One of the first steps to acquiring citizenship by naturalization in France is to obtain a permanent residency permit. If you are new to this, we will guide you on obtaining a permanent resident status in France.
Furthermore, living in France as an expat can be a great journey. To get the best experience in France, you might want to read on these guides as well:
- Reasons why France is the best place to move to;
- Expat life in France;
- Local life in France;
- Human rights in France.
But first, let’s see what you can do to get a permanent residency permit in France. Although the steps involved in getting a permanent residency in France are somewhat complicated, we will try to break down the entire process for you.
Do you really need a permanent residency permit in France?
A permanent residence permit also known as Carte de résident is a special document that allows you to live permanently in France. Permanent residence permits are valid for up to 10 years and can be renewed if the beneficiary chooses to.
Foreign nationals whose native countries are members of the EU, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland, have visa-free access to France. However, they will have to register for a permanent residency permit in France if they plan to stay in France for more than 6 months.
Any EU citizen that has stayed in France for more than 5 years has the right to obtain a permanent residence permit. The holder is not obligated to provide proof of their income or employment, but must be able to prove that they stayed in France for more than 5 years to keep the permanent residency permit valid.
The same thing applies to non-EU citizens. Once your visa application is accepted, you and any of your family members above 21 years will have to apply for a carte de séjour before they are allowed to live and work in France.
All non-EU/EEA nationals that plan to reside in France for more than 3 months must apply for a long stay visa that would be valid all through their stay in France. All applications for permanent residency in France should be completed 2 months before their visa expiration date.
A French permanent residency permit won’t make you a French citizen or give you French passport or voting rights. It only allows you to call France home and work in France.
Documents needed for permanent residency in France
If you are an expat that would like to reside in France for as long as possible, then you’ll need to obtain your permanent residency permit. The documents required for this application have been listed below:
- Passport with copies of the main pages;
- Two copies of the completed application;
- Four passport photographs;
- Birth certificate;
- Marriage certificate;
- Proof of residence;
- Proof of medical insurance;
- Employment contract;
- Proof of sufficient financial stability.
How to apply for French permanent residency
All applications for French permanent residency are done at any local French town hall. You will have to come with the documents listed above. It takes about 6 – 8 weeks to process and once it’s ready, you’ll be notified.
The cost of a permanent residency application fee varies. It depends on the reason for your application. If you are obtaining your France permanent residency for family reunification, you will have to pay €269. For asylum seekers and veterans, the cost for a permanent residence permit is only €19.
If you possess a one-year residence card but refuse to declare it at the time of your application, you will be penalized.
Exceptions for permanent residency in France
If you want to permanently reside in France, you must reside in the country for 5 years before you are eligible to apply for permanent residency. This is the usual case unless:
- You are married to a French Citizen. If you are married to a French citizen, you can apply for a permanent residency permit is less than 3 years of your stay in France. You also get this benefit if you are the parent or child of a French national.
- Some nationalities are allowed to enter France with just their visa. This allows them to live and work in the country for up to 120 days without possessing a permanent residency permit.
- If you hold a degree or two from any French university, you will be allowed to live and work in France without possessing a French permanent residency permit.
- France and USA government has a bilateral agreement. It allows citizens of the United States to stay for an additional 90 days not just in France but other Schengen area without possessing a permanent residency or visa.
If you want a permanent residency permit in France fast, apply today. The European Union is introducing new requirements & reforms that will make it more difficult for Non-EU citizens to obtain a Schengen visa and visit the EU.