Immigrate to France From UAE (Visas & Permits)

The journey from the United Arab Emirates to France is an exciting prospect, filled with opportunities for cultural enrichment and personal growth. Making sense of the complexities of immigration, including visas and permits, is a crucial step in making this transition smooth and successful.

For expert guidance and support in your immigration process, contact Total Law at +44 (0)333 305 9375. Our team is dedicated to providing comprehensive assistance to ensure your move to France is as seamless as possible. Let Total Law be your partner in turning your dream of living in France into a reality.

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    Are Citizens Of Dubai & UAE Required To Apply For a Visa For France?

    Citizens of Dubai and the UAE have specific visa requirements when planning to visit France. As of May 6, 2015, Emirati citizens are free from entry visas for France and the Schengen States for stays of less than 90 days. This exemption applies to short-term visits, such as tourism, business, or family visits. However, for longer stays or other purposes like studying, working, or residing in France, UAE citizens must obtain the appropriate visa.

    The Consular section in Abu Dhabi exclusively processes all visa applications from the UAE for France. Applicants need to apply in person at the VFS Centre in Abu Dhabi, and it’s important to note that the visa application process does not conclude with filling out the form online on the France Visas website. After completing the online form, applicants must print it and submit it along with all other required documents at a VFS centre​​.

    For ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) applications, Emiratis will need to provide personal information and answer several security-related questions, with the information being checked against various security databases. It’s important to have a passport with at least 3 months of validity past the intended date of departure from France and the Schengen Area when applying for an ETIAS​​.

    As of November 1, 2023, the counter dedicated to France within VFS Dubai has been closed, and all applications from the UAE are handled by a larger VFS centre in Abu Dhabi. This centre will also serve the 7 Emirates through the “Visa At Your Doorstep” (VAYD) service, which is an optional fee-based service allowing applicants to apply directly from their home or workplace without having to travel to the VFS centre​​.

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    What Visas Do Citizens From UAE Need In Order to Move To France?


    Citizens from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) looking to immigrate to France have a range of visa options, each suited to specific purposes such as tourism, study, work, and entrepreneurship. Understanding the specific conditions and eligibility requirements for each visa category is crucial for a successful application.

    Tourist Visa

    For UAE citizens planning a visit to France for tourism, business, or short family visits beyond 2025, the introduction of the ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) will bring a new requirement. The ETIAS is designed to enhance border security across the Schengen Area, including France. This electronic travel authorisation system will require Emirati travellers to obtain an ETIAS approval before their trip. The process is expected to be straightforward, primarily online, and the authorisation will grant stays of up to 90 days within any 180 days for tourism, business, or transit purposes.

    Student Visa

    For those intending to study in France, a long-stay visa, known as a student visa, is required. This visa is applicable for courses longer than three months. Applicants must have an acceptance letter from a French educational institution and must prove that they have sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay. Before submitting the visa application, students are advised to contact Campus France for guidance.

    Work Visa

    UAE citizens looking to work in France need a work visa, which requires a confirmed job offer from a French employer. The employer typically initiates the process by obtaining a work permit from the French Ministry of Labor. The type of work visa depends on the nature of employment and the duration of the contract.

    Entrepreneur/Business Visa

    For entrepreneurs and business owners, France offers a “Talent Passport” visa aimed at business founders, investors, and highly skilled professionals. Applicants must present a credible business plan, proof of financial resources, and relevant professional experience.

    Family Reunion Visa

    For those moving to France to join family members, a family reunion visa is required. This is typically applicable to spouses, children, and dependent relatives of French residents or citizens.

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      France Residency Permit Requirements


      To obtain a French residency permit, non-European Union citizens, including those from the United Arab Emirates, must meet specific requirements. The type of residency permit depends on the individual’s situation, such as employment status, family ties, or educational pursuits.

      Eligibility for Residency Permits

      Employment-Based Residency

      To successfully apply for an employment-based residence permit in France, particularly for UAE nationals, consider the following consolidated points:

      • A confirmed job offer in France is mandatory. The employment contract should be permanent or fixed-term, lasting a minimum of 12 months.
      • Applicants are required to have either a qualification from at least three years of higher education or a minimum of five years of professional experience. This experience and qualification level ensure the applicant meets the demands of the job role in France.
      • The gross annual salary for the applicant must be at least twice the legally mandated national minimum wage. As of May 2023, this amount stands at €41,933.
      • The French employer must initiate the work permit application, which is subject to evaluation by the Ministry of the Interior, focusing on the applicant’s qualifications, employment demand in the region, and the employer’s legal compliance.
      • Upon approval of the work permit, obtain a long-stay visa, valid for up to 12 months, which serves as a residence permit in France.

