How to Move to France from UK (Visas & Permits)

Do you want to permanently move to a vibrant European country from the UK? Then you should make plans to move to France.

For more information on how to move to France from UK, contact our immigration lawyers at  +44 (0)333 305 9375 or send a message online. We are available to make your migration smooth by advising you on the type of visa to apply for and giving you information on the required documents, financial requirements and eligibility criteria.

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    Moving To France After Brexit

    Moving to France from UK after Brexit has become harder for UK citizens due to them no longer having European rights. The rules guiding the movement of UK citizens and some foreign nationals residing in the UK have also changed.

    Some of these changes include:

    UK citizens and their family members who moved to France before 1 January 2021 are entitled to benefit from the Withdrawal Agreement Residence Permit (WARP). The WARP allows you to stay in France.

    However, you should have applied for the 5-year permanent residence permit in France if you have lived in France for less than 5 years or the 10-year permanent residence permit if you have lived there for more than 5 years. The deadline for this application was 4 October 2021.

    UK nationals living with and married to or in an established relationship with French citizens before 1 January 2021 can keep living there. However, they also need to apply for the WARP. If you married a French citizen and moved to France after 1 January 2021, you’ll have to apply for a long-stay visa.

    If you are not a British citizen but are married to a British citizen who benefitted from the WARP and are living in France, the rules are different.

    You must apply for a Schengen entry visa to join your partner in France. Your visa will be processed free of charge by the TLS centre if you can prove you have a genuine relationship with the British national living in France.

    If you are the partner of a British citizen, and they did not benefit from the WARP, you will have to apply for a visa to visit your partner in France.

    Non-EU nationals living in the UK must also apply for an Airport Transit Visa. UK citizens who moved to or want to move to France after 1 January 2021 cannot benefit from the WARP. They will be treated as non-EEA nationals and must apply for a visa if they intend to stay in France for more than 90 days.

    If you are a UK frontier worker who was in France before 1 January 2021 and wish to keep staying in France, even if you work in other EU countries, then you have permission to stay.

    However, you need to get a permit from the Prefecture at your workplace free of charge. This permit is referred to as ‘document de circulation’ and it must bear “Article 50TUE- travailleur frontalier/Accord de retrait du Royaume-Uni de l’UE- Non-résident “.

    Rules that haven’t changed for UK citizens: 

    You can still travel to France with your British passport if issued before 1 January 2021.

    UK citizens don’t need to apply for a visa to visit France or French Overseas territories for 90 days or less. However, you must note that the Immigration Officer at the border may ask you to justify your reason for moving to France.

    If you are a British citizen married to an EU national, you do not need a visa so long as you will be living in France at the same time as your spouse.

    Note, British citizens who have not been in France before 1 January 2021 must apply for a long-stay visa for whatever purpose requiring them to spend more than 90 days in France.

    Ensure you meet the immigration laws before you move to France. Speak to our immigration team for help. Contact Us

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


      There are many visas that UK citizens can apply for to move to France. Generally, visas in France are divided into 2 broad categories: temporary (short-stay) and long-stay visas.

      The temporary visas usually last between a few days to 3 months, while the long-stay visas encompass any valid visa for more than 3 months.

      Here are some of the visas UK citizens can apply for:

      French Work Visa

      UK citizens can apply for a work visa if they intend to work in France for a short while (less than 90 days) or a long time (more than 90 days). The French work visa is a route towards permanent residency.

      There are many categories of work visas, and the one to apply for depends on the kind of work you will do in France.

      Here are the work visa categories:

      • French Work Visa for Salaried Employees.
      • French Work Visa for Business people.
      • French Work Visa for Independent Workers and Professionals.
      • French Long-stay Sports Visa.
      • French Long-stay Visa for Volunteer Work.
      • French International Organisation Work Visa.
      • EU Blue Card.

      French Study Visa

      UK nationals who want to take up a course in France that will last for 90 days or less do not need to apply for a study visa. If your study will take longer than 90 days, you have to apply for a French study visa.

      French Retirement Visa

      UK nationals who want to retire in France must apply for a (Carte de Séjour (residence permit). It is vital to note that there is no visa specifically for retirement. To be able to retire in France, you must have had a long-stay visa in France. This is how to move to France with no money

      Visa for Family Reunification

      British nationals with family members living in France can apply for this visa to move to France.

      This visa is usually issued to:

      • Spouses.
      • Children below 21 years of age.
      • Parents who are dependent on the family member living in France.

