A how-to guide on renewing your passport in France

Global Citizen By Joanne Poh Mar 12, 2020

This article was created in partnership with Western Union.

There is a lot to like about working in France, from good employee benefits and reasonable working hours, to being able to spend your time off exploring the vibrant cultural and culinary scene.

As a non-French national, there will come a time when your passport is about to expire and you’ll have to think about renewing your passport in France. The ease of doing so will depend on your nationality and the efficiency of your home country’s authorities. But in general, regardless of nationality, renewing your passport can be simple if you follow our how-to guide.

When to renew your passport

Don’t wait until the last minute to renew your passport. Many countries require that your passport have at least six months of validity when you travel. You also have to take into account processing time on the part of your home country, which might take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

While the actual time frame will vary depending on the procedure in your home country, you should think about renewing your passport at least nine months before it expires.

Applying for a passport renewal

In order to renew your passport, you will need to fill out an application to do so with the relevant authority in your home country.

The application process varies from country to country, but in general, you will need to complete an application form, provide passport photos and pay a fee. There is usually no need to have any documents translated.

Countries that have digitised their passport application process, such as Morocco, will enable you to do all of the above online. Others might require you to send hard copies of the application form, passport photos and/or supporting documents by post either to the embassy, consulate or mission in France, or directly to the authorities in your home country.

If you live near an embassy, consulate or mission, you might have the option of renewing your passport in person. You will have to show up, with or without an appointment depending on the diplomatic mission, with your old passport and supporting documents, such as your ID card and passport photos.

Budgeting for renewal fees

You are usually required to pay an additional fee to renew your passport abroad, making it more expensive than if you renewed in your home country.

These fees are typically paid directly to your home country’s authorities in the local currency. The Western Union® app lets you send money to bank accounts anywhere in the world, making payment of your passport renewal fees quick and easy. You can also use the app to send money to a family member in your home country so that he or she can pay your passport renewal fees on your behalf.

In addition, if you do not live in Paris or a city where your home country has a diplomatic mission, you will also have to factor in the cost of making a trip to pick up your passport and, possibly, the cost of a night’s accommodation if you are not able to complete the trip in one day.

Depending on your nationality and the renewal fees being charged, it may actually be cheaper to travel back to your home country to collect it locally rather than have it sent to France — so make sure to do the math.

Picking up your new passport

The authorities in your home country will notify you when your new passport is ready for collection.

You are typically required to collect your new passport at your home country’s embassy, consulate or mission in France. The majority of the world’s diplomatic missions in France are located in Paris — although, there are some consulates in other cities, such as Bordeaux and Lyon.

If you do not live near these locations, you will need to plan a trip to pick up your passport on a working day.

Don’t forget to bring along any documents required by your home country. It’s likely that you will be required to bring your old passport and you may be asked to show another form of identification from your home country, as well.

Keep all of this mind and you can help make the renewal process as quick and easy as possible.