The procedure summarised below is also applicable under certain conditions to nationals of countries outside the European Economic Area, but they must first be holders of a long-stay visa issued by the French authorities. The said persons must apply for a long-stay visa for the Principality of Monaco at the French Consulate closest to their place of residency.
The principle is that any person aged at least 16, wishing to stay in Monaco for more than three months per year or wishing to take up residency there, must apply for a residency permit from the Monegasque authorities.
I – What is a residency card?
A residency card is a compulsory document allowing persons who are not Monegasque nationals to establish their residency in Monaco.
It is necessary to prove a domicile (established by a registered lease, a property deed, etc.) and sufficient income (established either by a local bank, a work permit or a promise of employment). The authorities also conduct morality investigations.
In order to ascertain the reality of the person’s residency, the Administrative Police (“Sûreté Publique”) officers will check that the person’s main residency is in the Principality, it being specified that the main or usual residency corresponds to a stay of at least 183 days per year in Monaco, or a stay of less than 183 days per year if the said person is physically present on Monegasque territory for a period longer than that of stays in other countries.
The Sûreté Publique may also check whether the main centre of the person’s activities is in the Principality of Monaco, which could attest to the reality of his/her residency. The main centre of activity of a person is understood to be the place where the person has made his/her main investments, where he or she has his/her registered office or the effective management of his/her business, or the place where his/her property is administered.
II – Who should apply for a residency card?
As stated above, persons who are not Monegasque nationals must obtain a residency card in Monaco.
Further to Article 2, §3 of Ordinance n° 3.153 of 19 March 1964 (the “Ordinance“) concerning the admission of foreigners and the conditions of residency in the Principality, are exempted from applying for a residency card:
- Accredited career consuls and members of their families;
- Foreigners holding a tourist card valid on French territory;
- Public officials seconded under Franco-Monegasque treaties.
Pursuant to Article 2 §1 of the Ordinance, any foreigner over 16 and staying in Monaco is required, within eight days of his/her arrival, to apply for a residency card or, if he/she was already staying there, no later than eight days after the completion of his/her sixteenth year.
III – The different types of residency cards
A foreigner who meets the conditions stated in the Ordinance may benefit from a “temporary” residency card, which is valid for one year.
If the foreigner has been resident in the Principality for more than three years, he/she may be granted an “ordinary” residency card, valid for three years.
If the foreigner has been resident in the Principality for at least ten years, he/she may be issued with a “privileged” residency permit, valid for ten years.
The “Monegasque spouse” residency card can be issued to any foreigner who is the spouse of a Monegasque national and has been resident in the Principality for at least one year. It is valid for 5 years.
Each type of residency card may be renewed after further investigation by the Monegasque authorities.
IV – Sanctions
Residency cards that have expired or are in the possession of foreigners who no longer meet the conditions laid down under Article 1 of the Ordinance are invalid. They shall be withdrawn from their holders.
A foreigner who has failed to apply within the statutory time limits for the issuance or renewal of his/her residency card shall, without prejudice to any administrative sanctions, be liable to a criminal fine.
Any person whose residency permit has been refused or withdrawn must leave the territory of the Principality within the time allowed. If he or she remains after the expiry of the granted period, he or she may be punished by an imprisonment ranging from six days to three months and a fine ranging from 61 and 610 euros, or by one of these two penalties only.
V – Residency card application procedure
For nationals of member countries of the European Economic Area, the issuing of a residency card consists in three major steps:
– A copy of the valid passport or identity card is sent to the Sûreté Publique in order to schedule an appointment with the Residents’ Section, which will arrange an appointment with an Inspector within approximately one month.
– During this appointment, the Inspector will ask questions concerning the family, the reasons for settling in Monaco etc… and a certain number of supporting documents, and in particular civil status documents (as well as the form for the first application for a residency card, if applicable), will have to be provided in an original version and in French.
– The residency card will be issued within six to eight weeks following the date of the interview.
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