There are numerous reasons that stand at the base of moving or relocating to France. Foreign citizens can find appealing the work opportunities and business or personal development in this country, while international entrepreneurs can see France as the next profit destination for their growth plans. While EU and EEA citizens can freely enter France, individuals from third-national countries must observe the visa policies imposed by the authorities of this state. One of our immigration lawyers in France can offer in-depth legal advice and support for foreigners who want to move to France.
We are at your disposal with help for any immigration issue that might arise and can also provide assistance for those who are ready to apply for French citizenship.
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How can I obtain a visa for France?
Depending on our stay and purpose in France, foreigners must apply for a specific visa. If you do not enter France for a short stay, then you might need a long-term visa that can be obtained if you consider the following requirements:
- If you accepted a job in France, the employee needs to issue an official letter in this sense, alongside a copy of the employment contract.
- You need to have a valid passport before applying for a French visa.
- The visa application form is the first thing to take care of, at the French consulate or embassy in the country of origin.
- The proof of residence and financial status, alongside medical insurance, is required.
The conditions for French visa applications can be explained by one of our immigration lawyers in France who can also help you prepare your case with respect to the immigration laws. Feel free to talk to our specialists for complete details and guidance.
How can I renew my French visa?
French visas can be renewed or extended, according to their type and as long as the motive for remaining in the country is a valid one, supported by documents. If you have moved to France and are unsure of the process of renewing your visa, our French immigration lawyers can help answer your questions in due time, so that you may start the renewal process.
Visa renewals or extensions are provided by the prefecture in the place of residence. The consulate cannot renew expired residence permits as this is solely the responsibility of the prefecture. However, the holder of an expired residence permit can still travel if he has proof of having made the renewal application (the certificate issued to confirm that the documents for the renewal were submitted).
Obtaining the residence permit in France
Moving to France involves a series of steps, like obtaining the necessary visa, the work permit, and the residence permit in France. The registration with the local authorities is necessary in order to obtain the residence permit. If you intend to stay more than just 3 months in France, then you should solicit a residence permit and obtain the Carte de Sejour from the local authorities.
Long-stay visa holders are either required to apply for a residence permit after they arrive or they need to validate their long-stay visa that serves as the residence permit.
Holders of a long-stay visa with the obligation to apply for a residence permit must apply for this document within two months of their arrival and for this purpose, our team can help you contact the prefecture in your place of residence. Those who live in Paris will need to go to police headquarters. The prefecture will demand a set of documents (copies as well as originals) and in some cases, previous appointments are required online.
Foreign nationals who have a VLS-TS permit (the long-stay visa which is the equivalent to a residence permit) will need to validate it within three months of arriving in the country. Failure to do so will result in an impossibility to legally stay in France as well as to re-enter the Schengen Area. For this type of visa, the application process is performed solely online and the applicant will need to provide information on the visa, the date on which he or she arrived in the country, the place of residence in France as well as handle the payment of the visa fee or the electronic stamp (whichever applicable). Individuals who move to France using this type of visa will be able to remain in the country during the validity of the VLS-TS, however, they will need to apply for a residence permit with the local prefecture two months before the expiry date of the long-term visa. The French Office for Immigration and Integration has the right to contact the foreign national in order to ask that he or she performs a medical verification and/or for signing an integration contract.
In the case of parents of French-born children, or of spouses of French citizens, they will have to apply for the Carte de Resident. The EU blue card is also an important document that allows non-EU citizens to enter and remain in France if they work here. This is another residence permit issued for foreigners in France. You should talk to one of our French immigration lawyers and ask for legal advice in matters of documents for residence permits. Our team is at your disposal if you are interested in moving to France. Those planning to know more about France immigration can address their inquiries to our experts.
We invite you to watch the following short video on how to move to France:
Looking for a house in France
It is a great idea to search for a place to stay in France as soon as you decide to move to this country. Even if you might find his task difficult, it is best to plan in time for your arrival and find the proper option for your accommodation in France. You can pay attention to the following tips when looking for a place to stay in France:
- It is a great option to make some research online and access different real estate agencies.
- If you do not have enough time to look for a house in France you can hire the services of a real estate agent in France.
- You can also solicit viewing an apartment online before any decision.
- There is also the option of renting a room instead of a whole apartment.
- Make sure you read the lease contract before accepting it.
Individuals who meet a number of criteria can apply for housing benefits. The actual amount will vary according to the applicant’s financial means, the number of people who will live in that house as well as the area where the place of residence is based.
Opening a bank account in France
When you move to France you will need to prepare for a set of steps and tasks, besides obtaining a visa and a residence permit. If you relocate to France for work purposes, you should open a bank account for salary and future financial operations. You can choose from local or foreign banks established in France, mentioning that opening a bank account is not subject to particular fees. If you need support in this matter, you can talk to our advisors at any time.
Living in France
Before you move to France, or shortly thereafter if you intend to apply for a job or engage in freelancing activities, you should check what the French equivalent of your qualifications are and/or certify your previous experience. The ENIC-NARIC is the center that deals with academic and professional qualifications recognition. The center issues comparability statements for foreign qualifications, provides information on how to obtain the approvals to work in a regulated profession. Some of these include the following: agronomist, auditor, baker, beautician, craftsman, construction technical inspector, dental technician, doctor, electrician, fishing boat captain, hairdresser, lawyer, medical biologist, midwife, notary public, nurse, occupational therapist, oral surgeon, pharmacist, plumber, psychologist, property manager, radiologist, social worker, sports teacher, teacher, veterinarian, and many others.
Our team of immigration agents can help you apply for a license to work in a regulated profession. We can also assist you if you wish to continue your studies in France.
School is mandatory in France between ages 6 and 16. Parents who move to France with their children should make sure that they research the available schools in their area. Children can attend public or private schools and their parents need to register them.
Kindergarten or primary school registrations are performed with the public hall where a decision will be made on the school the child will be registered with. The parent will then schedule a meeting with the school director and then register the child. The registration will normally take place in early November until the end of January, for the next school year. However, it is possible to register your child with a new school throughout the year, particularly if you move.
Non-Francophone children will receive intensive French lessons and they are integrated gradually into the ordinary classes depending on their French language learning progress.
Below you can find interesting facts and figures about immigration in France, offered by thelocal.fr:
- France has a population of approximately 67 million citizens;
- around 9.7% of the total population of France were immigrants, in 2018, according to the latest statistics provided by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies in France.
- there were more than 4.8 million foreigners in France, as registered in 2018;
- there were more than 83,000 foreign students in France in 2018.
Ultimately, the main goal for a foreign national who moves here can be to obtain French citizenship. Most commonly, this is done through the naturalization process, after the foreign national has lived in the country for at least five years, uninterruptedly. Apart from a minimum residence period, other conditions include the applicant’s level of spoken and written French, regular income, habitual accommodation in France, and others. Should you have questions about this step, our team can answer them.
Moving to a new country is an important decision that involves several key steps. Our team can give you complete details about the requirements for residency in France, how you can remain in the country on a permanent basis, as well as how you can reunite with your spouse, children, or other family members. You can also reach out to us if you are already in France and have questions about residence permit renewals or changes.
If you would like to know more about the main rules for moving to France, you are invited to contact our team of immigration lawyers in France. They can offer legal advice in matters of France immigration, visas, and many more.