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Last Updated: December 5, 2023

As the spouse of a French citizen, I recently renewed my carte de séjour “vie privée et familiale” (CdS VPF). This residence permit allows me to continue living and working in France and has a duration of two years.

At the time of this renewal, I was holding a one-year temporary CdS VPF because I switched to the VPF status while in France on a long-stay visitor visa shortly after marriage to a Frenchman. Whether you hold a temporary one-year card or you simply have a visa sticker in your passport, this post applies to you.

**Please note that the following post is my personal experience in Paris and at the Paris préfecture at Cité. I cannot guarantee that others will have the same exact experience. This post does not constitute legal advice.

⚠️ Update (December 5, 2023): As of April 2023, the Paris préfecture has moved to the online télé-procedure for renewals of the visa or carte de séjour “vie privée et familiale” for certain family members of French citizens, like spouses. Using this procedure, which has become the standard throughout France, your request should be submitted between two and four months before the expiration of your titre de séjour. To be clear, the only way you can apply for a renewal of your VPF residence permit as the spouse of a French citizen is through the online application. ⚠️ ⚠️ NOTE: The rest of this post has not been and will not be updated to reflect this new procedure although many of the documents and requirements mentioned are still current practice. There is a new blog post dedicated to the Online Renewal of the “Vie privée et familiale” Visa or Carte de Séjour where you can find more information about the new platform, a list of required documents, and my experience renewing my VPF card and receiving the 10-year carte de résident.

Renewal Versus First Request

Whether you have a visa in your passport or a temporary one-year carte de séjour “vie privée et familiale” (CdS VPF), when your titre de séjour is close to expiration, you will need to apply for a renewal. Even for a spouse visa sticker in the passport, this process is considered a renewal and not a first request. It would be considered a first request only if you do not currently hold the “vie privée et familiale” status.

➡️ Note: If you do not yet have the status of “vie privée et familiale” and would like to learn more about this status and/or change to this status, check out my post about how I got the carte de séjour “vie privée et familiale” through marriage after arriving on a long-stay visitor visa.

When to Renew

You are expected to apply for a renewal in the two months prior to your visa or card expiring. This is your responsibility. I have heard that some préfectures send a reminder notification but in Paris, no one reminds you to renew your residence permit. If you are late to renew, you may be asked to pay a fee.

It’s important to check the website of your préfecture to inform yourself of the current procedure. It seems that most préfectures are moving towards an online submission process for renewals, but many have not made the transition yet. Depending on your préfecture, you will either be expected to mail in your dossier, submit your file online, or turn in all your paperwork in person. If you need to submit paperwork in person, be sure to check for appointments early on as openings can be hard to come by.

In Paris, renewals are done in person, and you can schedule an appointment online. You may be given a convocation for the central préfecture at Cité or you may be sent to the Centre de réception d’étrangers in the 9th arrondissement. My renewal appointment in August 2021 was at Cité, but I’ve heard from a number of people who were sent to a smaller office in the 9th.

Fees and Cost of the Card

The total cost for this procedure and card is 225 euros (about 266 USD). If you are late to renew, you may be subject to a fee of 180 euros (about 211 USD).

You will settle your balance upon receiving your card and not when you submit your paperwork. All fees will be paid by timbres fiscaux.

Required Paperwork

As the spouse of a French citizen applying for this renewal through marriage, I supplied the most recent relevant document in each case. For example, I brought our most recent rent payment and not evidence of our rent payments for every month over the course of the past year.

It is important to note that the first time you apply for this card, you may be subject to more scrutiny. During my appointment to change to this status as a first request, they were highly critical of the documents that we brought and wanted a great deal of evidence of our life together. This time, our agent just glanced at the documents, piled them up, and checked things off their list. Be prepared for anything!

stack of documents required and prepared for renewing a French carte de séjour (residence permit)

Here is the list of required documents (in French) as well as the application for the carte de séjour “vie privée et familiale”:

  • Appointment convocation printed out
    • The Paris préfecture is very strict about only allowing in people with an appointment.
  • Fiche ETRTitre de séjour application
    • This application is used regardless of the residence permit you are applying for. They hand out the latest version in the préfecture de Paris. Your préfecture will likely have their own version of this form.

