Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Moving to French Polynesia

French Polynesia is a collection of islands in the Southern Pacific Ocean. It has several Polynesian islands, and includes the island group Tahiti, which is the most populous. Its official language is French. It is a territory that is dependent on France and the French president, but has its own regional president. It has an interesting ethnic makeup, two-thirds of which is unmixed Polynesians, then some mixed Polynesians, Europeans and Asians, mostly Chinese. Less than 300,000 people live on these islands.


Work Permit/ Visa

It is difficult to get a work visa in French Polynesia. They let some French people work there, but it is difficult even for other EU members.

In any case, you must have a job lined up and a job contract before you can apply for a work visa in French Polynesia. Your employer must then forward a copy of your job contract to the Immigration Office in Nouméa or Papeete. Once a work permit is granted through this, you can apply for a work visa through a French embassy.

To apply for a work visa, you must submit the following:

1.       2 application forms, signed and completed

2.       2 recent passport photos

3.       Valid passport and two copies

4.       Original work permit granted by the local work department, and a copy

5.       Travel insurance

6.       Flight itinerary

7.       Pre-paid devices to mail back your passport

8.       Fees

It takes about 10 business days to process this application.

Student Visa

If you wish to study in French Polynesia for over 90 days, you are required to get a student short-stay visa. It has to be specifically for French Polynesia, not for France or for any of the other overseas territories.

You must submit the following documents to a French embassy:

1.       Passport and copy

2.       One application form

3.       Two passport photos

4.       Letter of acceptance from your school, confirmation of enrollment

5.       Proof of funds (last 2 bank statements)

6.       Travel itinerary

7.       Proof of medical insurance

8.       Proof of accommodation

9.       Pre-paid devices to mail back your passport

10.   Fees

Moving Pets

It is almost impossible to import your pets to French Polynesia. Pets are only allowed to be re-imported from rabies-free countries. Even so, you have to apply to have it imported for a year in advance. Certain breeds of dogs, like Pit Bulls and Rottweilers, are also not allowed. If you meet conditions for your pet to be re-imported, you must prove that it does not have any communicable diseases, and that rabies has never existed in the country you were in.

Other Information

Click here for information about real estate in French Polynesia.

Click here for maps of French Polynesia.

Click here for political information about French Polynesia.


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