How to obtain permanent residence visa?

I would like to permanently relocate to New Caledonia from the UK. I hold a UK passport, am a recent mechanical engineering graduate, and am alone.

What might be the best way for me to be able to live in NC; what options are available to those in my position wishing to settle in NC?

I have read such a thing can be difficult, but there must be options!


Hello Pacificus.

Welcome to! :)

Hope you'll be helped by other members soon.

Thank you,

Thanks. I hope so too!

Hi Pacificus,

NC is a French Territory so get a permanent visa here is the same as obtain a visa in France. You are from UK (Europe) so you don't need any visa to come and stay here … qh1mk9ugl5 (it's in French but if you come here you'll necessary have to speak and understand French, locals usually don't speak english)
BUT you have to know some specific rules here that are very important. To work you'll must have a special autorisation. And there is a special law here to protect locals employement. So it might be very difficult for a foreigner to work here (even for the French). Start to seek for a job before moving here because it's the most difficult thing to find here for you. They gives a job to a foreigner only if there is no Locals (and after ,no French) available for the job.

Good luck

Thanks, Freaka. I did originally think that but upon reading the following on the British Foreign Office's website I was led to believe to the contrary:

“If you wish to remain in New Caledonia for more than three months, you should apply at the local Haut Commissariat or French Consulate for the necessary residence and work permits.”

“British nationals have no right to work or to extend their stay beyond the initial three months without special authorisation from the local authorities.” … -caledonia

I assumed the above to mean I would need a permanent residence visa for permanent relocation. Perhaps the required permission is less formal than a visa application, or maybe the reality is that none at all is required and I can stay with no paperwork other than a passport providing I do not gain employment. I am planning to contact the French Embassy in London after the Holiday period to seek clarification.

The employment issue is separate to the permanent relocation issue. I am not seeking to be employed in NC only to be able to remain there on a permanent basis. If employment was an essential part of getting permission to do so then so be it. I believe one route to a permanent residence visa for Australia is to hold employment for two years in that country. That was my thinking.

Thanks again.

UK is part of european union, so you don't need any visa for a long stay, I just found a link that said it in english : … g-ordinary

As I said the only issue here is to be employed for a foreigner. Local employment is a tricky subject here and authority are not really opened to give work permit. If you just want to come and stay, you can. Be assured to have enough funds to stay because if you need to take an apartment you'll need to pay 6 month in advance (because you won't have a job).
The cost of living is also quite high here (similar to the inner city of Paris).


My further thanks, Freaka.

I used Google to translate the previous link. The situation does indeed seem pretty clear, although the UK Government website wording was a little ambiguous. I've read about how expensive living is in NC but my intentions are a little different to those of most: I want to live in the wilderness and grow fruits and vegetables and that would be how I would sustain myself. I'm not interested in being a part of the monetary system in any way and need to relocate to a tropical location (the natural human habitat) in order to escape it. I will make sure I have enough money to pay for food for a couple of years until I am able to establish a fruit garden. I would be happy with basic shelter so no need for a house.

I will likely start a separate thread on land later on. I am wondering who, if anyone (but there is always someone), claims ownership of the wild land in NC. Perhaps indigenous people own a large part of it. Ideally I would purchase a few acres, not to clear because I value the natural world, but to live on and plant fruit trees. I hope this won't prove problematic. Hopefully it won't be expensive land either, not having any commercial value or development potential. I gather there are many indigenous people who hate white people/Westerners, and even throw stones at cars! I read there are no-go areas for non-indigenous people.

I'm also a little concerned about the import regulations. I know I would need permission to bring in any seeds or trees/plants but am hoping I can buy them locally. Do you know if such things are readily available locally for purchase?

Much appreciated.

Actually, there is differents types of locals here. Kanak (or Melanesians) lives in tribes and own a large parts of the east coast and the north. They lives in claim land (customary land or "Terres coutumiéres") and the property of the land are shared between members of the clan. The others are white (Caledonians or French expatriate), asians or form other pacific islands (Tahiti, Wallis). They lives in the west coast and the south generally.
There is also some tribes in the south. The other islands (Loyauté ans isle of pins) are fully Kanak.
People are generally friendly here with white honestly. I don't feel more racial tension here than in London or Paris for instance. There is some tribes to avoid in the east coast and the south (and peoples can throws stones on your car) but it's the same as some suburbs in Paris. But Kanak are generally suspicious with white and we can understand them if we seek a bit about NC's history.
If you want to live in Kanak area it would be very difficult I think. They won't accept a foreigner like that. They lives in tribes and this is a completely different lifestyle and organisation.

As you certainly realise, it will be complicated for you to own a cheap land here honestly. You can looked over the prices on, prices are the same as Paris area for the whole island. If it's not owned by a Tribe, it's expensive :).

Import can be an issue, taxes are very high and some products are just forbiden, You must seek a bit that part because I can't help you for the seeds. Seeds are very easy to purchase here, you can even buy plants on local markets for cheap.

My advice is for you to come and see by yourself first. NC is an awesome country but life here is very different than in Europe and there is some constraints. Relocate might be quite complicated and your project isn't the easier.

As I previously said you must speak French too, locals don't speak english generally.

[Moderated: Off topic]