Identification & Proof of Address

  • Carte de séjour (if you already have one) & photocopy
  • Passport and photocopies of ID page, visa(s), and any pages that have stamps (particularly into or out of France)
  • Birth certificate with apostille and translation (by a certified translator) dated within six months
    • A birth certificate is only needed if you do not have a carte de séjour yet
    • Since American birth certificates are never updated, there is no need to get a new birth certificate, and I’ve been able to turn in an “old” one on more than one occasion
  • 2 photos
    • The list of documents indicates 3 photos, but this is the second time that they’ve only taken 2 photos. One is to make the récépissé (paper receipt) for you and the other is for the card itself
  • Justificatif de domicile—Proof of address
    • Pretty much anything in the Vie commune section below will work for this

My French Husband’s Paperwork

  • Passport & photocopy of ID page
  • Husband (optional 😂)
    • Jonathan came with me when I did the first request for the carte de séjour as well as this renewal. However, the agent in Paris told us that I could have just brought his passport because the spouse’s presence is not required for the renewal. Personally, I’d rather he just come with me so that we can suffer together. That’s what marriage is, isn’t it?
    • **Please note that this anecdote is specific to Paris. If it’s your first time going to the préfecture, definitely bring your partner. And in any case, check to see if your préfecture requires your partner’s presence. If in doubt, it’s probably better that you go there together!

Vie commune

If you qualify for this card as the spouse of a French citizen, the préfecture wants to see that you have a legitimate vie commune (life together). From what I understand, proof of vie commune has to come in the form of a document with both partners’ names on it, or else both partners need to supply the same document showing they both receive a service at the same address. For example, Jonathan and I have top-up health insurance (mutuelle). The proof of this has both of our names on it. Individually, we are both enrolled in the national health insurance program, and our individual proof of this is at the same address. 

You should bring as many documents as possible. Here is what we brought:

  • Attestation de vie commune—Simple document saying that you have established a life together for X amount of time
  • Acte de mariage—Recent marriage certificate dated within three months
  • Avis d’échéance—Rent & rental fees payment notice
  • Quittance de loyer—Rent payment receipt
  • Assurance habitation—Renter’s insurance
  • EDF (titulaire de contrat, facture)—Electricity (contract, bill)
  • Mutuelle, justificatif d’assurance—Proof of joint top-up health insurance
  • Attestation de droits à l’assurance maladie—Proof of enrollment in national health insurance (Ameli)
    • One for each of us
  • Taxe d’habitation—Residence tax
  • Avis d’impôt—Income tax statement (needs to be a joint return)

Other examples of paperwork to bring:

  • Contrat de bail—Rental contract
  • Relevé de comptebancaire—Bank statement
    • Either a joint bank account or separate accounts at the same address
  • Facture Internet—Internet bill
  • Facture Mobile—Cell Phone bill
  • **If your home country allows polygamy, you need a sworn statement saying that you are not practicing polygamy.

OFII Obligations

In order to qualify for the 2-year card, you need to have completed your requirements with OFII (l’Office de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration), namely, go to a medical exam, sign the integration contract, prove A1 level of French, and attend four civics classes. I initially arrived in France on a long-stay visitor visa so I completed the medical exam after validating my visa and fulfilled the other requirements with OFII after I switched to the spouse card (CdS VPF).

In Paris, I was given certificates at each step of the process. We were instructed to hold onto these papers in order to present them to the Paris préfecture upon renewal. Not all OFII offices do it this way. It is possible that your local Office of Immigration sends your information directly to the préfecture. Just bring whatever you have. Likewise, if you were excused from any or all of these requirements, bring evidence of that.

If you were unable to complete these requirements in your first year, you will likely still be able to renew your residence permit, but you may only be granted the one-year temporary card.

I gave the agent photocopies and kept the originals for my records. I also have all of these certificates scanned to my computer.

  • Certificat de contrôle médical—Medical Exam certificate
    • Unless you already handed it in while on another status
  • Contrat d’intégration républicain (CIR)—Integration contract
  • A1 language certificate and/or completion of language classes
    • I was excused from the language classes and was given an Attestation de dispense de formation linguistique 
  • Formation civique—Series of four civics classes
    • I was given an Attestation nominative de presence at the end of each civics class

Still have questions?

The Appointment at the Préfecture

➡️ Note: While your French partner’s presence is generally required for a first request, the agent at the Paris préfecture told us that my husband didn’t need to be there for the renewal. There probably won’t be any problem with your spouse accompanying you, but apparently, I could have just brought his passport. Check with your préfecture to see what the expectation is so that you can have a successful appointment.

