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Relocate to France from US

Relocate to France from US

American citizens who want to relocate to France from US must observe the general rules in matters of visas and residence permits. Instead of dealing with the formalities and bureaucracies involved, you should talk to one of our immigration lawyers in France who can offer complete legal advice and assistance. We can handle all the visa and immigration procedures with complete attention to the needs of our customers. We can also offer detailed information about how to immigrate to France.

 Quick Facts  
Visa requirement to enter France

– visa-free for stays of up to 90 days;

– residence permits available for longer stays

Types of temporary residence permits

– employment or self-employment,

– business purposes,

– study,

– family reunification,

– training or short-term jobs such as au pair

Documents for temporary residence permits 

– valid passport,

– proof of accommodation,

– proof of financial means,

– insurance,

– other documents according to the purpose of the stay

Approximate time needed to obtain a temporary stay permit

2 weeks

Residence permits for investors

“Passeport Talent” residence permit

Temporary residence permit duration 1 year for most types of permits 
Post-arrival registration with the French authorities

Yes, with police and prefecture in the area of residence. 

Our lawyer can give you more details when you relocate to France from US.

US permit holder can bring dependents to France

Yes, certain conditions can apply.

Facilities for US nationals married to a French citizen

– they can settle in France,

– they can obtain citizenship after 4 years of marriage

Our immigration lawyer can offer more details if you relocate to France from US.

Minimum lawful stay before applying for permanent residence

5 years of legally residing in France 

Minimum time in the country before applying for citizenship

5 years

Naturalization requirements

– valid residence permit,

– sufficient French language knowledge,

– sufficient knowledge of French history and culture,

– social and occupational integration,

– no criminal convictions

Dual citizenship


US pension available in France

They can claim US pensions if they are eligible for the US retirement or old-age benefits.

US national taxation in France

– tax on income derived from France,

– requirements for US-source income statements and submissions,

Our France immigration lawyer can give you details when you relocate to France from US.

Do I need a Visa for France if I’m from US?

From the beginning, it is important to know that US citizenship holders do not need a France Schengen visa. This involves tourists who want to visit France for no more than 3 months. In the case of American workers who want to relocate to France from US, the visa is replaced by the work permit issued by the French authorities prior to their arrival in this country. However, US official and diplomatic passport holders, journalists, employees, foreign students, and self-employees must apply for a French visa and consider the following:

  •  An application form provided by the French authorities needs to be completed.
  •  Medical insurance covering up to EUR 30,000 and with validity for the entire Schengen Area is needed.
  •  Proof you have enough funds to move to France from the US is needed. Some bank statements are required.
  •  In the case of US workers in France, a copy of the employment contract and a reference letter are needed.

Our French immigration lawyers can assist US citizens to apply for the proper visa to enter this country. In the case of Americans traveling for the purpose of business in France, a letter issued from the employer is required.

Can I apply for a French visa from US?

Yes, there are numerous offices and centers through which you can apply for a French Visa. Nevertheless, you can get in touch with our team of immigration lawyers in France and solicit our legal help if you want a French visa. Our team of advisors can handle all the requirements, as they work closely with the US authorities for such matters if you are ready to move to France from US.

The video below describes the process:


Long-term stays in France

Acquiring French residency for long-term purposes will be the first step for US citizens who intend on relocating to Paris or another French city. The purpose of stay needs to be properly motivated with sufficient and adequate documentation and, for business purposes, one will also have to provide documentation concerning the business itself, including but not limited to its registration.

It is important to note that US citizens living no more than 3 months in France will only need a valid passport during their stay. Things change if they relocate for more than just 90 days in France, for example when they do so with the purpose to immigrate to France from US. This means that US nationals will have to register with the French Embassy or Consulate and apply for a Carte de Sejour if they have a long-stay visa. In the case of parents of French-born children, retired US citizens in France, and spouses of French citizens, a Carte de Resident is needed.

Among the requirements for obtaining a residence permit in France, such an application must be done within 2 months prior to the relocation to France. In matters of documents, a valid passport, two photos, proof of residence in France, a birth certificate, and a work contract for future employees in France are needed. You should also add medical insurance of no less than EUR 30,000 coverage. You are invited to get in touch with one of our French immigration lawyers prior to your arrival in France, in order to get help with a visa and residence permit in France.

The long-stay visa is used by US nationals willing to remain in the country for more than 90 days. For these long-term stays, nationality is not relevant, and it does not exempt the foreign national from the requirement to remain in France solely based on a long-stay visa.

