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If you're planning on remaining in France for more than 90 days at a time, then you need a visa no matter what your plans are regarding employment or finances.

Take a look at the "sticky" at the top of the forum page - the one about French social security. http://www.expatforum.com/expats/fr...social-security-system-explained-english.html Toward the end of the first page of the website the sticky sends you to, there is a statement: >> When an employer with a head office in another country and no place of business in France hires an employee in France to work in that country, that employer is required to report and pay Social Security contributions<< and it gives an address to contact.

Now, whether or not you can get a visa based on moving to France to telecommute to a job back in the US is another question. Normally you need a "reason" to want to live in France - like retirement, a job where the employer has obtained work authorization, desire to research/experience the culture, etc. But just be aware that you are considered to be working in France as long as you are doing the work for which you are being paid while physically present in France.

It's possible to "freelance" - i.e. to establish a personal business and bill your "employer" back in the US for your services, while paying your own cotisations (social insurances) - but be aware that the rates for cotisations for "independents" are quite a bit higher than those for employees (because the employer is paying in a significant portion of the cotisations).
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