France is one of the most visited countries in the world. Every year millions of tourists from different parts of the world head to Paris, Strasbourg, Nice and other French cities to enjoy the beautiful architecture, exquisite cuisine and cultural life of Old Europe.

At the same time, many foreigners head to France for other reasons. It is mainly related to education, employment and doing business on French territory. Favor in the country has created optimal conditions for immigrants. However, due to the large number of those who want to move to France for a long stay, the procedure of moving to France is not always successful.

Residence permit in France

For legal immigration, it is necessary to have good reasons and fulfill a number of requirements. For citizens of so-called third countries, one of the main conditions is to obtain a residence permit in France. This process is complicated, but doable. On how to get a residence permit in France in 2024 we will talk in this article.

How to get a residence permit in France

In France there is a wide range of permits to stay in the country and, accordingly, the conditions for registration of a residence permit. It all depends on the purpose of the trip, duration of stay on French territory, availability of financial resources and many other factors.

Citizens from countries outside the European Union to obtain a residence permit in France must first open a long-term visa (visa long séjour) at the French Consulate in their country. This visa will allow to stay legally on the territory of France from 3 to 12 months.

The only exception is foreigners who have been legally residing in one of the EU countries for at least 5 years. In this case, it is possible to obtain a residence permit without prior registration of a long-term visa.

Grounds for issuance of a long-term visa to France
  • Long-term employment (more than 1 year).

  • Temporary employment (from 3 to 12 months).

  • Study, internship and research activities.

  • Family reunion or marriage to a French citizen.

  • Long-term visit to France without the right to work.

Grounds for issuance of a visa to France

Immediately after the move, the foreigner must certify his or her arrival at the Office of French Immigration and Integration (OFII). The office staff will set a date for the visit, as a rule, this period does not exceed 3 months. You should bring a valid passport, a color photograph, health insurance and proof of housing in France (rented or owned).

OFII staff will ask a few clarifying questions and conduct a small medical examination, sometimes a French language test is possible. After that, a special mark will be put in the passport, confirming the legal presence on French territory. That is, it is a kind of analog of a temporary residence permit, valid for no more than one year.

The next stage, subject to the desire and availability of grounds, is directly registration of a residence permit in France. For this purpose, no later than 2 months before the expiration of the long-term visa, you should apply to the local prefecture of your place of residence.

Employees of the department will specify the list of required documents (see below) and inform you of the date when the residence card will be ready. As a rule, this period does not exceed 1-2 months. Continuous residence in France for more than 5 years will allow you to apply for French citizenship.

Types of residence permits in France

Temporary residence permit (Carte de Séjour Temporaire). Valid for a maximum of 1 year, with the right of subsequent renewal.

Skills and Talents residence permit (Carte de Séjour "compétences et talents»). Issued for 3 years, renewable.

Permanent residence permit (Carte de Résident). Valid for 10 years, renewable.

Pension residence permit (Carte de Séjour "retraité"). Valid for 10 years, renewable.

Types of residence permits in France

A residence permit in France for foreigners is usually related to employment, doing business and studying in one of the French universities.

Residence permit in France for the purpose of family reunification

Foreign citizens legally residing in France for 18 months and planning to stay in the country legally for at least 1 year are entitled to a residence permit for their family members. Namely for spouses and children under 18 years of age. The conditions here are as follows:

  1. Financial security sufficient to cover the costs of living in France. That is, it is necessary to confirm a stable source of income during the last year not lower than the minimum wage. In 2024, this figure is 1,766.92 euros per month.

  2. The living space in France must be sufficient to accommodate all family members. For two people at least 16 meters square, plus 9 meters square for an additional person.

  3. Candidates for residence permit must not have serious health conditions and must not pose a threat to public order in France. In addition, minimum speaking skills in French or completion of intensive language courses (not more than 2 months) will be required.

A residence permit in France without the right to work or a "visitor" visa

The purchase of real estate in France does not guarantee a residence permit, but significantly increases the chances of obtaining a long-term visa of the so-called visitor (les visiteurs). To issue a visa, the French authorities require fulfillment of two main conditions:

  • Not to carry out labor activity in France;

  • Possess sufficient financial means. The minimum is €1,766.92 for each month of residence in France.

Two months before the expiration of the visa is allowed to obtain a temporary residence permit on general grounds. This immigration option does not open access to the system of social guarantees and public health care.

Documents for a residence permit in France

The staff of the local prefecture will provide the necessary assistance in preparing the documents for a residence permit based on the circumstances of your stay in France. The standard list is as follows:

  1. Application form of the prescribed form.

  2. A passport with a valid visa for a long-term stay in France.

  3. Three passport-sized color photographs (3.5 x 4.5 cm).

  4. Information on marital status (birth certificate, marriage certificate, birth certificates of dependent children).

  5. Information about the availability of housing in France (rental agreement or purchase and sale of real estate).

  6. Documentary confirmation of the grounds for issuing a residence permit (work contract, certificate of business registration, enrollment in a university and so on).

  7. Confirmation of financial security at a rate not less than the officially established minimum wage in France (certificate of employment, bank account).

  8. Medical insurance.

  9. Two envelopes with the address of residence.

  10. A special stamp worth 241 euros and 58 euros for students, which can be purchased at newsstands or the tax authorities' office.

You should have with you the original and two copies of the documents translated into French.

What gives a residence permit in France

  • Unimpeded movement between Schengen countries.

  • The opportunity to get free higher education.

  • Employment in France and doing business in a developed market economy and transparent legal system.

  • Access to social security programs and medical care.

  • Free use of the European credit system.

  • Daily contemplation of the beauty of French cities.

  • Depending on personal preferences, the opportunity to enjoy a variety of sporting events, visit French restaurants and fashion houses.

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