Language requirement for carte de sejour


I’m having trouble determining where I might find discussions/information on SFN, regarding whether there is a french language requirement for the carte de sejour. Could anyone direct me, perhaps, or could anyone advise?


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Hi Mary… is this for you… as an American…???
Someone will chime in I am sure… but I know of one lovely American… who has lived here for years and has only limited French language skills…even after all this time… (plus he is a bit deaf :thinking:)… so, no, I don’t think there is a “required level” for the standard CdS… naturally, things will be in French… and if the applicant does not understand… that could cause some hiccups… :wink:

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Go through this check list. It’s from La Vienne but it should answer your question.

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I’ve never been asked to prove how well I speak French when I’ve updated my CdS. The language test only applies to an application for French nationality so far as I know.


It came up the other day - the permanent residence card needs it as well (for under 65’s), apparently.

Must be a new thing. I’ve been renewing residence permits of various kinds on and off since 1962 and no-one ever asked me if I spoke French, which I certainly didn’t in 1962! These days I’m well over the 65 year old limit so they presumably wouldn’t have asked me the last time I renewed, which was quite recently. We live and learn.

I actually think there has been “misunderstanding” on some threads where folk have muddled " C d S Permanent" and “Nationality” … the former does not need language, as it is acquired (by request) over a period of time etc… Citizenship/Nationality does need language, except for the over 65’s…

Now, I’m quite prepared for someone to come up with the official French Gov webpage which may say different… but, I think the latest query came from Fay Gotting… and it was thrashed about/misunderstood/clarified on that thread…

You can apply for a CdS Permanent, but you do not need to do so… you can simply keep renewing an existing CdS…which, after a number of years, cannot be refused unless you are a danger to societe/acquire a criminal conviction etc etc… so… if everyone is a goody-twoshoes and avoids breaking the Law… all should be well…:hugs::hugs::hugs:

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No, the requirements for CdS Permanent did include language proficiency (unless I mis-read the page).

However, you don’t have to apply for a CdS Permanent - you can just renew the 10 year CdS so there still isn’t a requirement for residency per-se.

An it’s only under 65’s anyway.

Yes, it is very confusing… frankly, I don’t see anyone being refused CdS on the grounds of poor French… or the country would have no foreigners in it… :slight_smile:

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no, the CdS is just a paperwork formality; however the request for documents and verification may be done in French although I know some people who’ve got little French and made themselves understood with the help of a friendly Prefecture clerk who’s got a little English. But no, it’s not a requirement for a CdS but you could bring someone along to translate if you get stuck … it’s not a one-to-one interview. Good luck.

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Are you referring to the CdS (EU)?

Hi David,

I’m referring to a CdS for EU, or perhaps I should specify more carefully, for a post-Brexit UK citizen. Thanks.

In that case no language requirement.

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Just to reconfirm…

Yep - you did misread the page . There is NO language requirement for the permanent CdS for EU nationals. The permanent card (aka the 10 year card - same thing) needs to be renewed every 10 years - simply to update it - photo, chip etc just as you do with a passport. It’s simply a renewal, not a re-application, no big deal.

I don’t think I did, and I made the same observation that you just did - you can renew the 10 year CdS for which there is no requirement to show proficiency in French.

But the requirements for “CdS Permanent” do seem to have the language thing.

What I don’t have a handle on is why one might apply for a CdS Permanent, rather than just renew every 10 years - unless its tied up with citizenship in some way?

The 10 year CdS is the permanent one Paul. The only difference arises where you are, or are not an EU citizen. No language requirement for EU citizens. Take another look at the page link you provided - there are 2 tabs under 'demande de carte’.

As already stated - the permanent card needs to be renewed every 10 years - for obvious reasons.

And both have the phrase “preuve de votre connaissance suffisante de la langue française, notamment le Dilf (si vous avez moins de 65 ans)”.

Doesn’t sound terribly “permanent”. :slight_smile:

Paul - let’s put this to bed :slight_smile: I’ll show you mine if you show me yours…

Copy of my CdS below (or most of it at least!)- clearly indicating Séjour Permanent (centre, bottom). It still needs to be renewed every 10 years though and no language test was required to obtain it. Just have a chat with your local Prefecture.


Gosh, I will have to ‘dig out’ my previous Cds’, I know that I am on the system, I moved here when they were obligatory.
Only one worry, my photos were taken when I was just a ‘young thing’, I suppose they will have to be updated, maybe I can airbrush the wrinkles away !


I’m only reporting what it says on the bloody website.

I don’t mind you saying I am wrong but telling me that when I’m actually trying to make a little sense of it myself without a decent explanation is a bit irritating.

The phrase is there, for both tabs, depending on whether you have “signé de contrat d’intégration républicaine” - I was rather hoping someone who lives in France could shed some more light on that.

As to 10 years vs permanent my quip above was not meant to signify disagreement, hence the smiley.

However I wonder whether there is an error and that phrase should not be included on the tab for “CdS longue séjour EU” - if I look up “contrat d’intégration républicaine” I find this page which says: “Le contrat d’intégration républicaine (CIR) est conclu entre l’État français et tout étranger non européen admis au séjour en France souhaitant s’y installer durablement,”

So that undertaking/contract would not seem to concern EU citizens?