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How obtain a long stay visa and start running your future gîte in France: Navigating Visa Options for Property Owners 

Are you a property owner in France? Do you envision operating it as a charming gîte, welcoming guests from all corners of the globe? If so, you might be wondering about the visa options available to extend your stay beyond the typical 90-day limit. 


Residence Permit or Visa Options 

When it comes to extending your stay in France and embarking on your gîte venture, you have two primary immigration paths:  the first allows you to prepare your project for one year before changing status to one that allows you to operate your business, while the other allows you to launch your project immediately.


Taking your time : the visitor visa and the entrepreneurial residence permit 


casa, gîte, contryside house

Looking for a property, exploring your options, studying the feasibility of the project, the services that you want to implement, the market and all the costs associated to your dream can take time. A lot more time than the 90 days allocated with the visa exemption. If your plan is to first study your options without generating any revenue at the beginning, you should explore the Visitor Visa first: This visa allows you to reside in France for more than 90 days (about 3 months), up to one year, without engaging in formal employment. It is a viable option if you wish to prepare your gîte project for eventual entrepreneurship.  

The main requirements to obtain this visa are

  • Sufficient economic means to support yourself (approximately €1,400 net per month per applicant). 

  • Health insurance coverage for France. 

  • Proof of accommodation arrangements for the initial weeks of your stay. 


Application Process: 

  • Submit the application at the French Consulate in your country of residence. 

  • Upon approval, collect your visa and enter France. 

  • Follow the visa validation procedure within the first three months of arrival. 


Once your project is ready to be launched you will be able to switch to a visa that allows commercial activity and business operation, sometimes even directly from France: the entrepreneur visa. 

Running your gite as an Entrepreneur or Project Leader:  


The Entrepreneur and the Carte Talent (Project Leader) visa are tailored for individuals seeking to conduct commercial, craft, or industrial activities, including gîte operations. Both visas entail a similar procedure. However, the first is designed to freelances, consultants, and smaller projects whereas the second is tailored for projects requiring a more important capital, like can be the launching of a gite, if correctly structured. 


For both visas, your future business must be economically viable and serious. However, the Carte-talent (Project Leader) Visa requires:

  • A diploma equivalent to a Master's degree or at least five years of professional experience. 

  • An investment of €30,000 in your commercial project, with a well-structured plan. 

  • Genuine and serious intent to establish a business in France. 

Pensioners, pensioner, house, project, business, renting

Whereas the entrepreneur card is only one year renewable and does not allow to bring your family with you, the Project Leader card has a duration between one year and four years, determined by the Prefecture based on your project and enables you to  bring your close family with you. 


As a foreign citizen, property owner in France, the prospect of operating a gîte holds immense promise. By understanding and leveraging the available visa options, you can turn your aspirations into reality. Whether you opt for the visitor visa to kickstart your project or pursue the entrepreneur or Carte-talent route for immediate business operations, France welcomes your investment and enthusiasm. Taking the good decision is not something you can leave to chance and the process and parperwork can feel overwhelming. Sourrinding yourself by experts is the good strategy to securize your project.


This is why if you decide to eEmbark on this exciting journey, we advise you to schedule a call with our team of legal attorneys and expertss.

Your journey to establishing a professional foothold in France is just a click away! 


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