Préfectures in France reopen for appointments for residency permits

Préfectures in France reopen for appointments for residency permits
Photo: AFP
Closed during the lockdown, préfectures in France are gradually reopening for appointments, including those for residency permits.

The Ministry of the Interior has released a protocol for the reopening of local government offices – a vital destination for many foreigners in France who need to renew or apply for residency cards.

During the lockdown, the government introduced an automatic extension for many types of residency card and visa that were due to expire, as the closed offices meant it was impossible to renew them.

A decree has extended the automatic renewal period so that any titres de séjour or long-stay visas that expire before June 15th are covered by a six month extension.

People eligible for the automatic extension do not need to take any steps until autumn and their rights to remain and work continue.

But for people who have a residency card that is due to expire after June 15th, or who are applying for the first time, préfectures are now reopening, by appointment only.

This does not apply to British people in France, who use a separate Brexit-related process to apply for residency – find out more here.

At present most préfectures are only accepting residency permit applications by appointment, and some are asking for applications by post, check with your local préfecture for their rules.

However the Interior Ministry says that local authorities are aiming for the resumption of full services by June 15th at the latest.

Priority for appointments will be given to people whose permits are due to expire.

For people applying for French citizenship, interviews will resume after June 15th.

Residency permits in France for non-European citizens must be done through your local préfecture office, apart from people living in Paris who use the Paris police préfecture.


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