If you want to move to France, the Long Stay Visa is a great option if you have some money in the bank. But how much money exactly? Here are the exact long-stay visa France financial requirements so you can get planning to make your dream a reality!
For step-by-step instructions on how to apply for the long-stay visa for France, read this post.
The Long-Stay Visa France Financial requirements
The Long-Stay Visa in France has financial requirements because France expects you to be able to provide for yourself for a FULL YEAR without looking for work in France. Unlike other non-lucrative visas, the number that this visa requires changes according to your housing situation.
So this part gets a little complicated…but it actually is good news because the amount required is negotiable!
The Long Stay Visa France Financial Requirement is 120 euros per day. If you provide proof of accommodation through a hotel (or Airbnb) then this requirement goes down to 65 euros per day.
If you have a hotel booking BUT it doesn’t cover the full 365 days, then you have to provide 65 euros per day for the days with a booking and the full 120 euros for the other days.
If you can find someone in France who agrees to “host” you for the whole year (they can say they will but you don’t actually have to stay with them) then the amount per day goes down to 32.50 euros per day.
This screenshot is directly from the France Consulate Website in Los Angeles (where I applied for the visa):
As you can see, this can get pretty complicated and every situation is going to differ a bit. In our case, we decided to use all three of the options listed above to bring the amount down as much as possible.
We also used another option not listed above (but it is listed in the visa application process) which was to provide a letter from our parents saying that they would provide us $1050 euros per month during our stay in France.
We had to show their 3 most recent bank statements as well as provide their ID’s in order to do this. Of course, our parents never sent us money however, it was a way to prove to the consulate that we wouldn’t be a burden to the French government during our stay.
For other countries, there is a more straight-forward answer on the amount of money you need to apply for their visa if you are applying as a couple or a family. However, in this case there is no actual answer that I have been able to find about the requirements for more than one person.
In our case, since we are staying in the same hotel/accommodation, we used the requirements listed above to cover BOTH of us. We did not multiply those requirements by two, or else we never could have afforded to get this visa in the first place!
Examples of How to Lower the French Visa Financial Requirements
So let’s do some math to see what a few different scenarios would look like. I won’t be including the euro to dollar conversion as those will change depending on when you apply and how well the dollar (or your home country currency) is doing against the euro.
However, these numbers have been the same since I applied in 2019.
Scenario #1: 120 euros per day
In this case, if you are applying alone or with a spouse, you would need to have 43,800 euros available in a bank account to show the French consulate that you have a year’s worth of funds available to you.
Scenario #2: Accommodation Booked for 1 Month
If you have your accommodation booked for one month (and you show proof of this in your application) then you will need to have 42,150 euros of funds.
This is 65 euros x 30 days = 1950 euros
+ 120 euros x 335 days = 40,200 euros
For every month of accommodation extra that you add, it will bring down your grand total. One way you could do this is to book a refundable accommodation and then cancel it after you receive your visa.
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Scenario #3: Accommodation Booked for 1 Month & Proof of Host for 6 months
In case you’re wondering, this is the scenario that we chose! In this case, you will need to show only 26,355 euros, which is a much better option than any of the ones listed above!
This is 65 euros x 30 days = 1,950 euros
32.25 euros x 180 days = 5,805 euros
120 euros x 155 days = 18,600 euros
If you’re worried about finding a host, it was actually a lot easier than I expected. However, this option may not be possible for everyone.
You need to find someone who is willing to hand over photocopies of their French IDs, proof of accommodation in France (a lease or proof of purchase), as well as a utility bill in their name.
Each consulate might have slightly different expectations for your host, so make sure to double check!
Room for interpretation
This next section is going to go over a bit of how I personally addressed the financial requirements of the visa and tried to make my application (and my husband’s) look as good and financially secure as possible.
When we applied for the visa, we had $32,000 in our Savings Account.
However, we were worried that they wouldn’t consider that enough, so we also had a host, guarantor, paystubs and we were able to show that we had about $40,000 in credit (you just add up the credit limit from all of your credit cards to get this number).
There is a bit of a gray area here on this one.
I have a friend who only had $9,000 in savings, but was able to prove that he makes over $3,000 a month with his online job (using paystubs), had a guarantor and a host. Therefore, he had enough to show he could cover his expenses.
I know it is incredibly frustrating for everyone’s answer to be slightly different, but the best thing you can do is to look AMAZING on paper so that they have no reason to deny your visa.
We had less than what was required, so it’s possible to still get the visa even without all of the money required.
However, this may completely depend on the consulate where you apply (or actually the VFS building, since they no longer accept visa applications at the consulate) and it may even depend on the person who is looking over your papers.
Can You Use IRAs, 401k’s, Paystubs, etc. to meet the financial requirements?
Your funds need to be liquid in order for them to count towards the requirements (unless you are retired already and have access). However, it’s not a lost cause if that’s where most of your savings are!
This is just my opinion, since I applied using liquid funds. However, if you write a letter that states that you can take money out of your IRA and your 401k, they may accept it.
You should still definitely have some money in your savings account though so that they feel more at ease giving you the visa!
For paystubs, this one depends on your consulate. The gray area with this visa is that you can use a paystub to get it, however, you’re not technically allowed to work on the visa.
I’m not sure how much longer France will continue to allow pay stubs as proof of funds. Spain discontinued this in 2019 so I wouldn’t be surprised if France wasn’t far behind on that.
The point would be that you want to cover all your bases. You don’t want to be showing pay stubs and not have any money in the bank, as that probably won’t work. You want that to be the icing on the cake, but not the cake itself!