Members of the accompanying family who enjoy freedom of movement and establishment within the European Union do not require a visa. A valid identification card or passport is required at the time of entry. They can engage in any salaried or self-employed endeavour without special procedures. To work in a regulated profession, an individual must possess a relevant credential and, if required, authorization from the competent government.

Foreign Nationals will require a Visa

If the family members of a French national are nationals of a third country, unless they are exempt, they must apply to the consular authorities of their home country for a long-stay visa equal to a residence permit (VLS-TS).

A marriage must be recorded in the French Civil Registry to be recognized in France. The French government makes a special effort to expedite the issuance of visas as part of a streamlined process to facilitate entry into the country. Under this expedited approach, obtaining a visa typically takes four weeks. A 12-month VLS-TS bearing the inscription “Private life, family life” will be granted if the application is approved.

Family members are exempt from paying the visa fee.

If you are married to a French citizen

If the maximum length of your stay will be 90 days you must apply for a short-stay visa. You must provide evidence of your marital status and your spouse’s French nationality.

You must apply for a long stay visa if you wish to stay longer than 90 days or settle in France. You must provide evidence of your marital status, the French nationality of your spouse, and your cohabitation with your spouse.

After entering France, you will acquire a long-stay visa equal to a residence permit, subject to approval procedures.

Child of a French citizen

If you are:

  • Their foreign child under the age of 21
  • Dependent on your French parent (if you are studying, looking for a job or disabled)
  • A child with a legally recognized tie to a French national
  • A child adopted by a French citizen in the basic or full form.

If your stay will exceed ninety days, or you intend to settle in France, you must provide evidence of your relationship, both parents’ nationality, age, and your French parent’s residency in France or plan to reside there.

  • If you are a minor with joint parental authority, the other parent’s approval is required for you to settle in France.
  • If you are over 21 years of age and financially dependent on a French parent

You can apply for a three-month long-stay visa, followed by issuing a residence permit, which must be obtained from the Prefecture of the area where you intend to reside.

If you are a dependent older relative of a French national or their foreign spouse, you are eligible for certain benefits.

If you are:

  • Their older relative or the spouse’s older relative;
  • Parents or grandparents of a French national or their spouse.

The maximum length of your stay is ninety days.

You must prove:

  • Your connection to your relative, their French nationality, or that of their marriage;
  • Sufficient resources to fulfil your needs;
  • Accommodation status;
  • International health coverage for the duration of your trip.

If you intend to extend your stay beyond 90 days, you must prove:

  • Your connection to your relative, their French nationality, or that of their marriage;
  • You are dependent on your relative or their spouse in your own country;
  • Accommodation conditions on your trip to France;
  • Medical coverage for the initial three months of your stay.

You can apply for a long-stay visa, followed by the granting of a “dependent elder relative” residency permit, which must be requested from the Prefecture of your place of residence.

If you are an international parent of a minor French citizen

You are the parent of a French child and have contributed to the maintenance and education of your child (under article 371-2 of the French Civil Code) from birth or for at least two years and you are interested in settling in France,

You must prove:

  • Your child’s relationship to you, their French nationality, age, and France residency;
  • Your real contribution to their maintenance and education;
  • That you do not reside in a polygamous state.

You can apply for a long-stay visa, followed by issuing a residence permit, which must be requested from the Prefecture of the department where you intend to reside.

Residence permit

The spouse of a French citizen may apply for a two-year “Vie privée, vie familiale” residence permit after one year of residence and if the lifestyle is being maintained. Spouses of French citizens are eligible for a 10-year residency permit after three years of stable and regular residence in France.

The renewal application must be submitted within two months of the expiration date. The renewal of this title must be obtained within two months after its expiration at the Prefecture.

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