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Special resident permits

Status of various categories of foreign mission personnel

This Vade Mecum describes the diplomatic status and the legal situation of all other categories of personnel: consular officers, Embassy administrative and technical staff, consular employees and service staff.

puceoupas Special residence permit
puceoupas Employment authorization
puceoupas In case of a change of grade
puceoupas In the event of loss or theft
puceoupas At the end of a posting

Possessing a diplomatic or service passport, which is merely a travel document, does not entitle one to the guarantees and advantages provided for by Conventions and international procedures.

Once the Notification of Nomination and Commencement (NNPF) form (standard form attached) has been duly completed, members of the foreign Mission will be issued with a special residence permit by Protocol Department. French nationals, dual nationals with both the French and a foreign nationality, and permanent residents may possibly be issued with an employment authorization.

Issuing a special residence permit usually takes about 3 to 5 weeks as from reception of al required documentation.

Special residence permit

Special residence permit cards are alike for all categories of foreign mission personnel. Abbreviations designating the different functions appear on the coloured back of the card in the upper right-hand corner.

Special-status foreign staff on official mission are issued with a one-year permit renewable for one year. This applies to foreign nationals on official mission in France who, given the nature of their functions, cannot be granted diplomatic or consular mission member status but are afforded, as a courtesy, special facilities to obtain a provisional residence permit. They will not, however, enjoy special residence status privileges and immunities.


special resident permits

FunctionsEmbassyConsulate
Head of diplomatic mission CMD/A
Diplomats CD/A
Career consular officers CC/C
Honorary consular officers CR/C
Administrative and technical staff, consular employees AT/A AT/C
Service staff SE/A SE/C
Private servants PP/A PP/C
Special-status foreign staff on official mission EM/A EM/C

Spouses and children under 21 years of age

Who are not French nationals, who are not dual nationals with the French and a foreign nationality, or who are not permanent residents, are issued with an identical document (CMD, CD, CC, AT).

Births of children in France during a mission are to be notified to the city hall of the place of birth.

When children reach the age of 18, the Mission is to send to Protocol Department a certificate of dependency specifying that they are not engaged in paid employment, together with a school attendance certificate. These documents are required for them to retain their permit.

The special residence permit of children who have turned 21 must be returned to Protocol Department, and also on termination of the functions of the father or mother. Children over 21 years of age or who marry may apply for a prefectural residence permit by providing, where appropriate, a Protocol Department-issued document certifying they have handed back their special residence permit.


Dependant relatives in the ascending line(parents and parents-in-law forming part of the household of a foreign mission member) are likewise issued with a CMD, CD, CC, AT or SE residence permit.

How long are [special] residence permits valid for?

Permits are usually issued for a period of three years. They may be renewed for a period of two years following which a new special residence permit will be issued.
The same applies to dependants, it being understood that the period of validity of their permit cannot exceed that of the permit issued to a foreign mission member.

Updated : july 2012


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