At the Paris préfecture at Cité, the security officers outside typically won’t let you in any earlier than 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. First, you’ll cue for security. It’s fast and easy and quite similar to going through security for a museum. 

Then, you have to find the correct room. The signage in the main préfecture has been improved and updated with colors! As an American, renewing a family visa to stay in France, we reported to Salle 4 (bleu), which was located near stairwell F, on the ground floor. Just look for the blue signs!

Upon entering Room 4, I signed in with the receptionist who asked for my convocation, checked me off on her list, and gave me a numbered ticket. In the waiting area, there is a small electronic screen that displays the current number being called and the window to report to.

numbered ticket, Paris préfecture

Our meeting with the préfecture employee was quick and easy. He collected all of the paperwork, checked it off his list, and neatly piled it up. I don’t think we spent anymore than 20 minutes total with the agent.

This renewal felt like a simple formality. Unlike our first request, we didn’t have to wait for someone to make a decision about our paperwork. It was clear that he was satisfied, and he printed out my récépissé right away. This paper receipt is valid for six months in conjunction with my expiring titre de séjour

récépissé (paper receipt) for a French carte de séjour (residence permit)

So nice to get in this appointment before my two-year France-versary!

Processing Times

After your paperwork has been accepted, the card itself can take several weeks to be printed. This is all dependent on your préfecture and where they are at with processing paperwork. It’s hard to say for sure when you can expect to have your card, but as long as you have your récépissé, there is generally no need to worry about it.

Be sure to ask about processing times when you are at your appointment so you can get an idea of the expected timeframe which will allow you to follow up if necessary. The Paris préfecture told me that my card would be ready in about a month and a half, and I’ll update this post when I actually get to pick it up! When I applied as a first request last year, I was able to pick up my card two months after the in-person appointment. 

UPDATE: After waiting 2 months with no word, I called the Paris préfecture to get an update on my file. Apparently, the card was ready. I was able to secure an appointment to pick up my card for a few weeks after my call. See more details below on the steps you should follow.

Picking Up the Carte de séjour

In Paris, when your card is ready, you should be notified via text message. Then you can schedule an appointment time to pick up your card. On the appointment website, you can select any guichet (desk/window). It seriously does not matter. They are all in the same room. It’s just a poorly designed website experience. 

What to Bring

  • Appointment convocation
  • Passport
  • Current titre de séjour (carte de séjour or visa)
  • Récépissé
  • Timbre électronique/Timbre fiscal (same thing—two different names)
    • 225 euros (about 266 USD)

The tax is paid online, but you need to provide proof of purchase. You have a few options for receiving the scannable code. I recommend having the PDF emailed to you and then downloading it to your phone. In my experience, the Paris préfecture did not have any trouble scanning the QR code directly from my phone. 

On the day you pick up your card, you will enter the préfecture the same way you did to apply for the card. There is a room designated for handing out residence permits (Salle des remises—Salle 1). It’s on the ground floor. Look for the purple signs!

Once inside, the process is again the same as the first appointment. You receive a ticket from the receptionist and wait for your number to be shown on the electronic calling system. When it’s your turn, you’ll hand over all your documents, show the timbre fiscal, and sign a paper in order to receive your official plastic card. You should be in and out in under an hour.

➡️If you’re not sure if your carte de séjour is ready or if you’re struggling to schedule an appointment time to pick up your residence permit, check out this guide: How to Pick Up Your Carte de Séjour at the Paris Préfecture. There are some tips in this article that can be applied to other préfectures as well.

Did this guide help you? Say thanks with a cup of coffee!

CdS Duration & Next Steps

The carte de séjour pluriannuelle for this status has a duration of two to four years. The length of validity is at the discretion of the prefecture. You can opt to renew this card every few years, but that sounds like a major pain. Fortunately, there are other options.

10-year Residence Card

After three years of marriage to a French citizen, you are eligible for the 10-year carte de résident. You largely need to provide the same amount of paperwork and pay the same tax amount. One of the big differences is that you need to show that you have attained at least a level A2 level of French. As long as you provide this language certificate, you will be automatically granted the 10-year card. 

According to the Paris préfecture officer that I sat down with, you can apply for this card as soon as you hit the three-year mark. There is no need to wait for your card to expire. Typically, many préfectures will not process a change or renewal of this nature until your current residence permit is due to expire, so I was quite surprised that the agent mentioned this, and I am unsure if they would actually honor this request in practice.


