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How can I get France residence permit?

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How do I get a residence permit for France?

France residence permit is not hard to get. When hearing about France you probably are thinking about romantic alleyways, freshly-baked croissants, cafes bursting with vibrant clientele, sophisticated artists making their way to scenic spots for inspiration… France is the place to be! International Living magazine has voted France the best place to live five years in succession. The magazine has been publishing its Quality of Life Index since 1998.

Millions of people dream of moving to France, but bureaucracy and the use of a language different from English usually hold them back. But what if we told you that getting a France residence permit is actually easier than it sounds? In just 5 years, you could think of yourself as half-French, living in the country and integrating into its culture.

Now let’s look at the residence permit in France for non-EU. Residence permits allow non-EU citizens to live within France and other EU countries. Procedures to apply for these residence cards vary, but France has one of the most expedited processes available in Europe. That is also why thousands of expats find their home in France every year. Take a look at this article to understand why moving to France through a France residence permit card is one of the most secure investments you can take.

What is a residence permit?

A residence permit card (less often a residency permit) allows a foreign national the right to live in a country for an indefinite or fixed period of time. These permits can be used for temporary residence or permanent residence. These rules may vary from one region to the next. A temporary residence permit may be required in certain cases, such as in the UK. This permits you to extend your stay beyond a threshold. It can also serve as an intermediary step toward permanent residency. There are many reasons why a resident card can be granted, and the criteria for acceptance may change.

Visiting France will be a little more complicated after 2025 because of new travel rules. Launching in November 2025, European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be a primary requirement for all Canadian travelers visiting France and the rest of the Schengen Zone.

Among the France residence permit benefits, the most useful one is certainly that you and your family can invest a fixed amount to receive a residence permit valid for 10 years that will give you the same rights as French citizens. That means you and your family will have instant access to high-quality healthcare, top-notch education, as well as visa-free travel within the EU and the Schengen area countries.

France Residence permit Types

Depending on whether you’re applying for a France residence visa for the first or second time, one of these two main residence permits may be granted:

  • Applying for a Carte de Sejour: Carte de Séjour is a residence permit for those who come to France on a French long-stay visa and must either validate their visa, which serves as a residence permit (VLS TS), or apply for a residence permit within three months of their arrival in France.
  • You will need to apply for the Carte de Resident at the French sub-prefecture or prefecture in your country. You must submit the above-mentioned documents along with French translations in the other language. Carte de resident is available to spouses of French citizens, parents with a French-born child, and expats who are retiring in France.
  • Certificate of Residence for Algerians: This is only available to Algerian nationals. An Algerian citizen can apply for a specific France residence permit.
  1. For Algerians who want to enter France and remain in France for a specified period of time, a one-year certificate is available.
  2. Certificate for 10 years – This is for those who have family ties to someone in France or have been legally living in France for more than 10 years. It can be renewed.
  3. For Algerians who lived in France prior to retiring, a certificate of residence “retired” and “retired spouse” is required.
  • EU Blue Card -This document allows a non-EU citizen to enter and stay in France for a paid activity or to look into career opportunities in their field. The stay can be extended up to three years.
  • Authorization for stay is valid for one to three months. It is issued to the parent of a sick child in France or a volunteer of a mission in France.

France Residence permit Requirements

In order to obtain your residence permit France, you should be within the country, contrary to the traditional visa you applied for in order to enter France. If your France long-stay visa is marked with the words “carte de sejour a solliciter”, you will need to apply within two month of your arrival in France at local authorities. If your France visa has the “CESEDA” R.311-3, you will need to contact the Office Francais de I’Immigration et de I’Integration (OFFI) as soon as possible after you arrive in France.

These are the France Residence Permit requirements:

  • A valid passport that has the French long-stay visa stamp on it.
  • A copy of all pages in your passport that are important, including pages with stamps.
  • Birth certificate produced by your home country.
  • Two photos according to the ICAO standards.
  • You can prove your residence by providing proof of residence, such as an electricity bill, a statement of domicile, or a rent receipt.
  • Proof of income:
  1. If you are employed, provide a work contract and the most recent pay slips.
  2. If self-employed, provide proof of this status.
  3. Retirement or unemployment: evidence of having sufficient financial resources to live in France.
  • Medical Insurance.
  • If you are married to someone or have children, you will need to submit a certificate for marriage and birth certificates.
  • Every document not in French should be translated.

How to Apply for a France Residence permit Card

Are you a French citizen who has lived in France for a while and would like to move permanently? A resident card could be an option. A resident card allows a French citizen to work as a salaried worker or self-employed. The resident card can be used for 10 years and is renewable. But how to get one?

