- Only nationals of non-EU/EEA countries need a visa to migrate to France
- A long-term visa is needed if the individual intends on living in France for more than 90 days
- After living in France for more than 5 years, the individual may apply for citizenship
France is a popular country with migrants from across the world. There are many reasons to move to this beautiful country. If you’ve been dreaming of French baguettes and croissants, read on to find out how you can migrate to France.
When it comes to Western Europe, France is the largest country. It is known not only for its history and culture but also for its wines, cuisine and economy. In fact, France was one of the first global superpowers.
So, it comes a no surprise to note that in January 2016, migrants accounted for at least 11.8% of the total population. This percentage has been steadily growing as more and more people find reasons to migrate to France.
Why Migrate To France?
Expats living in France believe that the move greatly improved their quality of life. France has a good work-life balance and lays equal emphasis on family life and careers. When it comes to family life, France has plenty of good schools, lots of culture to soak in and an affordable cost of living.
On the other hand, when it comes to careers, many of the top multinational brands have offices in France. In France, every employee is entitled to 5 weeks of paid leave. This gives them plenty of time to explore the beaches, vineyards, Churches and palaces that France is famous for.
Do You Need A Visa For France
Not everyone needs a visa to visit France. France is part of the Schengen area, the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). Thus, citizens of other countries that belong to these groups do not need a visa to enter France or to live, work and study here.
They may, however, need to apply for an EU-citizen residence card if they plan on staying in the country for more than 90 days. Citizens of all other countries need a visa to enter France even if it’s only for a short period.
Extended Stay Visa/ Long-Term Visa
People wanting to migrate to France permanently need to apply for an extended stay visa or a visa de long séjour. This visa is applicable for anyone who intends on staying in France for more than 90 days. It is relevant for
- International students
- People who are employed by a French company with a contract for at least 1 year
- Temporary workers who are employed by a French company with a contract for anywhere between 3 months and 1 year
- Scientific researchers
- The spouse of a French citizen
- The spouse of a migrant living in France
- People who have entered France on a visitor visa, are not working and have the financial resources to support them for a longer stay
The Long-term visa is also known as the D visa. There are four categories this visa is issued under:
- Stay for personal or tourist reasons
- Stay for work
- Stay for education
- Stay to reunite with family
Long-Term Visa For Personal Reasons
This visa allows a person to stay in France for more than 90 days but does not allow the person to work in France. The only exception to this is a young traveller who is part of a working holiday program. This visa may be used by individuals seeking medical treatment in France.
Long-Term Visa For Work
This visa is applicable to people who are employed by French companies, self-employed people wanting to stay in France for professional or commercial reasons, self-employed people wanting to start or take part in a liberal activity such as agricultural or artisanal activities and people taking part in a professional course organized by a company or training organization.
Long-Term Visa For Work
This visa allows the applicant to stay in France and study in any educational establishment of their choice, take entrance examinations, attend interviews and study French while working as an au pair. Entrepreneurs may also apply for a long-term work visa if they want to set up a new establishment in the country.
Long-Term Visa For Family Reunification
This visa is applicable to people wanting to stay in France with a spouse who is a legal French citizen, an EEA/EU citizen or a foreigner living in France. Other relatives eligible for this visa are a French national’s minor children, parents, grandparents and other older relatives. People living in France with other visas may also use this visa to adopt a child from outside France.
Documents Required To Migrate To France
There are some documents that all applicants must have regardless of the type of long-term visa being applied for and some that are specific to the type of visa. the general documents every applicant needs include:
- A completed visa application form
- A passport that is valid for at least 3 months more than the intended stay. the passport must also have at least 2 blank pages
- Photocopies of the first and last page of the passport, any earlier Schengen visas and entry stamps
- 2 Recent passport sized photographs
- A copy of the applicant’s itinerary including accommodation details
- Travel insurance
- Proof of having paid the visa fee
- Proof of having sufficient funds to cover the cost of accommodation and living in France
The Additional Documents Required For A Work Visa Are:
- A copy of the work contract document
- For intra-company transfers, a copy of salary receipts from the last 3 months and a copy of the work contract
- For scientists, an appointment letter from the institution where they will be engaged
- For artists, a copy of the Regional Directorates of Cultural Affairs “DRAC” of the place where the first performance will be given
- For people enrolled in a non-paid internship, a signed copy of the internship agreement
- If the applicant is self-employed, a copy of business registration papers
The Additional Documents Required For A Student Visa Are:
- Certificate of registration in a professional school or university
- In vitiation letter to take preliminary admission tests
- Copy of last completed educational degree/diploma
- If the applicant is less than 18 years old, a signed letter from the applicant’s parents that gives the applicant permission to move to France
- Copy of scholarship certificate if applicable
The Additional Documents Required For A Family-Reunification Visa Are:
- Proof of nationality of the sponsor
- For spouses, a copy of the marriage certificate
- For parents, proof of family ties, copy of sponsor’s birth certificate
- For children, a copy of both parent’s passport and proof of relationship
- If the child is travelling with only one parent, an authorization letter from the other parent or a copy of the court decision giving the parent sole custody
How To Apply For A Long-Term Visa?
Once the required documents have been collected, the applicant must book an appointment at the consulate to submit the documents and be interviewed. This appointment can be booked online. The interview generally lasts for about 10 minutes. The visa can take up to 2 months to be processed.
Apply For French Citizenship
Anyone who has been living in France legally for at least 5 years may apply to be naturalized as a French citizen. They must also prove that they have been integrated into the French culture and community and can speak French fluently. In cases of people who have married French citizens, the couple must have been married and lived together for at least 3 years.