After 4 years of marriage to a French citizen, you are potentially eligible to apply for nationality, a process that can take a year or more total but only costs 55 euros. The language requirement for nationality is level B1 in both speaking and writing. There is other paperwork needed that can be found here. I plan on applying as soon as I am eligible!

How to Renew Your Visa or Carte de séjour “vie privée et familiale”
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41 thoughts on “How to Renew Your Visa or Carte de séjour “vie privée et familiale”

  • August 23, 2021 at 8:26 am

    Ellen, this was so helpful, im currently in the process of renewing the same visa but wondered if you had to provide the following and if you did what did you bring with you? – Justificatifs de son insertion dans la société française. Thank you!

    • August 30, 2021 at 10:02 am

      Hi Lourdes,

      I’m glad you’ve found this post helpful. I listed absolutely everything that I brought with me and was not required to show anything else.

      “Justificatifs de son insertion dans la société française” is not commonly requested of spouses of French citizens, although a préfecture can ask for it. Sometimes I’ve seen this requirement listed for this card (“vie privée et familiale”) but typically when the applicant is applying for a reason other than spouse of a French citizen.

      As a general answer to your question, here are some suggestions of things you can bring: friends can write short letters attesting to your friendship (include a copy of ID), memberships to clubs/gyms/etc, library card, volunteer activities, participation in child’s education, etc. They want to see that you are actively integrating yourself and cultivating a social life in France. It’s beneficial to show how long you’ve been a participant/member of various activities so any documents that can attest to that are good.

      Without knowing which préfecture you’re applying at or why you’re applying for this card, I cannot provide more specific information. Please feel free to send me an email if you want more personalized help. (Contact me here: )

      Good luck with your application 🙂


  • October 1, 2021 at 4:21 am

    I have my SMS but it’s not letting me make an appointment for pickup. Is there a certain time of day to try the process? Does it give you options for dates? It literally only shows the Guichets and when you click on it they just say nothing is available. Thanks

    • October 2, 2021 at 4:58 am

      Hi Ashley,
      I assume you’re referencing the Paris préfecture? Unfortunately, this is really common (and incredibly frustrating). The best thing you can do is check all the guichets daily and at different times. I actually just went on right now and found some spots. Normally, when there are spots available, you’ll see the whole schedule with dates and times so that you can choose. It can take some patience, but I am certain that you will be able to secure an appointment.
      Best of luck!

      • November 6, 2021 at 3:22 pm

        OMG, same problem ! It’s so crazy, tried already this website:
        But not sure it will give me the right appointment , even though they had an available appointments (strange ?).

        • November 8, 2021 at 2:40 pm

          Hi Caroline,

          So sorry to hear that you’ve been having trouble getting an appointment to pick up your residence permit. That’s so frustrating!

          The website you linked is for applying for a CdS and not for booking an appointment to pick up your card up so I edited it out of your comment to avoid confusion. Please use the site that I’ve linked under “Picking Up the Carte de Séjour.” I also recently published a new post with some tips, including an app you can download, if you are struggling with finding an appointment at the Paris préfecture:

          Good luck! I’m sure you’ll find an appointment soon.


  • November 15, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    Hi Ellen:
    I know that the information you have provided here is for Paris and not the areas outside, but I wondered if you had any information or contacts that would know about Sous prefectures. I have been trying to get an appointment at Palaiseau for almost a month, to no avail (and my long term vis expires December 23, 2021. I am at my wits end as to what to do. (I am married to a French citizen, have a CDI contract working with a private company, but my visa is a long term vie de famille, not professional.) Any ideas on what I should try to do?

    • November 15, 2021 at 7:14 pm

      Hi Jennifer,

      It’s so frustrating to not be able to book an appointment when you need one! I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been experiencing difficulty.

      Unfortunately, there’s not generally a magic solution for getting an appointment no matter where you are located. I’ve succeeded by checking the booking portal every day at different times and/or by calling until I actually manage to speak to someone who can help me.

      You can also try out the MFFG app. It can notify you when slots are available, and then it’s up to you to act fast and get on the website to book your appointment. Personally, I’ve never used it, but I’ve heard it’s helped many people throughout France.

      You can also ask in the Facebook group “Applying for a French CdS (Carte de Séjour) and/or Visa.” Someone might have some tips about when new spots are released at your particular sous-préfecture.

