I doubt I’m the first person to broach this topic, but here goes anyway!
I’m planning to relocate to Paris from Los Angeles.
I’m a television producer, but certainly don’t need a job in TV. I’m happy to work in any industry that allows me to live my dream and be with my girlfriend (who is French but, alas, unemployed right now).
Are there organizations that help foreigners, specifically those from the US, find work in France?
Thanks for any help you can provide!
Hi Mark and welcome to Paris,
You should contact the AmCham. That’s good networking. American Chamber of Commerce Paris
I’ll check them out but I’m in Los Angeles.
I’m only hoping/dreaming/planning to move to Paris. Are there support groups in Los Angeles?
I know that’s a shot in the dark, but I thought I’d ask!
Also, in your opinion, would retaining an immigration attorney make it easier to come to France?
Would he or she know shortcuts or have timely advice?
As opposed to only dealing with the consulate?
My understanding is that if you’re not also an EU citizen you would need to be sponsored by your future employer in order to get a work permit. The employer would have to apply for permission to employ you and explain why they had to hire a non-EU citizen to do the work, and that would involve demonstrating that you have particular skills and expertise that they haven’t been able to find within the EU. So I think you would do better to focus on your own field where you may have special skills that set you apart.
Unfortunately you can’t just come to France on a visitor visa and start looking for a job. I don’t think anyone can help you get round this, it’s how the system works and it is pretty watertight. If your visa doesn’t allow you to work then nobody can employ you, and the only way to get a visa that does allow you to work is if an employer succeeds in getting permission to employ you.
Good luck with your dream, but when it comes to planning you need to look into on the visa situation, the different visas you can apply for and the criteria for each different visa.
If you also hold EU citizenship none of that applies
Thanks for the thorough reply!
I think you’re right that getting a job in my field (TV production) would be the best way, since that’s relatively “unique.” It’s better than if I were a career bartender!
I have thought about going to Paris for 3 months on my passport, looking for something and then working with that company to figure it out (i.e.: I return home while the paperwork is filled out, etc).
My only other visa option would probably be a student visa (I’m 50 years old, but I’m under the impression that student visas don’t have age-limits). I’d take French classes at the Sorbonne to qualify.
Sounds like an impossible task, doesn’t it?
I’m willing to try as hard as I can!
Personally I think the student visa would be easier, as long as you can convince the consulate that you’re not using it as a “back door”.
As I’m sure you realise, from the company’s side it is a lot of hoops to jump through if in fact they could find an EU applicant offering the same skills. If your French is not good then for many jobs that would inevitably put you way back in the queue. It’s hard to work effectively with your team if communication is difficult.
Not wishing to get too personal, but I think that by far the simplest would be to marry your girlfriend. I believe a spouse visa automatically gives you the right to work.
There is another forum (more specific to your type of question) which is run by a loverly American lady who has been in France for decades. Google ‘France expat’. Most on the forum are Americans so I sure they can give you more focused answers. Particularly with respect to Paris.
Hopefully I am not treading on peoples feet here (my intention is not to promote the site) but it is more of an ‘administrative’ forum for visas, technicalities and all that type of thing for mostly Americas looking to move to France.
Thanks for the reply!
Googling “France expat” gets me literally hundreds of hits.
Does it have a name?
Thanks for your help and I look forward to visiting the forum you recommended.
No doubt it does, but it’s not generally considered good netiquette to recommend one forum by name on another forum.
I think the one Mark was referring to has a green colour scheme and if you google France expat forum it will come up pretty high.