A couple of retired friends spend three months in France in their own second home every year. They would like to apply for a carte de séjour. Can UK second home owners such as them obtain one? Despite their applying online (since the opening date) to the Périgueux prefecture for an appointment to apply for a carte, no such appointment has been given them so far. F.M
Firstly, it is known that there have been some issues with the availability of appointments at Périgueux to apply for a carte de séjour (see: Dordogne cartes system under pressure) and we are seeking an update from them as to the situation.
However, in answer to your question, no, cartes de séjour are not available to people who only have a second / holiday home in France, as they are by their nature an attestation of the fact you are a resident in France. Carte de séjour means literally ‘residency card’ and the French law which provides for them, the Code de l’Entrée et du Séjour des Etrangers en France (article R121-10 to R121-15) says they are for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens who have established their habitual residency in France less than five years ago (or more than five for a séjour permanent card).
To apply for one you need to give a home address in France and provide proof that you have been living there continuously for at least the last three months for an ordinary carte de séjour or for more than five years without absences of more than six months a year for a permanent residency one.
This involves showing recent utility bills, for example. You will also be asked to provide a date when you entered France (intending to make it your home).
It is expected that the cards will be useful as evidence after Brexit of having been established in France as your home beforehand, in order to confirm rights under the withdrawal deal (if there is one) or otherwise in order to show you are a stable, legal resident to claim the right to continue to live in France as your home if there is no deal.
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