Currently, I am a non EU national staying in France. Recently, my residence permit (titre-de-sejour) has expired and it is in the process of renewal. So, a temporary residence permit (récépissé) is issued to me which essentially certificates the renewal of French residence permit but also clearly mentions that it valid only with the expired/old residence permit. By French law, this both documents allow me to travel inside Schengen area. Besides, it is not my first temporary residence permit (récépissé), so again traveling in Schengen is valid.

Now trouble begins here, my wallet was stolen in Paris metro few days ago. So, I lost my expired French residence permit (titre-de-sejour). Formally a police complaint has been filed in Paris, Police handed over me the copy of police report clearly mentioning my French residence permit (titre de sejour) is stolen. Fortunately, my passport and temporary residence permit (récépissé) are safe. It will take long time for new residence permit.

I have to appear for interview in Rotterdam (Netherlands) on urgent basis. I possess a photo copy of expired titre-de-sejour, original Passport, temporary residence permit (récépissé) and police report. On the pretext of this event, Is it

  1. legal to cross borders by train with this set of documents?
  2. what are possible fines and other repercussions if police or other authorities object the photocopy of expired French residence permit in Netherlands or Belgium?
  • I dont think it is safe to travel during the renewal and also with temporary residence permit (please check it may be only valid in territory of france). I never travel in schengen area, during the time it is renewed.
    – pbu
    Oct 6, 2015 at 13:59
  • 1
    a) the legality of your stay anywhere doesn't exactly hinge on the papers in your hand. It just awfully complicates the situation b) in practice between France and Netherlands you will never meet any border guards.
    – user4188
    Oct 6, 2015 at 17:12
  • @chx You wrote “stay” and “exactly” gives you a bit of wiggle room so your statement might still be defensible but note that holding some specific documents is per se a requirement to cross an external Schengen border (cf. article 5 of the Schengen Borders code). So it might matter in some circumstances.
    – Relaxed
    Oct 7, 2015 at 8:45

1 Answer 1


As the poster above said, if you are eligible for the crossing, it is legal, but proving so will be a bigger trouble. In any case, this is discussing legal finesse. In practice it is perfectly okay, you will almost certainly encounter no border control (it is in fact largely illegal to conduct border control inside Schengen without a specific reason) and even in the unlikely case that you are to present some credentials, the average officer will be very understanding.

However if you are arabic blood or look like you might be, expect some scrutiny. The recent movement of refugees has made some countries tighten their border control and the atmosphere is less laid back at the moment.

  • 2
    I believe your first statement to be wrong. First of all, chx wrote about the right to stay (in his comment to the OP) and you are here talking about the right to cross borders, which is simply two different pairs of shoes. I can't say anything about the current situation on the French-Dutch border, but due to the refugee movements during the last weeks, more or less regular immigration control has been reintroduced at many internal Schengen borders, at least partially at the Slovenian, Hungarian, Austrian, German, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian borders. Oct 6, 2015 at 22:59
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo Isn't that what the second paragraph is about?
    – Relaxed
    Oct 7, 2015 at 8:46
  • @Relaxed Yes, but IMHO much too simplified. You don't need to look like an Arab to currently be checked thoroughly at some of the internal Schengen borders. Oct 7, 2015 at 11:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .