Visa and residency cards for France* Take a look inside the guide. More about this guide

This guide is an 42-page digital turn-page document which can be also downloaded as a pdf.

This guide assumes no knowledge of French visiting and residency rules and explains key information and terminology step by step, as well as giving in-depth information on some of the main routes to living in France.

Based on our bilingual journalists’ research and contact with French officials and experience of helping readers with their residency issues, including our in-depth coverage of all issues surrounding Brexit and its impacts since 2016

This guide is published in 100% digital and downloadable PDF format. It allows us to provide automatic updates should new key information be released during 2023. Please note that we are unable to update previous editions of a guide. Generally any updates made will be within a given calendar year, so any updates to the current guide will be made during 2023 after which point we would expect to publish a new edition.

Contents include:

Visas and residency cards – overview

  • What are they, who needs them and who does not?
  • The 90 days rule for short visits and French border formalities and how to calculate your entitlement
  • New Etias and Entry/Exit Systems set to start this year
  • Tax residency considerations

Visa options

  • How time on a visa works together with the 90 days rule
  • Making sure you get the right kind of visa
  • Do all the family need visas?
  • The temporary long-stay visa option for second-home owners to stay for six months
  • Preparing your application: using the ‘visa wizard’, applying online, identifying where you will have to take supporting documents
  • The application process and visa appointments
  • Means and healthcare requirements

Residency cards basics

  • Validating a VLS-TS visa after you move to France
  • Language tests, Ofii medicals, the Contrat d’Intégration Républicaine
  • The different card types, including: - ‘Visitor’ cards for retirees and early-retirees / Coming to work: employment and self-employment / Who qualifies for a ‘talent’ visa?

Brexit Withdrawal Agreement cards

  • What was their aim and who needed one? What benefits do they confer?
  • Who can still apply?
  • How do you swap a five-year card for a permanent card?
  • Rules if you move back to the UK
  • Are WA residency cards suitable for second-home owners?
  • Do teenage Britons need a card?

Moving to France as a retiree or early retiree

  • What visa and card is required? What formalities can you expect and what do they cost?
  • How much income do you need as a retiree?
  • If you are a British state pensioner – obtaining the S1 health form and Provisional Replacement Certificates

Working in France

  • Employees: Formalities for you and a potential French employer to bring you over to work
  • Will your qualifications be acceptable?
  • Can you move to France to do self-employed work?
  • What are the benefits of the ‘passport talent’ and who can obtain this?
  • Can non-EU citizens come to ‘do a season’ in ski resorts?

Other types of residency card

  • Coming to join another person in France
  • Family of EU citizens and Brexit WA cardholders
  • The regroupement familial process
  • Coming as a student

Renewing or updating

  • Obtaining a multi-year card
  • Residents cards: the most secure and flexible status
  • What to do if you lose a card or need to change its details


  • Useful vocabulary: CIR, Ofii, Cpam, Puma… and reader questions and answers.
  • Reader questions and answers

This guide is digital and will be available to view online via your Connexion account (from where you can also download it as a PDF document) immediately after purchase. You will be prompted on purchase to create an account if you have not already registered with The Connexion.


The information in this guide is of a general nature, it is not advice which if needed can be sought by instructing a professional on the specifics of your situation.

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