Is a carte de sejour going to be obligatory for E.U. citizens?

Today I received a monitoring/checking/"control" request from the Conseil General and the local CAF (our wages are very low)

They are asking us to provide scanned copies of ALL our business receipts and expenses since 2013 and when I asked why,(because it will take me days and days to scan all this lot and they refuse to let me just take them into an office to be examined)

It was, I was told, in order to prove we really do work here (fair enough) and that specifically, it is to 'preuve votre droits de sejour"

I became a bit concerned because this "carte de sejour" business always has kept popping up.Ever since we arrived and Every now and then some officious official asks us for one and we have to explain that as E.U. citizens we really are not oblidged to carry one. Just a passport. And they shut up.


after googling "droit de sejour" - just to check I was still correct, I was horrified to discover this page

which suggests to me the the French government is preparing to introduce it as an obligatory right to be part of the french social security system (pension, health, cotisations,tax,benefits etc..) and that it is designed to discourage people from the EU to settle or stay in France.

This EU carte de sejour, it says, is "renewable" - so that suggests to me it means it needs reviewing and therefore can be refused regularly.

Thanks for this explanation I do feel a lot better for it and I really appreciate the effort you have put into writing it ll down

This does sound much more reasonable than the impression I was given by a woman at my own conseil general. The woman I spoke to was pretty abrupt. She said her "responsable" was asking for the documents, not her, and it was when I asked if I could take them in person she became quite irritable and started banging on about the "droits du sejour"....and changed tack and said I need to talk to the CAF, when I questioned the need for a carte.

I really do agree we should all be subjected to checks about really running a business/living here permanently etc... and I also I realise it necessarily takes longer to do all the paperwork involved if we claim benefits of any kind. Though I still feel at a distinct disadvantage having to scan them all and upload them all individually. It will take me days.

I will not be asking for a "carte de sejour UE", however, as that, I feel , is one extra and unnecessary form of documentation. I think that because I am partly state dependent, I would still have to provide all these justificatifs to show we run a real business anyway, even without such a card.

I don't see the point of making things even harder for us than they already are.

thanks :)

Sorry Jo, only just saw this post - very confusing, the order that posts appear in, or maybe I have my settings wrong!

Don't worry everything is considered case by case. They don't simply look at your turnover, they look to see that it is being run seriously as a business and they take all the circumstances into account.

I guess the reason why you can't turn up with the originals, is that everything has to be looked at by the committee next time it meets. A contrĂ´le is not something that one fonctionnaire can conclude, there and then.

That about sums it up Pauline.

Have just looked up the rules for when a carte de sejour can be demanded for example for RSA and the definitive line is

Demande facultative de carte

Vous n'êtes pas obligé de posséder un titre de séjour.

Toutefois, si vous en faites la demande, la préfecture doit instruire votre dossier.

All info here

The carte de séjour itself is a bit of a red herring I think.

What's important is the entitlement, not the card itself. If you meet the conditions for legal residence then you have the right to live here, whether you have a carte de séjour or not. You can apply for a carte de séjour, but it won't give you any extra rights. However it may be a convenient way of proving that you have those rights. A bit like a bank card - you don't need one, it doesn't change what's in your bank account, it's simply a convenient way of accessing your bank account. It's the bank account itself that is important, the fact that you have opened it and put money into it, and here, it's the fact of having met the conditions for legal residence that's important, not whether or not you have a carte de séjour.

So yes in a way, Jo - in practice the only time France is going to bother checking whether an EU incomer actually meets the conditions for legal residence is when it comes to claiming something from the state. If they never claim any entitlements, it's no skin off France"s nose whether they're here 'legally' or not. But once they start calling in their side of the social contract and asking the state to meet its obligations towards them, France may want to check that they are meeting their own obligations towards the state. Droits et devoirs and all that. (Should perhaps admit here that I work with our Conseiller Général's office on a fairly regular basis so I've heard all this being banged on about quite a lot.) Honestly, it's nothing to get worried about, it is a routine check to make sure that everything is being processed by the book. The conseil général is responsible for ensuring that departmental funding is used correctly and it is only doing its job.

