Family members of an EU, EEA or Swiss Nationals
Date of update
Foreign nationals may be accompanied by close family members.
The following are considered close family members of EU, EEA and Swiss nationals:
- Spouse, civil partner or equivalent registered partnership.
- Children under 21 of the EU/EEA/Swiss national and/or their spouse or partner.
- Children over 21 of the EU/EEA/Swiss national and/or their spouse or partner who are dependents of the EU/EEA/Swiss national.
- Direct relatives in the ascending line who are dependents of the EU/EEA/Swiss national or of their spouse or partner.
Formalities for entering French territory differ according to whether or not family members are also EU/EEA/Swiss nationals.
While European family members may enter and reside freely in France, family members who are nationals of non-EU, EEA or Swiss countries benefit from some facilities for access to the territory.
|Helpful tip :
The post-Brexit transition period expired on December 31, 2020. The rules governing the arrival of family members of British citizens will depend on the date of their arrival on French territory.
For more information, do not hesitate to consult our dedicated sheet «Fact sheet: British nationals and their family members »
EU, EEA and Swiss nationals
No visa is required for accompanying family members. Only a valid identity card or passport must be presented upon entering French territory.
Other countries nationals
Where the members of the EU/EEA/Swiss national’s family are other foreign nationals (‘third country nationals’), they must submit a visa application to the consular authorities in their country of residence, unless they are exempt. Applications are made online : https://france-visas.gouv.fr.
The French authorities take particular care to ensure that visas for family members of EU/EEA/Swiss nationals are issued as quickly as possible, under a fast-track procedure, to make it as easy as possible for them to enter France.
Under this fast-track procedure, it should typically take no longer than four weeks to obtain a visa. Furthermore, family members of EU/EEA/Swiss nationals are not required to pay any visa fees.
Once in France, the application for a residence permit “Member of the family of a citizen of the Union / EEA / Switzerland” is compulsory and must be made to the Prefecture of the place of residence, within 3 months of entry into France.
This residence permit allows the exercise of any paid or self-employed professional activity, without any particular procedure.
The exercise of a regulated profession remains subject to the obligation to justify the required diplomas and subject to the authorization of the competent authority if necessary.
The residence permit “Member of the family of a citizen of the Union / EEA / Switzerland” is issued free of charge and valid for 5 years. It is renewable.
The renewal of this title must be requested at the Prefecture within 2 months before its expiration.