Visas For Members

Does France have a 'golden visa'?

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Does France have a 'golden visa'?
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As Spain announces the scrapping of its 'golden visa' scheme, what's the situation in France for people who make a significant investment in the country?


Several countries offer variations of a 'golden visa' scheme, whereby people can get residency or even citizenship if they have a lot of money and are prepared to invest it in the host country - although Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez has announced the end of his country's visado de oro.

So what's the situation in France?

Well, if you were hoping to avoid France's famously cumbersome bureaucracy by splashing some cash around, then I'm afraid we are going to have to disappoint you.

Talent Passport

Probably the closest thing to a 'golden visa' is the Talent Passport visa - this is a multi-year visa that allows you to bring family members with you to France.

READ ALSO Talent-passport: The little known visa that could male moving to France a lot easier

It's traditionally given to people who work in certain highly-skilled sectors such as scientific research, but there are also categories for people who intend to;

  • create a business or take one over
  • make a direct economic investment
  • engage in an innovative economic project recognised by a public body

However it's important to note that if you intend to apply under these sectors, it's not just about the money. You will need to have a detailed business plan and show exactly how you intend to invest - you can't just buy an expensive property and describe that as your investment.


As Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness Franck Riester said in 2020: "The passeport talent offers the possibility for investors, entrepreneurs, and foreign executives to settle and work in France with their families.

"It is to encourage talents from all over the world to choose our country to develop growth and employment."

Otherwise, you would normally apply for a visa based on your status - eg a worker or self-employed visa if you intend to work in France, or a visitor visa if you want to retire here. 

EXPLAINED What type of French visa do you need?

Financial requirements

Certain visa types do have financial requirements with them - if you're not intending to work in France you will need to prove that you can support yourself and won't become a burden on the French state.

However, we're not talking big sums here - the guideline amount is the French minimum wage, known as the SMIC, so you will need to prove that you have income equivalent to the French minimum wage, or that you have savings equivalent to a year's worth of minimum wage.

Minimum wage is regularly revised, but at the time of writing, the savings option adds up to about €16,000 - find full details HERE

You only need to prove that you have this amount or above, there's no particular advantage in visa terms if you can demonstrate that you have 10 or 20 times that amount available.

Will my visa be processed faster if I have a high net worth?


READ ALSO How long does the French visa process take?

Will it help to hire a lawyer?

If you have the cash to do so, then hiring a lawyer can remove some of the administrative burden, but it won't make any particular difference to your application.

The best way to save time is to make sure your application includes all the relevant documents in the correct format, so that authorities don't need to request extra information. A lawyer can help with this, but you can do it yourself by becoming a visa nerd and closely reading all the rules and requirements.

READ ALSO Do I need a lawyer for my French visa or residency card application?


What about 'golden' citizenship?

France is fairly generous with its citizenship, but the application must be made based on either; residency in France (if you lived here for five years, or two years if you completed higher education); marriage to a French citizen; having a French parent; five years of service in the French Foreign Legion. 

READ ALSO The complete guide to getting French citizenship

Your application will be decided based on whether you fulfil the criteria. You do need to prove that you have a 'stable and regular income' in France, but again there is no particular advantage in having a lot of money as opposed to just having enough to support yourself.

You will also have to take part in an in-person interview (in French) where you demonstrate your knowledge of France, commitment to its values and genuine desire to become French.

The country of égalité does of course have its inequalities, and life is easier in all sorts of ways if you are wealthy - but don't expect money to buy you a visa or French citizenship.


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