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France – Residency

France offers several residency options to foreign nationals, which are categorized based on the duration and the purpose of the stay. The two main types of residency in France are temporary and permanent residency.

Temporary Residency

Short-Stay Visa

Foreign nationals intending to stay in France for up to 90 days within a six-month period can apply for a short-stay visa. This visa allows for tourism, business visits, medical treatment, and transit. The visa must be applied for before entering the country at the French embassy or consulate in the home country.

Long-Stay Visa

A long-stay visa is required for foreign nationals who intend to stay in France for more than 90 days within a six-month period. The visa is usually issued for one year and can be renewed upon expiration. There are several types of long-stay visas depending on the purpose of the stay, including:

  • Student Visa: for foreign nationals enrolled in an educational program in France.
  • Work Visa: for foreign nationals who have a job offer from a French employer.
  • Family Reunification Visa: for family members of French citizens or residents.
  • Entrepreneur Visa: for foreign nationals intending to start a business in France.

Permanent Residency

EU Citizens


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EU citizens can apply for permanent residency after living in France for five continuous years. They must provide proof of financial means, a residence permit, and a valid health insurance policy.

Non-EU Citizens

Non-EU citizens can apply for permanent residency after living in France for five years under the “competencies and talents” category. This option is available for foreign nationals who can demonstrate a significant contribution to France in terms of the arts, science, sports, or economics.

Process for Applying for Residency in France

The process for applying for residency in France varies depending on the type of residency being applied for. However, the general process for obtaining residency in France is as follows:

  1. Apply for a visa: The first step in obtaining residency in France is to apply for a visa at the French embassy or consulate in the home country.
  2. Arrival in France: Upon arrival in France, foreign nationals must apply for a residence permit at the prefecture in the area of residence.
  3. Submit required documents: The required documents for the residency application vary depending on the type of residency being applied for. Generally, the documents required include proof of identity, proof of financial means, and proof of health insurance.
  4. Interview: A personal interview may be required as part of the residency application process.
  5. Receive residency permit: Upon approval of the residency application, the foreign national will receive a residency permit, which must be renewed before expiration.

Documents Required for Residency Application in France

The documents required for a residency application in France vary depending on the type of residency being applied for. However, the following documents are commonly required:

  • Passport and visa
  • Proof of financial means
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Criminal record certificate
  • Proof of accommodation in France
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)

Registration Requirements in France

Foreign nationals are required to register with the local town hall within eight days of arrival in France. This process involves presenting a passport and proof of accommodation in France.

Resources for Residency in France

The French government website provides up-to-date information on residency requirements and procedures. Additionally, the local prefecture in the area of residence can provide information on residency in France. Foreign nationals can also consult with immigration lawyers for guidance on obtaining residency in France.

The following websites provide reliable, up-to-date information on residence in France:


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