The question that arises is: How to renew my residence permit if I am divorced from my French wife?
To answer this question, we will first see what is the title of the foreign national spouse of a French national. Then, we will see the consequences of the divorce on the application for renewal of the residence permit. And finally, we will see what exceptions are allowed to the withdrawal of the residence permit in the event of divorce.
A foreigner married to a French national
A foreigner who contracts a marriage with a spouse of French nationality or a French national, and who proves more than 6 months of living in France can benefit from a residence permit bearing the mention “life private and family. This is a temporary right of residence valid for a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 1 year.
He can, however, be granted a 10-year residence or residence permit under certain conditions. On the one hand, he must have been married to a person of French nationality or a French national for at least 3 years. On the other hand, he must have already renewed his residence permit at least once during these 3 years.
Community of life: an important criterion for applying for a residence
permit Community of life according to the French administration is defined by the primary and unavoidable duties of the so-called “married” spouses. It results in the obligation of the two spouses to share a common residence, and also the marital duty. A requirement relating to the terms of article 215, paragraph 1, of the Civil Code according to which the spouses must mutually submit to a community of life. And it is this last condition that will allow the stateless person to benefit from a residence permit or even a French nationality.
In general, the French spouse benefits from a long-stay visa with the same values as a residence permit when entering French territory. If it is validated within 03 months of its arrival, it can indeed replace the residence permit.
In the case of a divorce, on the other hand, the community of life being broken, the title and the right of residence can therefore be withdrawn abroad. And this, even if the foreign spouse residing in France has a residence permit valid for 10 years.
How to keep or renew your residence permit after divorce?
The possibility of renewing the residence permit for the spouse of a divorced French person can be done under certain conditions.
The foreigner must:
- be non-European, and must have been legally married to a French national;
- fulfill the same conditions required for their previous residence permit;
- not be in a situation of polygamy;
- have been in community life for at least 04 years after the marriage;
- prove that the spouse is French or has retained French nationality;
- have a transcribed marriage certificate if the marriage took place abroad;
- be able to justify their integration into the French community through participation in the training courses prescribed by the French State, the manifest acceptance of French values and culture;
- justify the community of life of more than 04 years with his French spouse;
On these bases, the renewal of the residence permit can be issued in the form of a multi-year residence permit.
Otherwise, if the cohabitation has not lasted at least 4 years between the two spouses, the residence permit may be withdrawn and its renewal may be compromised in the event of divorce.
On the other hand, if the community of life between the two spouses lasted more than 4 years, the foreign French spouse can keep his residence permit even in the event of divorce. If he has a residence card valid for 10 years at the time of the facts, he will be granted the status of “permanent resident” at the end of the 10 years.
Exceptions to the withdrawal of the residence permit in the event of divorce
Irrespective of the duration of the cohabitation, there may be exceptions to the withdrawal of the residence permit.
Renewal of residence permit:
- Can be refused, in the same way as family reunification, if there is a break in cohabitation between the spouses. Except, according to the law of June 16, 2011, if the divorce results from domestic violence suffered by the foreigner.
- Can be granted regardless of divorce or the duration of the community of life if children are born from the marriage between the foreigner and his French spouse. For the residence permit not to be withdrawn, the foreign national must nevertheless justify his participation in the education and maintenance of the children in question.
- May be granted if the break in cohabitation was involuntary, and occurred following the death of the French spouse. In this case, the residence permit may be maintained regardless of its type.
In summary, the renewal of the residence permit for a divorced foreigner depends on the case, the family situation and the existence of a living community during the marriage.