top of page

A guide for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens moving to France

Updated: Sep 9, 2022

Expats from EEA countries who want to live, work, or study in France may come to us for any information on French immigration, and we will gladly assist them.

When going to France, citizens of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland do not need a visa or authorization from the French government. They will not be required to provide any additional papers than a passport or national ID that is still in valid status. However, there are a few extra procedures that you may have to go through after you've moved to France.

Even if they aren't citizens of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland themselves, family members of EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens have the right to live and work in France. They will, however, need to have the proper authorization to remain in France for extended periods.

EU/EEA/Swiss nationals moving to France

Moving to France is a simple process for citizens of countries in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland. It is no longer necessary to register as a French resident at your local mairie (town hall) within 3 months of moving to France, so long as you have a valid EU passport and are either working, self-employed, a student, a family member of an EU, or jobless with evidence of financial means (if you are under 65, you must have €537 per month if you are single and have no children, and €805 if you are a married with no children; prices rise for each extra The rates for seniors over the age of 65 are €805 for individuals who live alone and €1,247 for couples.

You are not required by French law to apply for a residence permit (carte de séjour) since France is a member state of the EU; but, you are free to do so if you so want. It does not cost anything, and it is good for up to five years after it was issued. You will be required to provide your passport or another kind of government-issued identification, as well as evidence that you are either employed or registered as self-employed. Get in touch with the préfecture or mairie in your region to find out where to submit your application.

When you are in France, you should always make sure that you have your passport or other forms of identification on you at all times. You must show it in particular instances.

Non-EU/EEA/Swiss family members

Your spouse, any children under the age of 21, and any dependent parents are eligible to relocate to France with you if they are not nationals of the European Union, the European Economic Area, or Switzerland. However, they will need to apply for a residence permit (carte de séjour) from the préfecture within three months of arriving in France. You need to provide documentation demonstrating your familial ties (such as marriage and birth certificates), evidence of your relative's job in France (such as a contract), evidence of financial resources (such as bank statements), and proof of health insurance.

Within the next six months, you will be able to get the permission that says "member of the family of a citizen of the Union," which comes without a cost. It may be renewed up to five years before its expiration date, but you must do it two months in advance.

Brexit and UK citizens in France

As of the year 2011, there were more than 150,000 people in the United Kingdom residing in France. While the United Kingdom is still a member of the European Union, people with British citizenship who live in other EU countries won't have their rights or status altered in any way. It's possible that relocating to France from the United Kingdom may become more difficult in the future. It is too early to know precisely how, or even whether, Brexit would impact British nationals who are already living in France or who are wanting to come to France.

After five or more years

If you are a citizen of the EU, the EEA, or Switzerland and have lived in France for five years or more in a row, you have the right to permanent residence and the option of holding the permanent residence 'EU permanent stay – all occupations' (UE séjour permanent, toutes activités professionnelles). If you are not a citizen of the EU, you do not have this right. If you are gone for more than two years, you will forfeit this entitlement.

Non-EU/EEA/Swiss family members

After five years, family members who have lived in France alongside their relatives are eligible for permanent residency under the same conditions as their relatives. In this scenario, having a card proving permanent residency is required. You have to make this application two months before the end of your current carte de séjour. The criteria for applicants must be the same as those that were in place when they first filed for a residence permit. This permit remains in your possession even in the event of a divorce or the passing of your EU spouse.

For more information

France Diplomatie – This page, found on the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is presented in the English language.

DIRECCTE – This is the French-language website for the French Labor Ministry's Regional Directions of Business, Competition, Consumption, Work, and Employment. You will need to go to the main website to be forwarded to the appropriate French area.

OFII – Click the "EN" in the upper right corner of the page to go to the English language version of the website for the French immigration and integration office (L'office Francais de l'immigration et de l'intégration). This page is available in English. There are offices located all across France; check the website for the contact information of the office that is most convenient for you.

Public-Service Oriented – This website is for the public services provided by the French government (in French). Click on this link for the contact information of your local mairie (town hall), and click on this link for the contact information of other local departments and public services.



bottom of page