Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello folks, first post here.

I'm an 18 year old Canadian who has wanted to live in Europe my entire life. I would be willing to live in any European country, but France and Germany are preferred since French is my first language, and I understand some German. The UK is also an option, but would probably be my last choice.

Anyways, I was thinking...I know in-order to live and work in any European country you need a work visa, but would being an eBay seller, or an Amazon seller be considered a form of "freelancing"? I don't think I can get any qualifications that will get me into Europe for a real job like an engineer, chemist, or IT person, but I am very interested in the freelancing aspects of moving there, since that seems like a fairly simple route.

If I was successful on eBay, could I just apply for a carte de sejour and not "technically" work in France, and have my account based in Canada still, or is this not legal?

Honestly, I'm willing to go absolutely any route to move there, but would prefer the simplest way. What do you guys suggest?

Thanks a lot folks, I really appreciate it! Merci beaucoup pour votre temps!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
49,988 Posts
In most instances you are considered to be "working" in whatever country you are physically present in when you do whatever it is you do. Selling on eBay has a particular twist to it in Europe, due to the VAT laws in the various countries. I know here in France, the VAT authorities pay special attention to eBay postings to make sure that those who should be paying VAT are properly registered. (And you'll find it tricky to maintain cross border eBay accounts, due to the regulations imposed on eBay.)

With unemployment amongst young people pretty high over here, you might do better to look at a move to Europe as a long-term goal and work on getting some sort of university qualification. (The French are nuts about qualifications - to the extent that it can difficult to get a job in an area other than the one you're qualified in.)

Freelancing as a foreigner is difficult, especially if you have no history of having done so in your home country. And, at least in France, in order to set up a business entity (even as an auto-entrepreneur, which is the most simplified entity available), you have to declare precisely what business you're in - as a foreigner, you have to get the ok of the prefecture before you can register in the auto-entrepreneur plan). We've even had a case here on the forum of people who came over on a "visitor" visa, set up an AE business and then were denied renewal of their carte de séjour to remain in France, so had to more or less abandon their business. (Not sure what happened there, but it's possible they hadn't made their intentions clear in their original visa application.)

The point of the registration is to make sure you're paying into the various social insurances here (and paying your VAT when it comes to that point). Life in Europe is considerably more regulated than you may be used to. It has its pluses and minuses - but it's something you have to learn to deal with.

At 18, your best option is going to be to study in France (though that requires that you have the resources to pay for school and your costs of day to day living). Take a look at the Campus France site to get some idea what's available and how that works.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the informative reply! I would go to school in France, but it's funding my stay while I'm there without working fulltime that would be difficult. Even if I were to study there, that would not guarantee me a job there, would it? Also, if someone did want to hire me, they would still need to apply for a work visa for me, right, even if I was finished my studies and had a degree? I've spent years studying the visa policies, but it's so difficult to move there, and I do understand why, I just want to work there, and will do any job I am offered; I'm not picky!

Anyways, so eBay is pretty much out of the question, or is there a way to do it? I understand the whole VAT thing, but does that mean you can't use eBay as a main source of income? I have no problem paying taxes.


As far as Freelancing goes, can you not fill out the application and say for instance you wnated to do freelance photography, and state that in your application? I'm sure with all the beautiful scenery in Europe, there is plenty money to be made; that said, probably a lot of competition as well.

If you don't mind me asking, how did you get to France?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
49,988 Posts
To get a student visa, you have to have the funding before you go. You're limited in how much you can work, and practically speaking, you'd be working for not much more than pocket money - certainly at the undergraduate level.

As far as freelancing goes, in order to get a visa that would allow you to do so, you'd have to be able to show them that you have some experience in the field you're proposing freelancing in.

One big issue you're up against is that unemployment here is worst among the young people just out of school. Many wind up taking a series of temp jobs in order to build up their resumes, but as a foreigner, you can't get a long-stay work visa based on a temp job (i.e. a CDD).

