Tips and Strategies You Can Use to Live in France Permanently

If you’d like to live in France, you’ll need an official residency in France. This is a two-step process in France. First, you must apply for a long-stay visa at your nearest French consulate. After you have your long-stay visa, you can take up your residency in France. When you arrive in France, you apply to the local town hall (Mairie) for an official residence card. This residence card can be used for travel to any of the Schengen area countries in Europe. Non-EU residents will need a long-stay visa for France to get Monaco residency too.

It’s surprisingly easy to get an official residency in France. The French government is keen to attract new residents who will invest in the country and contribute to the French economy. Traditionally France was a country that many British citizens chose to emigrate to. Before Brexit, you simply had to register at the local town hall. It’s a little more complicated now, but if your dream is to live in France, it’s still very achievable. The rules are now the same for everyone moving to France from outside the EU. Residency in France for US citizens is the same as residency in France for UK citizens.

We look at how to get residency in France below :

Start a Business to Get Residency in France

If you plan to start a business in France that is ‘real and serious,’ then you can get residency in France under the “passeport talent” “créateur d’entreprise” scheme. You will have to invest at least €30,000 in your business. You can also qualify for this visa type by investing at least €30,000 in another business that you plan to work in. This visa type is available for what the French classify as innovative enterprises. You can find further details on innovative enterprises here.

You must have a university degree or be able to prove at least five years of experience in the field that you’ll be starting the business in.

After your visa’s been approved, you can get a 4-year residency permit when you arrive in France.

Digital Nomad

France doesn’t have a specific digital nomad visa. If you fall into this category, you can apply for a long-stay visa for a private visit. This doesn’t allow you to work in France or have clients in France. You will be able to service your clients outside France though with this visa. You can also apply for one of the entrepreneurial visas or start a French company.

On balance, though, you’re probably better off keeping it simple and getting a long-stay visa for a private visit. You can always change it after a few months if you want to stay in France for longer.

You are a Highly Qualified Employee

You can get residency in France as a highly qualified employee. You will need an employment contract which lasts for at least one year. You must have at least three years of higher education or five years of appropriate experience. Your salary must be 1.5 times the French minimum wage. (€1,603 per month) You could open a branch of your own company to get residency in this category.

Inter Company Transfer

If you’ve worked for an international company for at least three months, you can be transferred to France. This could e to open a new branch of the company in France.

To get residency in France with this type of visa you must earn at least 1.8 times the French minimum wage. This is currently set at €1603 per month.

Buy a Business in France

residency in france
Buying a business in France is a route to permanent residency

If you buy at least 10% of a business in France, then you’ll be entitled to residency in France. There are also circumstances where you can lend money to a company doing business in France to get residency. You must hold a mandate from the company allowing you to represent it in France.

This will entitle you to a French visa. When you have your visa, you can get a French ‘carte de sejour’ within two months of your arrival in France.

Invest in a Company

You can get residency in France by investing at least €30,000 in an innovative French company. You can also get this visa by buying at least 10% of any other company doing business in France. There are no educational or work experience requirements for this type of visa.

Like the other categories, you will apply for a long-stay French visa first and get your residency permit within two months of arrival in France.

You Have a National or International Reputation in Your Field

If you have an international reputation in science, the arts, business, academia, education, or sports and plan to carry out this activity in France, then you’re entitled to a long-stay visa for France.

You will need to provide details of your reputation. You also must provide details of the financial resources you’ll use whilst in France and details of the project that you’ll be working on.

Your visa will be issued at the French consulate, and then you’ll get your residency after you arrive in France.

You are a Writer, Artist or Creator

Writers and professional performers can get long-stay visas in France. You will need either a contract to perform or proof that you earn your income by using your talent. You must prove that you have an income of at least 70% of the French minimum wage to get residency in France under this category.

You want to study in France

There are multiple visa options for those who want to study in France. Once you’ve been accepted to a French learning institution, you can apply for a student visa. This will allow you to have residency in France while you’re studying.

After you complete your studies, there are many options for you to stay in France. French citizenship can be fast-tracked if certain criteria are met.

You already have family in France

If you have family who are French citizens or long-term residents in France. There is a family reunion visa. This will allow family members of French residents to stay in France for up to a year. There are options to extend this visa if you decide to stay in France for more than one year.

French Citizenship

French citizenship can be applied for after you’ve lived in France for five years. There is a language requirement to become a French citizen, so if you want to become a citizen, you should work on your French as soon as possible. Every prospective French citizen must attend an interview to become a French citizen.


How do I become a resident of France?

You first must apply for a long-stay visa. There are many residence permit types. You get the long-stay visa at your nearest consulate. You get your resident’s permit after you arrive in France.

Is it easy to get residency in France?

There are lots of ways to apply for residency in France. It’s quite easy to obtain if you meet the requirements.

How do I get a residency permit in France?

To get the residency permit, you will take your long-stay visa and identity documents to your local town hall in France.

What is the minimum income for residency in France?

You will normally have to earn at least the minimum wage, which is €1,600 per month.

Do I need a French resident permit to stay in France?

If you want to stay for more than three months, you’ll need a residency permit.

Can I acquire French permanent residence?

Yes, by applying for a long-stay visa, you should be able to get a residence permit for four years which is renewable.

As a French resident, can I travel to other EU countries?

Your French residency card will allow you to travel to all the European countries in the Schengen area.

While living in France has many amazing benefits, you will know that France has very high taxes and an aggressive tax department. If you plan to live in France for more than six months, it’s important that you structure your affairs before you go to minimize your tax liability. We help our international clients minimize their tax liabilities and obtain second citizenship and residencies. If you’d like to work with us to minimize your taxes and protect your assets, get in touch below.