Moving To France From Australia
As an Australian citizen, you are not required to obtain a France visa before you are allowed into the country for any purpose. You can only be allowed into France for up to 90 days and within 180 days.
The reason is that France is a Schengen member state, and Australian citizens are not required to enter countries in the Schengen area and European countries with a visa, provided the stay doesn’t exceed 90 days within 180 days. Because of this, Australian tourists would not need to obtain a Tourist visa to visit France, likewise, Australians who need to embark on short business trips.
However, if you intend to remain in France for more than 90 days, you must obtain a visa that corresponds with your purpose of entering France. The case is different for non-Australian nationals resident in Australia whose countries do not have a visa-free agreement with countries in the Schengen area.
In their specific situation, they are required to obtain a French Schengen visa (Short-Stay visa) or National visa to be allowed in the country no matter their intended length of stay. One of the most effective ways of moving from Australia to France is via employment or sponsorship by your family member or friend already resident in France. However, you must meet various eligibility criteria, and provide several supporting documents before you can apply for the France visa.
There are several types of French visas that grant foreigners entry into France. These visas are divided into two broad categories, such as Short-Stay visas (Schengen visas) and Long-Stay visas.
The France Short-Stay visas are generally all kinds of France visas that allow the holder to stay in France for a minimum of 90 days and within 180 days. Whereas the France Long-Stay visas are the France visas that allow the holder to stay in France for at least 1 year.
Generally, whether you have a France Short-Stay or Long-Stay visa, you will be granted entry into other countries in the Schengen area. As an Australian citizen, if you wish to enter France and remain for more than 90 days you must obtain a France visa that aligns with your aim of entering France. Some of these France visa types include:
France Study Visa
This visa is designed for foreign nationals who want to advance their educational careers in France. This visa allows its bearer to enter France, live and work while studying in the country.
You will only be allowed to engage in paid work activities for a minimum of 21 hours per week when school is in session, and 35 hours per week during school holidays. There are basically both France Short-Stay Study and Long-Stay Study visas available for applicants.
The France Short-Stay Study visa is further divided into two, namely, the Short Stay for Studies (court séjour pour études) visa and the Student in competition (étudiant concours) visa. As an Australian citizen, you do not require a France visa to take up a short-stay study course that does not exceed 90 days.
The France Long-Stay Study visa allows its holder to live, study and conduct research works or do an internship in France for a period that exceeds 3 months. There are two types of France Long-Stay Study visas, namely, the Temporary Long Term Study visa (VLS-T) and the Long Term visa used as a Residence Permit (VLS-TS).
A Temporary Long Term Study visa (VLS-T) allows its holder to enter France and take up a study that can last for 1 year. This visa is not renewable, does not provide any rights over the VLS-TS, and you are not required to validate it when you enter France.
Whereas the Long-Term visa used as a Residence Permit (VLS-TS) grants its holder a residency permit and stay in France for 1 year. Upon your arrival in France, you are required to validate the visa.
There are three types of Long-Stay Study visas depending on your study programme. They include:
- The Internship VLS-TS which allows you to partake in an internship programme in France as part of the requirements for your home country’s study plan.
- The Student VLS-TS for Bachelor’s and Master’s level study programmes.
- The Talent Passport VLS-TS for a Doctorate study.
France Work Visa
Australian nationals do not need to obtain a Short-Stay visa to enter France for 90 days but must obtain a France visa to stay in France for more than 90 days. The same is the case for Australian citizens who must obtain a France Work visa to engage in paid work activities in France for more than 90 days and up to a year.
There are categories of France Work visas designed to suit specific work purposes of entering France. These France Work visas allow the holder to remain in France for more than 90 days to engage in paid work activities. They include:
French Work Visa for Creating and Running a Company or Business
If you wish to set up and run a business in France by collaborating with a company or doing it all by yourself, you can apply for this France Work visa. Note that more documents will be required of you to prove your capability of having enough finances to create a planned business in the country.
French Salaried Employees Visa
This working visa for Australians in France is specifically designed for individuals who want to engage in paid work activities in France for up to 1 year. You must provide a work contract duly endorsed by the regional directorates for Enterprise, Competition, Consumer Affairs, Labour, and Employment (DIRECCTE).
