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Greetings, I'm very new to this board and found it as I was doing a little research for moving to Paris.

I'm single mother located in NYC at the moment and I desperately want to move to France sometime next year after I've finished up my BA here. I've tried searching for what I would need to do but my situation isn't really common (single mom, self-employed photographer) I was wondering what would I have to do in order to make this transition as smooth as possible for my daughter and I. What sort of visa is required for us? Would this be a difficult process being that I'm a single mom? (Her father's name isn't on her birth certificate, he actually has nothing to do with her) What visa/paperwork is required for a child(ren) to move to Paris?

I'm also on the fence with continuing my studies and read somewhere that if I attend and complete graduate school in France, I would receive citizenship. Does this sound familiar to anyone? How would this affect my daughter?

I'm now researching schools for my daughter to attend and found schools like ASP and ISP. I also have a few trips out there planned to establish my a client base. I also want to spend the summer out there with my daughter, just to ensure that this move is as right as it feels.

Any information anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated! I'm taking it one step at a time and will bother you with apartment questions when the time comes! =) Thanks!
 

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As you cannot work on a tourist visa (even as an entrepreneur/self-employed) the only way for you to get a visa with permission to work is to either:
- get a work visa by finding an employer who is willing and capable to sponsor you (this is a hard task as the employer can only hire you if you are more qualified than a French or EU national)
- applying for a talents et competences visa which involves completing some sort of project in France that will be of benefit to France and/or your home country
(for more info see here: La carte de séjour « compétences et talents » - Consulat Général de France à Washington

I'm also on the fence with continuing my studies and read somewhere that if I attend and complete graduate school in France, I would receive citizenship. Does this sound familiar to anyone? How would this affect my daughter?
This is only partly true. By completing two years of tertiary study in a French university or higher education, you are eligible to apply for citizenship through naturalisation after those two years (whereas normally you'd have to have lived in France for 5 years). The thing is that being granted citizenship is a highly subjective matter and to be successful you have to prove that you are assimilated into French society. This is assessed in an interview. Being 'assimilated' includes, among other things: speaking very good French, having a job (be making contributions to the system), sharing French 'values', ect.
The other thing is that you have to remain in France during your application, which can sometimes take a whole year, so you'd have to either get a job after your studies or continue studying (but without a job you'd have next to no chance of proving that you are 'assimilated').

If you haven't lived in France before (not as a tourist), I would suggest you go with your plan to spend just a summer there in order to get a feel for things.
 

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What Sarah said.

The only other option you might have is to move over on a long-stay "visitor" visa and then establish yourself in a business (photography?) as an auto-entrepreneur. The catch there is that to get a visitor visa, you need to have adequate resources to finance yourself in France for a full year (including private health insurance). There is also the matter of getting the local prefecture to ok your change in status to an auto entrepreneur - some prefectures are more amenable to such things than others.

As Sarah has explained, it's not just a matter of "finishing grad school" for getting French citizenship. You need to have fulfilled the other requirements - assimilation, French language ability and frankly, you will need to have found a job so that you're paying your taxes and cotisations. They can (and do) reject nationality applications for no particular reason at all (usually couching it in some excuse that you're not "properly assimilated").

Being a single mother shouldn't pose any particular problems - except for the issue of showing that your daughter's father has no objection to her moving outside the country. But you may do better to make moving to France a long-term project. Establish yourself first in the US and you may find that having a US job history actually helps you in the visa and job-hunting process in a few years.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Sarah and Bev! I have established myself pretty well here in the States as I've been working for many years which adds to the job history bit you've mention, Bev.

As it stands now, I have a pretty big interview coming up with a magazine that has a branch out in Paris. Hopefully it works to my advantage to get in and relocate that way. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Thanks again for the information!
 

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As it stands now, I have a pretty big interview coming up with a magazine that has a branch out in Paris. Hopefully it works to my advantage to get in and relocate that way. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Thanks again for the information!
I hope it goes well, all the best !
 
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