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I am a British national living in France with the post-Brexit titre de séjour (i.e., it never expires). I don't have any other kind of French ID, nor French nationality.

Do I need my French titre de séjour when flying within Schengen (e.g. Paris to Rome and back again) or is my British passport enough?

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    It never expires? I know British nationals with the same post Brexit titre de séjour and theirs has a 5 year validity Apr 21 at 0:02

3 Answers 3

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Do I need my French titre de séjour when flying within Schenghen (eg Paris to Rome and back again) or is my British passport enough?

The residence permit card (titre de séjour) is proof that you are legally within the Schengen area and allows you to travel to other Schengen countries (togeather with your passport).

Different countries have different registration regulations, so it is not only a matter of crossing a border inside the Schengen area.

In Italy, non-EU citizens must be reported to the local authorities depending on where they are staying.

Since Italian hotels must fill out a registration form/declaration of presence for 3rd country nationals coming from countries inside the Schengen area (not required for those coming from a non-Schengen country and have an entry stamp) not having that proof with you may lead to complications.

So taking your titre de séjour with you is advised.


Foreigners who stay in Italy for visits, business, tourism or study for periods not exceeding 3 months are not required to apply for a residence permit. Instead, they must report their presence in the country, following one of the procedures mentioned below:

  • aliens arriving from a non-Schengen country must report their presence to the border authorities and obtain a Schengen stamp in their travel document on the day of arrival. This stamp is considered the equivalent of the declaration of presence;
  • aliens arriving from countries which apply the Schengen Agreement must report their presence to the local Questura (central police station in the province) filling out the relevant form (dichiarazione di presenza), within 8 days of their arrival; for those staying in hotels or other reception facilities the registration form submitted to the hotel management upon check-in, signed by the foreign guest on arrival, constitutes the declaration of presence. The hotel will provide a copy of this form to the foreign guest who can show it to police officers, if requested.

Sources:

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    "together with your passport" is the key part here: The residence permit on its own, while practically sufficient (after I pass the schengen border no one ever checks my passport, only residence permit), is not legally sufficient. Failure to carry your passport may be a violation of local ID carrying laws, and also in theory crossing schengen borders with residence permit only may constitute an illegal border crossing. Whether anyone would prosecute you or not is a different story though.
    – ave
    Apr 20 at 15:29
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    @ave Not only in theory: a residence permit card is not a travel document. It is a supplementary document showing your residence status in the country of issue. Apr 20 at 16:05
  • Thanks for the clarification, I wasn't sure that it was a Schengen-wide thing. (I'm only familiar with the German law on this topic.)
    – ave
    Apr 21 at 22:35
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My French TDS gets me everywhere. I routinely hand over both passport and TDS. Usually they go no further when they see the TDS.

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There are no border controls, but you can at any time be asked to show that your presence in the Schengen area is legal. A British passport for that purpose should have an entry stamp less than 90 days old, and any other entry and exit stamps should show that you've spent no more than 90 of the previous 180 days in the Schengen area. I assume that your passport doesn't meet this requirement.

The chance of this happening is pretty remote unless you're doing something that is likely to get you arrested, though it is rather higher when there has been a "temporary reintroduction of internal border controls." France has reintroduced them generally -- on all internal borders -- because of the thread of terrorism (November 2023 through April 2024) and because of the Olympics (May 2024 through October 2024).

If "need" refers to your ability to complete the trip, then it depends on the airline. Ryanair is notorious for requiring passengers to undergo a "visa check"; most other airlines won't care. (I am not certain whether the visa check extends to the examination of passport stamps; if it does not then you can disregard it.)

But if "do I need?" means "am I legally required to have it with me?" then the answer is probably "yes."

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    (+1) Also worth mentioning current increased Schengen border controls and passport validity requirements
    – Traveller
    Apr 20 at 7:59
  • I'm a bit confused by this. It sounds to me like it's saying you need to carry your British passport but that won't prove you can be in the Schengen area. Are you saying you have to carry both? Apr 20 at 8:40
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    @mattfreake yes, you should have both.
    – phoog
    Apr 20 at 8:51
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    @Traveller thanks. Note that the 10-year rule for passports only applies on entry, so not to a trip between France and Italy.
    – phoog
    Apr 20 at 9:04
  • Do also note that schengen residents are not to receive entry or exit stamps (except maybe an initial entry stamp to confirm that a border police also checked the initial long-term visa was issued correctly, I have one of those), so the likelihood of having stamps of this sort is even lower. That said the temporary borders I've dealt with were mostly border cops roaming on the train looking for by-their-standards-suspicious people to check IDs of, likelihood of being ID checked there is not the highest (plus maybe some countries handle it differently). Carry passport+residence permit anyways.
    – ave
    Apr 21 at 22:32

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