      Family Reunion Residency

      For UAE citizens applying for Family Reunion Residency in France, the process includes several important steps:

      1. Applicants need to have legally resided in France for at least 18 months and possess a valid residence permit for a minimum of one year.
      2. This residency is suitable for spouses, dependent children, and dependent ascendants of French residents or citizens.
      3. Essential documents like marriage or birth certificates must be provided to establish the familial relationship.
      4. Applicants must demonstrate financial capability. For families of four or five, a minimum monthly income of €1,501 is required, which increases to €1,637.27 for families with six or more members.
      5. The residency permit application is submitted at the local police station in France with all necessary documentation and evidence of financial means.

      Student Residency

      For non-EU students aiming to pursue education in France, several financial and visa requirements must be met:

      • Covering tuition fees for at least the first semester of your course at a French university.
      • Demonstrating proof of sufficient funds for living expenses, with a minimum of €61 for the initial month in France.
      • Non-EU students need to show an income higher than the French minimum wage, which in 2023 was €1,747.2 gross per month, approximately €1,383.08 net.
      • Application for a long-stay visa (VLS-TS) is necessary, valid from four months up to a year, as a requirement for beginning studies in France.
      • After the first year, students have the option to transition to a temporary residence card valid for a year or a multiannual student residence permit, valid between two to four years, based on the duration of their study program.
      • Eligibility for student residency is extended to those enrolled in French educational institutions for courses exceeding three months, with an initial requirement of a VLS-TS visa. This visa can later be converted into a multi-annual residence permit that aligns with the length of their academic program.

      Talent Passport

      The France Talent Passport is a specialised visa aimed at attracting highly skilled professionals, entrepreneurs, researchers, and artists who can make significant contributions to the French economy and culture. To qualify:

      • Eligibility requires a Master’s degree or an equivalent qualification.
      • A minimum of five years of professional experience is needed.
      • Entrepreneurs should present a business plan for starting a business in France.
      • A minimum investment of €30,000 in the business is required.
      • Applicants should earn a gross annual salary at least twice the French national minimum wage.
      • A permanent or fixed-term employment contract with a French employer is necessary.
      • Successful applicants receive a Talent Passport visa valid for three months, during which they must enter France.
      • The application must include a detailed business plan and evidence of financial capability.

      Documentation Checklist

      When applying for a French residence permit, a comprehensive set of documents is required to demonstrate eligibility and compliance with French immigration laws. Here’s a consolidated overview of what you’ll need:

      1. A valid passport and its copy are essential for identification and to validate the duration of your intended stay in France.
      2. Financial stability must be evidenced, either through bank statements or proof of income, to ensure self-sufficiency without relying on public funds. For some cases, proof of possessing a daily amount of €120 or evidence of prepaid accommodation is required.
      3. Health insurance coverage is mandatory for the entire duration of your stay in France. Initially, proof of medical insurance for at least the first week of stay may be needed.
      4. Applicants must provide proof of accommodation in France. This could be a rental agreement, a property deed, or an attestation hospitality certificate from a French host.
      5. Specific permits require additional documents. For employment-based residency, an employment contract is needed. For family reunion permits, marriage or birth certificates are required to prove family relationships.
      6. Students need to present an acceptance letter from their French educational institution. They may also require a VLS-TS visa as proof of regular residence in France.
      7. Talent Passport applicants should submit a comprehensive business plan and demonstrate financial capability, typically with a recent bank statement and evidence of significant investment in their business venture.
      8. Other documents may include a letter of invitation, a copy of the passport or resident permit of the host in France, proof of relationship with the host, and a letter explaining the reasons for applying for a return visa.

      Cost of Residence Permit in France

      Obtaining a residence permit in France involves specific costs, which include:

      1. A tax of €200 is payable to the OFII (French Office for Immigration and Integration). This tax is for the processing and issuance of the residence permit.
      2. An additional charge of €25 is required as stamp duty. This is a standard fee associated with the issuance of official documents in France.
      3. For those transitioning from a long-stay visa to a residence permit, there is a fee of €99. This fee is for the visa that allows applicants to enter and stay in France while their residence permit application is processed.

      Validity of French Resident Card

      The validity of a French resident card extends for 10 years and is subject to renewal. However, it’s important to note that this residency permit becomes invalid if the holder leaves France for more than three consecutive years.

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        Routes To Permanent Residency In France


        Transitioning from temporary to permanent residency in France is a process that involves several steps, criteria, and an understanding of the legal details, especially for UAE citizens.

        Eligibility and Residence Requirements

        • UAE citizens can initially secure a temporary residency permit in France, which is usually valid for a year and can be renewed.
        • To transition to permanent residency, a continuous residence in France for five years is essential. While brief absences for vacations or business are allowed, extended stays outside France can disrupt the residency period.
        • Demonstrating financial independence and not relying on social assistance forms a part of the economic self-sufficiency requirement.

        Integration and Application Process

        • Proficiency in the French language and an understanding of political responsibilities and rights are key to proving integration into French society.
        • The application for permanent residency involves gathering documents such as proof of continuous residence, financial stability, valid health insurance, and evidence of societal integration.
        • Submission of the application is done at the local prefecture in the applicant’s area of residence.

