Concubin status

I wonder if I’m missing something here or is that just the way it is… my partner, British, here for more than 10 years, given a carte de séjour for 1 year only and of course has to justify resources… but they won’t accept my written guarantee of financial support (I’ve been here for 35 years). However, my partner cannot apply for RMI (she’s unemployed ) because I support her financially.
En plus, our local prefecture cast severe doubts on the carte de séjour being renewed, saying we have to ring in February to get an update. Surely irresponsible speculation?

Surely if in France for 10 years she is entitled to stay without proving resources.

OK I will suggest what I imagine could roughly be France’s perspective on this, then hopefully it will get kicked around a bit on the forum and help you make a plan.
The basic principle of freedom of movement is that EU citizens who move to another EU country should not become a burden on the state. If you have a non working spouse or pacs partner, you are legally obliged to support them and on that basis France treats you as a couple with shared income. If you bring a concubine you have no legal obligation to support them. If France gives that person permission to reside, and the person has no income of their own, and you stop supporting them which you could in theory do at any time, that person is likely to become a burden on the state. That, I imagine, is why concubines are dealt with more cautiously than spouses and the state treats you as separate individuals.
Re RMI, again, if your partner is not correctly exercising freedom of movement as an individual then I imagine that’s why she isn’t be entitled to apply for benefits as an individual.
Have you not thought about getting PACS’d?
Could you even draw up a legal document whereby you give her a fixed annual allowance?
But IMHO it’s unlikely there will be any issues, I think the authorities will use a lot of discretion to avoid fuss. And as Paul says, if she’s been here for 10 years she can’t be told to leave; that doesn’t necessarily mean she will be given a CdS but if you’re happy to continue supporting her that shouldn’t matter much.

Please don’t everybody shoot me, I’m not looking at what’s fair or right or discrimination or whatever, I am just trying to suggest to the OP a perspective to think about.

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Surely she can’t be asked to leave only if she has been living here legally? So has she done things like her income tax returns - even if no tax to pay?

Otherwise I agree with Anna (as is so often the case…)

When we arrived in France in August ‘81 my girlfriend and I lived a vie concubinage, I was the only one one working but she had access to health care etc. she even received some dole payments on one occasion (we bought a camera:-) We got married less that a year later so lost interest in the concubinage business but for all intents and purposes we had been treated as if we were married during that period. I’m sure rules and regulations have changed but I hope the above gives some historical context to the status.

If your application for a CdS is rejected there are 2 possibilities - either you get a notice of refusal with a notice to quit the territory, or you just get a notice of refusal. If you prove you’ve been here 10 years but not “legally”, you will get the refusal letter but not the notice to quit the territory. You can stay as a sans papiers.

Seems as reasonable perspective to me @anon27586881

thanks for all your replies… just to clarify :
my partner has been here for 11 years, all declared (tax returns, social security). She has never taken a centime in state benefits and has health cover + good mutuelle. Always paid local taxes. She has earned every year, not enough to pay tax but an increasing annual sum declared via auto-entrepreneu, or other occasional employment. We own our house jointly.
I have 35 years of earned income in France and pay income tax. No financial links with UK.
What riles me a bit is that my financial support for her prevents her getting RMI, but if she was receiving that she would be considered as having a minimum income and that would presumably make the CdS easier to obtain.

Not sure how it is now, but a good few years ago my partner (French) found herself or we found ourselves in the same situation I think she may have been on my social security for a while too.
Our neighbours(married couple) has had a sister living with them for the last 30 years & she doesn’t qualify either, though I can understand that as shes never worked & not handicapped.

If she’s been working and paying cotisations I don’t see the problem. There is no resource threshold as such for workers.

Problem is Anna, as an auto-entrepreneur there is no CDI.
At the préfecture they said minimum resources required equivalent to the SMIC, ie about 550€ / month

Your prefecture is talking rot.

