French cards

Applicable to:  members of the personnel and their family members

General

Information COVID-19

Please note that owing to the situation surrounding COVID-19, the Cards Service and the Users Office will be closed to the public as of Monday 16th March until further notice. For urgent card collections please contact: HR-cards.support@cern.ch or Users.office@cern.ch depending your status. 

You will find answers to frequently asked questions and changes in procedures here.

Thank you for understanding & stay well!

The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) issues a French card (titre de séjour spécial or attestation de fonctions) to members of the CERN personnel and their family members, subject to the following conditions of award. 
Members of the personnel who hold a French card enjoy immunity from jurisdiction in France in exercising their functions. 
In addition, an AT, FI or CD-type titre de séjour spécial entitles the holder to live in France and to travel within the Schengen Area without a visa up to 90 days in a 180-day period. 

1. Conditions of award

To obtain a French card, the general conditions relating to the contract of employment or of association are as follows:  

  • working time > 50%

  • contract duration > 3 months.

N.B.: for all contracts strictly exceeding 3 months but strictly lower than 6 months in duration a card "without privileges" will be issued (additional information can be obtained on the Relations with the Host States Service website).

The category of document issued differs according to the nationality and country of residence of the individual, as shown in the following table:

1.1 Place of residence in France

1.1.1 Members of the personnel who are not French nationals and not residents in France
Persons entitled Conditions Card
Member of the personnel

The French authorities decide whether to award a card according to the level of functions at CERN.

For staff members in grades 1 to 4: Special AT-type residence permit
For staff members in grades 5 to 8: Special FI-type residence permit 
For staff members in grades 9 to 10: Special CD-type residence permit

N.B.: the initial request must be addressed to the MEAE as soon as the member of personnel takes up appointment at CERN.
Failing this, and notably after two months from that date, the MEAE cannot provide the documents for which the member of the personnel is eligible.

Special AT, FI or CD-type residence permit 
Spouse/Partner Conditions of award:
  • they must not be French nationals, and
  • they must live under the same roof as the member of the personnel.

N.B.: requests for French cards for spouses/partners must be made as soon as they have moved to France, within a maximum of two months.

Child/Children Conditions of award:
  • they must be dependent on the member of the personnel,
  • they must be under 20 years of age and,
  • they must attend school in the local region (France or Switzerland), not applicable to pre-school children.

N.B.: requests for French cards must be made at the latest within two months from the birth or the installation in France (passport mandatory). When children of members of the personnel reach 21 years of age, their French cards must be surrendered (see Section 8, "Surrendering cards"); in the case of non-European citizens (i.e. those from outside the EU, EEA and Switzerland), if they wish to continue living in France, they must contact their local préfecture two months before the card's expiry date.

1.1.2 Members of the personnel who are French nationals or residents in France

Since 15 August 2013, members of the personnel who are French citizens or who have been resident in France for over three months no longer receive AR or FR-type cards. 
However, they are brought to the MEAE’s attention by e-mail in order to guarantee their immunity from jurisdiction in France in exercising their functions.
CR-type cards (diplomatic status) continue to be issued by the French authorities.  

Cards are not issued to family members. If family members are required to hold a visa, they must apply for a residence permit at the préfecture of their place of residence.

1.2 Place of residence in Switzerland

Whatever their nationality or type of contract, all staff members domiciliated in Switzerland must apply for an EF-type attestation de fonctions. Any breach of this obligation is prejudicial to the Organization in relation to its host States.
No cards are issued for members of the family.

Procedure

1. Administrative responsibilities

The administrative service responsible for the handling depends on the category of the member of the personnel concerned:

  1. Staff Members (STAF), Fellows (FELL), Apprentices (APPR), Project Associates (PJAS), Scientific Associates (SASS), Corresponding Associates (CASS), Guest Professors (GPRO), Cooperation Associates LIT category (COAS LIT), Students (DOCT, TECH, ADMI) and Trainees (TRNE)

    • must contact the Cards Service for all affairs relating to French cards, with the exception of the collecting of French cards;

    • are informed by the Cards Service as soon as their French card is available. They must then collect it from the CERN Internal mail office.

  2. Users (USER), Cooperation Associates (COAS, except the COAS LIT) and Visiting Scientists (VISC) must always contact the Users Office that informs them also about the collecting of their French card.

In the following text these responsibilities are referred to, according to the category of the member of the personnel.

