Residence Permit: What You Need to Know

People move from one country to another for diverse reasons. While some move to further their studies, others move to seek employment opportunities. However, to guarantee a hassle-free process, it’s wise to seek advice from professionals like Garant In. This way, irrespective of where you’re going or where you’re coming from, you can be sure of a smooth process. 

France is one of the countries that has received many immigrants. The number of people moving from America to France increases yearly. This is because of its top-notch education and healthcare system, among other things. However, you must get a permanent residence permit before you can be a resident of the country. Are you planning to move to France? Then, keep reading to discover all you need to know about residence permits.

What is a Residence Permit?

If you’re planning to stay in a country for over three months, then you need a residence permit. It is an official document you get from the immigration authorities of a country to confirm your legal rights to live in that country. A residence permit can take different forms depending on the country. However, it generally contains the personal information of the holder, the purpose of their stay, and the validity of their permit.

In France, the residence permit is valid for ten years and can be prolonged. It allows a foreigner to stay in the country without restrictions. It also allows you to carry out any commercial or professional activities, mix with the local society, and participate in social life. However, while the residence permit gives its holder rights to citizenship, it does not allow a foreigner to partake in the politics of the state. Below are some other benefits of a residence permit in France:

  • Ability to run your business in the European market
  • Ability to buy real estate at low rates under mortgage conditions
  • Rights to quality medical care
  • Ability to open bank accounts and process loans.

Requirements to get a Permanent Residence Permit

Although there are unique requirements to get a permanent residence permit, the following are the most common ones:

  • You must have a residential place in France
  • If you’re below 65 years old, you must be fluent in the national language
  • You must make an affidavit and comply with the principles of the nation
  • You must have lived in the country for three years if married to a citizen or five years under the general naturalization procedure.

Aside from the above requirements, you will also need the following set of documents:

  • An international passport
  • A valid long-term visa which allows you to stay in the country
  • Residence address registration document. This must be issued within six months of the submission date
  • Three photographs in the required sizes.

Denial of a Permanent Resident Status

Obtaining a permanent residence permit is not a one-way street; sometimes, the authority may deny your request due to one or more of the reasons below:

  • Provision of false or inaccurate information about your identity to mislead officials
  • Failure to submit a complete dossier or comply with the established registration standards
  • Proof that the foreigner may be a threat to the law, national security, and order in the country
  • Inability to meet the established requirements for the issuance of a permanent residence permit.

If you’re denied a permanent residence permit, you can appeal to the administrative court within 2, 15, or 30 days, depending on the conditions of the issued obligation to leave the country.

However, to avoid being denied, it’s essential to involve an experienced lawyer who will help you consider the nation’s migration policy, the rules for preparing the dossier, and the conditions for issuing the documents.

Types of French Visa for American Citizens

You can move to France on different kinds of visas. They include:

Job Search Visa

A job search visa allows its holder to get a job in France. As an American student or a researcher, you can apply for a job search visa within four years of graduating from a university in France. This type of visa is valid for one year and can’t be renewed. Once it expires, you have to apply for a new work visa. 

Entrepreneur or Liberal Profession Visa

If you’re an American citizen who wants to work as a freelancer in France, you can apply for an entrepreneur or liberal profession visa. However, you must be able to earn the minimum salary of a full-time employee from your freelance job. The visa is valid for one year, but you must renew it two months before it expires.

Talent Passport

In most other countries, the talent passport is known as a talent visa. In France, there are two types of talent passports: the research visa and the investor visa. The research visa allows you to conduct research or apply for a PhD in France. It is valid for a year and can be renewed. However, if your research lasts more than a year, the visa will be valid throughout your research, usually up to four years.

On the other hand, the investor visa is for American citizens who want to create job opportunities in France and improve their economy. The investor visa can be up to four years, depending on the type and duration of business.

What to Know Before You Move to France

If it’s your dream to relocate to France, then it’s crucial to consider certain logistics. One of them is finding a place to live in France. You must carefully read and understand the contract to know the kind of apartment you’re moving into.

You must also be aware of taxes in France. As a French non-resident, you’re expected to pay an income tax rate of 20% on your French-sourced income. This includes both employment and self-employment income, capital gains, dividends, and pension.


In conclusion, getting a visa is the first step in moving to France from the US. Once you have your visa, you can then proceed to sign a rental contract, open a French bank account, and learn the language. Meanwhile, you must have lived in France for five years to get a permanent residence permit. With all these in place, you can then relax and enjoy your stay in France.