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Guide to Obtaining a Family Members of European Union Citizens Residence Permit for France 

A Family Members of European Union Citizens Residence Permit allows non-EU family members of EU citizens to reside legally in an EU country. Here is a detailed explanation of the process and requirements for France. 

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First step: determining whether you are a family member 

Not all family members of a European Citizen can obtain a family member residence permit. 

You must be: 

  • The spouse; 

  • The direct descendant or dependant under the age of 21; 

  • The direct dependant older relative; 

  • The direct dependant older relative or descendant of the spouse. 

If the family member is a student, only the spouse and the direct descendant are concerned. 

Second step: determining whether you require a visa to enter France: 


There are two hypotheses for ae non-EU national who wishes to reside in France and has proof of relationship with an EU national residing in France: 

  1. First hypothesis: the family member is a national of a country that has a short-stay visa exemption or “visa waiver agreement” (e.g.: USA, UK, Canada, some Latin American countries), or she/he has already a EU family card in another European Country:  he/she can enter freely and then directly request a residence permit at the local prefecture within three months.  

  2. Second hypothesis: the family member is a national of a country that has not a visa exemption (e.g.: China, India, Egypt): he or she must - apply for a short-term visa before entering France, then enter France and request the residence permit within three months.  Do you want to know if you must have a visa first? Check the following link: 


Third Step : Local Prefecture application 

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Once the foreign citizen enters France, he/she must submit their application online, within 3 months  arriving in France and before any visa or temporary stay permit expires. 


Our expert tip: as the Prefecture can delay the examination of your case, when possible, ask a 6-month visitor visa first. This will allow you to stay in the territory without for more than three months if the process is delayed. 

What documents to present? 

Documents typically includes proof of relationship to the EU citizen and proof of the EU citizen's residence and activities in France. 

Relationship Proof 

  • Spouse/Partner: Marriage certificate or registered partnership document. 

  • Children: Birth certificates showing the EU citizen as a parent. 

  • Other Dependents: Legal documents proving dependency or cohabitation. 

EU Citizen’s Status 

  • Proof of Residence: Proof of the EU citizen's residence in the host country (e.g., residence certificate, rental contract). 

  • Proof of Activities: Proof of employment, self-employment, studies, or sufficient resources not to become a burden on the social assistance system (e.g., employment contract, university enrollment, bank statements). 


Some other documents such as identification documents or prove of economic stability are also required for this process, although the specific type of documents will depend on your situation. 

The processing time varies but in France, the Prefecture generally takes up to 6 months to process the application. 

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If approved, the residence permit will be issued. This permit typically allows for work and residence in the host country of the EU citizen. 

Obtaining a Family Members of European Union Citizens Residence Permit in France involves collecting and submitting various documents to prove the relationship with the EU citizen and the EU citizen's legal status in the host country.  

For a seamless process, having an attorney by your side is highly recommended. We are here to support you every step of the way, ensuring your journey is as smooth and successful as possible.  Start this exciting new chapter with confidence and expert guidance! 




Book a first 30 minutes online meeting with our Managing Attorney, Yuliana Colorado ESQ.

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