How long does it take, on average, from getting the récépissé to actually having the carte de séjour in your hand?

I have to travel for work and, if it's not issued, I'm currently looking at whether I have to apply for a visa de retour in Australia.

I'm trying to understand if we are talking weeks or months from receiving the récépissé. I applied at Versailles, if that's relevant.

4 Answers 4


We're talking months, usually, especially in the larger cities. My experience was with Bordeaux, rather than Versailles, but that's a large city alright, and a Préfecture. From application to medical test to social worker interview to final appointment to pick up the card, it took about 2.5 months. The receipt was valid for three months, and we were warned that due to the number of applicants, we might have to renew the receipt before we could pick up the card. That wasn't the case in the end, but not by much.

I understand that in places like Île-de-France, the wait can even be longer.

  • It's always processed by the préfecture, living in a small town does not help you as such.
    – Relaxed
    Jan 4, 2018 at 23:10
  • 1
    Yes but the différence is that if you don't live in the Préfecture seat, you don't have to queue up hours to get in line. You go to your mairie, and at the Préfecture there are special counters for the mairies. You do save quite a bit of time.
    – dda
    Jan 5, 2018 at 7:01
  • Just to check, when you say application do you mean the interview at the prefecture? So that day you had the recepisse and you had your card 2.5 months later?
    – Spence
    Jan 5, 2018 at 9:29
  • @Spence not mine (I'm French) my better half's, but yeah. From first queue-up at the Préfecture, when we received the receipt, to the actual card, about 10 weeks, yeah.
    – dda
    Jan 5, 2018 at 9:42
  • 2
    In Essonne (Île-de-France) I can add a data point, it took me about 5 months from arrival in France to getting my vignette. Renewing and getting the titre de sejour a year later took 2 months. Jan 5, 2018 at 10:20

It depends on the département and to some extent on your status. So where you apply is indeed highly relevant but I have no experience with Versailles.

You should expect a couple of months, absolute worse case I ever heard about was over 9 months (pure processing time, no refusal, appeal or special procedure). That was in Seine-Saint-Denis.


Just FYI I have received a confirmation from the Prefecture and the earliest appointment I could get was the 24th. So thats just less than 6 weeks from application to having the card in my hand. So your mileage may vary I suppose.


I had my interview in June 2018 and walked out of the prefecture in Angouleme with a temporary card. I'm still waiting for the permanent one! My wife had her interview in October and was told they are no longer issuing temporary cards. She is also still waiting. It seems the interview is just the beginning of the wait! I have been told that the prefecture are completely inundated with applications so the British ones are given a lower priority to other applicants!

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