Moving to France: Visas
For the most part if you plan on moving to France, you will need to solicit an entry visa for your local French consulate. There are some exceptions, notably family member or spouse of a European do not need to request a visa but you must request a carte de séjour within three months of arriving in France.
If you are currently working on this phase of your "move to France master plan," don't be intimidated and don't be scared. Though it is quite daunting heading in to the consulate for your rendez-vous, knowing what you are applying for and what to include in your application, can help you to start your vie en rose.
What you need to know
There are various types of visas available to you depending on what your intentions are in France. Our first tip is always to check out the consular website of the consulate closest to you. In their Visa section you should find various links to the different visas, their eligibilities and requirements.
Next, you have to do your research. Once you’ve booked your appointment online, it’s time to sit down and do your research. Ask yourself the important questions, how long do your actually want to stay in France? Do you want to be able to work once you’re there? What will retiring in France mean to my state pension? When we consult with clients applying for their visas we always try to find out their end goal with living in France before we advise them on which visa we think would be best for them.
Go to your meeting at the consulate. Be prepared, don’t be scared but don’t lie! As scary as it may seem, particularly if you’ve put all of your eggs in the French basket, it really isn’t that bad. The consular officers are not there to shatter your dreams and if you have the correct paperwork, good intentions, are honest, and SMILE you should be fine.
Once you have your visa, you will receive also a paper from the consulate addressed to the OFII (Office of French Immigration and Integration). This is important so carefully bring it to France with you as you’ll have to post it within your first 3 months of arriving to make sure that you receive your OFII stamp in time!
Any further questions, please let us know!
Visas and Carte de Séjours: Our Free Guide
For more information about visas available at most consulates and requirements have a look at our free guide below.
However, do remember that each consulate may have their own specific procedure and requirements so ALWAYS check your consular website first.