If you can't swing the student bit now, you'd probably do best to get a university degree at home and then use that qualification to find a job with an employer to sponsor you for your visa to France. Or try doing a junior year abroad or other exchange program while you're in school. Networking done during a junior year abroad can pay off big time after graduation.

As far as how I got here - I never did have a visa for France. So, even after I married my French husband, I spent about 20 months as a "sans papiers" and I can assure you it is NOT the way to go. Ultimately I got myself legal, but the laws have changed (and tightened up) considerably since then. Still, I first moved over to Europe (Germany) only after I had 15 years of experience in my line of work and had done a one-year exchange type assignment abroad (in the UK).
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
550 Posts
Have you looked into a Working Holiday Visa? I'm not sure if there's still the accord between France and Canada, but this used to be an option for Candian "youth" (I'm not sure the exact age limit on this one, either.) Sorry I can't be of more help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
974 Posts
You're right Dijid, it's still running:
France-Canada youth exchange agreement - La France au Canada/France in Canada

Silas, I too think that the working holiday visa is your best option if you can't afford the student route. It's only valid for one year and you can't extend your stay, but you'll to be to work as little or as much as you want during that time.

Even though you are willing to work any job, the problem is that the only jobs that foreigners (non-EU) can be sponsored for are those for which they are more qualified than a French national - so even if you wanted to work at McDonald's you could never be sponsored since there would be millions of French nationals who would be able to fill the position. This is why qualifications are so important if you want hope of getting a work visa, because you have to be more qualified than anyone else (especially if you co-rent with other people).

Going back to the student visa, I don't know how much money you have saved or what support you have (from parents for example), but the studies themselves are not expensive at all (maximum 500euro a year in the public system, undergrad+grad). So if you were to come over to study, you'd just need to pay rent, food, utilities, and all the other bits and pieces. I'm not saying it's cheap, but in many cities you could live on 600euro a month, for example.

Another really great option is the French government's English assistant-ship program. You get to work in a primary school or high-school teaching English and get paid for it. The contract is for a year and sometimes you can get your contract renewed to do a second year. You can't do it more than two years though:
English assistant program in France 2012-2013 - La France au Canada/France in Canada

You will have to wait a bit for this though because you need to be at least 20 years old and you must have completed at least two years of university study.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow, thanks for all the help guys, I really appreciate it! I knew about the working holiday visa, but always say that it's not long enough for what I want. Then again, it will get me on my feet, and get me atleast to Europe. Maybe my employer while I'm there will decide he/she wants to bring me back when my time is up and I have to come back to Canada. The only thing is, I don't believe you're allowed to work full-time with the working holiday visa; only enough to pay for your "Vacation", basically - I think anyway.

As for the Student Visa, it's an option, but a lot of money to save so that I can keep myself afloat while there! Furthermore, most degrees are under 5 years, are they not? If I were to take a course for 4 years, and then manage to stay somehow for another year, that would grant me citizenship in France, would it not?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
49,988 Posts
Wow, thanks for all the help guys, I really appreciate it! I knew about the working holiday visa, but always say that it's not long enough for what I want. Then again, it will get me on my feet, and get me atleast to Europe. Maybe my employer while I'm there will decide he/she wants to bring me back when my time is up and I have to come back to Canada. The only thing is, I don't believe you're allowed to work full-time with the working holiday visa; only enough to pay for your "Vacation", basically - I think anyway.
I don't think there is a limit on how much you can work on the working holiday visa (there is on the student visa) - but it's more a matter of what sort of job you can fine. The program is oriented toward "hospitality industry" jobs and we've had reports of people having difficulty finding much other than that sort of job.

