The Prefecture has not yet sent me the residence permit that I have been waiting for weeks. The prefecture has set up well-defined procedures for processing files. It is present in a hundred places in France.
Nevertheless, its multiple missions and the large number of foreigners who want to stay in France require considerable time for the processing and then the delivery of the files.
Time limit for examining residence permits
If you have submitted a complete file which does not require any investigation or additional verification, the legal time limit for examining your residence permit is on average 4 months from the date on which the file was received by the prefecture.
After submitting the file, it is strongly recommended to ask for a certificate “of submission of a residence permit application” if the prefecture does not issue a receipt. These documents will serve as proof to be able to circulate until the instruction of the title.
If you sent your application by post, the date of filing is the date indicated on the notice of receipt by post. So, to hold proof of your current request, you must send a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt.
If you need to complete your file in the event of a change in your life situation (new job, marriage, delivery of a child, etc.) while the file is still in progress, the filing date starts from zero. Indeed, it corresponds to the date of filing of the additional files.
The reasons for the absence of news within the normal period
Several reasons can cause the silence of the prefecture. It can extend the processing time to obtain more information from another organization. This generally occurs in the following cases:
- For an employee residence permit: before the decision of the Prefecture, the file must go to the department of the Regional Directorate for Business, Competition, Consumption, Labor and Employment (DIRECCTE) for advice.
- For a residence permit for care: the Prefecture does not give its decision without the opinion of the College of Physicians of the French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII).
- For a residence permit requested by a person present on French territory continuously for more than 10 years: the instruction takes place only after advice from the Departmental Permit Commission.
Possible steps after the implicit refusal of the prefecture
If the prefecture does not give its answer after 4 months, this means that the application for a residence permit has been implicitly refused. It is then necessary to initiate the steps to contest this refusal. Use a lawyer in foreign law or OQTF to optimize your chances of success.
The registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt
On the one hand, the applicants send a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt to the Prefecture to find out what stage the file is at. On the other hand, it is sent in order to obtain the reasons for the administration’s decision. Indeed, the decision must explain the reasons for the refusal of the residence permit.
The response to this letter must reach you within one month of receipt of the letter. If the prefecture does not respond to this form of informal and hierarchical appeal the following month, you can make a contentious appeal by seizing the Administrative Court.
The appeal following the refusal of a residence permit before the Administrative Court
The procedures at the level of the Administrative Court are technical and require the engagement of a professional. In addition, the contentious appeal must be filed within a maximum period of 2 months. It is therefore better to be accompanied by a lawyer specialized in the field of foreigners’ rights.
An appeal carried out by a lawyer has a good chance of succeeding. It can also be followed by the “suspension summary” or more precisely, a request for suspension of the contested verdict. Very often, this procedure makes it possible to receive a quicker response from the prefecture.
If the appeal judgment is not favourable, you can appeal to the administrative court of appeal. You must file an appeal in cassation. Then, the Council of State will be seized to break the decision taken on appeal. You can also contact a lawyer who specializes in dealing with an Obligation to Leave France.
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