France: Rights conferred by the 10-year residence card, including eligibility to work, study, receive health care, and leave the country (2014-April 2015) [FRA105138.FE]

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa

1. Residence Cards with Validity Period of 10 Years

The Service-Public.fr portal [1], [translation] “the official gateway to the French civil service” (France n.d.a), states that the following residence cards are valid for 10 years:

  • The “10-year residence card”: It can be issued on a first visit to France or upon expiry of a 1-year residence card to a foreigner who is not a national of a European country, with the exception of Tunisian or Algerian citizens, who are subject to bilateral agreements (ibid. 1 Sept. 2014).
  • The residence card that is for a [translation] “long-term resident - EU” [résident de longue durée – UE] [2] can be issued to a foreigner who is not a national of a European country, provided that they are residing in France [translation] “legally and continuously for at least the past 5 years” (ibid. 25 Nov. 2013a).

Similarly, the website for France’s Ministry of the Interior (Ministère de l'Intérieur ) states that, on their first issuance, these two residence cards are valid for 10 years (ibid. 23 July 2014).

According to the information posted on the Service-Public.fr portal, anyone who holds a residence card with the notation “long-term resident – EU” [résident de longue durée – UE] or a 10-year residence card is permitted to reside and work in France (ibid. 25 Nov. 2013b). The same source also states that these two cards serve as authorisation to work (ibid.). The website for France’s Ministry of the Interior states that these two cards grant holders the right to engage in any professional activity with any employer in France, with the exception of the overseas departments (ibid. 23 July 2014).

2. Residence Card that Includes the Notation “Résident de Longue Durée – UE

The summary of the COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2003/109/EC [from the European Union] of November 25, 2003, concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents, published by the Publications Office of the European Union, states that long-term residents residing in a European Union country enjoy the following benefits:

Equal treatment to nationals, in particular with regards to

  • access to employment and self-employed activity, as well as conditions of employment and working conditions (weekly rest period, hygiene standards, annual vacation leave, salary, conditions regarding dismissal);
  • education and vocational training, recognition of diplomas and study grants;
  • social security (family allowance, retirement pensions…) and health care;
  • social assistance (minimum income, minimum pensions, free health care...);
  • social security, tax benefits, and access to goods and services;
  • free access to the entire territory of the Member State concerned (EU 5 May 2011).

3. 10-year Residence Card

The Service-Public.fr portal notes that a foreigner who wants to study in France but does not have a residence permit [translation] “for reasons of private and family life (e.g., residence card, residence permit for private and family life)” must obtain “a long-term visa that is equivalent to a residence permit or a temporary student permit” (France 1 Dec. 2014b, italics from original). Corroborating information on the right of 10-year residence permit holders to study in France could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

According to the government of France’s website on health insurance, four out of five people in France are covered by the general health insurance plan (ibid. 16 July 2012a). Information posted on the Service-Public.fr portal indicates that, in order to be eligible for government health insurance, a person does not need to already have access to another health insurance plan (ibid. 10 Jan. 2014). At the local level, the state health insurance offices [caisses primaires d'assurance maladie , CPAM] provide services that are covered by the plan (ibid. 16 July 2012b).

A number of sources within the French government indicate that foreigners who hold a residence permit might be eligible for health care (ibid. Nov. 2013; ibid. 1 July 2014; ibid. 10 Jan. 2014): either universal healthcare coverage [couverture maladie universelle , CMU] (ibid.), or supplementary universal healthcare coverage [couverture maladie universelle complémentaire ,CMUC] (ibid. 1 July 2014). According to information posted on the Service-Public.fr portal, in order to be eligible, a foreigner from a non-European country must hold a valid residence permit or be waiting to receive one (ibid. 10 Jan. 2014). Similarly, CPAM de la Haute-Garonne provides the following information:

[translation]

Holders of a valid residence permit meet the lawful presence requirement to obtain medical coverage. There are many types of residence permits: conditional, temporary, and residence (10-year).

Residence permit holders can be part of the general plan and benefit from the supplementary CMU (ibid. Nov. 2013).

According to the Service-Public.fr portal, to be eligible for health insurance, a person must also satisfy [translation] “the condition regarding the primary stay...which is to say that [they must be residing in France] for more than six (6) months (or 180 days) during the benefit year” (ibid. 19 Feb. 2015).