      Best of luck to you,

  • November 16, 2021 at 10:57 am

    Hey Ellen, I thought I should mention since in your post you have said you don’t have to bring your hubby along, my friend who went to get her first renewal (like me, married to a french man) in the prefecture of seine maritime in Rouen, and she had her request rejected because she didn’t bring her husband. I’m glad she warned me so that I know to bring him 100% but it sucks for her bcause she took a long train ride for this and there are no future availbilities (so her visa will expire before she can get it renewed). Thought I should warn you, thanks!

    • November 18, 2021 at 12:34 pm

      Hi Bonnie,

      Thank you for taking the time to share your friend’s experience. I’m sorry that happened to her.

      It’s crazy how each préfecture can have different requirements! This is why, at the beginning of the post, I state that this post is my personal experience in Paris and at the Paris préfecture. Likewise, I specifically mention that it was a Paris agent who said that the spouse was not required. I also made an effort to continue mentioning the Paris préfecture and to remind readers that things might be different depending on your préfecture/OFII/area throughout the post.

      However, there is always room for improvement. When I next have time to revise this post, I will take your comment into consideration in order to make these details more prevalent and clear for those who might otherwise assume that all préfectures are the same. I appreciate your feedback in helping me improve the clarity of this post.

      Best of luck to you with your renewal! I hope everything goes smoothly for you 🙂


  • January 2, 2022 at 12:33 pm

    New Question, I renewed my Carte de Sejour online on November 22nd and received a document with my digital photo but it is not a Recipissee. Curretnly I have no identification for France. Does anyone know if La Prefecture will be issuing a Recipissee now that everything has to be done online? It is very odd because one cannot work without this. Thanks for anyone’s Knowledge.

    • January 4, 2022 at 7:37 am

      Hi Monique,

      Thank you for your question. On my blog, I primarily share my personal experiences with French administration in Paris. It seems like you might not be located in Paris given that the CdS VPF (the subject of this blog post) is still only renewable through an in-person meeting at the Paris préfecture.

      I’m afraid that your comment here might not get you the answers you are looking for, but I would love to recommend you to a great resource. If you’re on Facebook, try out the group, “Applying for a French CdS (Carte de séjour) and/or visa.” Be sure to mention your nationality, the type of card you are renewing, and the préfecture where you renewed. I hope someone will be able to help you out 🙂


  • January 11, 2022 at 12:28 pm

    This post was super helpful! Thank you!. I too need to renew my cds- VPF (first renewal). When I went to make the rdv it gave me a convocation in the 9eme- not the usual one near Cite. Just wondering if you had heard of this happening to others?

    • January 12, 2022 at 6:19 am

      Hi Molly!

      I’m glad to hear my post was helpful to you!

      Yes, I have heard of a few instances of this happening before, so I would not worry about it. I suspect that this has something to do with where in Paris you live. If you’re comfortable with it, would you mind sending me an email and letting me know which arrondissement you live in? In this way, I can see if there’s a pattern to who is sent to the 9th and update my post accordingly to help out others.

      Here’s my contact page:


  • February 2, 2022 at 7:01 am

    Hi, Ellen.

    I’m getting ready to renew my residence permit, and I have some questions about your experience.

    1) How much time did you have between making the appointment and the actual appointment?

    2) Was an apostille absolutely required with a birth certificate? I didn’t see it mentioned in the PDF of required documents. Out of all the documents I have photocopied, I’m so ashamed to say I never photocopied one of my apostilles. It’s such a bother to get a new one because I was born in California but grew up in Washington State. It’s not as easy as asking family to drop off a request while they’re out on errands; it takes an obnoxious number of steps, travel time, and money to get one in my hands.

    3) You mentioned in the document requirements that if you have a carte de séjour, you don’t need to provide a birth certificate. Does the VLS-TS sticker in my passport not count?

    Thank you for these blog posts. They’ve been a big help for me through this arduous process.

    • February 2, 2022 at 11:21 am

      Hi Sarah,

      I’m glad to hear that my work on the blog has been helpful to you!

      1. When scheduling online through the Paris portal, my appointments have generally been a month or two later.

      2. This depends on your préfecture and also the agent in front of you the day of your appointment. Keep in mind that just because something isn’t explicitly written on the list, it doesn’t mean that they can’t or won’t ask for it. For example, the PDF list does not say that your marriage certificate needs to be dated within 3 months. You’ll note, however, that I’ve included this detail in my blog post. I know a few people who were denied their renewal until they supplied a recent marriage certificate.

