How to get a residence permit in France

Traveling to another country for a long time or even moving there can seem like a very serious undertaking. Of course, to obtain a temporary or permanent residence permit in France, you will have to collect a serious package of documents and confirmations, as well as satisfy numerous conditions of the state to which you are planning to move (for example, financial). In addition, in some cases, obtaining a residence permit in France will mean taxation on an equal basis with French citizens. However, if desire is stronger than any fears, we have prepared for you brief information on all possible ways to obtain a residence permit in France.


1. Student visa (étudiant)

If you are aiming to study in France, then first you will receive a long-term student visa for 1 year. To do this, you will need all the necessary confirmation from the educational institution, as well as confirmation of sufficient finances to live in France for a year (bank statement or confirmation that you have received a scholarship to study), confirmation of place of residence, a certificate of the completed procedure in Campus France. This visa gives you the right to work in France (60%, that is, about 25 hours a week); if your studies last more than one year, then upon completion of your visa you will be able to extend it and receive a student residence permit.

2. Temporary residence permit in France (Autorisation provisoire de séjour pour étudiant)


Such a residence permit in France is received by students who have recently graduated from a university and wish to work in France in their specialty. This permit is issued for 1 year, during which time you must find a job and conclude an employment contract.

3. Internship (stagiaire)

To obtain a visa or trainee residence permit, you must come to France to undergo vocational training, internship in a company or public hospital for a period of at least 3 months.

4. Living with a family (aide familiale “au pair”)

Many people want to learn French in a direct environment. French families in need of help (most often with help with children or cleaning) temporarily host young foreigners (from 17 to 30 years old) in their homes for a nominal fee. When coming to France under such a contract, you will be required to enroll in French language or French culture courses.

Temporary residence permit in France (from 1 to 4 years)

5. Private life (vie privée et familiare)

This residence permit in France can be obtained due to various circumstances.

  • marriage to a French citizen;
  • marriage with a resident of the country (a foreigner who has already received a long-term or permanent residence permit in France (residence card));
  • PAX (PACS) with a citizen or resident of the country. In official language, PAX is a civil agreement of solidarity, a contract concluded between two individuals (including those of the same sex) to live together. Simply put, this is an officially registered cohabitation. PAX, like marriage, carries with it many features and “bonuses” (for example, tax reduction);
  • you are the parent of a French citizen;
  • you are the child of a French resident.

6. Work visa (salarié or travailleur temporaire)


If you came to France under a work contract, then your life in this country will also begin with a temporary residence permit. To do this, you will need a contract of employment for an indefinite period (CDI) or a temporary contract of employment (CDD).

7. Visitor

If you want to come to France for a period of more than 3 months without an employment contract or study at a French educational institution, you can obtain a visitor’s residence permit for 1 year (then it can be renewed). Such a residence permit does not give you the right to work in France and will only be issued if you prove sufficient funds to live in France along with the reasons for coming for a long time (for example, purchasing real estate in France).

Long-term residence permit in France

8. Passeport talent

A long-term residence permit in France can be obtained if you want to work in this country for more than 3 months and you have sufficient grounds to obtain the so-called “passport talent”. Such a residence permit can be obtained if you:

  • Qualified worker. To obtain this residence permit in France, you need a diploma equivalent to a French master’s degree or professional licentiate, and – most importantly – a work contract for a period of more than 3 months with an annual income of 35,963.20 €.
  • Worker in an innovation project. To do this, you need a work contract with a young innovative company, confirming your irreplaceable functions specifically in this business and providing an annual income of at least 35,963.20 €.
  • Highly qualified position. For such a residence permit in France, you must have a higher education diploma, at least 5 years of work experience, an employment contract for 1 year (minimum), and your annual profit must not be less than 53,836.50 €.
  • An employee on a business trip. Your company cooperates with a French company, your work experience is at least 3 months, you have an employment contract with a company in France, and your salary is at least 32,366.88 € per year. Under these conditions, you will be able to obtain a long-term residence permit in France.
  • Researcher. Such a residence permit in France can be obtained if you have a master’s degree and are aiming to conduct scientific research or educational activities at a French university.
  • Establishment of a company. This residence permit in France is received by those who have a master’s degree and strong justification for organizing a new enterprise (commercial, industrial or craft) in France.
  • Investor. If you are planning to invest in France (this could be a personal investment or an investment through a company), then you may be issued a multi-year residence permit in France.
  • Authorized representative of the company. You are a legal representative of a company founded in France, your work experience is more than 3 months, and your annual income is at least 53,944.80 €.
  • Artistic and cultural profession. Residence permits in France are often issued to artists (artists, musicians, writers, etc.) who plan to engage in their creative work in this country for more than one year (for example, touring).
  • An internationally famous person. A long-term residence permit in France can be obtained by famous scientists, writers, artists, athletes, etc.

9. Seasonal worker

This residence permit in France is issued for a maximum of 3 years; it can be obtained by those who intend to perform seasonal work in this country. The conditions for obtaining such a residence permit are: a work visa and an employment contract for seasonal work for at least 3 months. It is important to know that with such a residence permit you will not be able to stay in France for more than 6 months (in total) a year, and you will also be required to provide all the necessary evidence that your housing in the country of permanent residence remains yours.

10. Pensioner

This residence permit is for those who previously lived in France with a different type of residence permit, whose permanent place of residence is in another country and whose pension is not less than the basic social insurance regime in France.

Ten-year residence permit in France


11. Resident

Such a long-term residence permit in France or a resident card is issued to spouses of French citizens if the marriage is at least 3 years old and the life together has never been interrupted; spouses or adult children of foreign citizens who already have a permanent residence permit in France, if they have lived in France for at least 3 years; as well as the parents of a child living in France, provided that they (the parents) have been in this country for at least three years with a temporary residence permit.

12. Permanent residence permit in France

If you have a ten-year residence card that is about to expire, you can apply for permanent residence in France. A permanent residence permit is issued if you have had two ten-year resident cards in a row or you are over 60 years old.

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