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The French long stay visa allows one to live in France without working/studying/doing business of any kind, as long as one has sufficient savings. In theory, does this visa allow one to acquire French permanent residency after 5 years?

In theory, Council Directive 2003/109/EC would force France to give out permanent residency to such people, but perhaps there's an exception for people who merely have a "visa" rather than a "residency permit"?

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    In France the visa is just used to gain entrance to the country, and long-stay visa holders would need to get a residence permit (titre de sejour) within 3 months of arrival. I don't know the answer about permanent residency, though. But afaik, 'long stay' visa holders are anything from retirees to workers to scientists to business-people to very rich long-term tourists. – la femme cosmique Apr 14 '17 at 9:47
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    @lafemmecosmique Unlike many other countries France doesn't ask one to invest or somehow contribute to the local economy in order to obtain this visa. All you need is enough savings and a place to live. I'm wondering if it means that even permanent residency cam be thus acquired. – JonathanReez Apr 14 '17 at 9:52
  • However are you sure you can stay on for 5 years just with one visa? In Germany, even for a student who got a "long-term" student visa, they still have a get a residence permit immediately after entering the country, which is usually only valid for up to 2 to 3 years, after which you'll have to apply for extension. And they will only give it to you if you have some sufficient reason (e.g. studying) – xji Apr 17 '17 at 18:20
  • @JIXiang I personally don't need it but I know folks who would love to retire in France. And as far as I understand you don't need any reasons to extend the visa, except for having sufficient funds. If you can also become a permanent resident after 5 years it could be a fantastic deal! – JonathanReez Apr 17 '17 at 18:23

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