French Work Visa for Professionals and Independent Employers
This visa is designed for individuals who wish to engage in professional and independent work. You must check the requirements and eligibility criteria for engaging in your profession in France before applying for this visa type.
The reason is that some professions are not granted to non-EU citizens, such as judicial administrators, notaries, etc. Whereas others, such as lawyers, doctors, etc., require authorisation from an appropriate body for individuals to engage in their profession in France.
French Long Stay Visa for Volunteer Work
This visa grants its holder a stay in France for more than 90 days. It is designed for people who want to engage in humanitarian work in France. Note that to obtain this visa, you must start applying through an Association or French Foundation authorised by the French government as a registered public utility or charity.
French International Organisation Work Visa
This visa is specifically designed for individuals who plan to accept an official assignment with an international organisation in France.
French Long Stay Sports Visa
If you are a sportsperson who wants to enter France and stay for up to 1 year, then this visa may suit you. You are required to adhere to strict requirements to be allowed to engage in sports activities.
You are required to apply as a salaried employee if you are employed and must receive a salary for your sports activities. But if you will not be paid salaries for the sports you will engage in, you must apply as a visitor. In this case, your institution or sports club in France must sponsor your stay and also provide you with insurance, transport, accommodation, and so on.
The France Passport Talent
This visa is granted to foreign nationals who will either directly or indirectly, have the potential to significantly or permanently advance French culture, science, sports, and economic development through their abilities and talents.
The France Passport Talent card is a type of Long-Stay visa that allows the holder to stay in France for up to 1 year to engage in paid activities. The holder of this visa can apply for a card that is similar to a residence permit, but the card you will be issued can allow you to stay in France for up to 4 years.
There are 10 categories of Passport Talent cards available for various professions, and they are recognised internationally. They include:
Innovative Economic Project
This visa is designed for individuals who have innovative economic projects that are recognised by a public body. You must prove that your project is innovative through your supporting documents.
You must prove that you are a researcher and also state the purpose for which you are entering France and for how long you intend to stay. As part of the requirements, you must have at least a master’s degree or a diploma equivalent to it to enter France to lecture at a university and carry out research.
Legal Company Representative
For anyone who must travel to France in order to manage another person’s legal matters, supporting documentation relevant to their individual circumstances must be submitted.
Highly Skilled Workers – EU Blue Card (Carte Bleue Européenne)
For the EU Blue Card, you are required to be a skilled worker who has a diploma granted after 3 years of higher education or at least 5-year equivalent professional work experience.
Skilled Recent Graduates
The only individuals qualified for this visa are young graduates who hold Master’s degrees (or its equivalent), or advanced degrees. To apply for this visa, applicants must possess at least one diploma equivalent to a Master’s degree and a professional licence.
Employees on Assignment in France
This visa is for workers who are on assignment or performing a paid activity for a company based abroad and who go to France to work between the same company’s offices. You must have a work contract and at least 3 months of seniority in the team in which you are engaged.
Business Founder – Entrepreneur
This visa may suit you if you are a business creator and are licensed to engage in commerce that can provide a significant proposal for the establishment of an artisanal, commercial or industrial company in France.
You can apply for this visa if you are willing to invest in a company where you acquired about 10% of its capital. Individuals who can invest about €300,000 in a company and people who are interested in investing in a company they run by themselves or own about 30% capital can also obtain this visa.
Artists and Performers
If you are an artist and you wish to enter France and stay for more than 3 months to engage in paid activity, you can obtain this visa.
An Internationally or Nationally Renowned Person in Their Field
Under this Passport Talent visa category, individuals who are well-known in their fields and intend to continue their activity in France can apply for this visa.
Australian citizens who wish to enter France and stay for more than 90 days must obtain a specific France visa that aligns with their travel motive. However, for any visa that suits your travel purpose, you must provide certain required documents. The following are visa requirements to move to France from Australia:
- France visa application form.
- Two passport-sized photos not older than 3 months.
- Valid Australian international passport. It must have at least 2 blank pages where your visa sticker will be placed.
- Evidence of paid visa fees.
