French cards

Applicable to:  members of the personnel and their family members

General

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) 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. 

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 % and,

  • 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 MAE as soon as the member of personnel takes up appointment at CERN.
Failing this, and notably after three months from that date, the MAE 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 three 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 three 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 MAE’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

Members of the personnel domiciled in Switzerland receive an EF-type attestation de fonctions irrespective of their nationality or type of contract. 
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), Students (DOCT, TECH, ADMI) and Trainees (TRNE)

    • must contact th 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) 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 three 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 three 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 the application form

The form is available in partially-completed form within the HRT application (accessible using CERN login):

It's important to give the form(s) a title(s) indicating the name and, for the family members, their relationship to the member of the personnel (e.g. NNPF-WagnerOtto, NNPF-WagnerOtto-spouse, NNPF-WagnerOtto-partner, NNPF-WagnerOtto-child1, NNPF-WagnerOttochild2...)

2.3 Send the form

Send the French card application form (not signed) by e-mail:

  • to the Departmental Secretariat (DAO) or Group Administrative Officer (GAO), who will forward it to the Cards Service : for Staff Members (STAF), Fellows (FELL), Apprentices (APPR), Project Associates (PJAS), Scientific Associates (SASS), Corresponding Associates (CASS), Guest Professors (GPRO), Students (DOCT, TECH, ADMI) and Trainees (TRNE).
  • to the Users Office: for Users (USER), Cooperation Associates (COAS) and Visiting Scientists (VISC).

2.4 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, passport-format photos 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, English, German, Spanish or Italian) no yes no
A photocopy of the birth certificate (document drafted in or translated into French, English, German, Spanish or Italian) no no yes
A school-attendance certificate  no no yes
A certificate attesting that your children aged 16 to 21 remain dependent ("attestation de prise en charge") no no yes

2.5 Processing of the application

The file is sent to the French authorities (Ministry for 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 MAE (see procedure paragraphe 6).

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,

  • 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 certificate attesting that your children aged 16 to 21 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.

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 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 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).

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 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

6.1 Procedure to follow

  • Contact the Cards Office to obtain the number and issue date of the card.
  • Report to the police station (Gendarmerie) of your commune in France or the one in Thoiry in order to declare the loss or theft of the document.  

6.2 Supporting documents required by the Cards Service

  • a photocopy of the declaration made to the police,
  • 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 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 paragraphe 1) as soon as it has been received by the Cards Service.

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

Members of the personnel who have been granted special unpaid leave must surrender the card and those of family members before their leave period commences.

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