Last update : July 2023

Living as a foreign national in France is not always easy. For example, it can be very difficult to find accommodation.

If you are a foreign national and wish to stay in France: to obtain the right to live in France without risking deportation, you need to obtain papers, i.e. the right to stay. Several options are available, depending on your personal situation (including claiming asylum or applying for a residence permit). You can find more information at the following link: titres_de_sejour

However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain the documents required to remain in France. It’s important to ask for advice on how to obtain the required documents, but you also have to continue to live your life even without papers. It’s important to live life to the full and hope that the papers will come eventually.

You do have some rights in France, like everyone. For more information, you can follow this link - droits_sans_papiers.

Some general advice

  • It’s become so difficult to get papers in France that sometimes it may be best to try and get on with life and focus on other things.

  • Get in touch with communities and people sharing similar experiences for advice on how to live better in France.

  • Think about whether you would prefer to live in a city (where there are lots of people and activities) or whether you would prefer to live in a small town or in the countryside.

  • Keep all the proof of your presence in France with you.

Going further

Whether you apply for papers or not, it’s important to try to get on with your life in France as best you can. To help with this, you can look for hobbies, friends, associations and work.

In the big cities (Paris, Marseille, Lyon) there are lots of people. There are also a lot of different nationalities. There will undoubtedly be life opportunities there, but it’s also in the big cities that some of the most difficult situations are most prevalent (sleeping rough, violence, etc.). In villages or in the countryside there are fewer opportunities but it’s quieter. It depends on you and where you want to live.