French diplomatic consular officials in their country of origin are qualified to issue the long stay visa to applicants who reside outside France. They will also be able to provide the justification for the resident card once they have arrived in France. The visa is valid for three months and allows the holder to work in France as a salaried professional as soon as they arrive. To obtain a certificate of residency for ten years, once you arrive in France, contact the Prefecture/Sub-prefecture at your place of residence.

If the applicant is already in France, they must apply for a change of status at the Prefecture or Subprefecture where they reside. They will be issued a resident card (or residence permit) that is valid for ten years, subject to their eligibility.

Before visiting France, make sure to check new travel regulations. From November 2025, the EU will launch the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) to enhance the EU’s safety capabilities and improve traveler experience. This means that Canadian Citizens will need to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver to visit France or any other EU/Schengen Area Country.

Application Procedure

The procedure must be started 3 months prior to the date of arrival in France if the applicant is applying from abroad.

The procedure must be started 2 months prior to the expiry date of the previous residence permit if the applicant is already based in France.

The applicant can find the exact list of documents required to support a residence permit application on the website or at the office of the authority that is responsible for processing it.

On receipt of your permit, you will need to pay an additional EUR200 tax to the OFII. The tax is further increased by a stamp duty of EUR25 for residence permits.

This administrative cost of EUR225 is compounded by the EUR99 cost of the long-stay visa authorizing entry to France.

France residence permit FAQs

Is France safe to live in for foreigners?

France is not ranked high on the list of safest European nations, despite the fact that violent crimes are rare, particularly against tourists. It is at the bottom of the list.

Pickpocketing is the most common crime in France. It’s very common in Paris, particularly in tourist areas and busy public transportation points. Pickpocketing is more common in the Mediterranean area of France.

The region is known for its high crime rates. There are many examples of money laundering, drug trafficking, robbery, and gun crimes. Although these crimes don’t usually involve tourists and non-locals, it is better to be cautious than sorry.

Is it easy to get permanent residency in France?

The pathway for France PR is not as difficult as it looks. A permanent residence card can be applied for once you have lived in France for at least five years. Three if you are the spouse or family member of a French citizen. You will be granted a resident card that allows you to remain in France for as long as you wish and can access all public services if you meet the requirements.

You must also ensure you are paying all taxes in France during your stay. Also, ensure the government that you are not committing any criminal or serious offenses against people, property, or the Republic of France. French authorities are extremely serious against any type of crime, from petty offenses to serious ones.

Which is the easiest EU country to get residency?

France is one of Europe’s easiest countries to be a permanent resident. The residency qualification period in France is one of the shortest in the world. The majority of foreign nationals have to have lived in France for five years. However, if you’ve completed postgraduate studies at a French university, the requirement can be reduced to two years. You might not think that successful integration is necessary for citizenship. To prove your ability to communicate fluently in French, as well as your understanding and appreciation of French culture, history, and politics, you will need to be able to show that you are able and willing to integrate.

Portugal is another popular option. Portugal is a popular choice if you have the money. The Golden Visa scheme gives you the opportunity to apply for permanent residency within five years. After five years, you can apply for citizenship if you have been in Portugal for 35 days. To obtain this visa, however, you will need to purchase real property worth $500,000 or invest $350,000 into an urban-generation area property. Expats find Portugal attractive because they can get an EU passport in five years. They also have the option to travel visa-free to Schengen countries. You can also access free healthcare and excellent education opportunities.

Best country to get residency for expats

Ireland is the third most preferred choice for expats. Since January 2021, only Ireland had the ability to work and live in the UK and EU. Anyone born in Northern Ireland to British or Irish parents has the right to both a UK passport and an Irish passport. This allows them to apply automatically for EU citizenship. Same as in Italy, people with Irish grandparents or parents are eligible for an Irish passport in most cases. The process to become Irish requires only five years of residency. The cost of obtaining a certificate for naturalization can be prohibitive. So it is worth considering delaying the process until you have more income. You will need residency in many cases. The Ireland Immigrant Investment Program provides flexibility that other Irish residency programs don’t offer.

How much income do you need to be a resident of France?

You must meet certain earnings requirements if you want to apply for a long-stay visa or residency permit. This applies to people who are not a citizen or a member of the European Union. Also, you must prove your financial resources. That depends on which type of long-stay visa you are applying for. But overall, you must prove you have the equivalent of the minimum wage in France for a full-time worker. This is called the SMIC (salaire minimum de croissance). From 1 Aug 2022, the minimum wage for an adult over 23 years old in France is EUR1,678.95/month (gross). After income tax and other social contributions it is going to be EUR1,329.05/month Net . This is an annual gross salary of EUR20.147.