French Long Stay Visa (VLS-TS) For Retirees & Financially Independent Persons 2021

Find out more about the French Long Stay Visa - contact us now.

Looking for a long stay visa in France as a retiree, digital nomad or passive income earner? The VLT TS visa enables you to stay in France for up to 12 months.

Whether you’re a retired person seeking to settle in France, or a remote worker with income generated outside of France, the VLT-TS could potentially work for you.

Find out more about the benefits of this French Long Stay Visa below, or contact us now for more information.

Differences between the French VLS-TS Visa vs the D-VLS Visa

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The French Long-Stay Visa Equivalent to a Residence Permit (VLS-TS), or Visa de Long Séjour Valant Titre de Séjour in French, enables you to obtain residency status in France for a period of 12 months at a time.

There are 2 types of French long stay visas the D-VLS, and the VLS-TS. Normally, a D-VLS is issued for 90 days. The VLS visa holder can use it to enter France, and must request a residence permit card shortly after arrival. For each category, there are plenty of potential situations.

The VLS-TS visa – a sticker in your passport – is usually issued for 12 months. It replaces the regular French residence permit cards during the first 12 months of stay in France. From there on out, you can apply for a residency permit which is annually renewable from within France.

The VLS-TS visa class was introduced in June 2009, targeting four primary categories of long-stay visa holders in France:

  • The foreign spouses of French nationals

  • Foreign students

  • Foreign salaried workers

  • Foreign long-stay visitors and those seeking settlement.

The initial visa, after 12 months, is followed by an annually renewable residency permit, and unlike many of the other EU residency visas covered on this site, does not enforce any minimum in-country stay requirements.

VLS is granted to entrepreneurs (including the Talent Passport, or Passeport Talent in French), all types of workers, including ICT professionals, family reunification cases, ascendant of French nationals, and relatives of EU-citizens.

Key program benefits

Enjoy visa-free travel across the EU for up to 90 days out of every 180.

Bring your family to move to France with easy through family reunification.

Obtain French residency in 4-6 months with our proven application process.

Access France’s top-notch public healthcare system as a resident of the country.

Who can apply for the VLS-TS?

It is important to note that the VLS-TS is not strictly a French retirement visa. Sub-categories of this visa category can also be utilized by:

  • Foreign students: The Student VLS-TS visa enables foreign students to spend between 3 and 12 months in France.

  • Foreign research scientists: If you need to spend between 3 and 12 months (or longer) in France in order to conduct research activities, you can apply for the Research VLS-TS visa.

  • Foreign employees of French companies: The Employee VLS-TS visa is open to foreign born employees of French companies.

  • Foreign temporary workers: This is aimed at foreign employees working in France for between 3 and 12 months. For example, if you work for a foreign service provider, and you need to go do work for a client company in France, you could apply for this visa sub-category.

  • Foreign inter-company staff transfers: The ICT VLS-TS is available to professionals being seconded or transferred from an overseas company branch to France, and enables workers and their families to spend up to 12 months living and working in France.

  • French Talent Passport applicants: The VLS-TS Talent Passport visa is available to highly skilled workers, investors, directors, employees, skilled graduates or startup employees, researchers, startup founders, recognized subject matter experts, artists and even recognized academics or educators.

As an individual with a foreign pension or foreign sourced stable income, you can apply for this class of residency visa on the basis of passive or stable recurring income in line with or above the French minimum wage level (€1,554.60 per person in 2010). And you could even apply on the basis of the annual equivalent in savings. (More on this below.)

What are the financial requirements for the French Long Stay visa?

If you wish to apply for French residency via the program as a foreign retiree or financially independent person, or even as a foreign remote worker or digital nomad, the following financial requirements will be applicable:

WHO’S APPLYING MINIMUM MONTHLY INCOME REQUIREMENT MINIMUM ANNUAL SAVINGS REQUIREMENT
Individual €1,554.60+ €18,665.20+
Spouse €1,554.60+ €18,665.20+
Additional Dependents €1,554.60+ €18,665.20+
Family of 4 €6,218.40+ €74,620.80+

PLEASE NOTE: As with all other passive and financially independent residency visas covered on this site, you should treat the above amounts as the bare minimum. Being able to prove substantially more income and/or savings will help maximize your chances of success.

What types of income qualify for the VLS-TS visa?

It is important to note that the French bureaucracy is famously challenging to deal with, and that the exact requirements for the visa can vary significantly from one consular mission to the next – both in terms of the income/savings thresholds and the type of income considered.

It is therefore essential that you confirm the exact requirements with your visa service provider (if you opt to use one), and your local consulate.

Having said that, the following types of income have been known to be deemed as acceptable:

  • Long term or for-life pension income

  • Social security payments

  • Stable rental income on movable or immovable assets

  • Dividend income

  • Royalties, etc

  • Certain types of stable income from active employment or business ventures.

What additional requirements are there to apply?

  • Address in France: You have to maintain a fixed address in France throughout the period for which your residency visa is valid. You could buy a home, or rent one, for this purpose.

While there is no minimum rental requirement, the property will have to be deemed suitable for your needs. (For example, a small studio apartment will not be suitable for a family of five people.)

  • Private French health insurance: You will have to take out comprehensive French health insurance for each family member applying. It is advisable to opt for a policy without any co-payments or waiting periods pertaining to full coverage.

  • Clean criminal record: You will have to submit a valid criminal record clearance certificate in order to apply for the VLS-TS visa.

IMPORTANT: If you apply for the VLS-TS visa as a retiree or financially independent person, you will NOT be able to seek local employment with a French company.

Can I gain French permanent residency and citizenship via the VLS-TS Visa?

In order to become eligible to apply for permanent residency after 5 years, you may, in theory, be required to demonstrate that you have lived in France for up to 80% of your residency period full-time. (In practice, however, this is not common.)

In order to apply for French citizenship, however, this will likely come into play. In addition, you’ll also be required to undertake a French language and cultural knowledge test, and you’ll have to prove that you’d been paying French taxes during your residency period.

Many people therefore opt to stop at the permanent residency stage, rather than proceeding to applying for citizenship.

France does recognize dual citizenship though, so you won’t be required to renounce your native citizenship should you choose to apply for French citizenship through naturalization after 5 years.

Why choose to work with us?

✓ A track record of success several hundred successful applications to date.

✓ A local team of seasoned French immigration experts.

✓ Services include application management, French bank account opening, tax numbers, and assistance with proof of accommodation.

✓ A deep understanding of application challenges – and how to overcome them.

Service fees from €3,000 per individual, €4,500 per married couple. Contact us now for more information.

To speak with a seasoned French immigration consultant about your VLS-TS visa application, the process and additional requirements, simply complete the form below.