      French Residency Permit Requirements

      It is important to note that the French residency permit, Carte de Sejour, can be a different document for different people.

      If you are a student, the residence permit allows you to study in France. The residence permit will enable you to conduct business in France if you are a business person. This means that what you will be required to present for issuing a residence permit varies depending on why you are in France.

      Typically, you will need a residence permit if you stay in France for over 3 months.

      Below are the general French residence permit requirements:

      • British passport valid for up to 3 months after your residence permit expires.
      • Two valid passport photographs taken no earlier than 6 months from your application date. The photos must comply with the EU photo requirements.
      • Evidence you have a French address. You can prove this by submitting an electricity bill, a rental agreement or a property deed.
      • Birth and marriage certificates, if they apply.
      • Evidence that you have enough money to survive in France. You can submit bank statements, proof that you have a steady pension or income from property rentals.
      • Reason(s) for moving to France.
      • Medical or health Insurance is valid throughout the EU.

      Once you have submitted these documents, the French authorities (Préfecture) will issue you a récépissé to show that you have applied for a residence permit. It is necessary to carry this around to show the Police should they ask for your permit.

      How To Obtain a France Residence Permit

      You must already be in France to apply for a French residence permit. This is because the Préfecture (local town hall) or the OFFI issues residence permits.

      Again, if you intend to stay in France for more than 3 months and do not have a residence permit, you are an illegal occupant, even if you have an entry visa.

      In addition, without a residence permit, you cannot access any government aids and services.

      To obtain a residence permit, you have to take your supporting documents to the Préfecture if your visa has the inscription carte de séjour à solliciter. Note that if you are in this category, it is in your best interest to apply for the residence permit at least 2 months after you enter the country.

      If your visa has the inscription CESEDA R.311-3, you have to visit the Office Francais de I’Immigration et de I’Integration (OFFI) immediately when you enter France and submit your supporting documents.

      Contact our legal experts for assistance with your move to France from UK. Contact Us

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        Routes To Permanent Residency In France

        UK citizens who want to settle permanently in France must apply for a French permanent resident card. The card’s validity is 10 years and is renewable.

        To apply for a French permanent resident card, you need to follow any of the routes below:

        Permanent Residence by Marriage

        UK nationals married to French citizens who have been living in France for at least 3 years can apply for permanent residency.

        Permanent Residence Via Family

        If you have lived in France for at least 3 years on a family visa, you can apply for permanent residency.

        Long-stay in France

        You are eligible for permanent residency if you have lived in France for at least 5 years. Note that 5 years on a study visa does not count towards permanent residence. Visas that count are work visas and family visas.

        Service to the French Army

        You can apply for France permanent residency if you have worked with the French military for at least 3 years.

        Retirement in France

        If you have been living in France since your retirement, you can apply for permanent residency.

        Permanent Residency for Refugees

        You are eligible for permanent residence if you are a refugee in France or under French humanitarian protection.

        Benefits of Living in France

        France is one of the most beautiful countries in Western Europe, rich in history and welcoming to all and sundry. France’s major attractions are its food, culture, people and picturesque cities.

        Below are some of the benefits of living in France:

        Strong Healthcare System

        France has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. The government provides medical insurance to citizens and residents alike. The government covers 70% of the medical costs in France, while the individual bears the remaining 30%.

        Working Transportation System

        Another benefit you should consider if you want to move to France is the transport system. The government of France made transportation accessible and affordable for everyone living in France. Residents can choose any transportation mode to move around France. The country boasts of an excellent road network that links cities in France and neighbouring countries.

        Robust Educational System

        It is a no-brainer why many international students move to France for studies. The country is renowned for having a world-class educational system. Another strong reason many people from different parts of the globe move to France for studies is that most public schools in France are tuition-free. Students only need to make semester contributions as the government funds most of the public institutions in France.

        French Cuisines

        France is home to some of the tastiest cuisines in the world. Yearly, tourists visit France to have a taste of the mouth-watering goodness that is French food.

        French Culture

        The French are known to be very polite in their relationship with others. Their culture is exceptionally accommodating and is expressed in various ways like their history, art and music. Since most UK nationals are avid football fans, you’ll be glad to find a huge football followership in France.

        Breathtaking Cities

        France is one of the countries in Europe that makes a fortune from tourism, and this is because the country is full of cities with magnificent views. From the Louvre Museum to the Eiffel Tower, the Palace of Versailles to Notre Dame Cathedral; France has no lack of tourist attractions.

