Visas and residence permits are governed by the Law on rights for entry, stay and asylum of foreigners while citizenship procedures are regulated by the Civil Code.

Visas

France is a member of the Schengen Area: certain nationalities must apply for a visa beforehand. There are four main types: A, B, C or D. For more information, check out our Schengen Visa article.

How to get a residence permit

Temporary residence

Property owners do not automatically earn the right to reside on French soil. Temporary residence permits (carte de séjour temporaire) are issued to workers, students, researchers, artists and family reunification. It is valid for one year and can be renewed.

Permanent residence

Permanent residence allows the holder to live and work in France and to travel around the EU without visa. It is valid for 10 years and is renewable.

According to Decree No. 2009-1114, dated 11 September 1999, permanent residence (la carte de résident) can be obtained by investing at least €10M into a company incorporated in France. The investor must hold at least 30% of the share capital of this company and there must be least 50 employees.

Other grounds for permanent residence are:

  • marriage to a French citizen
  • refugee and asylum requests
  • persons over 21 of French descent
  • ex-officers of French Foreign Legion
  • persons born in France

How to get citizenship

Grounds for granting citizenship include:

  • children born in France with one French parent
  • marriage to a French citizen after four years
  • naturalisation after five years of residence in France
  • military service in the French army

France allows dual nationality.