Seeking info/assistance in relocating from US to France

Je voudrais trouvé un residence dans le région de Languedoc-Rousillon. Je suis American, et j'ai 77 ans. J'ai besoin d'un avocat qui parle anglais plus meilleurs que je parle français pour aider moi dans le route á France et devienant un citoyen de Français. Je vous remerci.

I would like to find a residence in Languedoc-Roussilon (but I also like Bordeaux a lot). I am a 77-year-old American who loves France and the French. I would like to engage an attorney who is familiar with immigration issues and can help in my transition to residence and perhaps citizenship in France.

Hi Jimbrooking,

You should use the french version to post your message in French. Here is the  French Forum Bordeaux.

Try to view the contacts on the business directory > Legal services in Bordeaux

Best of luck,


I've been in France for about a year, and have been learning the hard way about immigration issues, etc. I finally found someone who was very helpful, so here's her information. Good luck and welcome in advance to France. I'm in the Alps region.


I am an American who resides in France.  I recommend that you first consult the website of the French embassy nearest you.  It should be possible to relocate to France without a lawyer if you're coming here to retire without the need to work.  It's possible to apply for a long stay visitor's visa which gives you permission to live in France --- but not work.  The embassy's website will have all the information regarding what is required for qualifying.  Once living here, the visa will need to be renewed each year.  I stayed in France for two years this way before changing my status based on my civil union.

I believe this is your only way to retire here but maybe someone else knows something different as I did not come here to retire.  As for becoming a citizen, that is a difficult process and I believe you must live here for a few years before having a chance at it.

Actually, I didn't need their assistance, but they were very helpful and meandering through the quagmire of French bureaucracy requires a very fluent knowledge of French, as the websites are not in French. And even if you reside in French, you have to have a certain level of income, so I would recommend at least having a conversation with one, which is what I did, and greatly appreciated their help.

Hello jimbrooking, I'm American too, and I'm planning to move to France with 2-3 months, I'm seeking to do the same, any feedback is appreciated.


Thanks to all who responded. I did find French Immigration requirements summarized at this website: and note the above link to (Not much information here, just a "Contact us" form.)

I decided I will "test drive" 2-3 more areas in France before committing to a move. Béziers in Languedoc-Roussilon, and perhaps another town in Provence. Loved Aix but real estate is so expensive! In 2017 I plan to spend a month in one or two "somewheres" in France as I did in Aix in 2013 and Bordeaux in 2016 then try to make a decision. Thanks again to you lucky souls who have made it to France, and best of luck to Alma in a safe and happy move.


Good luck.  It is a lot of paperwork but with patience, perserverance, determination and being sure to cross your "T"s & dot your "I"s, it works.  For me it was a rather straight forward process on the US side but I went to my appointment everything in order and plenty of extra copies and back ups just in case.  At the time I spoke no French at all and figured out how to apply for the long stay visa on my own.  I did have help with a place to reside as I was moving to France with my French boyfriend.  Even with being in a civil union now I still must renew my carte de séjour each year.  It's a bundle of paperwork and a half day lost at the prefecture but it's always renewed without any issues.

Thanks Jim and good luck to you too.

Hi Jim -
Check out, a small company in Montpellier that helps anglophones settle in France. Dennelle and her team helped us with a small situation last year, and we expect to use them again in a couple of months for our move.
Good luck,

I just this week got my long-stay visa from the San Francisco consulate - we arrive at the end of January, aiming for Sète!
The process was surprisingly easy (tho full of anxiety), and approval came only a week after my appointment! But getting the appointment took a month...
The usual catch-22 is that you have to have an address in France all lined up before your visa appointment.

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Hi JulieH!
Yes! There in lies the rub.  I have been trying to figure this one out.  I am currently in Bordeaux for the second time this month looking to find a place to rent even though we aren't moving full time until January.  I went to an Agent Immoblier who couldn't help without a French Bank account.  I went to a Bank who wouldn't give us an account without an address, and I can't apply for the long term visa at the Consulate in Miami until I have an address. What to do?  Will a hotel address work? Will an Airbnb work? We need an address even though we will probably just be there until we find a permanent place, unless we get lucky.  What are your thoughts?


I replied to you elsewhere, but I see people have given better info here, so it seems to be a matter of patience and time more than anything else. I have friends here in Bordeaux who have used long term vacation rentals of furnished places. I believe you could use that address if you have a lease and a mailbox. By long term, I mean a few months to a year. (Does AirBnB do that?) That may be your best bet for temporary lodging. As it happens, we rented a small studio for a year here for about 450€ a month before deciding to move from Paris. It was tight for a couple, we called it going back to our "student days". Then we were able to get our bearings and find the right place to live. This may be your best choice until you both have the time to look around and have a longer contact with realtors. You can probably manage a bank account using that VR address.

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