        If you have any questions about move to France from UK, our team is happy to assist. Contact Us

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          Cost of Living in France Compared To The UK

          Here is an estimated breakdown of the cost of living in France in comparison to the UK:


          Renting an apartment in the UK is more expensive than renting one in France. In London, the average rent for a bedroom flat is €1,919. This same one-bedroom flat, on average, goes for €1,085.


          Feeding is also more expensive in the UK than it is in France. The average price for a 3-course meal in a mid-level restaurant in the UK is €62. You could get the same meal in the same restaurant for €50 in Paris.


          In London, people spend around €149 monthly on transportation, whereas €73 can get you around in Paris for a month.


          Education is much more affordable in France than it is in the UK. Most public schools in France are tuition-free. The government funds these schools, so students only pay semester contributions. In the UK, university education runs into thousands of pounds on average.

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            Checklist To Moving To France From The UK

            No matter your reason for moving to France, here are some boxes you need to tick before embarking on the journey:

            Gather Your Supporting Documents

            Immigration can be tedious because it requires gathering and presenting many documents. These documents are needed to prove your eligibility for the visa you are applying for. Since the official language is French, you may need to translate your documents into French and verify the authenticity of the translation.

            If you need more assistance preparing your documents, contact us at 0333 305 9375 or message us online.

            Make a Budget

            You are moving to a different country, and the prices in France may not be the same as in the UK. You need to count your cost and know how much it will cost you to move to France. You can consult our immigration lawyers to estimate what the visa applications will cost you.

            Since UK nationals can enter France freely for 90 days, you can visit France for a short while and get a feel of how much you need to survive monthly. Reducing spending in the UK is also advisable when you are close to moving.

            Apply for a Visa

            If you intend to spend more than 90 days in France, you’ll have to apply for a visa at a French Consulate. Look at the various visa options available to UK citizens and apply for the one you are eligible for. Contact us at Total Law on 0333 305 9375 or message us online if you need help getting your French visa.

            Plan Your Move

            After getting a positive response from the French Embassy, you can plan for your move to France. It is necessary to book any service you need early so you get them cheaper.

            Register Your Presence in France

            Once you enter France, you are expected to register your presence there. Register with the Prefecture or the OFFI and get your residence permit. Note that you are an illegal resident if you don’t have a residence permit after 2 months of staying in France.

            Organise Your Utilities

            When you get to France, speaking to your landlord about amenities and utility service providers available for use is wise. They can offer valuable insight into which company to opt for. Your landlord can also help you get someone to set up your phone lines, TV and internet.

            Get a Bank Account in France

            The next item on your checklist would be to set up a French bank account. This can be done online even before you get to France. Many banks in France have the option of setting up a bank account online. You can walk into any bank, submit your identity documents and proof of address and get a bank account for your transactions in France.

            Set up Emergency Contacts

            When you arrive in France, you should make contingency plans. Set up emergency contacts. If you have friends or family living in France already, you can add them as emergency contacts. You should also add your friends and family in the UK for unforeseen contingencies.

            Enjoy France

            Learning French is an excellent idea if you make the most of your time in France. Learning French is instrumental in blending with the culture and settling in smoothly.

            How Our Immigration Lawyers Can Help

            At Total Law, we are committed to helping you fulfil your dream of moving to France. We understand that the process can be tedious due to the many documents needed. The application process also is complex. But we can help you solve that challenge. Our team is well-versed in French immigration rules, and we can help you scale through every application hurdle.

            We can help you gather your supporting documents to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. We can also help you make an application for a French visa. When we handle your application, you can be sure that the chances of approval are high. We have done the application for others; we can assist you, too.

            If you need more details about our services, call 0333 305 9375 or send a message online.

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                      Frequently Asked Questions

                      There is no specific amount that the French government specifies that one should use to retire in France. However, it is advised that those settling in France should earn a passive income of at least €1,634 for one person. Note that if you want to retire in France, you have to show that you have a constant source of passive income. This is because retired residents in France are not permitted to take up any work.

                      You have to spend more than 6 months in France yearly to be considered a resident of France. If you do not spend this much time in France annually, you do not need to apply for a residence permit. You can, however, apply for the VLS-T Visiteur (temporary long-stay visitor visa).

                      You cannot just go and live in France. You must apply for a visa appropriate for your reason of wanting to move to France.