British nationals wanting to stay more than 90 days in 180 now need a visa. There are many other types of working visas, as well as non-working ones. So how do you choose?
According to relocation experts, the most popular visa by far is the Long Stay Visitor Visa, designed for non-working people, especially retirees. They like the fact it offers access to the healthcare system. It can be renewed every year as long as you can continue to support yourself (with savings or pension income). But beware that it is difficult to switch from this visa to any visa type allowing work or self-employment – should you suddenly decide a life of leisure is not for you!
Getting your Long Stay Visitor Visa can take as little as five weeks, requires an income of around €2,000 a month per couple, and if you are in receipt of a State Pension, you can apply via the NHS to get your S1 document for healthcare access.
With this type of visa, you become a French resident, but with another type – the Long Stay Temporary Visa – you keep your residency in the UK and are not entitled to register in the French healthcare system. So it’s really key to choose the right visa from the start.
Apply for visas at TLScontact centres in London, Manchester or Edinburgh.
For six-month stays, there is also the Short Stay Visitor Visa ideal for those ‘testing out’ a project in France, or for those second-home owners who want to stay for six months without becoming French residents (one six-month visitor visa is allowed every 12 months).
Holiday home owners can work remotely in their French bolt hole for up to 90 days in 180, but beware that living in France and working for a non-French company is where it gets tricky, because there can be implications for the employer.
For those running gites, there is the entrepreneur/independent professional visa – you will need to provide a projection of your gite income – but there’s also the talent creation visa (Passeport Talent Entrepreneur) requiring at least €30,000 in a French bank account.
Want to work out further which visa is for you? Find out at France-visas.gouv.fr.