As for the Student Visa, it's an option, but a lot of money to save so that I can keep myself afloat while there! Furthermore, most degrees are under 5 years, are they not? If I were to take a course for 4 years, and then manage to stay somehow for another year, that would grant me citizenship in France, would it not?
Citizenship is never automatic in France. But, if you finish 2 years of grad school in France and can find a job that will sponsor you for the year or so it takes for a citizenship application to come through, the residence requirement for citizenship is reduced to only 2 years. Naturalisation : conditions à remplir - Service-public.fr You still have to show that you're properly assimilated, speak French and all that other good stuff - and they can turn you down just 'cause they want to, but it's certainly worth a try.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
550 Posts
Citizenship is never automatic in France. But, if you finish 2 years of grad school in France and can find a job that will sponsor you for the year or so it takes for a citizenship application to come through, the residence requirement for citizenship is reduced to only 2 years. Naturalisation : conditions à remplir - Service-public.fr You still have to show that you're properly assimilated, speak French and all that other good stuff - and they can turn you down just 'cause they want to, but it's certainly worth a try.
Cheers,
Bev
Just an FYI - The requirements for becoming a citizen have gotten harder recently. My French teacher and a friend going through the process have both told me that it is no longer a simple interview to make sure you have assimilated along with a language test that was very basic. There is a very difficult test, and my French teacher said that she believes many French people wouldn't be able to pass. A very high level of French and knowledge of France/French history is now required.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't think there is a limit on how much you can work on the working holiday visa (there is on the student visa) - but it's more a matter of what sort of job you can fine. The program is oriented toward "hospitality industry" jobs and we've had reports of people having difficulty finding much other than that sort of job.



Citizenship is never automatic in France. But, if you finish 2 years of grad school in France and can find a job that will sponsor you for the year or so it takes for a citizenship application to come through, the residence requirement for citizenship is reduced to only 2 years. You still have to show that you're properly assimilated, speak French and all that other good stuff - and they can turn you down just 'cause they want to, but it's certainly worth a try.
Cheers,
Bev
So if I go to school for two years in France, and get a degree of some sort, my citizenship requirement is dropped to only two years, meaning I can apply right out of school, or does the job offer have to go with it? Is the requirement still 5 years for everyone else - meaning is the 2 year citizenship requirement exclusive to international students? My French is a little rusty, but being my mother tongue, I can pick it up very quickly again :) As for history, and French politics/events, I am fine in that department! Thank you so much for your help guys :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
974 Posts
So if I go to school for two years in France, and get a degree of some sort, my citizenship requirement is dropped to only two years, meaning I can apply right out of school, or does the job offer have to go with it? Is the requirement still 5 years for everyone else - meaning is the 2 year citizenship requirement exclusive to international students?
Yes, the requirement drops to 2 years for any foreign student who studies in a French university for 2 years. However, the application for naturalisation can take some time (usually one year), this means that you have to remain in France throughout the process; were you to leave your application would be rejected.

If you stay in France as a student for a third year while you apply, you risk your application getting refused because being 'fully integrated' implies that you have a job and are contributing to society/paying taxes. So while having a job is not an explicit requirement, it's a major part of showing integration.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow thats great news, I never knew that!! Are you legally able to work there if you have completed your studies, or do you need a work visa still? This is very good news, thank you!!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
49,988 Posts
Wow thats great news, I never knew that!! Are you legally able to work there if you have completed your studies, or do you need a work visa still? This is very good news, thank you!!
Generally, to work after your studies, you need an employer willing and able to act as a sponsor for your continued visa while your naturalization request is in process. Finding a job straight out of school here is NOT an easy task - many graduates work a string of CDDs (temporary jobs) before finding a employer willing to give them a CDI (permanent job). And a CDD is not the type of job you can get a work visa for.

They do turn down naturalization requests - for any reason or for no reason at all. They really do want you to "prove" your assimilation into French life - and that means that it really helps to have a few tax assessment statements, a long-term lease or purchased property, contacts in the community (friends, member of one or more associations, job, etc.).