The minimum resources they quote, apply to inactifs not workers.
“La condition relative à la possession de ressources suffisantes, qui est mentionnée au 2o de
l’article L.121-1 du CESEDA, concerne uniquement les citoyens de l’UE qui séjournent en France en qualité de non-actifs et ne vise donc pas les travailleurs, qu’ils soient salariés ou non salariés.”
Under EU rules the criterion for workers, both employed and self employed, is that their work should be “genuine and effective” and “not on such a small scale as to be regarded as purely marginal and ancillary”.
" Doit être considérée “travailleur” toute personne qui exerce des activités réelles effectives,
à l’exclusion d’activités tellement réduites qu’elles se présentent comme purement marginales et accessoires".
It depends what your partner’s earnings were, if they are so low as to be judged marginal and ancillary then the problem wouldn’t be solved, but it does look as if they are using entirely the wrong criterion to assess whether or not it’s acceptable. (Although I don’t understand the comment about resources equivalent to SMIC being 550€ a month because full time SMIC is around 1500€ a month).

Thanks Anna, I’ll have a look at the document you linked to. No, I don’t understand the SMIC reference either on reflection.
The préfectures seem to be
so inconsistent in the way they issue the CdS. We have a friend in Charente region, just arrived from UK with no job and given 10 year residency immediately

Roger, my suggestion to you would be to get in touch with the British (via their outreach program on Brexit) embassy in Paris, as they are keen to hear of any particular difficulties that people are experiencing in obtaining CdS, other than the normal/abnormal slowness. They are also in touch with the various Prefectures, so they “might” be able to prod the Prefecture to find out what is really going on. Certainly, this was the advice we were given last February when they were organising Brexit-information sessions.

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Alex, thanks for your suggestion. I’ll certainly do as you suggest and try to glean some more insights.

Hi, am in a similar situation oly been here though less than 3 years. Its very hard to get any infomation on this subject, I contacted RIFT but never heard back, so not sure where else to go.

regards Vanessa

Vanessa, that’s probably because “concubinage” or “union libre” has a one-line entry in the Civil Code (Article 515-8). In other words, whilst the legislator has recognised the formal existence of such unions, it has not attached any other particular rights to that status (as opposed to marriage, or civil partnerships). Much of the treatment accorded to concubines come from case law, and case law, as lawyers are wont to say, is ever changing (albeit very slowly in some cases). In particular, in Roman code -based societies like France, case law does not generally substitute the law.

Assuming Brexit happens on 31 Jan, no doubt France will then update its Brexit website and we will all know what is what. At present the website sets out what will happen in the event of a disorderly withdrawal, and also the proposed arrangements subject to reciprocity in the event of an agreement being reached. Once there is certainty then France will spell out exactly what is required, and assuming an agreement is reached you’ll have until the end of the year to get your ducks in a row, if necessary, before you apply for your cds. Until then nothing is definite although I think we can be confident that everyone who has met the FoM conditions will have nothing to worry about.

You can submit queries to the Your Europe website and they always reply, but as Alex has said, I suspect you are hoping for information that does not exist. French inheritance law, tax law etc makes no special provision for concubines, they are treated as two non related people.

I just re-read this and one point that occurs to me, which probably you have already taken into account yourself but if not it’s maybe worth considering, is that it’s presumably irrelevant who supports her financially. If it was her parents, or her aged aunt, or a trust fund, it would be the same - she wouldn’t qualify for RMI because she has sufficient resources not to need it. So I don’t think this has any direct bearing on the concubine status issue.

In fact I don’t think that state support would make the CdS easier to obtain. I submitted my history of earnings as a micro entrepreneur over 5 years and there may well have been a few months in the early years when my earnings were low and I received prime pour l’emploi. But you don’t declare the prime on your tax form, it isn’t included in your total annual income, and the préfecture weren’t interested in whether I’d received any state benefits or not. If you’re applying as a worker they are only interested in your earned income.