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only obligatory if it is also demanded of French citizens as well..otherwise it contravenes all "freedom of movement" legislation..Basically you have only to be able to prove you are a EU citizen.. the French of course have ID cards you have a passport..

Are we concluding that the E.U. carte de sejour is not obligatory unless you are depending on benefits in France? in which case it becomes obligatory?

I don't plan on refusing Pauline, I am pretty dependent on the French state and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

I am upset that they want me to scan or copy everything though. I don't see why I can't turn up with my receipt books and show them the originals it would save me days and days of work and an awful lot of physical pain

I am concerned that as someone disabled I am always going to be someone " d’activités tellement réduites qu’elles se présentent comme purement marginales et accessoires." - I don't see how I can ever increase production to a profitable level

I do my best but it isn't ever going to compete against an able bodied person (or one with the ability to have a bank loan, for instance)

I was under the impression that the E.U. treaties mean that EU citizens if settled in another E.U. country and finding themselves jobless, disabled, sick or needing healthcare with too few resources, means that the host country is obliged to treat them equally to their own citizens.

I am 50% disabled and I already receive disability pension in France based on work I did here before I became disabled.

I still work full time. I just don't earn much for it. Please don't anyone send "useful" suggestions of jobs I might apply for. I wasted four years doing that and it's pointless at my age and as a female foreigner. My advice from all the govnt advisors here I have ever met was either go back to the UK (with no job or home to go to) or start your own business - so I have done

If anyone has an actual SMIC job to offer, that would be great :)

and then it goes on to say that this "cart de sejour UE" (for EU citizens) is "renewable" - meaning it has to be reapplied for periodically and it does not say how often.

By the way it costs €25

Why on earth would the OP's conseil général be panicking about the British referendum?? Honestly, this sounds like standard procedure to check that anyone claiming to be running a business and receiving support from CAF on that basis, really is running a business. It's normal for countries to do random spot checks to make sure that the people who are receiving benefits are entitled to them, no? otherwise anybody could claim anything and put any old figures in the boxes. The conseil général and CAF just need to see that there is business activity, that's all, exactly what they said, and I'm sure the OP has nothing to worry about.Although obviously it's a hassle to provide all the stuff they want to see.

Could it be that panic is setting in due to the E.U British referendum coming up?

What you have been asked for is standard for a carte de sejour. I had to provide it for my first in 2003 and on every renewal since. Do you need it? Not to work at the moment. But it has always been obligatory for some social security benefits like RSA. CAF insisted I had mine renewed and when I went to the Prefecture, they said I didnt need it. So the official there rang up CAF and there followed a bit of an altercation. I have always renewed it on the basis that you never know when you will need it and it is easier to renew than to get initially. I am always mindful of a friend who challenged a decision of the PRefecture de St Brieuc and presented a batch of Eu legislation to back up his case. The official replied "Monsieur, this is not the EU, this is the Cotes d'Armor" And thereby goes France !

dont worry it is not an obligation.. it would be against the Lisbon treaty that guarantees free movement you just have to prove you are an EU citizen (a UK passport will do) When i moved to France in 1989 according to the authorities a carte de sejour was necessary, I challenged them and never heard from them again..

Probably nothing directly to do with the carte de séjour business, it sounds like they just want to satisfy themselves that the business is "une activité réelle et effective", ie a proper business that you run full-time, as opposed to a hobby business. I don't think you should refuse as the conseil général does have discretion as to who gets CAF benefits and who doesn't. This probably explains it:

"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."

Like they said, they just want to check that you really are working, this is nothing new, and I don't think there's any hidden agenda.

Hi Jo,

I agree with Joe's post. This is not an obligation, while it is an obligation to be able to proove that you have a job, sufficient income or a health insurance to stay in France.

I don't think French gvt is planning to introduce a mandatory carte de séjour in rance as this would be against the Treaties. In cas of Brexit, the EU itself will probably change and the treaties might be modified but I don't see any EU country introducing a carte de séjour for EU and EEA citizens, while they already have much difficulties in controlling non EU migrants within their borders. Such a measure would be unapplicable and thus void.


I think the line "séjour permanent après 5 ans de séjour légal et ininterrompu en France. Toutefois, ce n'est pas une obligation." is more pertinent, after 5 years you may apply for permanent residence, however you are not obliged to do so