According to the website of government's Department of Legal and Administrative Information [Direction de l'information légale et administrative du gouvernement français , DILA], foreigners who have a declared employment in France [translation] “receive social security benefits (health insurance, workers’ compensation benefits, maternity leave for women...)” (ibid. 9 Oct. 2013). Similarly, Adate, an immigrant and refugee rights and integration organization based in Grenoble, France (Adate n.d.), notes that any foreigner who engages in [translation] “salaried work, or the like,” and who is authorized to do so by their residence permit, is “compulsorily” covered by the universal health insurance plan “to the same extent as French nationals” (ibid. 12 Mar. 2014). The organization adds that the person’s family members [translation] “can also benefit from the CMU as beneficiaries, as long as they are not eligible for another health insurance plan” (ibid.).

4. The Right to Visit or Settle in Another European Union Country

Holders of the “long-term resident – EU” residence card have the right to live in another European Union country for a period of more than three months to work, study, or follow vocational training, or to settle there for other reasons (EU 5 May 2011; France 26 Nov. 2013) without obtaining a visa, with the exception of Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Ireland (ibid.). Holders of other residence permits must obtain a visa before entering any other country in Europe to live (ibid.). However, holders of a “long-term resident – EU” residence permit must request a residence permit within three months of entering another country in the European Union, and that country can require proof of sufficient financial means and medical insurance (ibid.). The other country can also impose [translation] “conditions for integration,” such as language courses (France 26 Nov. 2013). EU countries can also introduce quotas on residence permits and restrict entry for non-European foreigners on the basis of labour market conditions, as an example (ibid.; EU 5 May 2011).

The summary of the COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2003/109/EC [from the European Union] of November 25, 2003, concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residentsstates that [translation] “upon entry into the second EU country, the long-term resident is eligible for all the benefits to which they were entitled in the first EU country, and to the same extent as nationals” (ibid.). Furthermore, the first country is [translation] “ required to readmitthe long-term resident who has had his or her residence permit withdrawn in the second EU country, as well as members of his or her family” (EU 5 May 2011, emphasis in original). Holders of a “long-term resident – EU” residence card maintain their status in the first country until status is obtained in the second country; which is only possible after five years of residence (ibid.; France 26 Nov. 2013) and entails the loss of long-term resident status in France (ibid.).

5. Renewal or Withdrawal of a 10-Year Residence Card

The “long-term resident – EU” resident card is automatically renewable (EU 5 May 2011; France 1 Dec. 2014a), as is the 10-year resident card (ibid.). However, the Service-Public.fr portal mentions that these two cards will not be renewed if the holder is [translation] “ living polygamously in France,” or has been [translation] “convicted of certain violent offences against a child under 15 years of age … or [of being] complicit in such offences,” or if their card has expired (ibid.). According to the same source, the first two grounds can lead to the withdrawal of either card while still valid (ibid. 12 Nov. 2014). Unless approval has been granted by French authorities, a residence card [10-year] is no longer valid if the holder has been absent from France for more than three consecutive years (ibid. 1 Dec. 2014a). As for the “long-term resident – EU” resident card, it is no longer valid if the holder has been absent from the EU for more than three consecutive years (unless authorized to do so by French officials), or has remained outside France for more than six consecutive years, or has obtained equivalent status in another country of the EU (ibid.).

According to information posted on the Service-Public.fr portal, these two 10-year residence cards can also be withdrawn under the following conditions:

  • if the holder [translation] “employs an illegal foreign worker”;
  • if the holder [translation] “is the subject of a removal or deportation order in France”;
  • if the holder has been granted French citizenship (ibid. 12 Nov. 2014).

The “long-term resident – EU” residence cards are withdrawn if the holder loses their refugee status or their status as [translation] “beneficiaries of temporary protection” or if they obtained either status fraudulently (ibid.).

The summary of the COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2003/109/EC [from the European Union] of November 25, 2003, concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residentsstates that

[translation]

[g]rounds for withdrawing status [long-term resident - EU] are limited and are set out in this Directive (absence from the EU territory for more than 12 consecutive months, fraudulent acquisition of the status, or adoption of a measure to expel the person concerned) (EU 5 May 2011).

