Retirement Visa France

France is often a popular retirement destination amongst Australians, offering a pleasant climate, numerous areas of natural beauty, and a rich culture. It also offers easy travel access to the rest of the EU and a stable environment in which to spend your retirement.

However, applying to retire in France can often be a complicated process. Contact Total Law today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online, to learn more about how we can help you make the application as smooth as possible.

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    How Can Australians Retire In France? Overview

    Whilst there is not a visa which is specifically for retirement in France, you may instead be eligible for a French residence permit with the ‘pensioner’ label, also known as a ‘Carte de Séjour’ for retirees. This is valid for 1 year and can be renewed as necessary.

    Whilst this residence permit does not allow your family to join you, your spouse may be able to obtain a residence permit with the label ‘retired spouse’ if they legally reside with you in France.

    Note that, if you do not already have legal residence in France, you will first need to obtain a Long-Stay visa. This will allow you to enter France with the intention of staying for longer than 90 days.

    Once you enter France, you can then apply for a residence card at your local Prefecture (your local representative of the national government). This visa also acts as the equivalent of a Schengen visa, meaning that you can also visit other countries in the Schengen area for periods of up to 90 days.

    In some cases, you may also choose to retire in France through obtaining an investment-based Talent Passport residence permit, or to apply for a French resident card.
    In 2023, the French government increased the French retirement age from 62 to 64.

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      Eligibility Requirements To Retire In France As An Australian

      In order to be eligible to receive the retirement residence permit in France, you will need to satisfy the following eligibility criteria:

      • If you are entering France in order to retire, you will need to obtain a French Long-Stay visa. If you are already in France legally, you will not need a new visa but must instead be established in France with a valid residence permit
      • You will need to either have an established habitual residence in France, or be in the process of establishing one

      In order to be eligible for the Talent Passport with the ‘Business Investor’ label, on the other hand, you will need to satisfy different criteria. These are as follows:

      • You can invest either personally, through your company, or through a company for which you own at least 30% of the shares
      • You are either actively creating or protecting jobs within France, or are committed to doing so
      • You are investing at least €300,000 in assets, or are committed to doing so

      Note that you will not require permission to retire in France if you are a citizen of the EU. EU citizens are entitled to live, work, and study in any EU member state, without requiring a visa.

      The Application Process For Obtaining Residency In France For Retirement

      There are a number of steps associated with retiring in France. These will vary based on your specific circumstances, but will generally be as follows:

      If you do not already legally reside in France, you will first need to apply for a French Long-Stay visa. In order to do so, you must apply to your local French consular services. In Australia, these can be found in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, and Adelaide. There is also an embassy in Canberra, but this only processes diplomatic and official visas.

      Once you have arrived in France, you will then need to apply for a residence permit. If you are already based in France and have a valid residence permit, you will need to apply for your new residence permit within 2 months of the expiry of your current card.

      You will generally need to contact your local Prefecture in order to obtain a new permit, but this will depend on where exactly you live within France.

      If your application is successful, your Prefecture will then provide you with your residence permit for pensioners. This can be renewed upon expiry, so long as you continue to satisfy the eligibility criteria.

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        Required Documents

        If you are planning to retire in France, there are a number of necessary documents which you will need to provide. These are generally as follows:

        • Long-Stay visa
        • Passport
        • Proof of address from within the last 6 months
        • 3 photos, to the French specifications
        • Proof of French health insurance
        • Proof that you have the financial means to support yourself
        • In some cases, proof that you have family in France has also been reported to increase the chance of a retirement residence card being granted

        If you are applying for an investment-based residence permit, you will also need to provide evidence of your investments, which will be verified by the French authorities.

        Note that you may be asked to provide additional documents as part of your application, and the exact documents which are required will depend on the route which you are using.

        How Much Does It Cost?

        The exact costs associated with your application will depend on the route which you are taking.

