France is located in Western Europe and features some of the world's most beautiful scenery. Apart from choosing France for work or study, many people regard it as an excellent retirement location. Whatever style of retirement you want, France offers something for you. From busy metropolis to picturesque villages to the glitz and glitter of the Mediterranean coast. It's an excellent area to live in, with a good public healthcare system and an affordable cost of living.
France does not have a retirement visa, however, there are various pathways to retire and live in France without requiring a retirement visa.
There are various pathways to retire and live in France
WHAT ARE THE PATHWAYS TO RESIDENCY FOR RETIREES IN FRANCE?
If you want to retire in France, the process is the same as it is for any other non-EU person who wants to move to France. You will first apply for a long-stay visa, then a temporary and/or multi-year Carte de Séjour (residency card), and - after five years of residence in France - a permanent Carte de résident (permanent residency card).
The first step on any path to French residence is to apply for a long-stay visa. There are several sorts of French long-stay visas available, each with its own set of qualifying requirements.
Retirees coming to France would often apply for a 'Visitor' Long-Stay Visa (visa de long séjour visiteur or VLS-TS Visiteur). These visas are meant for persons who want to remain in France for an extended period without work, and applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have the funds to maintain themselves for the length of the visa.
It is important to note that working or running a business in France as a retiree is not permitted on a visiting visa. You'd need to apply for the appropriate work visa. It does not, however, exclude you from getting other sources of income, such as a pension, rental income from a property you own, or gains from financial investments.
Contact us for additional information on French long-term visas for retirees. Its requirements, eligibility, and how to get one.
You can relax on the cozy Montmartre, in Paris, as a retiree in France
CARTE DE SÉJOUR TEMPORAIRE (TEMPORARY RESIDENCE CARD)
If you wish to live in France and become a legal resident, you must apply for the Carte de Sejour for Retirees after receiving your long-term visa.
Your initial Carte de Séjour will be valid for one year in virtually all instances (even for spouses and family members of French citizens). You must apply for renewal within two months of the expiration date.
TIP: The Carte de séjour and Titre de séjour are interchangeable terms. The term "titre" refers to the permit and "carte" refers to the card that proves the permit's existence. Since you can't have one without the other, it's best to consider them as synonymous.
APPLYING FOR YOUR FIRST CARTE DE SÉJOUR
After the validity of your long-stay visa has ended, you have a two-month window to apply for your first Carte de Séjour or Carte de séjour temporaire. The application can be submitted online by clicking the "Je demande ou renouvelle un titre de séjour" button and using the same account that was utilized to validate your long-stay visa. The entire process is carried out within France, so there's no need to go back to your home country.
You will be required to submit certain documents (many of which you will have previously submitted for your initial long-stay visa, but you will have to re-present them) as well as the €225 ($241 USD) application cost. You will also need to attend an interview at your local prefecture to get your first Carte de Séjour, where you will be requested to present documents and have your biometric data collected.
The first step to get your French residence is applying to a long-stay visa
CARTE DE SÉJOUR PLURIANNUELLE (MULTI-YEAR RESIDENCE CARD)
The second Carte de Séjour you will apply for is a multi-year 'pluriannuelle' card, which is typically valid for four years.
The procedure is the same as it was for your first Carte de Séjour - you may begin the process online (this time choosing the option 'Carte de séjour pluriannuelle'), two months before your one-year Carte de Séjour expires. You will be requested to present documentation confirming that your status has not altered once again, and you will be required to attend an appointment at your local prefecture.
After your application is granted, you will most likely be given a 'récépissé,' which is a receipt that indicates you requested a renewal. This will cover you if your Carte de Séjour expires while you are waiting for your card to be reissued.
TIP! Many expats claim that renewing their Carte de Séjour is a much smoother procedure if their circumstances haven't changed; for many, it's just a matter of supplying the relevant papers. However, this may not be the case for everyone, so it is important to prepare for your visit as well as you have in the past. Expect to be asked for documents if your status has changed in any way.
