Understanding France Immigration Requirements



France immigration laws, rules and restriction are something that you are going to need to get familiar with if you are planning to move here permanently.

In recent years it has become popular to retire overseas. When it comes to retiring overseas you have be prepared not only in terms of your financial needs during retirement, but also with the necessary immigration documents that will ensure you legal entry into the country of your choice. Different countries have different regulations and requirements in terms immigration.


For some nationals a passport may be all they need to get into France. However, for some, a Visa and other documents may be required. You have to know what documents you need in order to enter France if you want to retire there. Immigration to France is not difficult as long as you have no criminal record and present all documentation requested.

To enter France, the question boils down to whether you are a citizen of a country that belongs to the European Union of not. If you come from a country belonging to the EU, you do not need to apply for a Visa in order to enter France. However, for those who are not part of the European Union, a Visa is required. What you will need in order to get a Visa to enter France depends upon the agreement between France and your home country.

France immigration has different visa options. When planning to retire in France there are several visas to choose from depending on your planned length of stay in the country. There are the short stay visa, the long stay visa and the work visa.

The short stay visa

Is only good for a stay in France of a maximum of 3 months or 90 days. When your short stay visa expires you have to leave France immediately.

Long stay visa

This visa is only longer than a short stay visa for a period of 3 more months, that is, it can only give you a permit to stay in France for a maximum of 6 months.

Work visas

This type of visa is also an option for those who are planning to wok in France. However, you need to secure a job before you are given the work visa.

  • You need to apply for a Visa for entry to France in your own country.
  • Applying for a Visa typically takes 8-12 weeks before approval. If you want to learn more about
  • France immigration and Visa options to France you can visit www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/venir/visas.

The aforementioned Visas can only permit you a stay in France of up to 6 months. If you want to retire in France for a longer period of time, France immigration requires you to apply for a residency card. There are two types of residency cards for foreigners, the carte de resident and the carte de sejour. The latter is the one usually issued to foreigners and it permits you to stay in France for three years after which you apply for the carte de resident that allows you to stay for a period of 10 years. These residency cards require specific documents to be submitted.

If you want to stay even longer than what you carte de resident can permit, you can apply for French citizenship. You are eligible to be a naturalized citizen of France if you have stayed there continuously for a period of 5 years. France immigration have different policies regarding acquiring the French nationality. It is best to consult the office concerned regarding your case.



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