        When applying for a French retirement residence permit, you will need to pay a stamp duty of €25. If you are entering France via a long stay visitor visa and need to apply for a Long-Stay visa, the cost is likely to be around €99. If you are applying for a resident card, you will generally need to pay a tax of €200, in addition to €25 in stamp duty.

        There may also be additional costs associated with your application, for example if you need to have your documents translated into French. You may also choose to pay for legal assistance with your application. Contact Total Law today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to learn more about how we can help you with this.

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          Taking Family With You In France

          Whether or not your family is authorised to join you in France will depend on your specific immigration status.

          If you are able to successfully obtain a residence permit for pensioners, you will not be able to bring your family with you to France. However, your spouse may be entitled to their own residence permit, if they legally reside with you in France.

          If you obtain an investment-based Talent Passport, your spouse and any dependent children will be able to join you. Your spouse will need to apply for a Talent Passport with the ‘family’ label.

          If you have a resident card, your immediate family will be able to join you once you have resided in the country for 18 months, under the family reunification route.

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          French Permanent Residency & Citizenship

          After residing in France for an extended period, you may be eligible for permanent settlement. You can settle in France using the French resident card. This card allows you to live in France for a period of 10 years, and can be renewed once the 10 years have elapsed.

          In order to be eligible for this resident card, you will generally need to satisfy the following eligibility criteria:

          • You have lived in France for at least 5 years, and did so under one of the residence permits which is eligible under this route
          • You have French health insurance
          • You have sufficient financial means to support yourself which are at least equal to France’s minimum wage. At the time of writing in January 2024, the French minimum wage is €21,203.00
          • You have successfully integrated into French society

          As noted above, you will generally need to have resided legally and continuously in France for at least 5 years. Note that, whilst the Investor Talent Passport does count towards these 5 years, the residence permit for pensioners does not.

          After residing legally in France for at least 5 years, you may also be eligible for French citizenship. This will allow you to live in France permanently, without immigration restrictions, and to vote in French elections. You will also gain access to the benefits of EU citizenship, such as the right to live, work, and study in any EU member state.

          How Can Total Law Help?

          France is a popular retirement destination for Australians, offering numerous benefits to the Australian retiree. France boasts an enjoyable climate, numerous areas of natural beauty, a range of city and rural destinations, and a culture which includes a rich history and excellent food.

          Whilst retiring in France is a popular option for many Australians, the route to doing so is not always straightforward. In order to discover the route which is best for you, and the steps which you will need to take, contact Total Law today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online.

          Our immigration experts have many years of experience in giving bespoke legal advice on cases just like this, and are ready to help you with your own retirement journey.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    Whether or not you can work in France as a retiree will depend on your immigration status. If you are living in France on a residence permit for retirees, you will not be legally authorised to work in France. If you wish to work in France during your stay there, you will instead need to apply for a work visa.

                    If you are living in France under a Talent Passport, however, you will be able to legally work in France, though the exact restrictions on this work will depend on the specific Talent Passport which you possess.

                    If you live in France with a resident card, you will be able to legally work in France, with very few restrictions on the type of work which you are able to perform. If you are living in France as a French citizen, you can work in France with no restrictions, as well as in the other EU member states.

                    There are a lot of benefits to retiring in France. The country has much to offer its residents, such as a strong economy, a safe living environment, and excellent cuisine and culture. Additionally, the world-renowned French healthcare system is a big pull for many Australian retirees.

                    France also provides easy travel access to other EU countries, making it easier to travel in your retirement.

                    All of these benefits mean that, for many Australians, retiring in France is an appealing option.

                    How easy it is to get a visa to live in France will largely depend on your ability to satisfy the eligibility criteria. Many Australians successfully obtain French visas, whether they wish to retire, work, or study in France. To maximise your chances of success, you should make sure to select the visa route which is right for you and ensure that you are able to satisfy the eligibility criteria at the time of application, including providing all of the necessary documents.