de séjour, for something else.

      2 – I got married (my wife is non EU) and my wife joined me and also worked (in IT) for more than 3years in france. We also have a daughter (1 year old) born in france.
      MY ANSWER
      You as a family do not have enough seniority to qualify for the carte de séjour – vie privée & familiale – 5 years of family life. So this could come sooner than later but it is not an option right now.

      3 – My cdd contract is ending soon and i dont have definite answer for another job right now.
      MY ANSWER
      CDD is OK for your type of carte de séjour but makes it virtually impossible to ask for a carte de résident since your anchor from a professional point of view is then quite weak. This card requires a sizeable integration in France and the prefecture looks at time spent in France (5 years min), income earns (more than SMIC 12.000€ annual), 4 avis d’imposition (which often makes it closer to 6 years in France), a lease or ownership of your home in your personal name or joint with your spouse, a stable life in France, a good knowledge in French and living in France.
      Keep that in mind since this CDD issue could create a lot of difficulties to obtain a different carte de séjour. You will not have much of a chance to obtain a carte de séjour salarié with this, unless the CDD is in place when you submit the request AND lasts long enough that the prefecture must issue a carte de séjour for the remaining length of the card.
      So I am seriously questioning what is the right carte de séjour for you to ask for. I see none that you can easily qualify for that would keep your current setting in life.

      4 – My cdd contract is ending soon and i dont have definite answer for another job right now.
      MY ANSWER
      Unless you have a contract enforced you cannot ground your carte de séjour request on employee work and you have nothing else you qualify for!

      5 – So we thought of applying for carte de resident on the ground that i lived in france for more than 5 years. I do not speak good french but my wife does and she has also taken language courses.
      MY ANSWER
      Your level of French is a handicap to ask for this card, not to repeat the other problems & your wife does not have the seniority in France & her income is non existent barring her from even asking for it.

      6 – I wanna know our chances to get the 10 year card given the condition that we both are gonna be jobless soon.
      MY ANSWER
      ZERO chances. As I said above even with a CDD it would be very hard. The fact that you would ask for the carte de résident while holding a scientific card makes already quite difficult. You have way too many odds against you to even consider this as being an option.

      7 – Any advice on how can we increase our chances???
      MY ANSWER
      Nothing you can do in that short period of time can help the situation to the point that you have a decent shot at it. You need another carte de séjour and another situation at work!

      Reply
  5. Michelle

    Bonjour Jean,

    This is Michelle and I am writing to you regarding my status in France. I moved to France in 2008 to study la Civilisation et la langues françaises a la Sorbonne. I completed my studies and I have been working as salariée since 2009 sponsored by my company as an English Teacher. Now, I have been in a relationship with my partner and I have recently found out that I am pregnant. However, we will not get married nor will we stay together. I have had 3 years of d’avis d’impôts. Moreover, I have lived in the same place since 2008. I wanted to know if I could ask for the carte de séjour 10 years upon my next renewal in December 2014 the baby is due in July. Do I have the right to ask for this status as the mother of my soon to be born French child? Or must I continue to renew under my current employer as I shall remain with the same company and working the same job? I would just like to know my rights by an expert in English. Thank you in advance for your response.

    Sincerely,
    Michelle

    Reply
  6. Kim H

    I had a Carte de Resident de 10 ans valid through 2008 issued in 1998 when I was married to a Frenchman. We divorced in 2003 and I moved back to the US. I am now re-married to an American who is about to get a high level contract in France. I may have an option to obtain a work permit as his family member, but I’m wondering if renewal of an old Carte de Resident would actually be easier??! I am totally fluent in French, and had Cadre status when I left France in 2003 and did not claim unemployment at the time even though I was eligible. I always paid my taxes and left in good standing. Does anyone have experience with this? Is there any advantage to having had a Carte de Resident de 10 ans in the past?

    Reply
    • Jean Taquet

      Thank you for your message and I understand your reasoning this said sometime just following the basic regulation is the safest thing to do.
      Let me expand on this.
      Scenario 1 – you follow your husband
      In this case, the French administration will ignore everything about your previous stay in France and you loss of your carte de résident in 2008 when it expires. So he will get his immigration visa based on his work and you will be the “trailing spouse”. This means that you should get a STATUT MENTIO VISITEUR on your visa and then on your OFII stamp that works as the first immigration ID. Eventually when the first carte de séjour is issued by the prefecture, which means when you renew your immigration title starting the second year, the French administration will see your past immigration status, the carte de résident. Maybe the closing of your file will be recent enough that this new status will prolong the existing one but it will not give you any extra rights. Considering how easy it is to get this status as a “trailing spouse”, there is nothing to worry that it can go wrong.

