How to apply for the CAF in France

The CAF (Caisse d’Allocations Familiales) is a godsend for Erasmus/ Year Abroad students. Provided that you meet the criteria for obtaining CAF (which you more than likely will), the magical CAF payment will reimburse around 30% of your rent prices. The stress of applying for the CAF risks knocking years off your life expectancy however- so I’m here as a survivor of the CAF application process to help.

Firstly- ensure that you have a French bank account. They won’t even consider your application without one so set one up as soon as possible- here’s how to do it. You will also need an attestation de scolarité (to prove that you are a student- you will receive this from your French university). The next essential document is your attestation de domicile- this is basically a proof of address from your landlord. My landlord was especially organised and had my CAF form filled in for me on my first day- ask your landlord to do this for you ASAP. You’ll also need copies of your birth cert and passport. If you are a student from outside the EU you’ll also need copies of your Visa.

Once you have this sorted, go onto the CAF website and fill in the form here here to check if you are eligible for the payment. As I said, you probably will be. Print the form and then bring it to your local CAF office with all of the necessary documents above- prepare for queues.

Next step- wait! CAF confirmation can take a couple of months, but you should be entitled to back pay.

Happy spending!

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