Legal Requirements and Qualifications When Moving To France

France is one of Europe’s dream destinations because of its rich culture, environment, and food. The country is not only famous for visitors, but many expats are also considering moving to France. The country provides a lot of benefits if you want to settle there. However, it can be challenging for people who do not speak French.

However, it is not only the language that can be difficult to deal with. Immigration systems should also be considered before you take the giant leap of migrating. In processing your visa application, you might need to consider hiring immigration lawyers to help you identify which visa you should apply for, the working permit you need, and during the application process. 

Living there can be very different, especially if you are coming from a European country. Knowing which legal requirements you should prepare and other qualifications that will allow you to purchase or rent a property in France is essential since the government requires it.

Everything You Need To Know Before Relocating

If you are relocating to France from an EU country, you must provide the documents proving that you have paid the VAT on the items you will be transporting from your country of origin. However, if you are coming from a non-EU country, aside from the VAT, you also need to pay the duty tax on all items. 

There are also certain vaccinations required before you can enter the country. Some of these are vaccines for Hepatitis A and B, Yellow Fever, and Rabies, but additional vaccination records may also be required depending on which country you are coming from. 

Before you move to France, you must have a place to stay. Its size should meet the requirements of relocation. If you are moving as a student, you need to rent a one-bedroom apartment. And if you are moving with your family, you need to have accommodation with three bedrooms.

For healthcare, you are obligated to get public or private health insurance. 

Visa Application Requirements and Process

Like in other countries, you need to secure a France Schengen visa before moving to France. If you are a citizen of EU/EEA member states, you can relocate to France under the Freedom of Movement Act. If you are a UK citizen, check with your London immigration lawyer about the current visa requirements because of the changes when the UK decided to leave the European Union. 

If you are a non-EU/EEA member state citizen, you must apply for a long-term French visa and a residence permit, which have different requirements for each category. 

All nationals not citizens of EU/EEA member states must comply with the conditions before you can permanently reside in France. Initially, you will be issued a long-term visa that allows you to stay for one year. 

However, long-term visas may oblige you to apply for a residence permit within two months, which may also require additional documents. If your temporary long-term visa is equivalent to a residence permit (VLS-TS), this should be validated within three months as soon as you arrive in France. 

You need to provide documents such as visa information, entry date in France, your residential address in France, and a credit card that you will be used to pay for the issuance fee. Your VLS-TS allows you to stay in France for one year.

If you wish to reside longer than your VLS-TS allows, a residence permit from your local prefecture should be applied for two months before your VLS-TS expires.

Who Are Allowed To Have a Residence Card Upon Arriving in France For The First Time

Under certain conditions, some individuals are allowed to have their residence cards:

  • Spouses of French nationals who have been married for three years
  • Dependents of French nationals that are under 21 years old
  • Ascendants of French nationals
  • Non-European citizens who entered France through family reunification provided the family member holds a residence card.
  • Non-European citizens who acquired French citizenships when they were born in France
  • Stateless persons and their families
  • Retired non-European nationals who hold a residence permit as long as they can provide proof of their intent to reside in France permanently.


Living with your family in France is a dream. The French education system offers educational facilities, and the French government provides after-school care to support working parents. Your children may also receive a four-course lunch menu every day. The country also offers the best public healthcare system in the world, which is accessible to all residents of France.

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