2. First application

Members of the personnel who meet the conditions of award listed above must apply for French cards for themselves and their family members as soon as they have an official address in France or Switzerland and have taken up residence there, within a maximum of two months after taking up appointment.

N.B.: Issue of a special AT, FI or CD-type residence permit to family members is a prerequisite for driving a vehicle with green plates. Requests for French cards for spouses/partners/children must be made as soon as they have moved to France, within a maximum of two months. Beyond this date, he/she will be considered as a resident and will no longer be entitled to a special AT, FI or CD-type residence permit.

The procedure for applying for a French card is as follows:

2.1 Registration of private address

If their address has changed since the start of their contract, members of the personnel must register their permanent address on the EDH form Changement d'adresse locale / Change of local address.

2.2 Complete and send the application form

The Cards Service has made available to members of personnel the application "Application for the new French card" accessible via the Service Portal. The member of personnel accesses the application forms, uploads them, completes them, and attaches them, unsigned, to the request.
Depending on the case, the following forms must be completed:

  • French Card Application Form - Member (s) of Personnel (Attention: both pages have to be completed),

  • French Card Application Form - Family Member (s).

It is important to name the form (s) indicating the name and family relationship for the family members (eg NNPF-WagnerOtto, NNPF-WagnerOtto-Spouse, NNPF-WagnerOtto-Partner, NNPF-WagnerOtto-Child1, NNPF-WagnerOtto-Child2 ...).
Once the documents are attached and in order to process the request as soon as possible, the member of personnel will answer a few questions and then submit his application. Depending on the status of the member of personnel, the request is then sent either to the Cards Service or to the Users Office.

2.3 Substantiating documentation required

In addition, for every card request, members of the personnel must report in person to the Cards Service/Users Office, as applicable for their category of personnel, as soon as possible, to provide the following documents:

  Member of the personnel Spouse/Partner Child/Children
3 identical (conformity of the photos requested by the Protocol), passport-format photos (ProntoPhot) yes yes yes
One "fiche individuelle" duly completed, in capitals, and signed in black ink yes yes yes
A photocopy of the passport or ID card (both sides) yes yes yes
A photocopy of the visa, where applicable yes yes yes
A photocopy of the marriage certificate or partnership certificate (document drafted in or translated into French)* no yes no
A photocopy of the birth certificate (document drafted in or translated into French)* no no yes
A school-attendance certificate for children aged of more than 18 years old no no yes
A certificate attesting that your children aged of more than 18 remain dependent ("attestation de prise en charge") no no yes

* Documents issued by a Member State of the European Union can be accompanied by a "multilingual document" (UE regulation 2016/1191).

Important message: given the COVID-19 situation, and the current closure of the Cards service, please gather all necessary justifications above-listed and send them as scanned attachments to the ticket (attachment field) except for photographs, these must have name, first name and CERN ID written on the back and either:

  • be brought personnally to the building 55 (Entrance B), main floor, in an envelope to attention of the Cards service;
  • be sent by post to the Bureau des cartes, Département HR, CERN, Esplanade des Particules, CH - 1211 Genève 23.

2.4 Processing of the application

The file is sent to the French authorities (Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in Paris) and the card will be issued within approximately 6-8 weeks. Members of the personnel are informed of the arrangements for collecting their French card (see procedure paragraphe 1).

3. Renewal

Applications for extensions must be made in the six weeks preceding the card's expiry date.

AR and FR-type cards will not be renewed and must be returned to the French authorities. Failing this, a declaration of loss/theft must be submitted to the MEAE (see procedure paragraphe 6).

Important message from the MEAE on June, 16 2020: owing to the situation surrounding COVID 19, please note that the validity of French special cards expired between March 16, 2020 and June 15, 2020, is extended by 6 months without formalities. Should you be in that situation, we request that you and your family (if applicable) keep your French card(s) and submit renewal applications 2 months prior to the extended expiry date.

To assert your rights or to facilitate border crossing, you are invited to download the general information on the extension of residence documents provided by the French Ministry of Interior and to present it with your expired French card.

The usual renewal procedure applies to French cards expired since June 16, 2020.
 
In addition, until further notice, the issue of EF attestations (for members of the personnel residing in Switzerland) and French special cards to EU citizens under the age of 13 by French authorities is suspended.

