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France Retirement Visa in 2024

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France

France is a popular destination for retirees from around the world, offering a rich cultural heritage, beautiful landscapes, and a high quality of life. If you’re considering retiring in France, understanding the visa requirements is essential. Below, we detail the key aspects of obtaining a retirement visa for France, focusing on income requirements and other essential prerequisites.

France Retirement Visa income requirement

To retire in France, you must demonstrate financial stability, ensuring you can live in the country without needing to work. The French government requires proof of sufficient income or savings to cover your living expenses. While the exact amount can vary depending on the local prefecture’s guidelines, a general benchmark is an income equivalent to the French minimum wage (SMIC).

As of early 2024, you should aim to have a monthly income of at least €1,500 for a single person. For couples, this amount increases as you must show that your combined income can sustain both of you. The income can come from various sources, including pensions, retirement savings accounts, investments, or rental income. You may need to provide bank statements, pension slips, and other financial documents for the past six months to a year as proof of your income.

France Retirement Visa requirements

Apart from the income requirement, there are several other criteria you must meet to qualify for a retirement visa in France. These include:

  • Long stay visa application. Initially, you’ll apply for a long-stay visa, which acts as a temporary residence permit. This visa is valid for up to a year, after which you can apply for a residence permit to extend your stay.
  • Proof of health insurance. You must have comprehensive health insurance coverage that is valid in France. The policy should cover all risks within France without requiring a co-payment from the French healthcare system.
  • Accommodation. Proof of accommodation is required. This can be a property deed, a rental agreement, or a letter from someone agreeing to house you.
  • No criminal record. A clean criminal background is essential. You may need to provide a criminal record check from your home country.
  • Integration into French society. While not always formally tested, showing some degree of language proficiency and understanding of French culture can be beneficial, especially when renewing your visa or applying for permanent residency.
  • Application fee. There is a fee for the visa application process, which varies depending on your nationality and the current rates set by the French government.

After your initial year on the long-stay visa, you’ll need to apply for a Carte de Séjour (residence permit), which may involve additional documentation and proof of your ongoing financial stability and integration into French society.

FAQ

How to get a retirement visa for France from the UK?

To retire to France from the UK, non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens, including UK citizens post-Brexit, need to apply for a Long Stay Visa, also known as French Residency or a Carte de Sejour. The visa application process typically requires proof of medical insurance, accommodation in France, and the means to support oneself.

Retirees must apply for the visa before moving to France, usually via the French Consulate in London. Additionally, they need to consider healthcare, pension, and tax implications. It’s important to note that there is no specific «retirement visa» in France, but rather a long-stay visa for retirees.

Does France have a retirement visa?

France does not have a specific retirement visa, but there are other ways for retirees to live in France. Non-EU citizens can apply for a long-stay visitor visa, which is intended for those who want to stay in France long-term without working and must be able to prove that they have the means to support themselves for the duration. 

Once in France, retirees can apply for a residency card known as a «carte de séjour retraité» if they meet the eligibility criteria, which includes having a sufficient income to support themselves. The retirement age in France is subject to variation based on one’s birth year, with a recent reform elevating the retirement age from 62 to 64 for individuals born in 1968 and beyond. 

If you plan to retire in France, it’s important to consider the visa and residency requirements, as well as the financial aspects such as taxes on retirement income. Citizens of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland will not need a visa to retire in France, but non-EU citizens must apply for a French visa before entering the country.

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