Best source for info on Visas?

Hello everyone.

I am very new to the idea of leaving America and living in a foreign country, but I met a man and fell in love in Paris. Unfortunately, he is Lebanese and while he was married to a woman and living in Venezuela, his French green card expired. He has been trying to get himself re-established and is hoping for a contract job, but essentially, for now I would be the main support if we could find a way to be together.

Our ideal situation is to find a way to live and work in a European country. France is preferred because he is a fluent speaker and lived there for nearly 10 years before moving to his ex-wife's country.

So, where do I even start to get a good understanding of the visa options and laws, the possiblities for working, the regulations for starting a business (I have an idea that seems unique and I think would work well someplace like Languedoc or Provence), or am I just crazy?

If I sell my house in the US I will be able to pay off the start-up costs from the business I started here, but I would want to continue to work on growing that business as it is internet-based and mainly involves selling information products. I would keep the bank account and business listing in the US.

But I won't have an enormous amount of money to live as an extended-stay tourist, or to purchase a property and start any moves toward citizenship in France. So, is it possible for someone who is not independently wealthy to start a life in France?

If not, what have you hear about other European countries? Are there some that are more flexible?

And if you really think I've lost my marbles, please feel free to tell me.

Thank you Cindy. I just went there and registered.

I am so very new to all of this. Need information so I stop trying to nail jello to walls and can start having a solid course of action.

If this works out, I think I'll have to write a book.

Have you posted questions on the section for France? There is an American woman there who lives in France and seems to know all the laws in detail.

Hi Kim

I would post your query here as there are lots of knowledgeable people in the group who may be able to help. You'll also find details of the next American / SFN chat night - do drop in and say hi! Good luck and I hope it all works out for you xx

Good luck Kim. I hope all works well for you with your relationship and your future plans. I know how hard it is to find information online. I struggle every day, but it also gets easier every day. Don't give up on your dream, just don't make it necessary for your happiness. You can always contact me if you have questions. Perhaps in time, I will tell you all worked out with patience!

Thanks Donna!

The more I hear, the more I think I need to continue working on my end here to get someone to sponsor his work visa in the US. If he can work here, we can spend more time regrouping and earning money. Maybe we'd end up in France over time???

I've sort of fantasized since high school about living in France, Italy or Germany, but in that fantasy I was always a very wealthy best-selling author. Even though I've written two books and hundreds of articles, it's really hard to become filthy rich as a writer these days so I had forgotten about that dream until I met Sam.

We have a French-American Chamber of Commerce here in Dallas. Their mission is to place French students into internships and to entice American businesses to open a French office. Maybe I could find someone there who would help me navigate the regualtions and options? So far, many of the web sites I've found aren't really answering my questions.

Hi Kim, I do not want to tell you that you have lost your marbles, but I will tell you that you are about to partake on a very difficult journey. I am an American living in France. My husband has had his Visa application in with the French Consulate for nine months as he wants to open a restaurant and bar on our property that is fully licensed and there are no competing businesses in our village. I am living here and working thanks to support from my company's French office. We have ample funds and a full business plan. After nine months of waiting and responding to the French consulate, we hear absolutely nothing. He is expected to stay in the states and wait. If he applies for a Visa as my spouse, we are not allowed to run the business and he loses all the time and effort he has invested in his application. I love where I live and want to stay here, but I would really explore your options before making a decision.