3.1 Substantiating documentation required

The member of the personnel must give the following documents to the Cards Service/Users Office, depending on the member of the personnel category:

  • the card (and those of the family members where applicable);
  • a photocopy of both sides of each card;
  • for non-european citizens, a photocopy of the Swiss card;
  • a photocopy of the passport or ID card (both sides) still valid;
  • a Declaration on honour - French card renewal (applies only to members of the personnel residing in France and in possession of a special AT, FI or CD-type residence permit);
  • a school-attendance certificate for children aged of more than 18 years old;
  • a certificate attesting that your children aged over 18 remain dependent ("attestation de prise en charge").

Reminder: children in possession of a special card must surrender it when they reach 21 years of age at the latest. Non-European citizens (those from outside the EU, EEA and Switzerland) wishing to obtain an ordinary residence permit in order to continue living in France must apply through their local préfecture at least two months before the expiry of their special card.

Important message: given the COVID-19 situation, and the current closure of the Cards service, please gather all necessary justifications listed below (included your current card) and either:

  • leave them in the building 55 (Entrance B), main floor, in an envelope to the attention of the Cards service;
  • send them by post to the Bureau des cartes, Département HR, CERN, Esplanade des Particules, CH - 1211 Genève 23.

3.2. Processing of the application

The member of the personnel is given a certified copy. 
The file is sent to the French authorities (Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in Paris) and the renewal will be granted within approximately 6-8 weeks. 
Members of the personnel are informed of the arrangements for collecting their French card (see procedure paragraphe 1).

4. Removals from France to Switzerland

4.1 Procedure to follow

The member of the personnel must register his new private address using the EDH form Changement d'adresse locale / Change of local address.

4.2 Substantiating documentation required

Members of the personnel who move from France to Switzerland need to change their French card, if they already hold one, or, if they did not have one when living in France, must make a first application. 

The member of the personnel must report in person to the Cards Service/Users Office, as applicable for their category of personnel, to provide the following documents:

  • the member of the personnel's card (and that of any family members who hold one), 

  • a photocopy of the member of the personnel's card (both sides) and of those of the family members,

  • a photocopy of the passport or ID card (still valid, both sides) of the member of the personnel, only.

For the formalities connected with the Swiss card, please see the corresponding procedure.

N.B.: The EDH document “Change of local address” will only be approved by the Cards Service/Users Office once all the above documentation has been received.

4.3 Processing of the application

The member of the personnel is given a certified copy. The file is sent to the French authorities (Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in Paris) and the card will be issued to the member of the personnel within approximately 6-8 weeks. The cards held by the family members are cancelled.

Members of the personnel are informed of the arrangements for collecting their French card (see procedure paragraphe 1).

For information on the export/import formalities relating to personal effects and vehicles, please consult the web pages of the Installation Service.

5. Removals from Switzerland to France

5.1 Procedure to follow

5.2 Substantiating documentation required

The member of the personnel must report in person to the Cards Service/Users Office, as applicable for their category of personnel, to provide the following documents:

  • the card;

  • a photocopy of the card;

  • a photocopy of the passport or ID card (both sides);

  • a photocopy of the visa where applicable.

N.B.: The EDH document “Change of local address” will only be approved by the Cards Service / Users Office once all the above documentation has been received.

The procedure described in the section 2. "First application" must be followed for:
a) family members who satisfy the conditions for the award of a French card, and for
b) members of the personnel with diplomatic status (staff members in grades 9 and 10).

N.B.: Associated members of the personnel employed by a Swiss organization who are not nationals of  EU/EEA/Switzerland cannot live in France, the French card doesn't authorizing the issuance of a permis frontalier.

5.3 Processing of the application

The member of the personnel is given a certified copy. The file is sent to the French authorities (Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in Paris) and the new card will be issued within approximately 6-8 weeks.

Members of the personnel are informed of the arrangements for collecting their French card (see procedure paragraphe 1).

For information on the export/import formalities relating to personal effects and vehicles, please consult the web pages of the Installation Service.

6. Theft, loss

In the event of loss or theft of his French card (titre de séjour spécial or attestation de fonctions), the member of personnel completes the "Declaration of loss or theft" request available in the Service Portal. After completing it, the member of personnel receives the number and the date of issue of the lost/stolen card and then follows the steps below.

6.1 Procedure to follow

6.1.1 Loss

In the event of loss, the member of personnel must:

6.1.2 Theft

In the event of theft, the member of personnel must:

  • report the theft to a local police authority (preferably in Thoiry in case of theft in France);

  • bring a copy of the theft declaration to either the Cards Service or the Users' Office so that the responsible service can ask for a renewal.

