France Family Reunification Visa

Family reunification allows individuals living in France to bring their spouses and children to join them. If you are a citizen of France or a permanent resident, your dependents may be permitted to join you.

For information on moving your family members to France and obtaining assistance with the France Family Reunification Visa application, contact Total Law at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or chat with us online.

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    Overview of the France Family Reunification Visa

    Family reunification is specifically designated for the spouse and children of an overseas national residing in France under the terms of a temporary or permanent residence permit.

    As a non-EU citizen with permanent residency in France, your dependent family members can reside there with you if they apply for the necessary visa or French residency permit.

    It is important to note that the possibility of bringing your spouse or family to France is typically contingent on your visa conditions.

    Their authorisation to work during their stay in France will vary based on their visa or residency permit terms.

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    France Family Reunification Visa Eligibility & Requirements

    The overseas national seeking consolidation must have lived in France for at least 18 months, meeting one of these criteria:

    • Holding a valid residence permit for a minimum of one year
    • Possessing either a resident card or an EU long-term resident card (issued by France) valid for ten years.
    • Applying for renewal of any of these certifications.

    The arriving family members should typically reside abroad, yet under specific circumstances, reunification might be possible even if they are already in France.

    However, exclusion from family reunification could occur for the spouse or children if their presence in France jeopardises public order.

    Family reunification includes:

    • The adult spouse (at least 18) of an overseas national residing in France.
    • Minor children (below 18 years of age).

    Children can be:

    • Offspring of the couple, established through legal filiation or adoption by court decision.
    • From a prior union of the applicant or their spouse:
    • In the event of the other parent’s demise or loss of parental rights,
    • Or if one parent holds parental authority following the decision of a foreign court.

    Exceptions to partial family reunification might be granted in the children’s best interests. The family reunification procedure does not cover ascendants of an overseas national; they could potentially reside in France as visitors if they possess sufficient resources.

    We can help you acquire a France family reunification visa. Speak with our team today. Contact Us

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      Documents Required for the Family Reunification Visa France

      Two steps are involved in the Family Reunification Visa application process, each requiring separate documentation: the family reunification request and the reunion visa request.

      Family Reunification Request

      The required documents for filing for family reunification include:

      • Valid residence permit
      • Civil status documents to show a relationship, such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate
      • An explanation letter for family reunification
      • Evidence of finances (required for the previous 12 months): This depends on your employability status and/or job type in France as a non-French citizen.
      • Proof of accommodation where the family will live, such as a rental contract or property deed

      French authorities mandate that certain legal documents issued by non-French entities or administrations must be apostilled or legalised, certifying the document’s official status.

      However, some countries have bilateral agreements exempting their citizens from the requirement for apostille or legalisation.

      Some forms of financial evidence are not accepted. These include payments from relatives or friends, as they are not considered stable sources of income. However, interest earned on savings is accepted.

      Family Reunion Visa Request

      The documents required for obtaining a France-Reunion Visa are:

      • Copy of the Territorial Directorate of the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII) submission attestation
      • Or, if the visa request is made after receiving the Prefect’s approval, a copy of the Prefect’s family reunion authorisation is required
      • Civil status documents for each family member

      Verification of civil status documents might take a considerable amount of time. Hence, applying for the visa soon after obtaining the OFII submission attestation is advisable.

      The consulate initiates the verification process and issues visas only upon receiving the Prefect’s approval. Within two months, the consulate might contact family members to clarify the provided documentation.

      Doubts concerning civil status documents (such as authenticity, legalisation, translation, etc.) could lead to visa rejection. This often stands as the primary reason for consulate rejections following Prefect approval.

      For guidance on presenting financial evidence based on your current circumstances or job type, contact Total Law. Reach us at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or chat with us online.

      Application Procedure for the France Family Reunification Visa

      Once you’ve assembled and apostilled or legalised the required documents, you will proceed to complete the family reunification application form.

      Two procedures may enable your family to join you in France, contingent upon your situation and your family’s situation back home:

      • Family reunification through the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) procedure
      • Family reunification through the OFII procedure

      Family reunification via the OFPRA procedure is intended for refugee families or beneficiaries of subsidiary protection in France.

      In contrast, family reunification through the OFII procedure is meant for refugees or beneficiaries of subsidiary protection who married after applying for their status, as well as migrants denied refugee status and subsidiary protection.

      As a non-EU citizen in France holding a temporary or permanent residence permit, you must apply through the OFII procedure by completing Form 11436*05. You’ll then mail the completed form and attachments (using registered delivery with the recommended acknowledgement of receipt) to OFII.

      If you need help filling out the family reunification form or clarification regarding your status in France, Total Law is available for support. Get in touch at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or chat with us for assistance.

