Prepare for settling in French territory for family reasons

The law firm HEAUME AVOCAT assists all foreigners, regardless of their nationality and place of residence, to enable them to realize their project of settling in French territory, particularly due to personal and family ties maintained in French territory.

To this end, a remote consultation service is set up to assist foreigners wishing to prepare their visa application.

Guidance from a consultant exclusively operating in the field of immigration law provides reliable and practical advice to anticipate the settlement project and expedite the process.


Anticipate one’s sustainable presence in French territory


The law firm HEAUME AVOCAT assists its clients who are regularly present in French territory and need to renew their residence permit.

Indeed, in a number of cases, foreigners are issued an annual residence permit, necessitating its renewal quite regularly.

HEAUME AVOCAT thus supports its clients in anticipating the renewal of their residence permit and also advises them with the aim of enabling them to obtain, if conditions permit, a multi-year residence permit or even a 10-year resident card.

What is the family reunification procedure ?


The law firm HEAUME AVOCAT assists its clients who are regularly present in French territory and wish to bring their close family (spouse/children) to France.

Indeed, in such a scenario, a specific procedure called family reunification may be implemented.

However, it is essential to ensure that the applicant meets all the required conditions to make this request.

HEAUME AVOCAT supports them in this process.


 Regularization on the grounds of respect for private and family life and other specific reasons

Overview and general rules about family immigration

Foreign nationals residing in France and wanting to bring their family over need to undergo specific family immigration procedures.
Specific processes are available to make it easier for a foreigner’s spouse and minor children to enter and stay in France. However, different procedures might apply to other family members, notably adult children, parents, and siblings.
In general, family members of a foreign national residing in France are granted a “private and family life” residence permit.
Depending on the status of the foreigner living in France, they can resort to family grouping or family reunification procedures.
Beyond this, the family member in question also has the option to directly apply for a temporary “private and family life” residence permit.
Moreover, family members of foreigners with specific residence permits can receive a residence permit that corresponds to that of the foreigner living in France. Special procedures exist for the family immigration of foreigners with permits like the talent
passport or student titles.
France has bilateral agreements with specific countries, notably Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Sub-Saharan African states, to oversee the family immigration of nationals from these countries.
• Family grouping for regularly residing foreigners in France
• Foreigners residing regularly in France can initiate a family grouping procedure for their spouse and minor children.

The foreigner must hold a residence permit valid for at least one year and have lived in France for a minimum of eighteen months before submitting their application.
Typically, this procedure doesn’t cover other family members such as adult children and parents.
Authorities will verify specific conditions related to resources and housing conditions during the application processing. The family grouping application process involves the OFII, prefectural authorities, and the consular authorities from the country where the family
members wishing to join their relative in France reside.

Family immigration: what are the specific steps?
For family members benefiting from family grouping, they receive a “private and family life” residence permit, allowing them to work or study.
• Family reunification for foreigners with international protection
• Family reunification procedures are in place to aid family members of foreigners with international protection, particularly refugees or those with subsidiary protection.
These family members can get a residence permit by right, without seeking asylum.
The applicant can request family reunification for their spouse, partner, or children. If the applicant is an unmarried minor, they can request this for their parents and siblings.
This procedure is different from the family grouping one.
• Conditions to obtain the “private and family life” residence permit
• What is the “private and family life” residence permit?
• This residence permit is automatically given to foreigners with strong personal ties to France.
The first temporary card is valid for one year. Upon renewal, the holder can request a multi-year residence permit, valid for up to four years. Typically, holders of this card can work without needing a work permit.
• Getting a “private and family life” residence permit as a spouse of a French national
• The distinction based on whether the couple is married, in a civil partnership, or just living together
• Different regimes apply based on the couple’s status, i.e., whether they’re married, in a civil partnership, or just cohabiting.

Mainly, getting the residence permit hinges on establishing a life together. This life together can be shown in various ways, including cohabitation. However, merely not living together won’t necessarily mean they aren’t leading a life together.

What happens if the relationship breaks down?
• Typically, the “private and family life” residence permit is compulsorily withdrawn if the couple’s life together stops. A foreign national with this card who gets divorced or separates from their spouse might no longer meet the conditions for its issuance.
However, there’s an exception for spouses who are victims of domestic or family violence.
In such cases, the card cannot be withdrawn, and its renewal cannot be refused.
• Getting a “private and family life” residence permit for parents of French children
• Foreign nationals who are the parent of a child with French nationality will automatically receive a “private and family life” residence permit. The child must have stable and prolonged residence in France.
The parent must demonstrate an actual contribution to the child’s maintenance and upbringing since their birth or, if not, for at least the past two years. This can be shown through financial contributions and other means.
Simply because parents are divorced or separated doesn’t justify refusing this residence permit.
• Situation of foreign minors
• Foreign minors are not subject to the obligation to hold a residence permit to stay in France.
However, upon reaching adulthood, the young foreign national must apply for a residence permit. Depending on their residence status in France, they might be automatically given a “private and family life” residence permit. The young foreigner can apply for this title
between the ages of 16 and 21.

III. Exceptional admission to stay

What is exceptional admission to stay?

Foreigners who don’t meet any criteria for a temporary “private and family

What are the required conditions to benefit from exceptional admission to stay?

A foreign national must demonstrate that due to the intensity, longevity, and stability of their personal and familial ties in France, their living conditions, and their integration in France, as well as the absence of ties in their country of origin, they have established a stable and long-lasting private and family life in France. The personal and familial ties taken into account extend to their friendly and familial
relationships, as well as their professional relationships.
• Integration in France can be demonstrated in various ways, notably through schooling, volunteer activities, registration in French courses, and involvement in the local community.
• Unlike family grouping and reunification procedures, as well as the standard “private and family life” residence permit, this card is not granted automatically. The prefect has broad discretion to decide on the issuance of this card. Emphasis should be placed on the stability, durability, and strengthening of personal and familial ties of the foreign national in France, and the fact that they no longer have any personal ties with their country of origin.

Who are the foreign nationals targeted by the exceptional admission to stay?

There is no established list of personal situations that fall under exceptional admission for private and family life reasons. However, these permits are often granted to foreigners in the following situations: widows who came to join their children residing in France, foreign parents of foreign children attending school in France, foreign spouses of foreigners in regular situations, and young foreigners who have come of age.

How to renew the temporary residence card “exceptional admission to stay”?

• Upon renewal, the foreign national must prove that they continue to meet the conditions applicable for the issuance of the residence permit. Generally, the renewal of the one-year temporary residence card leads to the issuance of a multi-year
residence card valid for four years.