10th May 2022
The minimum income threshold to obtain a visa in France has increased to over €1,300.
UPDATE: This article has been updated at Visa Income Test Toughened.
Most non-European nationals wishing to stay in France for more than 3 months are required to obtain an entry visa.
Indeed, the right to visa free travel for up to 3 months is limited to 60 countries* which have a visa-free agreement with the EU.
Granting of a visa is subject to a test of resources and health insurance cover.
In relation to the resources test, if you are seeking permanent residence in France Article L313-6 of the Code de l'entrée et du séjour des étrangers et du droit d'asile states the minimum income required is equivalent to the minimum working wage, called ''salaire minimum de croissance net annuel' (SMIC).
The level of the SMIC increased by 2.65% from 1st May 2022, to €1,648 gross per month. UPDATE: From the 1st August 2022 it increases to €1,678 and increase of 2.1%.
For the purposes of assessing entitlement to a visa, the authorities use a 'net' figure, after deduction of social insurance charges, which is €1,302.64 per month, or €15,531 a year. UPDATE: From 1st August 2022 it is €1,329 per month. From 1st January 2023 it increases to €1,353.
As the level of the minimum working wage is automatically linked to inflation, since May 2021 it has increased by 5.9%.
In turn, the minimum income threshold for a visa is aligned with SMIC.
A couple with a net income of not less than €1,302 per month would meet the resources test for a long-stay visa, a figure that also applies to a single person.
If you have only one child the SMIC level is sufficient.
If you have more than one child then an additional fraction of SMIC is used, normally one-tenth of SMIC for two children.
Your income must be ''stable et régulière.'
Some concessions on the requirement to have at least the minimum working wage are possible.
Thus, the 'resources' can include capital, with the guidance stating that the applicant must demonstrate resources 'equivalent' to at least 12 months SMIC.
Accordingly, if you have no income, but a substantial capital fund that is not earmarked to buy a property in France, it should be possible for you to obtain a visa for a year. However, you need to consider whether you will continue to have the means of subsidence to obtain renewal of your visa.
In addition, the housing circumstances of the applicant are taken into consideration, as in marginal cases officials can accept a lower figure than SMIC, provided the applicant can demonstrate that they are mortgage and rent free, as follows:
''Lorsque les ressources du demandeur ne sont pas suffisantes, une décision favorable peut être prise si le demandeur justifie être propriétaire de son logement ou en jouir à titre gratuit.'
For those not seeking to obtain permanent residence in France, the consulate use a daily minimum sum, starting at €32.50 per day per person. You can see more at Venir en France.
The law also provides that those with a major disability and in receipt of long-term disability benefit may be granted a visa if they do not meet the SMIC threshold.
Finally, in exceptional cases, those proposing to relocate to France to run a business may also obtain some relaxation from the SMIC rule, but only provided they can demonstrate to officials they have a credible business plan.