      Scenario 2 – you secure your immigration status on your own
      You moved back to the US 10 years ago and your carte de résident expired 5 years ago. In order for this scenario to work, you come to France without ANY immigration documentation and settle in France appearing as a single person. When there is enough solid proof that you have been in France for about 6 months/1 year. Then you would try to ask for a carte de séjour mention vie privé, based on the fact that you had your card lapsed but you continued to stay in France anyway and several years later you wake up. It is a somewhat easy task to do when the person indeed stayed in France as the documents are readily available to prove this stay. In your case you will be stuck incapable of proving anything before 2013 and not much after 2003 and even less after 2008. So your chances of obtaining a carte de séjour this way are very slim.

      MY CONCLUSION
      The true benefit of the second card “VIE PRIVEE ET FAMILIALE” is that you would have the right to work as an employee, self-employed or merchant (salarié, profession libérale, commerçant). First of all depending on your husband’s status this might not be a good news if he has an expat status keeping his fiscal residence in the USA.
      So depending on your husband’s status you might want or not work in France and if it is the right thing financially speaking then it is a lot easier to add it to your “visiteur” immigration status. OK this is called “demande de changement de statut” but it is OK to do it provided that you comply with the minimal requirements regarding time spent in France.

      Reply
  7. Louis

    Hello,
    I have a question about Carte de Sejour/Resident.
    I moved to France back in 2008 as I had received a quite job offer. I came here from the U.S. and was married to a brit there, but moved to France alone. I got my first Titre de Sejour , salarie, in January 2008. In 2009, when I renewed my card, my wife had already moved to France. So I was given a Carte de Sejour, valid for 5 years, Ressortissant EU ou Membre de Familie. In 2011, my wife and I split and got divorced (in the US). I have kept that Carte de Sejour for 5 years as it is valid until January 2014. I have been living in France for over 5 years now and would like to give the 5 year carte de sejour back as I am no longer a Membre de familie and need to change my status.
    My question is: am I eligibile for a 10 year carte de resident now when I get the new carte?
    I have been working for the same company, make good money, speak some French, have been paying all my taxes and am in good standing with the Police.
    Please, let me know your thoughts.

    Thanks, in advance.

    Louis

    Reply
    • Jean Taquet

      Dear Louis,
      Thank you for your message. Before answering your question regarding the carte de résident request, I need to go through your French immigration history to establish exactly what are your rights linked to your current legal status.
      In 2008 you got your immigration status as a French local employee. In 2009 you changed the nature of your immigration status and you become – spouse of an EU citizen who resides in France. In 2011, the 2 of you divorced, and your carte de séjour EU is valid until 2014.
      So clearly you must change your status at that time. This said, there is one thing with the prefecture that is completely predictable with them. THE CARTE DE RESIDENT IS NEVER ISSUED WHEN THERE IS A NEED FOR A CHANGE OF STATUS.
      It might look harsh but there is some logic to that. The carte de resident is issued when the foreigner proves beyond a reasonable doubt that he/she has strongly anchored in France and he/she is here to stay forever. Following this logic, the first thing they see is that if the foreigner needs to change immigration status, there is a serious doubt that this foreigner will have the right to stay legally in France. Indeed a change of status is always interpreted as submitting a first request. To be fair to them, it some ways it is the case since this status is reviewed for the first time, and in your case with this employer.
      So you can forget about obtaining a carte de resident. This does not prohibit you from trying and ask, just be realistic regarding your chances of success.
      Now we need to review what will happen when you ask for an immigration status as a French local employee. Your employer must submit a large number of documents and this includes proof that there were a serious search of candidates when you got hired, that the company is up to date to pay taxes, …. This seems to be some easy things to get, not always and the employer’s answer can be quite unpleasant. So now that you know in advance what you are up to, you could inform your employer now/soon of this so that you are ready on time with a complete file. The next thing that is critical to have in mind, is that with this type of files, prefecture loses almost all rights of decision, since MOE an office of DIRECCTE, will issue or NOT, the right to work as an employee. Be extremely careful that the duration of your existing employment, and your success at this position, they have close to NO impact on the MOE decision. On the other hand, should your monthly gross income is about 4,000 euros, then your chances of success become much better. Should you be in this situation, you should review the requirements of the Carte bleue européenne (52 725€ bruts/an au 30/11/2012). Keep in mind that MOE has a total veto right on the requests it reviews unless there is a specific situation that voids this right. As you can see in your case, the amount of your salary could do it.
      As you can see, your current situation is a lot less secured than you think and I strongly advise you to prepare this new request of a titre de séjour very soon, so you do not get caught of guard and run losing you right to live in France.
      I hope that this answer was helpful to you.
      Yours,
      Jean Taquet
      PS: I have started a subscription to my column at jeantaquet.com, you can confirm it at your convenience.

      Reply

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