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I am not an EU citizen and I am moving to France. I received a 90 days visa saying "type C" on it with an attached but unstamped note saying that: 1) this in fact is a "D type" (long stay) visa 2) as soon as I arrive to France I need to apply for a carte de séjour, which will then replace my visa.

Questions:

  1. Will I be able to travel within the Schengen area using this carte de séjour?

  2. Will I be able to travel to Romania using the carte de séjour (normally possible with valid Schengen visas)?

My understanding is that the carte de séjour doesn't come with an additional visa stamped in the passport. Thus the only thing I could show to the Romanian border control is the residency card.

  • Since this question concerns residency (and its attendant rules and procedures), should it not be more properly asked in Expatriates – CGCampbell Mar 27 '15 at 14:54
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    @CGCampbell OTOH, we have tons of “can I transit there or there with my H1B visa” questions. It's about travelling with a specific document, not how to obtain it or what your rights are in the country of residence. – Relaxed Mar 27 '15 at 15:38
  • Be aware that once you enter France and apply for a carte de séjour, you will first get a récépissé, which does entitle you to stay in France as long as your application is being processed (if needed, by renewing it every 6 months). Some préfectures are notoriously understaff and it can take several month to receive the actual card. If your visa expires before you get the card, I don't think the récépissé alone is valid for travel outside of France. – Relaxed Mar 27 '15 at 16:00
  • @Relaxed I read several scary stories about this and I'm quite worried ... I'd need to travel only a few months after arriving to France. – Chi Mar 27 '15 at 16:45
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Residence permit holders in the Schengen area (certainly in France) typically don't have or need a visa to enter either their country of residence or the Schengen area as a whole.

You simply present the residence permit (together with your passport) to the border guards or, if needed, to the airline when boarding your flight. In the first few years of this system, some friends did come across airline/ground handling personnel who were unfamiliar with these residence permits but they should at least be able to call a supervisor or to find documentation confirming the rule. I would hope most are familiar with them by now.

A Schengen residence permit can also be used to travel to Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, or Cyprus without a visa (but you still need a travel document). You will find documentation to that effect in many places, including for example on the website of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

V. Do I need a visa?

[…]

  1. NO

[…]

​The holders of Schengen visas with two or multiple entries, national visas or residence permits issued by Schengen Member States.

As you can see, the exact same rules apply to residence permits and to valid Schengen visas.

Note there are different types of carte de séjour but all of them should count as a residence permit under the Schengen regulations (in French “titre de séjour” and not “carte de résident”, which is something much more specific). A “récépissé de première demande de carte de séjour, “autorisation provisoire de séjour” or “récépissé de demande d'asile” however does not. See vosdroits.service-public.fr.

  • This is NOT the case for Croatia, you are wrong – dgan Aug 24 '18 at 22:20
  • @dgan What makes you say that? The Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs confirms it. – Relaxed Aug 25 '18 at 7:57
  • well, Summer 2016 I got refused for Croatia, coming from France, with only my titre de séjour. The guy at the airport told me I must have the travel document for refugee ( i have refugee status in France); so I lost my flight tickets and stayed in Paris – dgan Aug 25 '18 at 8:58
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    @dgan OK, I see where the confusion lies. What a residence permit does is exempt you from the visa requirement, you always need a passport or another travel document, as I wrote in the second paragraph. That's also true for the other three countries. I will try to see if I can clarify that... – Relaxed Aug 25 '18 at 10:51

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