Delays in processing requests for carte de sejour

Hello - I live in the Val de Marne département and I applied for my carte de séjour back in January 2019 when the government were inviting applications on a site headed ‘demande de titre de séjour dans le cadre du Brexit sans accord’. I’m British and have been resident in France since 2004 without interruption.

I received a reply from the Ministère de l’Intérieur confirming my application with a short reference number (5 figures) and was told to wait for my prefecture to get in touch.

All very clear, except over the past year I have heard nothing whatsoever about my application from the prefecture (Creteil) which has either ignored all my emails or sent standardised replies asking for my ‘numero étranger’ (10 figures) which, of course, I don’t have because I’ve never been given one! In the email they sent, they say that without this number they won’t deal with my enquiry.

When I called the Préfecture this morning the person who answered interrupted me as soon as I mentioned carte de séjour, refused to let me finish my sentence and put my call through to a recording telling me to email them at the same address I’ve been trying since last October!

I have a job and two kids to feed so this is not a trivial matter; if I don’t have the carte de séjour by the end of June I won’t be able to work (or live) in France.

Is anyone else having similarly kafkaesque experiences? Anyone able to advise? Is this kind of treatment normal?


Hi Martin,
I know it is stressful but if you have your confirmation from your initial application then you are fine, you are in the system and you will be dealt with. Unfortunately there is a huge difference in the speed of various prefectures. They are obliged to have all the cards issued by October so that is your worst case scenario.

That is when the online portal closes but they can’t insist on us having cards until October (gives them time from last applications to that date to get them printed and delivered).

Honestly please try not to stress, you are a resident here - you have accepted and taken up that residency, it is just the card you are missing and you will get it in time.

I hope that helps a little.


Apart from a few notable departments things are very slow. If you have your reference number all should be well. I applied on new site and have heard nothing.

Tory (who works for one of the help services) may pop in to advise whether it would be sensible to reapply on new portal… when you go onto it it says “don’t”, but not sure whether experience may have changed things,

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Cross posted Jane!

No he doesn’t need to reapply, they will get to him. As you say some departments are shockingly slow. Eg 06 I believe has only just started giving appointments in the last few weeks.

And 39 hasn’t even opened the (virtual) envelopes.

Thanks for your extremely rapid and clear reply Tory! Yes, this is reassuring…I was getting the impression that something had gone wrong with my application (like they’d lost it!).

My main concern though is what my employers will say if I don’t have the card before the end of the summer. About half of my income is derived from CDD and vacataire work where I have to resubmit a ‘dossier de recrutement’ every year (usually between July and October) with copies of passport, social security number etc.’.

These employers can be as belligerent as the French administration if any element is considered missing or incorrect. And they don’t like taking risks…if their legal people are not sure about the situation I’m worried they’ll just turn to the next candidate in line simply because it’s easier.

For the moment I’m keeping my mouth shut and hoping they won’t say anything…

Thanks Jane…good luck with your application!

So really even if you were last to get your card you will have it before October. However you are at the front of the queue from applying through the no deal portal and all prefectures (that I know of) are working through them in order so I would be surprised if you didn’t hear something quite soon.

Is that as an English teacher? I’m trying to get into that for next year.

Thanks again Tory…though it doesn’t feel like the front of the queue from where I’m standing…
English teacher, yes exactly! Let me know if you have any questions… :slightly_smiling_face:

We heard nothing since our application in Oct 2019 then got an email to attend the Préfecture in Bordeaux later this week. Give it another month or 2.

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Thanks Mat - I guess after a year and a half sitting on my application they’ll wait until the day after I leave on summer vacation to summon me back for the meeting! Or maybe another lockdown will put paid to that…


Hello all, I have the same problem. Been in France since 2006 I have my own hotel/restaurant in the Aveyron together with my wife, son, daughter in law and three grandchildren. We all applied for a residential permit and have received the standard e mail giving us a ref number and a message telling us that the local prefecture (Rodez) will contact us. That was last year and to date NOTHING!!! Do you think the British embassy in Bordeaux could help?

I would just wait a while longer. If you’ve heard nothing by May then perhaps enquire…

Hello Richard - as chance would have it, I wrote to the British Embassy with my concerns this morning. Here’s the reply I received a few minutes ago:

"Thank you for your enquiry of 18/01/2021.

We appreciate your situation and are sorry to read about the difficulties you are experiencing while trying to engage with the local authorities.

As stated in our ‘Living in France’ guide, if you applied for residency via the previous ‘no-deal’ website, you do not need to re-apply. Your application will be processed by the appropriate Préfecture before 1 October 2021. However, if you have moved to a different Departement since applying, you must apply again

We hope you are successful in completing the registration process."

There was also a list of expat and other organisations to contact which may be able to help, but I can’t post the links here as this site only allows two links to be posted in any one message.

IOM - The International Organisation for Migration (Brittany, Normandy, Paris and Ile-de-France, Hauts-de-France, Pays de la Loire)

Contact details:

  • visit the IOM website
  • email:
  • hotline: 08 09 54 98 32 available during the following hours: Mon - Tues 2pm to 4pm and Wed - Thurs 10.30am to 12.30pm

FBN - The Franco-British Network (Dordogne, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur)

Contact details:

Church of England - Diocese in Europe (Occitanie, Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Centre Val de Loire, Corsica, Grand Est, Nouvelle Aquitaine, not including Dordogne)

Contact details:

SSAFA, The Armed Forces Charity (across France)

Contact details:

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I’ve posted all the associations info. You’ll find you’ll get the same information I gave :nerd_face: :kissing_smiling_eyes: from them (and the embassy obviously as well).

Exactly! Thanks Tory.

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Thank you, I will take you up on that!

Just a niggly question for those who have their interviews or even the new cards - after applying for the CdS on the website, an automatic email arrived from with a number in it and saying that the request would be forwarded to the prefecture. Did anyone get anything from the prefecture to say that tjhey were processing it, or was the invitation for interview the first you heard from them?

The first you will hear is the invitation for your appointment, which could be as soon as a few days later so make sure you have your photo etc ready.