Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've developed a fascination for Brittany, and alternatively La Rochelle lately. I've been considering a move out of the USA for quite some time since I became an expat here 7 years ago. As a Canadian I do have a basic understanding and high reading comprehension of French and I have always have a desire to engulf myself in the culture.

I work for myself in the IT sector and business has been stable for years. I recently divorced and have begun de-cluttering my life. So I am looking at perhaps some different options on how to continue.

When I moved to the USA I did so on a whim. I had never even HEARD of the town I was moving to. I just picked it on a map and came down. I managed to meet a girl and we got married and I got a green card.

In looking at France, it seems VERY difficult for non-eu citizens to come for ANY term. It seems so simply for UK citizens to buy a home and move willy nilly, but in my case it appears to be VERY bureaucratic and difficult. What would my options be where I don't need to work, but I'd like to come and live and buy a home? Is there a visa for such a thing if I do not plan on being a burden on the French systems?

I realize I am coming in fresh but I did try to look into different types of Visas and they all limit terms. The working visas are rough and would not apply since I do not plan on working for anyone but myself. I also don't make a fortune, so some kind of business investment visa would not apply.

Thanks for any replies or thoughts you may have.

- Brad
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
48,569 Posts
As far as a non-working visa is concerned, there's the usual "retirement visa" - not called that per se, but it works out that way.

Frankly, they are going to question you if you are younger than your mid-fifties, but if you can convince them that you have the resources (a verifiable pension is the ticket - adequate savings to function like a pension should work, too) you can probably get a retirement visa. What that means is that you have to carry your own health insurance and you'll have to renew your carte de séjour every year, showing that you still have your pension/resources and health care in place.

If you are planning to come over and continue working in the IT sector for yourself, you probably will have difficult securing a visa. Even if you're not planning on becoming a burden on the French system, you still have to establish a French business entity of some variety so that you are certain to be paying your income taxes and your "cotisations" (i.e. social insurances). Basically, there aren't really any visas for folks looking to work on their own. You wind up having to get a job, or come up with a project that will benefit France and go for the "skills and talents" visa.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Unfortunately I am 26 years old and my savings is limited (under 20k), but I am debt free.

I've read that some people try to come over for the 90 day tourist stay and then register for a Carte de Séjour and get lucky and get to stay but that doesn't happen often and only if the person can convince them.

I'd like to do it the right way but that seems difficult. I could open my business and a physical location, and employ 1-2 people as I do now here - would that qualify me for a different class of visa/stay? That would be an option within the next 12 months.

I appreciate your reply, and I apologize for coming across so green. The process is difficult to understand (and seems purposefully set to be that way) and trumps the US process which at the time seemed like hell - but in fact is a cakewalk in comparison.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
48,569 Posts
I've read that some people try to come over for the 90 day tourist stay and then register for a Carte de Séjour and get lucky and get to stay but that doesn't happen often and only if the person can convince them.
The process has tightened up enormously in the last couple of years. Officially it is NOT possible to get a carte de séjour if you're in France on a 90 day tourist visa, but even if you did manage to talk your way into one, it would be a carte de séjour without working privileges, which means you couldn't set up a business or accept employment.

I'd like to do it the right way but that seems difficult. I could open my business and a physical location, and employ 1-2 people as I do now here - would that qualify me for a different class of visa/stay? That would be an option within the next 12 months.
Other than the "skills and talent" visa ("competences et talents") I'm not aware of any sort of entrepreneur visa for France. Again, check the website for your local French consulate. Setting up a business in France is complicated, especially if you are going to employ people (and the obligations of an employer are considerably more than those in the US).

The process is difficult to understand (and seems purposefully set to be that way) and trumps the US process which at the time seemed like hell - but in fact is a cakewalk in comparison.
I dunno. The process to get into the US seems much more difficult to me - especially if you aim to work for yourself rather than having an employer to sponsor you.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks again. It seems I have 2 viable options here:
1. Skills and talents
2. Visa Commercant, Industriels et Artisans
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
TRES BIEN! I apologize for replying so much here, but I just learned Canada has a long stay visa agreement with France, for those ages 18-35 who wish to enjoy France's culture for up to 2 years. During this time you may work and study and set up your own business. Then in turn you can apply under a business long stay and potentially renew that indefinitely.

Here is the link if anyone else ends up in my position in the future: ambafrance-ca.org/spip.php?article1950
These look to be approved easily and VERY quickly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
One final question for anyone out there...

I have a UK bank account with Lloyd's TSB and was informed I would be charged surcharges every time I made transactions in Euros (my account is Sterling) and advised me to open a Euro account. Would this bank account get me by in France for the most part? Could I pay my bills out of it, or should I get a French account if I plan on being there for a year?

Cheers
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
48,569 Posts
One final question for anyone out there...

I have a UK bank account with Lloyd's TSB and was informed I would be charged surcharges every time I made transactions in Euros (my account is Sterling) and advised me to open a Euro account. Would this bank account get me by in France for the most part? Could I pay my bills out of it, or should I get a French account if I plan on being there for a year?

Cheers
The UK and French banking systems are pretty much separate. You might get by using a euro account out of the UK, but actually making payments to French vendors, etc. will probably cause problems. I don't think most French merchants will accept a check written outside of France and for those bills paid by direct debit, I don't think you'll be able to use your UK account.
Cheers,
Bev
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top