        Towards French Citizenship and Legal Considerations

        • After obtaining permanent residency, UAE citizens can apply for naturalisation as French citizens following an additional five-year period, provided they demonstrate language proficiency and an understanding of French culture and laws.
        • The process includes showing commitment to French values and active participation in the community.
        • UAE citizens should be aware of the implications of dual citizenship, as the UAE generally does not recognise it. Opting for French citizenship could, therefore, impact their UAE citizenship status.
        • Keeping informed about cultural differences and legal expectations in France compared to the UAE is important for a smooth transition.

        How To Obtain a France Residence Permit: Step-By-Step Application


        Obtaining a residence permit in France involves a detailed application process. Here is a sequential guide to navigating through the procedure, including processing time frames and tips to expedite the process while also highlighting common pitfalls and how to avoid them.

        Determining Permit Type and Document Collection

        Begin by identifying the correct residence permit type that aligns with your purposes in France, such as work, study, family reunion, or other specific needs. Each type of permit comes with its distinct criteria and requirements.

        Gather all essential documents: a valid passport, proof of stable accommodation in France, proof of sufficient financial means to support your stay, valid health insurance, and specific certificates or documents related to your permit type (like an employment contract for a work permit, marriage/birth certificates for family reunification, or acceptance letters from educational institutions for student permits). Accuracy and up-to-date information in these documents are crucial to avoid rejections or delays.

        Filling and Submitting the Application

        Carefully fill out the residence permit application form, which can be found on the French government’s official immigration website. Make sure to double-check all entries to avoid any mistakes that could lead to delays in processing.

        Apply to the collected documents. This can be done at the local prefecture in France or a French consulate in your home country, depending on your current location. Some permits may also offer the convenience of online application submission.

        Interview Scheduling

        In some cases, you may be required to attend an interview at the local prefecture or consulate. Be prepared to answer questions regarding your application and plans in France.

        Processing Time and Permit Collection

        The processing time for a residence permit can vary widely, from 15 to 45 Days. Applications made from within France often have longer processing times due to higher demand and workload at local prefectures.

        Once your application is approved, you will be notified to collect your residence permit. Check all the details on the permit carefully to ensure they are correct and match your personal information.

        Tips for Expedited Processing

        • Apply as early as possible and avoid peak application periods.
        • Ensure your application is complete and accurate to avoid additional investigation or queries.

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          Benefits of Living in France

          • Living in France provides a unique lifestyle enriched by its cultural heritage, distinct cuisine, and varied landscapes, contrasting with the UAE’s modern and diverse culture.
          • The French healthcare system is government-funded and accessible, differing from the UAE’s private health services.
          • France’s education system emphasises academic standards and includes globally recognised universities, offering a different experience from the UAE’s integration of international education models.
          • Residents in France are entitled to comprehensive legal rights. They are responsible for fulfilling public duties like tax payments, set within a legal framework that varies from the UAE’s combination of Islamic and civil law.

          Checklist To Moving To France From The UAE

          Logistical Preparations for Moving to France from the UAE

          • Research life in France thoroughly, including its culture, lifestyle, and legal system. Choose a living location that aligns with your job and lifestyle preferences.
          • Understand and fulfil the specific visa and legal requirements for moving from the UAE to France, which may vary based on the purpose of your relocation.
          • Plan your finances by considering the cost of living in France and how it compares to the UAE.
          • Secure accommodation in advance, whether you plan to rent or buy, ensuring that your housing needs are met upon arrival.
          • Register for health insurance in France and consider additional coverage for more comprehensive protection.
          • Open a bank account in France for easier financial transactions and management.
          • Arrange the logistics for moving your belongings, possibly employing international moving services for convenience.
          • If you have pets, research and comply with the pet relocation requirements to bring them to France.

          Cultural Assimilation and Community Engagement

          • Enhance community assimilation by learning French, either before your move or upon arrival.
          • Immerse yourself in French culture by participating in local traditions and events and understanding core values like liberty, equality, and equality.
          • Network and socialise within local and expatriate communities to build a support system and form friendships in your new home.

          How Our Immigration Lawyers Can Help

          At Total Law, we offer specialised assistance to individuals from the UAE looking to navigate the immigration process to France. Our comprehensive services are designed to ensure a smooth transition, providing support every step of the way. We offer expert guidance on legal requirements, including detailed advice on visa applications and residency permits. Our team assists in preparing and organising all necessary documents, ensuring compliance with French immigration policies.

          Understanding the challenges of cultural assimilation, we provide valuable tips and guidance for engaging with the community and adapting to life in France. Our commitment to providing continuous support extends from the initial consultation through to your successful settlement in France. For assistance or more information, you can contact Total Law at +44 (0)333 305 9375.

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