6.2 Supporting documents required by the responsible service

List of documents to be provided below:

  • a photocopy of the loss/theft declaration filled and signed (cf paragraph 6.1);

  • a photocopy of the passport or ID card (both sides).

6.3 Processing of the application

A file is sent to the French authorities (Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in Paris) and a duplicate card will be issued within approximately 6-8 weeks.

Members of the personnel are informed of the arrangements for collecting their duplicate card (see procedure paragraph 1) as soon as it has been received by the Cards Service / Users' Office.

7. Other reasons for changing cards 

7.1 Promotion (for Staff Members only)

Promotion to grades 5 and 9 give rise to a change in card (except for holders of EF-type cards, i.e. Staff Members who reside in Switzerland). Following their promotion, the Staff Members in question are notified by e-mail of the documents to be submitted to the Cards Service.

7.2 Change of type of contract, name or nationality

The Cards Service or the Users Office, depending on the member of the personnel category, are responsible for changing the card.

8. Surrendering cards 

8.1 Contract termination

Upon contract expiry, the cards of the member of the personnel and family members must be surrendered to the Cards Service/Users Office, depending on the member of the personnel category. 
If necessary, the member of the personnel can be given a certified copy.

Surrendering these cards is a pre-condition for the issue of other documents by the French authorities in the future (notably residence permits and green vehicle registration plates).

Persons wishing to keep their principal residence in France after the end of their contract must enquire at the local préfecture for the procedure to be followed. To facilitate applications for a "carte de séjour" (issued by the Préfecture), a certificate stating that your card has been surrendered can be supplied by the Cards Service.

8.2 Special unpaid leave and authorised absence (unpaid)

Members of the personnel who have been granted special leave or an authorised absence (unpaid) must surrender their card and those of family members before their leave period commences if it lasts more than 2 months.

Persons wishing to keep their principal residence in France during their special leave must enquire at the local préfecture for the procedure to be followed.

Revisions 

No revision Modifications Approved
1 Theft/loss of French cards may be declared in any police station (not only in Thoiry) 03.11.2010
2 Since 15.08.2013, members of the personnel who are French nationals or "permanent residents" in France no longer receive type AR and FR cards. 15.05.2013
3 Members of the personnel must apply for a French card within three months after taking up their appointment at the latest.  GTPA, 24.04.2014
4 - suppression of the definition of a permanent resident.
- the initial request must be addressed to the MAE as soon as the member of personnel takes up appointment at CERN.
- requests for French cards for spouses/partners must be made as soon as they have moved to France, within a maximum of three months.
Relations with Host States Service, 12.03.2015
5 Conditions of award of a titre de séjour spécial for spouse/partner. Note Verbale, 12.05.2015
6 3 photos are sufficient to apply for a Frend card. 01.01.2016
7 New career structure on 01.09.2016. Council, 15.12.2015
8 Declaration - French card renewal 15.02.2017
9 New form for the loss declaration of the French card as communicated by the MEAE. 06.07.2018
10 Clarification of the documents to be given as part of the procedure of renewal of the French card for non-European nationals. 08.10.2018
11 The required documentation for the first applications and the requests of extension for the children of the members of personnel have been updated. 15.10.2018
12 The French card must be returned during a special leave or an authorised absence (unpaid) if it lasts more than 2 months. 08.03.2019
13 The maximum deadline for the initial application for the French card has been changed to two months. 12.04.2019
14 New request for new French card: "Application for the new French map" accessible via the service portal.  
15 Regardless of their nationality or type of contract, all staff members domiciled in Switzerland must apply for a certificate of type EF. 26.09.2019
16 Update : Attestation de prise en charge: a school-attendance certificate for children aged of more than 18 years old. 27.09.2019
17
Uniformity of the procedure in case of theft or loss with the Swiss card procedure
12.11.2019
18 Modification of the Renewal (3.1) point in light of the COVID-19 18.03.2020
19 Documents issued by a Member State of the European Union can be accompanied by a "multilingual document" (UE regulation 2016/1191 17.04.2020
20 Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no visa is currently issued by the French authorities. 18.05.2020
21 - 6-month extension of special residence permits expiring between 16 March and 15 June.
- Renewal applications must be submitted 2 months before the extended expiry date.
- If the member of personnel is the beneficiary of an expired French card, he must download the documents "General information on the extension of residency documents" and present them with his expired French card.
- Visa applications are once again accepted by the French authorities.
- Update of the Note verbale from the MEAE and a new annex.
- The issue of EF attestations and French cards for European nationals under 13 years of age is suspended.
22.06.2020