The Service-Public.fr portal states that, leading up to the expiry of either of these 10-year residence cards, and subject to certain conditions, the holder has the option of obtaining a permanent resident card instead of renewing their existing card (ibid. 1 Dec. 2014c). Holders must submit an application to the prefecture, and their presence in France [translation] “must not constitute a threat to public security” and they are required to [translation] “provide proof of their integration into French society, in accordance with the principles of the Republic” (ibid.). This source also adds that, unlike the renewal for the 10-year residence cards, permanent resident cards are issued subject to [translation] “the discretionary power” of the prefecture (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

Notes

[1] The Service-Public.fr website is published by the Legal and Administrative Information Department (DILA) (France 5 Feb. 2014). The DILA is [translation] “a central management branch of the Prime Minister’s office” (ibid. n.d.b).

[2] In an April 2014 update of a document published by the Group Providing Information and Support to Immigrants [Groupe d’information et de soutien des immigré(e)s , GISTI], an organization [translation] “that fights to provide equal access to rights and citizenship, regardless of nationality, and for freedom of movement across borders” (GISTI 12 Mar. 2015), the organization states that the [translation] “ long-term resident – UC card” had become the “long-term resident – EU card” to reflect the transformation of the European Community (EC) into the European Union (UE) (ibid. Apr. 2014).

References

ADATE. 12 March 2014. “La protection médicale .” <http://www.info-droits-etrangers.org/index.php?page=3-1-1> [Accessed: 25 March 2015]

_____. N.d. “Compétences et champs d'intervention de l'Adate .” <http://www.adate.org/> [Accessed: 8 Apr. 2015]

European Union (EU). 5 May 2011. Office des publications. “Statut des ressortissants de pays extérieurs à l'UE résidents de longue durée .” <http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/FR/TXT/?qid=1428417150469&uri=URISERV:l23034> [Accessed: 7 Apr. 2015]

France. 19 February 2015. Direction de l'information légale et administrative (DILA). “Prestations familiales, CMU, Aspa, Asi: faut-il résider en France? ” <http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/particuliers/F1663.xhtml> [Accessed: 8 Apr. 2015]

_____. 1 December 2014a. Direction de l'information légale et administrative (DILA). “Renouvellement de la carte de résident ou ‘résident de longue durée – UE’.” <http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/particuliers/F11906.xhtml> [Accessed: 9 Apr. 2015]

_____. 1 December 2014b. Direction de l'information légale et administrative (DILA). “Étudiant étranger: visa de long séjour valant titre ou carte de séjour .” <http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/particuliers/F2231.xhtml> [Accessed: 1 Apr. 2015]

_____. 1 December 2014c. Direction de l'information légale et administrative (DILA). “Demande de carte de résident permanent .” <http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/particuliers/F11201.xhtml> [Accessed: 9 Apr. 2015]

_____. 12 November 2014. Direction de l'information légale et administrative (DILA). “Refus de délivrance et retrait de la carte de résident .” <http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/particuliers/F11892.xhtml> [Accessed: 9 Apr. 2015]

_____. 1 September 2014. Direction de l'information légale et administrative (DILA). “Étranger en France : carte de résident de 10 ans .” <http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/particuliers/F2208.xhtml> [Accessed: 1 Apr. 2015]

_____. 23 July 2014. Direction de l'information légale et administrative (DILA). “Travail des étrangers non-européens en France: validité des autorisations de travail délivrées aux salariés étrangers en France .” <http://www.interieur.gouv.fr/A-votre-service/Mes-demarches/Etranger-Europe/Etrangers-en-France/Travail-des-etrangers-non-europeens-en-France/Validite-des-autorisations-de-travail-delivrees-aux-salaries-etrangers-en-France> [Accessed 27 March 2015]

_____. 1 July 2014. Direction de l'information légale et administrative (DILA). “Couverture maladie universelle complémentaire: bénéficiaires et prestations .” <http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/particuliers/F10027.xhtml#> [Accessed: 8 Apr. 2015]

