How to Move to France | A Complete Guide

How to Move to France

If you want to move to France then you’r in the right place to find all the informations you need. A sophisticated nation and a Western European favorite, abundant in historical depth, cultural richness, and  a diverse populace, France presents an ideal destination for residence, employment, and retirement. It stands as a well-developed nation and the world’s seventh-largest economy, consistently achieving top-tier status in education, healthcare, and life expectancy.

Hence, it attracts a substantial influx of expatriates each year, with over 6 million individuals from various corners of the globe calling France home. Moreover, France provides exceptional prospects, robust public amenities, an equilibrium between work and leisure, an idyllic climate, and delectable cuisine.

Who Can Relocate to France?

Moving to France is an option open to all, but the relocation process may differ for those outside the EU:

  1. EU/EEA and Swiss Citizens: Individuals from EU/EEA countries and Switzerland who wish to establish permanent residency in France do not require a French visa or permit initially. They must present a valid passport or national ID. However, certain legal procedures may be applicable to them after they settle in the country.
  2. Non-EU/EEA/Swiss Citizens: Non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals aiming to reside in France for more than 3 months must obtain a D visa (long-stay visa) and a residence permit.

How to Move to France as an EU Citizen

For EU/EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members, securing a residence permit (carte de séjour) upon arrival in France is necessary. They do not need an entry visa due to their European Union citizenship, entitling them to the same privileges as French citizens. Consequently, they can live, work, and study in France with a residence permit as long as they possess a valid EU passport.

How to Move to France as a Non-EU Citizen

Non-EU individuals desiring permanent settlement in France must acquire a long-stay visa (D visa). Various types of long-stay visas are available depending on the purpose of their entry into French territory.

Moving to France for Work

France issues distinct work visa categories for those planning to work in the country. Applicants must select the appropriate category and commence the application process. Highly skilled non-EU workers also have the option of applying for an EU Blue Card, granting them a four-year work and residence permit in France, which can be renewed.

Moving to France for Study

Students intending to move to France need to obtain a student visa. French student visas are categorized, and applicants must choose the one that aligns with their situation. Within two months of arriving in France, they must register with the Immigration and Integration Office. This type of visa may also permit limited weekly employment (60% of standard working hours in France).

Moving to France for Family Reunification

Non-EU citizens’ family members can join them in France through the application for a French family visa. This visa is issued for:

  • Spouses (in legal marriages).
  • Children below 21 years old.
  • Dependent parents without other caretakers.

The resident family member in France must demonstrate sufficient financial means to support incoming family members. Subsequently, applicants can schedule an interview at the French embassy.

Upon arrival in France, they must register and obtain a residence permit from French authorities.

Moving to France for Retirement

For those intending to spend their retirement in France, obtaining a residence permit (Carte de Séjour) is necessary, as France does not issue retirement-specific visas. Applicants should apply for a retiree residence permit at the nearest prefecture or sub-prefecture within their French residence.

Remember that a long-stay visa is a prerequisite before applying for a residence permit.

What is the Required Residency Duration for French Citizenship?

To secure French citizenship, a minimum of 5 consecutive years’ residence in the country is essential. If you’re married or have children, this requirement extends to your family as well, mandating that your entire household resides in France for the same 5-year period.

Verification of your 5-year residence in France and proof of your primary income source being in the country are obligatory. Moreover, adhering to a specific set of eligibility criteria is necessary to attain French citizenship.

An alternative path to obtaining French citizenship is through birth, but this is only applicable under specific circumstances:

1. You were born in France, and one of your parents was born in France.
2. One of your parents is a French citizen.
3. You were born in France, and one of your parents is a French citizen.
4. You were adopted by French parents.

Can I Transport My Personal Belongings to France?

If you’re relocating to France from another European country, you will be exempt from paying duties and taxes. Moreover, if you have resided in a non-EU nation for a minimum of one year and intend to establish France as your primary residence, you may also be eligible for an exemption from customs duties.

When importing your belongings to France, adherence to the following regulations is mandatory:

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1. All your belongings must be imported to France within 12 months from your initial arrival in the country.
2. You can transport your possessions in a single shipment or in multiple stages.
3. Any of the exempted belongings cannot be divested (sold, rented, loaned, pledged, etc.) within 12 months of their entry into French territory.

Ensure that you provide the following documents to French customs:

1. A comprehensive, estimated inventory detailing your belongings and household items intended for importation to France.
2. CERFA form 100700, used to declare the duty-free entry of personal property from non-EU nations (available here).
3. Documentation substantiating:

  • a. Your prior residence in a non-EU country.
  • b. Your move to France (e.g., a change of residence certificate, transfer order for French civil servants and military personnel, residency card, immigration card, etc.).

How to Move to France

Paris, renowned as one of France’s most iconic cities, boasts a diverse expat community of over 300,000 individuals hailing from across the globe. This vibrant metropolis pulsates with cultural richness, featuring a bustling nightlife, encompassing more than 4,000 bars. As a thriving hub for career growth, Paris provides abundant job prospects. It’s also a global epicenter for art, fashion, cuisine, and culture, synonymous with its café culture and upscale boutiques. For singles, the “City of Love” offers an enticing opportunity to find romance, making Paris an exceptional destination in more ways than one.


In conclusion, French citizenship requires a minimum 5-year residency, with family members included. Birth-related citizenship criteria exist, and importing personal belongings to France is subject to specific rules, including a 12-month timeframe for entry and documentation requirements. Adherence to these guidelines is vital for a smooth immigration process.

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