- Applying for a visa to travel to France
- Documents needed to apply for a French visa
- France immigration rules after Brexit transition period
- Visiting France from the UK after Brexit
- Relocating to France from the UK
- French visas requirements for retired British citizens
- France Visas requirements for British entrepreneurs
- Applying for Health Insurance in France
- French Permanent Residence for British citizens
- How to settle in France
- How can I get help from IAS
- Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a visa to travel from the UK to France?
Every year, a rising number of British citizens decide to move from the UK to France for either lifestyle, work, or retirement purposes. Although this is always a joyous experience, you need to organise your paperwork and research the visa which suits your circumstances.
If you are planning to move to France from the UK, you can seek professional help from IAS’ immigration lawyers. One of our solicitors will be happy to help you through each step of your French visa application, until you will finally be ready to move to another country and enjoy your new life.
Call us today to book your first appointment with one of our lawyers, who will be happy to assess your case.
Applying for a visa to travel to France
Traditionally, visa applications have to go through the embassy or consulate of the country you wish to visit. However, if you are a citizen of the UK, you can submit your French visa application online. The French government website will guide you through the process of applying for a visa to France from the UK. Besides, you can request the assistance of one of IAS’ immigration lawyers.
Once your application is completed, you must book an appointment at your nearest TLS France Visa Application Centre (in either London, Manchester, or Edinburgh) to provide a copy of your supporting documents and to have your fingerprints and photograph taken.
What do I need to apply for a French visa?
To get a visa to travel to France, you will need the following:
- Your passport or any other valid travel document
- Adequate paperwork to explain the reasons for your trip
- Evidence you can financially support yourself and your family during your stay
- Proof of a valid accommodation
- Travel and health insurance certificate, if you are travelling for leisure purposes
Depending on your case, additional documents may be needed to support your eligibility. Some of your documents will need to be translated into French by a certified and accredited translator.
France immigration rules after Brexit transition period
If you are a British national and you relocated to France before the end of 2020, you have the same legal rights as those who were living in France before the UK leaving the EU. Besides, the following members of your family arriving in France between 1st January 2021 and 1st July 2021 can benefit from the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement:
- Your spouse or registered partner
- Your adult child
- Your partner’s adult child
- Your parents
- Your spouse’s parents
- Children born or adopted after 1st January 2021
Visiting France from the UK after Brexit
Since 1st January 2021, British citizens can only visit France for up to three months in any 180-day period as a tourist or on business without applying for a visa. Until a more specific agreement is reached between France and the UK, British visitors will be subject to the Schengen area border controls.
Special residence permits can be issued to those who have family ties to France, artists, seasonal workers, or those with substantial wealth or whose skills can make a substantial contribution to the country.
If you do wish to spend a short time in France, you can apply for a Carte de Séjour à Solliciter. This will give you the right to enter in the country, and allows you up to two months to leave or submit a new application for a residence permit.
Relocating to France from the UK
Those seeking to relocate in France from the UK need to apply for a long-stay visa called Visa Long Séjour valant Titre de Séjour (VLS-TS). There are several types of visas based on your circumstances, but most are valid for initially one year. The following are the most common long-stay entry visas:
- Visa de Long Séjour valant Titre de Séjour – Visiteur, for those who are travelling for leisure purposes
- Visa de Long Séjour valant Titre de Séjour – Entrepreneur/Profession Libérale, for those who are travelling to set up a business in France
- Long Séjour valant Titre de Séjour– Salarié. for those who have salaried employment
You must enter France within three months following the issue date of your visa.
French visas requirements for retired British citizens
If you are a retired British citizen and you wish to move to France, you must have a stable minimum net income of €1,231 per month. A higher income might be required if you are travelling with your partner or your dependents.
If your income is below the minimum level, you must be able to demonstrate that you hold enough capital resources to sustain yourself while in France. Otherwise, you can initially apply for a one-year visa and, provided that you meet the requirements, apply for a permanent residence permit after one year.
France Visas requirements for British entrepreneurs
If you are a British citizen and you wish to set up your business in France, you will need to demonstrate the economic viability of your project and prepare a detailed business plan.
France immigration authorities need to be satisfied with the prospective earnings. However, the initial minimum income requirement might be relaxed if you have other resources.
Applying for Health Insurance in France
Those who wish to relocate in France from the UK must have health insurance cover until they are granted access to the State system. to this end, a minimum level of income of €30,000 is required for the duration of your visa.
If you are settling a business in France, you and your family will gain entitlement to join the French health system once your business is registered. Similarly, if you are relocating as a retired British citizen, you might be entitled to join the health system after three months of legal residence in France.
French Permanent Residence for British citizens
At least two months before your current long-term visa expires you must either seek renewal or apply for permanent residence. Business owners might be eligible for a residence permit known as Carte de Séjour Pluriannuelle, which is valid for four years. This costs €200.
To be eligible for permanent residence in France, applicants must participate in an integration process called Republican Integration Contract (CIR), which includes a language test. Besides, they must prove they are generating adequate income from their business or employment.
How to settle in France
After five years of legal residence in France, you can apply for a Carte de résident de longue durée-UE étranger en France depuis 5 ans, a more permanent residence valid for ten years. This is a very important immigration status, which is subject to the conditions on income and health insurance. This documents also allow you to stay in other European countries for more than three months.
Alternatively, you can apply for a different permanent residence permit (Carte de résident permanent d’un étranger en France), which is not subject to any conditions relating to your income or health insurance.
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If you are planning to study in France you need to get in touch with the relevant Higher Education provider in France and our immigration lawyers to make sure you meet all visa requirements.
More importantly, you must consider that university tuition fees for UK nationals travelling to France to study from January 2021 might be higher.
The new Brexit regulations and visa fees will not apply if you already enrolled on a course of study before or on September 2019, or during the Brexit transition period.
If you are a British frontier worker, and you were already working and residing in France by the 1st of January 2021, you benefit from the right to enter and stay. However, as from the 1st of October 2021, you must hold a “document de circulation”, which will be granted free of charge once you request It from the prefecture where you work.
Following UK’s departure from the EU, and under the terms of the WA (Withdrawal Agreement), the rights of British migrants living in France at the end of 2020 are protected in perpetuity. In other words, their grant to live and work in France is based on the same terms that existed prior to Brexit.
If you have any concerns about your immigration status, or if you want your family to join you in France, you can discuss your case with a professional UK immigration lawyer.
You can only submit your visa application within 90 days of the date you plan to enter France. However, it is recommended to apply at least 20 working days before your travelling date, to allow the French Consulate General enough time to process your case.
Your French visa application process might take several weeks if additional supporting documents are needed. If your case is time-sensitive, you can get in touch with IAS’ immigration experts to receive professional help.
If French immigration authorities have not accepted your visa application, you will receive further details about the reasons for the refusal. You might be able to appeal to the Commission de recours contre les décisions de refus de visa d’entrée en France within two months of the decision.
Get in touch with our lawyers to find out more.
If you wish to travel with your pet to France or any other EU country, you should discuss your case with one of our immigration lawyers.
On arrival in France, those who are travelling will pets will need to enter through a designated traveller’s point of entry. However, if your pet passport war originally issued in an EU Member State, it is still valid to travel to France.