Even if the American applicant does not intend to remain in France for long-term periods, he or she will need to apply for a long-stay visa if the duration of the stay will be between three months and one tear.

The long-stay visa is the equivalent of the Schengen visa, and it allows the holder to travel within the Schengen Area.

As previously mentioned, the long-stay visa is the one that will allow the holder to apply for a residence permit at a prefecture. This step is mandatory for remaining in France.

Long-stay visa categories

Our team lists the main long-stay visa categories below:

  • Long-stay tourist or medical/personal reasons: the holder cannot engage in professional activities, except for young American nationals eligible for a working holiday programme; the duration of the stay cannot exceed 90 days per a 180-day period;
  • Professional activities: coming to France after having secured employment with a French company, or for the purpose of engaging in a liberal/self-employed activity;
  • Education: for American citizens who have been accepted to a higher education institution of their choice;
  • Joining family members: for US citizens whose family members are either US nationals already residing in France, or EEA nationals, or French nationals; an assessment of the family relationship is required in this case.

If you wish to move to France from the US, our local team of immigration experts can give you personalized information about any of the long-stay visa categories above. Moreover, we can also give you details about visas that are issued in special circumstances (such as those for working holidays, or after being admitted to a higher learning institution, if the applicant needs to change a short-stay visa to suit the new purpose of stay in France).

We can also provide specialized assistance to those US nationals who have been living in the country and wish to know more about how and if they can apply for French citizenship or immigrate to France. Obtaining French nationality is most commonly done by following the requirements for naturalization. However, if the American citizen is married to a French citizen, or he/she has French relatives, the procedure will be based on these family links. You can reach out to our team for complete information about the applicable conditions in each of these cases.

Living in France

Many of the foreign nationals who enter France each year intend to settle permanently in the country. American citizens who are ready to relocate to Europe, and have chosen France for its business or employment opportunities, will need to be mindful of the cultural changes, and the French values when they decide on their relocation.

The individual integration process starts as soon as the US national arrives in France and begins the mandatory procedures connected with his or her residence (such as registering with the municipality).

Foreign nationals participate in a mandatory two-day civic training course focused on the principles of values of the French Republic, as well as other important issues such as accessing entitlement and employment. A written language test is also common and, if the individual’s language skills are below A1 (according to the Common European Framework of Reference), the US national will need to take mandatory language lessons.

Apart from the civic integration matters, individuals who relocate to France from the US will also need to:

  • Find accommodation;
  • Open a bank account;
  • Have their degrees and experience recognized;
  • Enroll their children in school (if applicable);
  • Observe the tax requirements and submit the annual income tax statement.

Our team can give you complete information not only about the pre-arrival steps (that include applying for a visa and residence permit) but also the post-arrival steps that focus on the mandatory procedures for settling in the country.

Relocating a US company to France

US company owners can easily relocate their businesses to France and enjoy the advantages offered in this country. This can be a suitable option if the foreign investor himself wishes to immigrate to France from US. First of all, it is recommended to de-register the business in the USA and then prepare the documents and the formalities for relocating the company to France.

A declaration stating the intention of company relocation to France needs to be signed by the owners and by the administrators of the firm. The Articles of Association, the Certificate of Good Standing, and the Certificate of Incorporation will be part of the application for company relocation to France.

It is important to ask for information about the available business structures in France, and then choose in accordance with your needs and activities. Registration for tax purposes and social contributions is mandatory in France, but this step will be commenced at the time the company is incorporated in France.

US businessmen who wish to remain in the country can, after several years of having lawfully lived in the country while running their business, apply for citizenship or France residency by investment.

France’s economic and business statistics

France offers various opportunities for investors and those who wish to acquire residency through investment. Entrepreneurs will be pleased to know that the country’s GDP is currently on an increasing trend. Below you can find information, facts, and figures about the business and economy in France:

  • the GDP increased by 2.5% in 2022, compared to the previous year;
  • traded services accounted for 57% of the value added (the balance of the production account, calculated as the value of production minus the intermediate consumption);
  • the economic growth for the first quarter of 2023 was +0.2%;
  • the reported consumption value for May 2023 was 45,1 billion euros;
  • in June 2023, the business climate in the country was stable across all sectors, according to business and employment climate indicators.

We kindly invite you to contact our team of immigration lawyers in France and find out more about how to relocate from US to France.

Foreign nationals from other countries who wish to relocate to France can rely on our assistance as well. If you are not a US citizen and wish to know more about the conditions that apply in your case, you can reach out to us for personalized information. We will give you details based on the intended duration of stay and other particulars. Reach out to us if you are ready to relocate.