      3. A VLS-TS is not a carte de séjour. For clarity on these terms:

      Best of luck with your renewal 🙂


    • February 8, 2022 at 10:25 am

      Hi Sarah,

      Regarding the birth certificate:
      I had applied for a VPF last year and had not take my birth certificate. Was turned away and had to take another appointment.
      You’ll need to apostille and translate your birth certificate.
      My translation was not done by a court-attested translator and it was accepted.

      As Ellen mentioned, carry all possible documents with you. The official could ask for anything on a whim (University certificates, completion of any French courses, etc.)

      • February 8, 2022 at 10:52 am

        Thanks for sharing your experience, Rachel!

        • February 9, 2022 at 5:45 am

          Thanks, Ellen, that’s really helpful.

          Now I have another question. I got a birth certificate translated when my husband and I got married, and I still have the translation. Do you think I can attach it to any birth certificate, even if the dates issued are different (for example, the translation was for a birth certificate issued October 2020. I don’t have that birth certificate anymore, but instead an extra birth certificate issued May 2021)?

          • February 14, 2022 at 7:06 am

            Hi Sarah,

            Well, the translation is going to have the issuing date of the birth certificate it was originally paired with. Personally, if I noticed that difference, I would find it kind of odd, but I can’t predict how the agent processing your paperwork will react to it or if it will pose any problems!


      • February 13, 2022 at 5:28 pm

        Hi Ellen,

        Thanks for this post, it is really helpful.

        I am going to renew my resident permit tomorrow.

        I have a quick question, I did not complete all my 4 courses at OFII. I just completed 3 out of 4 as I was busy earlier and couldn’t attend the course. I have requested for a new schedule. But I have not got a schedule yet.

        Do you think that will pose a problem during renewal?


        • February 14, 2022 at 7:11 am

          Hi Manoj,

          I’m happy to hear that this post has been helpful to you!

          Generally speaking, if you haven’t completed your OFII requirements, you will not be eligible for the 2-year card. Most often what happens in these cases is that they will still process your renewal request but you will be granted a one-year temporary card.

          Best of luck at your renewal! I hope your appointment goes smoothly.


          • February 14, 2022 at 8:35 am

            Thank you Ellen for quick response.

        • January 10, 2023 at 3:33 pm

          Hi there, just wondering did you end up with the one-year card or the 2 years since no one has contacted me for OFII classes, OFII says that they don’t have my file and Paris needs to transfer it, Paris says that it’s their internal thing and I should just wait lol.

          Thank you.

          • January 11, 2023 at 1:16 pm

            I got 2 years card. Yes, OFII is supposed to contact you. In my case, OFII contacted via post.

  • March 17, 2022 at 9:20 am

    Hi Ellen! Your website is fantastic! So much useful information- all in one place! I came to France in May 2021 on a VLS-TS (privee et familiale). My visa/resident permit is expiring on April 20th. I have a meeting at the prefecture in Epinal on Mar 31. I saw you listed the required documents for the initial appointment. Where did you find the titre de sejour application? I’ve search high and low on Epinal’s prefecture site to no avail. Can I use the one from that you shared even though it is specific to Paris? Thank you!

    • March 18, 2022 at 9:33 am

      Hi Caroline! Thank you so much for your kind words about the work on my blog 🙂

      I believe I was able to download the titre de séjour application along with the convocation for my appointment directly from the Paris préfecture website upon scheduling my appointment. I’m certain you already checked, but I would look at the appointment interface and your emails to see if there is anything for you to download. Each préfecture tends to have their own insignia on any forms and convocations, so it would surprise me if another préfecture used the form from Paris. It’s also possible that your préfecture doesn’t require this form at all!

      If you think of it—please do give an update about this. You might help someone else in the same situation! Best of luck at your appointment!

  • March 28, 2023 at 4:52 am

    Hello, Thanks again for all your great advice.

    I’m currently planning a trip back to the US to visit family. I have my appointment on May 5th for my first renewal of my spouse visa and am planning on leaving France from June 8th to June 20th. My understanding is that I should not have a problem traveling on the recipisee. I live in Southeast France and the best flights I can find are in and out of Geneva. Do you think this could be a problem? If worst came to worst would I be able to enter on a Schengen tourist visa?

