Need to get bank account

Hi, I am an American married to an EU citizen. I have a temporary carte sejour. My family and I live in the 15e of Paris. I have a apartment, phone, and electric bills in my name. I have all the paper work needed for Carte Vitale except a RIB. I cannot get a bank account in my name until a get a permanent residency permit. But I cannot get a permanent residency permit until I have a Carte Vitale. I do not know how to get out of this loop. Thank you for any help.



Surely all you need in order to get your carte de sejour is private health insurance? You can take a policy out with any health insurer (as long as you don't have a serious medical condition).

It's a condition of living in France that you have health insurance in place, but that doesn't mean French state health cover, in fact it can't be state cover if you are only here on a temporary basis because state cover is for permanent residents only.

May not be the answer but it seems logical to me.

Hi Frank,

In October 2013, my family and I lived in France for 15 months on a visitors visa, and I was able to open an account with no problem, at Credit Agricole (CA). All I required was proof of address, a bill in my name (our mobile phone bill), and my passport (I'm Canadian). I was actually surprised how (relatively), easy it was to open an account, in a country that is so infamous for all the hoop-jumping people often go through there. In fact, my banker even opened up youth accounts for both my children, after a time, with just my information on their files.

I even ended up opening a second account at Societe Generale (my accents don't work in the forum), which I eventually closed for lack of use.

Try with what you've got at one of those. Good luck

I would suggest you open an account with CA, even if you don't stick with them. Then once you have an account with them, you can present your documentation of the account you do have and then perhaps you'll be able to

HSBC worked for me. Opened account in NYC and they help with setting up accounts in other countries.

Crédit Agricole opened a joint account for us (I’m US, husband EU) with no fuss at all. They did not require a carte de séjour from me. This was 2009. We did not have cartes vitales until 2014, when my husband turned 65 and was eligible for a CV through a retiree coverage agreement with the UK. We had private insurance until then.

My 10-year carte de séjour arrived in about 8 weeks after the temporary document. Is that what you mean by a permanent carte de séjour? I believe those require several years’ residency.

Are you getting your carte vitale through employment or through your spouse’s rights? I was a dependant on my husband’s carte.

Thank You all. I will keep trying to get this sorted out. I was a bit sadden by not having my carte de sejour not renewed. I will wait and see what the correspondence from the French government has to say.


Hi, I am American married to American, but he has an Irish passport from ancestry. We opened up our French bank acct. in HSBC back in California before we came to france in 2007. We had to open it up at American branch and they helped us facilitiate opening up the french acct., but we had to go there as soon as we arrived to complete paperwork. It sounds like it is a much stickier wicket being married to a French citizen than an EU passport holder. But we also opened up an acct. at Credit Agricole since they hold our mortgage and that wasn't a problem, but maybe because we already had another french bank acct. But it took years to get the carte vitale and permanent titre de sejour that I now have, but I know you'll find a way. Bonne Chance

You might want to check to see whether the problem is because you are a US Citizen. The US recently imposed reporting conditions on banks Worldwide to provide them with financial details on US Citizens resident abroad who hold accounts with them. There are strict penalties for not ticking all the boxes. The US is able to penalise non-compliant foreign banks through their US based subsidiaries.

Many banks are now refusing to accept US citizens, or closing the accounts of existing account holders because the cost/paperwork is too much.

This plus the need for US citizens abroad - even if they have been living/working abroad for decades - having to file a tax return with the IRS has led to an increasing number of US citizens renouncing their US citizenship.

Your problem may be the ramifications of FATCA which makes non US banks very cautious of opening accounts for US citizens because of the additional reporting and compliance requirements. There must be a French bank that has branches in the US and has a system for dealing with this.

We had no problems opening an account with Credit Agricole before we bought our house. We are not French residents and did it using our UK address.

I’m American with a bank account at Crédit Agricole since 2006. I live in the US with a house in the Gers.

Have you tried different banks, because it seems like there are many who say that they got an account, no problem. Or maybe a branch in another town or city?

Did you send the necessary documents to the Prefecture 3 months before you permit expired?

If you didn't , then it won't be renewed and, providing they now have what they need, you will have to wait around 3 months to get the new carte de sejour which will be valid for a year, in the meantime, if you will receive a document to tide you over, probably the "something" in the mail you referred to in your previous post.

If you had a temporary carte de sejour, you will NOT get a permanent residency until you have renewed permission on a yearly basis for several years. I have checked again and there is NO mention of carte vitale or bank account details to get a residence permit, long or short, if you want to work, however, you will need a bank account, for which there is no need to be a permanent resident.

I guess it does not matter. Today my temporary carte de sejour expired and when I went to renew it I was not able to. They will be sending me something in the mail. It was not renewed because I do not have a carte vitale.

If I do not get a permanent residency then I may have to leave France.


I will try other banks this week. Thanks for your suggestion. I went to a few. I have the ability to write checks against my wife’s account. They do not want to convert it to joint account. They have no problem with me depositing money…that seem fine. I do not understand why they would allow me to get an apartment but make it hard to get a bank account.

To all I great appreciate the replies.

Thank you all,

Have you asked different banks? They've tightened the laws recently, but my foreign students usually manage to open a bank account after a few tries, most banks just don't want the hassle and the potential problems, so they just say no.

What about online banking? Would that work?

In the meantime, I assume you are using your spouse's carte vitale? Your permanent residency has nothing to do with a carte vitale, by the way, my husband is a permanent resident, non EU and uses my card.

As far as I know, if you have an EDF bill on your name, you can open a bank account, worked for me, dutch non-resident at the time (BNP). Maybe you can arrange with your partner to put the bill EDF in both your names?

Good luck, Michael.

Think it depends on the bank. My wife is French all we did was take our marriage certificate to the bank and they converted her account into a joint account. I don't know where you guys got married as we got married in France. We did this few weeks after we got married,i did not even have a residents permit. We bank with Credit Agricole. Hope that helps?

I was going to say the same thing about a joint account. I'm in the US and my husband and I don't have a joint account, but we are signature holders on each others' accounts. Maybe they have something like this in France, I don't know.

Frank, can I ask you a question or two that doesn't have to do with this please? My e-mail is: I am also married to an EU citizen, (French), and we plan to move there in 2020. Thank you in advance and good luck on the Carte Vitale.

Just having you reply was a great help. It is wonderful to have another person show concern. Many , many thanks.