- Your older visa copies, if you have travelled to other countries in the past.
- Medical health insurance worth €30,000.
- Flight Itinerary. It must include your travel plans while you are in France.
- Proof of sufficient funds. You must prove that you can cater for your needs while in France by providing your bank statements, income from rented property, etc.
- Evidence of accommodation. You must prove that you have a place to stay when you enter France, such as a hotel reservation, rental contract, certificate of title for a property in France, etc.
- Certificate of criminal history. It must prove that you have not committed any serious crime in Australia that may have caused you to seek a France visa.
Keep in mind that all your documents must be in French or English. If any of your documents are in any foreign language, they must be translated into French by an authorised translator. Also, ensure that your translated documents are notarised.
Also note that the documents required for various France visas differ. Therefore, it is best to consult an immigration lawyer to help you make the right visa choice and gather the required documents for such a visa. Call one of our immigration lawyers at Total Law on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or contact us online.
Step 1. Complete the France Visa Application Form
Locate one of the VFS Global centres in Australia closest to you to submit your France visa application form after completing it with your correct information. Print out two copies of your application form and sign them.
Step 2. Gather Your Documents
Your purpose of travelling to France and the visa type you choose largely determine the documents that will be required of you.
Step 3. Book an Appointment
You must visit a VFS Global centre in Australia to book an appointment for your France visa. Due to busy schedules, it might take longer to book an appointment with the VFS Global centres in Australia.
Therefore, it is recommended that for a Short-Stay visa, your appointment must be between 3 weeks and 6 months before the day you are expected to depart. Also, your appointment must be between 3 weeks to 3 months before your Long-Stay visa arrival in France.
Step 4. Go to the Interview
Attend the interview on time and ensure you dress responsibly. Do not be late as your interview may be cancelled. Keep in mind that the immigration official will ask you questions regarding the documents you provided and answers must align with what you have in your documents. Your biometric information (fingerprints and photographs) may also be required at the interview.
Step 5. Pay Your Fees
You will be required to submit your France visa application and make your payments. You will be issued appropriate receipts for all payments as proof. Applicants are required to pay €80 for Short-stay visas and €99 for Long-Stay visas and €40, €50 respectively for children from 6 to12 years old.
Step 6. Track Your Application
It usually takes about 15 days to get a decision on your France visa application. When a decision is made regarding your visa, you will be notified to collect it or engage postal services to get it for you.
What To Do After Your Visa Is Approved
Once your visa is approved you must travel to France to obtain a residence permit (carte de séjour) 2 months before your visa expires if you will stay for more than 1 year. You must first visit the nearest prefecture to your residence (or apply online if they have online services) in France to inquire about the documents needed for your residence permit application.
At the appointment, you may be required to buy a tax stamp to pay for your visitor’s tax. You will be required to start paying taxes after living and working in France for 183 days. The tax season runs from January 1 to December 31 each year.
It is advised that you open a French bank account even before leaving Australia as it will help you to start off your life in France immediately. A French bank account will help you to pay bills, sign up for mobile phones, internet plans, etc. You must also register for the healthcare system in France and pay into the social security system. Do not worry about the payment because you will be reimbursed later on.
Permanent Residency & Citizenship Routes
You can become a French permanent resident if you apply for a permanent residence permit after your temporary resident card expires. You can also obtain French permanent residency or citizenship status (provided you meet all requirements) if you live in France for at least 5 years, that is spending a minimum of 183 days yearly in the country.
How Can Total Law Help?
Australian citizens wishing to move to France must provide various documents for France visa types that suit their travel purposes. You are required to provide all documents needed to assess your eligibility to enter France for the visa type you choose.
Omitting any document in your application may result in a visa application refusal, this is why it is crucial to seek expert guidance in your application especially if you are applying for the first time. Our immigration lawyers at Total can assist you in gathering and assembling your documents and even help you throughout the rest of your France visa application process.
For more information about how to move to France from Australia, the requirements or other services we offer, Total Law can help. Call us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online for immediate assistance.
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The cost of living in France for Australians is cheaper than living in Australia.
You must prove that you earn more than the French minimum wage which is €1,747.2 per annum.