    Thank you!

    • March 29, 2023 at 2:55 pm

      Hi Hannah,
      Glad to hear that my article has been a good reference for you.
      Usually, when renewing your spouse visa, the récépissé, accompanied by the original titre de séjour (in your case, the visa) is valid for travel and re-entering France. Hope that alleviates any worry. And yes, Americans generally have the additional back-up plan and privilege of being able to enter as a tourist. Safe travels!

  • April 6, 2023 at 6:34 am

    Hi, this is a great article and very helpful. I am going through the same process right now. I had a VLS-TS (Visa Long Séjour Valant Titre de Séjour) as the spouse of a French national and I am currently renewing it so I can get a titre de séjour pluriannuelle for 2 or 4 years. I applied through the platform and 2 months after I applied, I was sent an email to go to the Prefecture for my biometrics. I was handed a 6 months récipissé. I did not go with my spouse on that day as it was not specified in the mail from the Prefecture. This week I got a message from the Prefecture saying that my Titre de Séjour is available and I got an appointment next week to pick it up. My question for you is whether you went with your spouse on the day you retrieved your Titre de Séjour? My spouse will be working that day however I will be going with our baby as I am the one looking after him while she is working.

    • April 6, 2023 at 1:09 pm

      Hi Douno,
      I’m happy to hear that this article has been helpful to you 🙂 And congrats on your successful renewal!
      The online renewal process is still very new. (My préfecture doesn’t even use it yet.) I would say that if they didn’t explicitly request the presence of your spouse, you can probably go pick up your card by yourself. The worst case scenario would likely be that they ask you to come a different day with your spouse if this is a requirement.
      Good luck and please let us know how it turned out! Your experience could help someone else 🙂

  • April 6, 2023 at 10:03 am

    Thanks Ellen! My appointment at the prefecture is before I exit the country for travel, do they automatically issue the récepisse at the renewal appointment typically?

    • April 6, 2023 at 1:11 pm

      If all your documents are in order, then yes, that is typically what they do! Good luck with your appointment 🙂

  • May 30, 2023 at 4:33 pm

    Hi Ellen,
    Thanks for sharing your adventure and tips here! Just curious to know if you have any interesting updates regarding your titre renewal? I’m going through the same process myself at the Paris Prefecture and I cannot seem to submit my files online, it’s currently telling me- ‘La téléprocédure de demande de titre de séjour pour ce motif n’est pas accessible en ligne pour le moment. Nous vous invitons à vous connecter au site internet de la préfecture dont dépend votre résidence pour vous renseigner sur les démarches à effectuer.’ I’ve tried connecting at different times but no luck so far.. My titre expires on 17 August 2023. Are you seeing something else on your space?
    Looking forward to your response.

    • June 4, 2023 at 2:50 pm

      Hi Lucielle,
      How frustrating!
      After some initial difficulties, I was able to log in and start my application. I haven’t submitted my file yet, but everything seems to be working on my end. My residence permit expires about a week after yours.
      If you’re still experiencing problems, please feel free to reach out to me via my contact page and I’ll do my best to help you out with some troubleshooting suggestions.

    • November 15, 2023 at 2:53 pm

      Hi Lucielle,

      I have the same problem, did you manage to fix this error ?

  • June 30, 2023 at 12:14 pm

    I just wanted to say thank you for all the work you have put into your site. It’s been extremely helpful in navigating the residency process, and, more recently, the renewal process.

    My experience in Le Gers was very similar to your own, although it was perhaps more efficient and more friendly.

    Even though I married my French partner in 2001, and we lived in France for three consecutive years in between many years living overseas, I still had to go through the process you describe (although, I wasn’t asked to have a medical exam). It is a rather long process, but I don’t begrudge it at all. I just blame Brexit 🙂

    Thanks again for your extremely helpful site and clear advice.

    • July 2, 2023 at 8:08 am

      Hi Graham! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this kind comment. It really means a lot to me knowing that my work on the blog has been helpful to you, and I’m happy to hear that the process has been going well for you!

  • October 4, 2023 at 12:23 pm

    Thank you for your in-depth explanation of the process…it helped a lot through this massive confusing process.
    I’m wondering though if anyone else has had any issues during the process for setting up an appointment through the perfecture web site? I constantly (for about 2 months now) that it can’t recognize me and therefore I can’t get to the site to make an appointment.

    Am I missing something?

    Thanks again for your article.



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