The prospect of not being allowed to stay permanently in France can be a source of great anxiety for people applying for a French visa.
Over the past three years, we have successfully applied for 1259 French resident permits (carte de séjour) for English-speaking clients from all over the world. Being French ourselves, we know that your chances of a successful application increase if you show that you are going above and beyond to embrace the French life.
It was that knowledge that inspired us to create our comprehensive Moving To France package, the first of its kind in the world.
French residency: what do you really need to be eligible?
To understand how it works, you must first put yourself in the shoes of the local Prefectures whose job it is to deliver residency permits. They are inundated with applications from citizens of America, Great Britain, Australia and Canada.
The French administration has three basic requirements when it comes to permanent residency:
1. Sufficient funds
Reassurance that you have sufficient funds to cover yourself, which amounts to a minimum income of 1384 euros after tax. That is based on the SMIC, which is the current minimum wage in France.
2. Proof of address
proof that you have somewhere safe to live. This can be a French rental contract or an ‘acte de vente’ proving that you are buying a home of your own.
3. Private Health Insurance
Evidence of private medical insurance. It’s true that if you are British, you can come to France with an S1 form and do without private insurance – but you have to think carefully about whether that’s the best move. An S1 effectively signs you out of the NHS and there is no way back. So unless you are 100% certain that you wish to remain in France, it’s good to keep the NHS option open at least while you ‘test drive’ your new home.
Given that every applicant will have these three essentials covered, what more can you do to stand out from the crowd? Simple! You provide more than you need for your application to be accepted.
The Moving to France Package
Our Moving To France package includes 9 different stages along your journey to becoming French, each of which reassures the administration that you are going above and beyond in your intent to become a French citizen.
Let’s have a closer look.
Stage 1. Your long-stay visitor visa
We help you gather the required documents and check their validity, submit the application on your behalf, book an appointment for you at the visa centre, and follow up with the authorities until your visa is successfully delivered.
Stage 2. Visa validation
Once you arrive in France, it is mandatory to validate your visa to make it official. We will complete this procedure for you, including the visa validation fee payable to the French authorities.
Stage 3. Carte Vitale
Three months after your arrival, you are entitled to register for the French healthcare system and benefit from a Carte Vitale. We take care of all the arrangements and create your online healthcare account.
Stage 4. Tax code creation
We help you gather the correct documents, check their validity, and submit your application online. If, for any reason, you are not eligible for a tax code, we will refund this part of the quote.
Stage 5 – Driving licence exchange application
Once you arrive in France, you. have 12 months to exchange your driving licence for a French one. We will help you assemble valid documentation, submit the application for a French licence for you and keep you informed of its progress. Translation into French of your documents is obligatory and at your cost, but we can put you in touch with an authorised translator. Please note that the licence exchange process is very long in France and can take as long as 18 months. However, once your application is in, you are permitted to drive.
Stage 6 – Tax return
Submitting your first French tax declaration is the ‘golden ticket’ proof of income as far as the French administration is concerned, and it goes a long way in securing a visa renewal. We partner with one of the most trusted accountancy firms in France to make sure it is done quickly, affordably and efficiently.
Stage 7 – Residency application or renewal of carte de séjour
We assist you in preparing all the relevant documents, check their validity, submit your online or postal application or offer over-the-phone translation assistance if you are required to deposit your file in person at the prefecture. We will also prep you for your obligatory face-to-face appointment. As before, the cost of document translation is not included, but we can put you in touch with an authorised translator if required. Please note that the residency and visa application service is available outside of the Moving To France package, but costs more if booked separately.
Stage 8. Car purchase
Buying a reliable car in a different language can be tricky – so we do it for you. We charge a fixed fee of just 950 euros to search and negotiate for your perfect vehicle. We have a network of trusted agents across France as well as partnerships with all the main car manufacturers, so we can guarantee to get you the best deal on your new car. For an additional charge depending on location, our partners Pop Valet can deliver it to any address, including your arrival airport or train station. We can also put you in touch with our trusted insurance partner, Fab French Insurance, for a highly competitive quote. If you decide to bring your own car to France, we also offer an import and vehicle registration service.
Stage 9. VIP 6-Month Subscription Package
This service offers unlimited help with everyday tasks during your stay in France or when you are away. You can call or email us Monday to Friday to ask for help as often as you need it for admin tasks such as querying an incorrect bill, letters to your bank, making appointments on your behalf, over-the-phone translation assistance, writing letters in French for you… The monthly cost for this unlimited service is 89 euros per month for a maximum of 6 months.
Personalised help for your moving to France journey
Of course, everybody’s circumstances are different, and you may not need everything on the list. While there are multiple savings to be made by booking the entire Moving To France package, each stage is also available as a single unit. If you would like to talk to us about what’s best for you, we recommend that you book a 30-minute initial online consultation with Richard here. The consultation costs 90 euros, but this is deducted from the first service that you book with us.
The French Connections HCB Team look forward to helping you make France your home!
Put your question to Richard in our upcoming webinar!
If you have questions for the French Connections HCB team then sign up for our free FrenchEntrée webinar, where Richard Hammond, founder of French Connections HCB, and Fabien Pelissier, founder of Fab French Insurance, will be covering everything you need to know about French visa and residency applications.
Join us on Thursday 16th November at 2pm (London time) or 3pm (French time) – you can sign up here or click the button below.
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