France is a popular destination for the rich and famous – the chic playgrounds on the Cote d’Azur still attract the beautiful people. However, there is much more to France than the French Riviera! Paris, Ile de Re, Biarritz, the chateaux of the Loire Valley, Dordogne, Medoc and Bordeaux, Cognac to name a few.
The lifestyle, food and drink, climate, landscapes, architecture, etc are so attractive that many nationalities now choose to live there permanently. It is relatively easy for EU nationals to move to and live in France. But what is the procedure for non EU nationals?
As a US citizen hoping to live part of the year in France, the thought of all that paperwork can seem overwhelming. But obtaining a visa to get to France is often easier than people think.
For those heading in from the US for less than 90 days it is not necessary to obtain a visa, but those planning a longer trip will have to apply.
To do this, you will need a signed passport which remains valid three months after the last planned day of stay in France, as well as three photocopies for the consulate to keep hold of.
Also needed are four long stay visa application forms as well as five recent passport size photographs.
US citizens will also have to provide some kind of financial guarantee such as a formal letter of reference from the bank showing account numbers and balances or recent statements.
Those wishing to retire to France will need to prove they have a sufficient pension and savings to live on and provide documentation to show this.
You will also need proof of medical insurance with coverage valid in France as well as a document from your local police department that you have no criminal record.