      Processing and Fees for a France Family Reunification Visa Application

      After submitting the reunification form, several administrative steps are taken before making a decision. Firstly, the French town hall in your intended residence area (where you plan to live with your family) will verify your proof of housing and income.

      Next, OFII will notify the French consulate regarding the ongoing family reunion request in your family member’s country of residence.

      OFII is authorised to verify the provided civil status certificates and confirm your residency in that country. Subsequently, the consulate will inform the Prefect via the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

      The Prefect of the applicant’s residential department (or the police Prefect in Paris) is responsible for accepting or rejecting the family reunification application.

      Decisions, communicated by the Prefect, are issued within six months after submitting the complete file to the OFII. If there’s no response within this period, the request is declined (implicitly refused). In cases of refusal, the decision must be justified.

      As an overseas national residing in France, you can contest the decision through administrative appeal before the Prefect and/or the Interior Minister. Additionally, within specified timeframes, you can initiate legal action by lodging a lawsuit with the administrative court having jurisdiction.

      Each family member, including the spouse and underage children, must apply for an entry visa through the family reunion process in France.

      Once you obtain the OFII submission attestation, you can submit the visa application to the French consular authorities in your family’s country of residence.

      The visa application fee is €99 per applicant and is non-refundable in case of rejection. Retaining all payment receipts with the payment date for potential future appeals is highly advisable.

      Our immigration team has helped hundreds of people reunite with their families in France. Lets us help you too! Contact Us

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        Reasons for Refusal of a France Family Reunification Visa Application and What to Do if Refused


        Common reasons for refusal of a France Family Reunification Visa application by the French Consulate are as follows:

        • A criminal record or a refusal of entry alert in the information system indicates a perceived threat to the territory’s security and safety.
        • Your passport is assessed as potentially false or invalid.
        • Failure to provide the required documents or discrepancies about the stated purpose of travel
        • A history of breaking French immigration laws, such as previously outstaying a visa

        Administrative Appeals: What to Do After a Refusal

        Following an implicit visa refusal, you have a two-month window to contest this decision regarding the France visa refusal. There are two forms of administrative appeal:

        • An appeal to the French consular authorities.
        • An appeal to the Appeals Board for Decisions Refusing Entry Visas to France

        It is mandatory to file an appeal with this Commission to refer the matter to a competent judge in France, typically the Nantes Administrative Court. This type of appeal is termed ‘contentious.’

        While it is not mandatory to hire an immigration lawyer for an appeal case, it is highly advisable to seek their assistance, as it significantly improves your chances of success.

        Given that appeals can be complex, time-consuming, and costly, taking all necessary measures to prevent visa refusal is recommended.

        Total Law can assist with filing your appeal case and crafting the appeal letter. This includes detailing the reasons for the visa application, outlining the attached documents, and providing any supporting evidence to strengthen your application.

        We will help guide you through the complex process of French immigration appeals and expertly prepare all necessary paperwork to ensure a favourable outcome. Contact our team today at +44 (0)333 305 9375 or chat with us online.

        Family Reunification to Permanent Residency in France

        After a successful family reunion visa request, the spouse will receive a Spouse Long-Stay Visa, which serves as a residence permit. Children will be granted a Family Reunion Long-Stay Visa.

        Upon arrival, the spouse’s visa must be validated as a residence permit online within three months, requiring a €250 tax payment for validation. Usually, the visa permits a one-year stay in France.

        Following this, there’s an opportunity to apply for a temporary residency card, which is granted for two years. Renewal of the temporary residency card mandates a three-year stay in France.

        Once this duration is fulfilled, you can apply for a permanent residency card, valid for ten years and renewable.

        Children under 18 won’t possess a residence permit unless they intend to work at 16, in which case they need to apply for a permit.

        However, if a child is over the age of 18 at the time he or she moves to France, they will receive a Long-Stay Visa as a residence permit, subject to the same validation process as the spouse’s visa.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        Total Law offers professional assistance throughout the entire process of obtaining a France Family Reunification Visa. Our experts have extensive experience handling even the most complex visa cases.

        Given the multi-step nature of the France Family Reunification Visa application process, involving various document submissions, which can often be confusing and challenging, it’s crucial to avoid any chance of visa refusal.

        Total Law can handle your visa application, ensuring a smooth process for your family’s reunion in France. We will carefully consider your immigration status in France, provide guidance on the appropriate family reunification procedure, and handle the application on your behalf, ensuring a successful submission. Reach out to us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or use our online chat facility.

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                  Related pages for your continued reading.


                  Parents are not eligible to come to France under family reunion status.

                  From the family visa’s start date, there’s a 90-day window to travel to France. It’s crucial not to miss this deadline, as failing to travel within this period will cancel the entire request.

                  Yes. With a family visa, you’re entitled to the same rights as your spouse, allowing you to live, work, or initiate a business in the country.