Carte de Sejour for Retirees allows you to live legally in France
CARTE DE RÉSIDENT PERMANENT ( PERMANENT RESIDENCE CARD)
The last stage on your path to permanent residence is a 'Carte de résident permanent,' which you may apply for three months after your Carte de séjour pluriannuelle expires.
To apply for a Carte de Résident, you must have lived in France for at least five years; this is lowered to three years for spouses or family members of French nationals. This card has a 10-year validity period and is renewed, thereby acting as a permanent resident.
The procedure is the same as for your first Carte de Séjour; you may begin the process online (selecting the option 'Carte de séjour résident' this time). You will be requested to present documentation confirming that your status has not altered once again, and you will be required to attend an appointment at your local prefecture. Depending on the type of Carte de séjour resident, you may be required to provide extra documentation to demonstrate your "integration into French society" as well as your French language abilities.
APPLYING FOR FRENCH NATIONALITY
If you have lived in France for five years, you may apply for French Nationality, i.e., become a French citizen, instead of filing for your 10-year residence card.
Furthermore, you may do so at any time after five years of continuous residence in France.
Applying for French nationality is not required for permanent residency; nevertheless, it does offer several advantages. If you get French citizenship, you will also become an EU citizen, with the ability to live and work anywhere in the EU. You will also not lose your French citizenship if you opt to live abroad for a lengthy period (which can happen with permanent residency). You may also apply for a French passport and vote if you have French citizenship.
Related article: The Basics Of How To Get A Second Passport Or A Second Residency
After your long-stay visa has ended, you have a two months to apply for your first Carte de Séjour
WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS FOR RETIRING IN FRANCE?
As a retiree, you must demonstrate your ability to sustain yourself for the length of your stay in France. This includes demonstrating that you have adequate income (from a pension, savings, or investment), health insurance coverage, and housing. This documentation will be needed at every step of your residence journey, from applying for a long-term visa to applying for a permanent resident card.
When submitting your application, you can expect to be asked for the following information:
PROOF OF SUFFICIENT INCOME
Visitor visas have stringent income criteria; you must be able to demonstrate that you can sustain yourself without assistance from the French government. Sufficient funds are often based on France's minimum salary (SMIC), which will be more than €1,353 ($1452 USD) per month or €16,236 ($17424 USD) per year beginning in 2023. Bank statements, tax reports, and pension receipts are examples of acceptable types of documentation.
The second Carte de Séjour pluriannuelle card is valid for four years
PROOF OF HEALTH INSURANCE
You must present evidence of private international health insurance that covers the period of the visa when applying for a long-stay visitor visa. Your health insurance policy must include a minimum of €30,000 ($32195 USD) in coverage, medical repatriation, and emergency/hospital care, and it must be valid within the Schengen zone.
You may terminate your insurance coverage after successfully enrolling in the French health system. This will not be required while renewing your visa or applying for your Carte de Séjour. However, you may be required to undergo a medical examination with the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII).
PROOF OF ACCOMMODATION
Expect to be able to demonstrate specifics about your lodging, such as evidence of ownership of a French home or a copy of a rental agreement covering your first stay in France if you want to purchase.
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Retiring in France can be a little expensive, but you will have great experiences
WHY SHOULD I RETIRE IN FRANCE?
There are several apparent reasons why one would select France as their new permanent residence. Here are some of the reasons why France is an excellent retirement destination:
France has one of the most well-develop healthcare systems in the world. A doctor's appointment costs roughly $30 USD, and after three months of residence, you may receive 70% of your money returned. The hospitals are excellent, and specialist costs are set by the government. The cost of prescription medication is quite inexpensive. If you develop a long-term illness, such as cancer, diabetes, or liver or kidney failure, your medicine will be provided for free.
THE TAX SYSTEM
France has tax treaties with many European and non-European nations. As a result of these arrangements, you may avoid paying double taxes as a foreigner going to France for retirement (taxes in France and your home country). However, once you become a French tax resident, you must pay tax on all of your international income.
France is a safe place to retire, particularly outside of major cities
France is the world's seventh-largest economy. France's highly developed and market-oriented economy has improved living standards for both citizens and lawful foreign residents.
