Moving to France For Members

How much money do you need to get a visa for France?

The Local France
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How much money do you need to get a visa for France?
Photo: AFP

If you're intending to either move to France or come for a long stay and you're not a citizen of the EU you will need a visa. As well as the cost of the visa itself, many of them come with income requirements - here's a quick look at how much money you will need.


Citizens of the EU can move to France with a minimum of paperwork thanks to European Freedom of Movement, but for non-Europeans - known as Third Country Nationals - a visa is usually required if you're coming for more than a short break (usually 90 days or less, although citizens of some countries require a visa for a trip of any length).

You can find more information on types of visa available and how to apply for one HERE.

There is usually a fee to process the visa itself, and you may also need to pay to get supporting documents translated, but on top of that some types of visa require you to prove you have a certain amount of money before they will be granted.

The basic principle is that you need to prove that you will be able to support yourself during your stay, and will not become a burden on the French state. All visa applications are decided on an individual basis and other circumstances - such as owning a mortgage-free home - can be taken into account, but here are the broad guidelines around income.

There are several different types of visa - including students visas and spouse visas if your have a French partner - but here is a look at the most common ones.


Retired or otherwise economically inactive

If you don't intend to work in France, for example if you are retired or you just want to take a year off work, then you need to prove that you can support yourself.

The guideline figure for people to be economically self sufficient is based on the French minimum wage (known as the SMIC). This is regularly reviewed but at present stands at €1,383 net per month.

If you receive a pension or other income such as dividends or income from a property that you rent out, it will need to be equal or more than this amount.

If you do not have an income but your partner or spouse does then this can be taken into consideration, but your partner then needs to demonstrate that they have enough for two - ie €2,766 per month.

If you do not have a pension but intend to live off savings then you need to demonstrate that you have enough in your bank account to cover €1,383 for every month of your visa. So if you have a one-year visa that would be €16,596. You will be asked to provide your last three bank statements. 

As well as proving your income you will also need to demonstrate that you have full health insurance for the duration of your visa time.

You will also need to give an undertaking that you will not exercise any professional activity in France.



If you intend to move to France and either start your own business or work as a freelancer or contractor you will need to demonstrate the viability of your business or sufficient resources.

If you intend to start a business you will need to be able to demonstrate the economic viability of your project.

If you intend to work as a freelancer/contractor you will need to prove that you have sufficient financial resources to the tune of €1,383 a month.

If you intend to freelance in a profession that is one of regulated professions in France you may also need to provide proof of appropriate qualifications - you can find a list of regulated professions here.


If you want to come to France as an employee you need a confirmed job offer in place before you start the paperwork.

The company or person that is hiring you needs to fill in extra paperwork to justify hiring non-EU nationals and you then need to apply for an employee visa - the length of which will be determined by whether you have a permanent or temporary contract.

The employee visa doesn't require you to submit any financial proof, but you will have to take a French language test.

Next steps

Different visas have different durations, but if you intent to stay long-term then you will need to apply for a residency card - the carte de séjour. Some visa types also require you to validate them within three months of arriving in the country.

The carte de séjour for some groups - including the retired and non-working ones - carries it own income requirements where again you will need to prove that you can support yourself and will not become a burden on the French state.


The rules outlined above are those that already apply to Third Country Nationals such as Americans, Australians, Canadians, Indians or any other non-EU citizens.


For Brits not covered by the Brexit withdrawal agreement, they are also treated as Third Country Nationals.

For full details, head to the French government's visa website here where the 'visa wizard' section here allows you to input your details and find out what kind of visa you need, and what type of supporting documents and evidence you will have to provide. 


Comments (2)

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Anonymous 2020/10/21 11:28
I have a similar query. The above article talks about the qualifications for a visa, as having an income of 1219 euros (each?), yet the article regarding permanent residency below quotes 564.78 euros(even combined). Am I missing something?
Anonymous 2020/10/05 22:06
Are you suggesting the Carte de séjour is going to require a monthly income of 1219 euros, this is double previous?

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