10 year carte de sejour - idiot's guide needed please

I heard OH talking to a friend in the UK and it was obvious he has absolutely no idea what he can and can’t do now we have our 10 year cartes de sejour. And I realise neither have I.

Is there an idiot’s guide anywhere please that covers all the possibilities? Like how long can we stay out of France? What if we are just travelling in the EU? What about travelling back to the UK? What about if we want to go to another non-EU country?
I feel I should know all of this but realise I don’t because we have not gone anywhere in the last two years so had no need to know it. Now we might do some more travelling but I’ve no idea what that will mean in practice.
Thanks for any help and apologies for being an idiot! :roll_eyes:

I’m sure you’re not the only one who is slightly lost… there has been so much talk about this and that… and so much mis-information… not surprising our brains are getting addled.

To the best of my knowledge.
You can remain outside of France for up to five years continuous without losing your rights.
For travelling within the EU you are subject to the 90/180 day limit but since you are unlikely to have stamps put in your passport crossing internal borders you are more or less on your honour to comply with this.
I will be interested to see if I am right. It is the kind of thing one ought to know and like you I am not sure that I do!


I have found it stated that holders of CdS Permanent issued by France should not stay in one schengen country for more than 90 days without seeking a CdS of that country. (ie apply before the deadline… or leave beforehand).

I am yet to locate the bit which says that, with regard to schengen as a whole, we are limited to 90/180 overall.

I know it’s been discussed, but blow me if I can find the document now… aaargh.

Thanks @Sandcastle and @Stella. I was rather hoping for some form of authoritative document that has everything listed, For example I have found this on a French govt site, but it’s not the whole picture.

Resident card is valid 10 years and renewable.

However, it is no longer valid if you leave France for more than 3 consecutive years.

You can ask to extend this period by 3 years. It is the Prefect who assesses whether the reasons given justify the requested extension.

It is granted if your absence is justified by hospitalisation, military service, a reason professional or family, or by the occurrence of special events during your absence.

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Must confess, I’ve had “5 years” lodged at the back of my mind… but there’s been so much chit-chat about everything under the sun… that it’s quite possible I’m mistaken…

Did you obtain your cards under the withdrawal agreement? If so I think the withdrawal agreement is the relevant document that you need to read, all the answers should be in there. The WARP bestows a slightly different set of rights and privileges from other types of CdS issued to third country nationals.
I did actually read the WA once shortly after Brexit but my memory is not what it was but I do not feel inclined to read it again. But I seem to recall concluding that certain of the rights bestowed by the WARP are more favourable than “normal” TCN permits, for instance the WA allows up to 5 years absence rather than 2, some are identical, and in terms of onward movement we are treated less favourably because no agreement was reached on that, hence defaulting to 90/180. But I could be wrong.


I have never bothered to find out about travelling within the EU, partly because I am unlikely to at the moment and partly because, after extensive travelling to the farthest reaches NSEW over many years I have never yet been asked for a passport at a border. Apart from you know where of course. :wink:

I’m losing the will to live! I really don’t want anything other than a simple list.
Thanks for confirmation that I can leave France for five years (I think) :roll_eyes:
And as for the rest? who knows. :roll_eyes:

YES as a Permanent Resident (WARP) you can leave France and come back with full-rights to stay if the absence is not more than 5 years… (I’ve just read through the Décret in French… aargh… such small print)

But… I’ve lost the plot myself now… what were your other questions ??? :rofl: :rofl:

Here’s the List you asked for… as of today…

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These …

I think that apart from the protected right to continue living in the EU country where you were exercising FoM prior to Brexit, as per the WA, basically your rights are the same as any other UK passport holder.
As a UK citizen you can enter the UK and stay as long as you like as far as the UK is concerned.
As a UK citizen you can take advantage of the visa waiver to visit other EU countries apart from the one you live in.
For visiting non EU countries you are subject to whatever conditions apply to UK citizens.
I do not think the fact of residing in France affects those rights because they depend on your nationality, not your place of residence.


Something to check….

I believe that @Stella and @sandcastle are completely correct about the immigration department’s comings and goings for WARP card holders.

The only thing to maybe check is regarding the tax department of UK. Staying in UK for more than 183 days in a year (can be accumulative) may invoke UK tax other than just income tax. Property? However, as tax is a complex subject there may be a ‘no double taxation’ clause?? Best to check rather than be surprised :face_with_spiral_eyes:

Also, as resident of France, obtain a European EHIC card for health care in UK because you would now be off NHS

Hi Sue, hope I am not alarming you :confused:

Some more info regarding UK tax if you visit:


Tax on your UK income if you live abroad: If you're a UK resident - GOV.UK.

The alarming bits on the gov.UK site concerns being considered a UK resident if you spend over 182 days in a year in UK, and that income derived from foreign property (i.e. gîte rentals in France) would be due for UK tax.

We both have S1s. Are we not still on UK EHIC cards? We both have them.

No alarm, we declare in France and the UK. So technically we are UK tax payers, but with the cross border agreement only pay tax in France.

I just want to know what our boundaries are so we don’t overstep them.

Tax is not my strong suit but there are some kind SF members who know much and can perhaps tell me if I’m barking completely up the wrong tree and frightening @SuePJ and others without reason.

All I do 100% know is that as a UK / GB passport holder and national, you can always go ‘home’.

(Unless you marry a member of ISIS)

Of course. And friends of ours have just done precisely that. That’s not my concern, it’s just about how much freedom of movement do we have with our Cartes de Sejour.

Something on the EHIC.

I think best you both apply in France for an EHIC card on the Amelie website because seems a UK issued EHIC/GHIC is not for use in UK if you are residents elsewhere

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued by your home country to access healthcare

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