_____. 5 February 2014. Direction de l'information légale et administrative (DILA). “Mentions légales .” <http://www.dila.premier-ministre.gouv.fr/informations-sur-le-site/informations-legales/mentions-legales> [Accessed: 9 Apr. 2015]

_____. 10 January 2014. Direction de l'information légale et administrative (DILA). “Couverture maladie universelle (CMU) : bénéficiaires et prestations .” <http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/particuliers/F1072.xhtml> [Accessed: 8 Apr. 2015]

_____. 26 November 2013. Direction de l'information légale et administrative (DILA). “L'étranger peut-il vivre ailleurs en Europe avec un titre de séjour français? ” <http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/particuliers/F1453.xhtml> [Accessed: 27 March 2015]

_____. 25 November 2013a. Direction de l'information légale et administrative (DILA). “Étranger en France: carte de ''résident de longue durée - UE''.” <http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/particuliers/F17359.xhtml> [Accessed: 1 Apr. 2015]

_____. 25 November 2013b. Direction de l'information légale et administrative (DILA). “Droits ouverts par la carte de résident et de "résident longue durée - UE".” <http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/particuliers/F11890.xhtml> [Accessed: 7 Apr. 2015]

_____. November 2013. Caisses primaires d'assurance maladie (CPAM) de la Haute-Garonne . “Guide d'accès à l'assurance maladie des ressortissants étrangers .” <http://social-ameli.fr/Supports/Guide-AM-etrangers_1113.pdf> [Accessed: 27 March 2015]

_____. 9 October 2013. Direction de l'information légale et administrative (DILA). “Quels sont les droits des étrangers? ” <http://www.vie-publique.fr/decouverte-institutions/citoyen/citoyennete/citoyen-france/quels-sont-droits-etrangers.html> [Accessed: 26 March 2015]

_____. 16 July 2012a. Caisse nationale de l'assurance maladie des travailleurs salariés (CNAMTS). “Les différents régimes de l'assurance maladie .” <http://www.ameli.fr/l-assurance-maladie/connaitre-l-assurance-maladie/missions-et-organisation/la-securite-sociale/les-differents-regimes-de-l-assurance-maladie.php> [Accessed: 8 Apr. 2015]

_____. 16 July 2012b. Caisse nationale de l'assurance maladie des travailleurs salariés (CNAMTS). “Les différentes branches du régime général .” <http://www.ameli.fr/l-assurance-maladie/connaitre-l-assurance-maladie/missions-et-organisation/la-securite-sociale/les-differentes-branches-du-regime-general.php> [Accessed: 8 Apr. 2015]

_____. N.d.a. Direction de l'information légale et administrative (DILA). “Donner son avis, faire une suggestion sur le site et ses rubriques .” <http://interactif.service-public.fr/cgi-bin/posez_question/akio.cgi?amp;page=posez_question/question-suggestion.html> [Accessed: 26 March 2015]

_____. N.d.b. Direction de l'information légale et administrative (DILA). “La référence au service du public .” <http://www.dila.premier-ministre.gouv.fr/> [Accessed: 8 Apr. 2015]

Groupe d'information et de soutien des immigrées (GISTI). 12 March 2015. “Le Gisti? ” <http://www.gisti.org/spip.php?article170> [Accessed: 31 March 2015]

_____. April 2014. Résidence de longue durée et mobilité dans l’Union européenne. Mise à jour de la note pratique parue en November 2013 . <http://www.gisti.org/IMG/pdf/np_residence-lgue-duree-et-mob-ds-ue_2013_actualisation.pdf> [Accessed: 31 March 2015]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources:Association des travailleurs maghrébins en France; Association nationale d’assistance aux frontières pour les étrangers; Association service social familial migrants; Centre interculturel de Mons et du Borinage; Cimade; Comité contre la double peine de Lyon; Fédération des associations de soutien aux travailleurs immigrés .

Internet sites, including:Admission post-bac; Allo CPAM; Assemblée des français de l'étranger; Centre des liaisons européennes et internationales de sécurité sociale; Centre d'information et de documentation jeunesse; France diplomatie; Legavox; Lyon campus; Le Monde; Musée de l'histoire de l'immigration; Radio-Télévision Luxembourg; SOS net étrangers en France ; European Union – Immigration Portal.