France is well-known for its natural beauty, in addition to its famed man-made sites. The nation offers some of the most beautiful landscapes and outstanding flora and animals.
Many people regard French food as the most prominent and revered cuisine in the world. The foods are particularly tasty because the French utilize unique cooking methods.
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Toulouse is one of the most attractive cities in France you can spend your retirement years
WHAT ARE THE BEST PLACES IN FRANCE FOR RETIREES?
France has always been a popular location for foreigners seeking a fresh start. The country has a certain allure that tends to draw people from all walks of life, including retirees. Here are some of the best destinations for retirees in France.
Juan-les-Pins is a popular tourist location, boasting sandy beaches and a seaside promenade lined with restaurants and designer stores. Juan-les-Pins is a wonderful destination for expats to live because of its colourful environment, beaches, and way of life. If you prefer a more relaxed lifestyle, the stylish resort is an excellent alternative.
The south of France offers several wonderful places that provide ideal living conditions for retirement. Annecy is a lovely alpine town in southern France noted for its Vieille Ville, the lake, and the major canal that runs through it. The lake is ideal for watersports such as sailing, and there are routes for bikers, joggers, and walkers. When it comes to lifestyle possibilities for both locals and foreigners, Annecy is a unique treasure.
Lyon is located at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, giving the city a picturesque and serene atmosphere. The Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourviere, the Gallo-Roman Museum, the Roman Theatres, and other historical and architectural features make the city famous. It has been named the most beautiful city in France, surpassing towns such as Bordeaux and Paris.
At Lyon, you can eat some of the best French cuisine and shop in opulent shopping centers.
Annecy is a lovely alpine town that provides ideal living conditions
Everyone already knows what we're going to say about Paris. Paris is a renowned tourist destination in France, famed for its bookstores, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, and several other cultural sites. With a population of more than 2 million people, anticipate a lively and active environment while living there.
The city of love is ideal for single retirees seeking new experiences, and who knows, maybe you'll find your new partner while strolling the gorgeous streets of Paris.
Toulouse is the place to go if you want to experience the southern French identity. Toulouse is often regarded as one of the most attractive cities in France. Despite its distance from any beaches, the city has a Mediterranean climate with pleasant summers and moderate winters.
The city is culturally and ethnically diverse, and it is the fourth-largest city in France, with a population of about 500,000 people.
France offers some of the most beautiful landscapes full of natural beauties
HOW MUCH MONEY DO I NEED IN FRANCE TO RETIRE?
Even though living expenses in France are fairly high, there is one factor that influences your spending. When relocating to France, one of the most important factors to consider is location. Paris, for example, is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, but Nantes, Toulouse, and Montpellier are more affordable.
In general, you would need roughly $1200 USD to $1500 USD to live comfortably and meet your monthly costs in a less costly area of the country, while an anticipated monthly cost of $1700 USD to $2000 USD would suffice in more expensive cities.
If you opt to buy a home rather than rent one, this cost will be reduced. In France, apartment prices range from $3100 USD to $12.850 USD per square meter in the city center and $2050 USD to $10.110 USD outside of the city center.
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Colmar is an amazing place to retire in France that has a lot of natural beauties
IS FRANCE A SAFE PLACE TO RETIRE?
Yes, France is a safe place to retire, particularly outside of major cities. However, in a few metropolitan locations, the French have a recent history of terrorist attacks, and criminality exists in parts of the poorer banlieues (suburbs) around Paris. They have changed their public security measures and enacted anti-terrorism authorities. Overall, violent crime, vehicle crime, and other types of crime are rare.
France offers something for everyone, from stunning beaches to vineyards to some of the best ski slopes in the world. It might be difficult to become a citizen or permanent resident of a European country. However, what France has to offer is worth the effort. France boasts a rich cultural heritage, some of the world's top healthcare, and relatively low crime rates. It's no surprise that many expat retirees wish to reside in France for all of these reasons. Contact us today to begin your journey to retirement in France.