Don't panic Mr. Mainwaring!

As D day approaches, it seems to me that the only factual statements that can be made about the referendum are as follows:

1) no one seems able to accurately predict the result and 2) no one has got any idea about what is really going to happen if the ‘Leave’ camp succeed!

Obviously those organised people who’ve already taken French nationality are going to be unaffected but what about the rest of us? Ignoring some of the more alarmist posts I’ve read (my favourite being that all expats were going to be rounded up and detained!), it’s fair to say that a leave vote is bound to lead to extra administrative hassle. Any American or other non EU members will testify to the problems involved in getting access to things that we currently take for granted such as healthcare and residency permits.

One possible option is to obtain a ‘carte de séjour UE – séjour permanent’ - which is available to all EU citizens who have been in France for over five years. It states that you have the right to remain in France indefinitely; however, it does have to be renewed after ten years! But who knows what will have happened by then…

You can find the basic info on and the required documents are as follows:

• Letter requesting the carte de séjour on grounds of ‘5 ans de séjour légal et interrompu’

• Three passport photographs

• Your passport

• Work contract (ha ha)

• A bill (eg. EDF ) showing your address in France, dating from the last three months

• Last three pay slips ( ha ha ha)

• More bills (or similar proof) showing residence in France for each half-year during the last five years (eg. a bill dated February of a given year and then another dated September etc).

• Your French social security number (from your carte vitale)

but I’d suggest phoning / visiting the prefecture to see exactly what they require. We all know that things can vary wildly from department to department. And, as most of us don’t have salaried jobs and are either self-employed or retired, I should imagine that tax returns showing a declaration of income would suffice.

Has anyone done this? Are you going to? Is it a good idea? What do you think?

I do not see any point worrying at the moment, but I know that many are, no disrespect meant to you. I think we should just wait and see what the result is. As many have said it is untested water and nobody knows what will happen if there is an exit vote or even if Britain does leave in that event. Ther is probably no contingency plan in place and even the ones that are there are dodgy. The Germans have said they will take Britain back, so if there is a disaster no problem apart from the fact that we will have to rejoin on their terms.... no opt outs, introduction of euro, acceptance of Scenghen agreement. Maybe it would ge good to keep the staus quo and stay in... better the devil you know.

I have both British and French nationality, my husband has both British and Irish. We are resident in France but in order to obtain a visa for a holiday in China my husband was advised to apply for a carte de sejour to prove to the Chinese authorities that he would be allowed back in France. Job done, it has since proved extremely useful as ID and he can now leave his passport/livret de famille at home! Our Mairie dealt with the dossier but we had to provide documentary proof of our incomes, house ownership followed by an interview at the gendarmerie. If you live in France on a permanent basis then I would say go for it.

Please explain what you mean by "if the "Leave" camp succeed".

What happens if the "remain" camp succeeds?

As in the leave camp succeed in persuading people to vote to leave the EU.

I think that is a brilliant suggestion irrespective of the vote.

I will certainly pursue the matter with my mairie.

Thank you


Catherine , of all the tosh, information and dis information that has been banded about since the referendum was announced , your comments are like a breath of fresh air !! I have kept my head below the parapit since it all started and it has become one of the no no subjects , along with religion and politics !!! I am at the moment starting to apply for my carte de séjour as I have just completed my 5 years residency . As someone else said , I think it will be of use whatever the outcome .

Just one point about this farce on the 23rd , its not legally binding on the Government and knowing governments they will decide what they want to do , of course taking into account what the voters voted for !!

Just as they do after every election !!!!!

Well done Catherine for bringing sanity , and practical , factual advice ,back into the fore !!!!

Excuse ignorance, but how do you get a carte vitale? The other things I have.


Hi Stephen

If you type carte vitale in the search box on the top right side of the page you will find links to loads of threads on the subject. Make yourself a cup of tea, sit down and have a good read! Good luck!

Why thank you Rod! x

I have always been a great believer in the Carte de Séjour, have had one since arriving in France even though not obligatory. Has often helped and avoids carrying valuable passport. In early days was for 1 or 2 years, but my current one is 10 years and expires 2020. However, I just wonder if this is really going to help, because the second line on the Carte, below "Titre de Séjour" is "Ressortissant U.E."

If the referendum goes for "Exit", not the following day obviously because the negotiations will take time, but at some point I will not be a "Ressortissant U.E." and the Carte will be worthless.

Solutions will be found!

I applied for a Carte de Séjour -UE Permanent at our préfecture in Cahors (46) and despite being told (twice) that as a British national I had no need of it, when I insisted that I wanted it, all went very smoothly until they asked for my birth certificate plus a sworn translation thereof !

I showed the official the full service-public documentation which makes no mention of this as being required, but she was adamant that SHE required it ( no surprise there ! ) and so a further visit was required.

So ... others planning to request their Carte de séjour UE may wish to arm themselves with their birth certificates as part of their dossier !

Has anyone recently applied with sucess ? Is it completed while you wait ?

A friend of mine had heard that they were stopping to issue them at st Brieuc !

I was told it would take a matter of months ... then they would notify when it was ready for collection.