None of this is said to discourage you - just to make sure you know what you're getting yourself into.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Generally, to work after your studies, you need an employer willing and able to act as a sponsor for your continued visa while your naturalization request is in process. Finding a job straight out of school here is NOT an easy task - many graduates work a string of CDDs (temporary jobs) before finding a employer willing to give them a CDI (permanent job). And a CDD is not the type of job you can get a work visa for.

They do turn down naturalization requests - for any reason or for no reason at all. They really do want you to "prove" your assimilation into French life - and that means that it really helps to have a few tax assessment statements, a long-term lease or purchased property, contacts in the community (friends, member of one or more associations, job, etc.).

None of this is said to discourage you - just to make sure you know what you're getting yourself into.
Cheers,
Bev
Okay, I understand, but do I need to file for a work visa after I have concluded my studies, or can I work on the student visa once I have written confirmation that I have graduated? If so, is it easy to get rejected on the work visa once you are already in France, and have gotten a French education? I'm French-Canadian, if that makes any difference. I thought I read someone that it is easier for people of French speaking countries, whose official language (or one of) is French, do you know the validity of that?

Also, what would you say is one of the most high demand jobs out there that would get me a job quickly? What about Hospitality and Tourism? Being an international, I would be fluent in both French, and English, and have some German skills as well, that would make me more employable, no? Is there a big industry for that in France? I've been a few times, but it was not something I was really looking for while backpacking across Europe alone at 16 years old :p

Thanks for your time, I really appreciate it, and sorry for all the questions!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
49,988 Posts
There's no "magic bullet" profession that "guarantees" you a job when you graduate. (If there were, all the French students would be getting into it.)

Hospitality industry jobs don't normally require university level qualifications - and hardly require graduate level training. You'd do better with hard sciences.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
There's no "magic bullet" profession that "guarantees" you a job when you graduate. (If there were, all the French students would be getting into it.)

Hospitality industry jobs don't normally require university level qualifications - and hardly require graduate level training. You'd do better with hard sciences.
Cheers,
Bev
Hmmm, well on the campusfrance.org website, they list a lot of schools that offer hospitality and tourism courses. If I were to take a two year course in that, would that qualify as "French studies"? Or does it have to be a traditional University degree?

Thanks!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
49,988 Posts
Hmmm, well on the campusfrance.org website, they list a lot of schools that offer hospitality and tourism courses. If I were to take a two year course in that, would that qualify as "French studies"? Or does it have to be a traditional University degree?

Thanks!
This is the actual wording for the exception to the 5 year residence from the Service Public website:

Étranger a accompli avec succès 2 années d'études en vue de l'obtention d'un diplôme délivré par un établissement d'enseignement supérieur français,
Naturalisation : conditions à remplir - Service-public.fr

And, as the French love to point out, just because you meet the qualifications outlined on Service Public (or any other website) doesn't necessarily mean you'll be granted French citizenship. (I know a couple who was turned down after 30 years of living in France - because their interviewer at the prefecture didn't like them.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
This is the actual wording for the exception to the 5 year residence from the Service Public website:



Naturalisation : conditions à remplir - Service-public.fr

And, as the French love to point out, just because you meet the qualifications outlined on Service Public (or any other website) doesn't necessarily mean you'll be granted French citizenship. (I know a couple who was turned down after 30 years of living in France - because their interviewer at the prefecture didn't like them.)
Cheers,
Bev

Wow, I would be pretty ticked off if I were them, that's really unfortunate!

As for the school thing, I guess it means so long as the education is considered "superior French education", then it qualifies, am I correct?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
974 Posts
As for the school thing, I guess it means so long as the education is considered "superior French education", then it qualifies, am I correct?
No, 'enseignement supérieur' means 'higher education' which means above high-school level, so long as it as part of a French degree (ie: not a foreign university or institution).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
No, 'enseignement supérieur' means 'higher education' which means above high-school level, so long as it as part of a French degree (ie: not a foreign university or institution).

Ah okay, thanks a lot for all the questions you guys have answered, I really appreciate it! I guess studying is the best option for me, and I will look into it further, thanks again!
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top