Getting Residency

I guess a bit of a wing and a prayer post, but I’ve been coming to France for long-stays (three months at a time, maxing out my waiver) for years now, and have been trying to find a way to get residency here about as long. I’m here now, and my 90 days are up in a couple weeks, and it brings sadness, to think I will again have to spend a bunch of money just to live in a place I don’t want to be, which has had negative impacts on health and general life.

The three options for me (U.S. citizen, 40 yrs old, self-employed) I’ve identified for long-stay visa / residency are:

  • Marriage/PACS

  • Student (could get a Masters here, but even student visas now require a minimum of one year’s living expenses in the bank, so I’ve read = at least 12000 EUR per year - I don’t have this, plus it seems most Etudes en France programs do not have free tuition, as many national programs do, but instead charge as much or more than U.S. institutions)

  • Start a business (requires a full business plan and 30000 EUR to start - don’t have that money)

Basically, finances are the issue… I make enough working independently, remotely, to get by, but I do not have tens of thousands sitting in a bank account I can show the French government. Maybe one day.

If anyone has any other ideas, or knows of a company willing to actually deal with the absurd requirements of hiring a non-EU foreigner here with visa sponsorship, I’m all ears (eyes). I’ve previously spoken with several people in the Ministry of Education (I dated a teacher for a while, have met others, and even spoke with a policy-maker that went to the same university as me), but even they have pointed out how difficult it is to even get an English teaching position here as a non-EU foreigner (the policy-maker, at the time I was with ‘ma copine,’ told me to get married because it would be FAR easier than finding a job here that would sponsor me).

My professional background in a nutshell:

  • Six years teaching/tutoring (mostly English and math)

  • Three years in film/TV (producing, AD, actor)

  • Ten plus years in sales and marketing (and most of my current work is consulting in this space)

Many thanks for any assistance, serious help is welcome in the DM box.

As an aside, your 90 days are a tourist visa waiver, so you cannot do any work in France, even remote working.

If you have a Facebook account you could ask here:

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Expat group advised I also post here.

And I could go on a long rant here, but people have been working remotely like this for decades, and it’s not an issue. Governments worry about citizens losing work. They even approve visas for tourist stays based on remote income. If the entirety of the earnings come from outside the country, and are spent locally, no one cares. Certainly don’t need people to be sharing their interpretations of immigration law and talking down to me, especially when the French government doesn’t care.

How do you manage to interpret a factual comment pointing out the law as “talking down to you”.

Just because people are not often penalised for remote working doesn’t mean it’s right (and some have been detected and ejected I believe). Personally I believe people who live in a country should contribute to the social security system of that country where they can - obviously excludes refugees and asylum seekers. Don’t you think it a touch parasitical not to?

Or are you one of the people who believes just because you spend money here on daily living you are paying your way?

One of the aspects of France that leads to a quality of life people appreciate is strong labour laws. One can’t cherry pick.

I was going to suggest a way forward, but doesn’t seem worth my time.


The rules for non-EU visitors to France who wish to live and work here are outlined on the government information pages especially about visas, working, cartes de séjour etc. Unfortunately it is not an easy path to tread and you must be able to back up your applications with sufficient funds so as not to be a burden on the french state and it seems there are no exclusions, everyone has to abide by the laws set down. Has the OP contacted the french embassy where he normally resides outside the country, they may be able to give him some pointers.


The irony I think is that if the OP had accepted the French rules on remote working,put together a plan and applied for a work visa years ago, things might have been a lot simpler now.
I do not think it is correct that every business requires 30000€ to start up. Is it not sufficient for some types of working visas to show that your business will earn a minimum of SMIC?


@enlguy hello and welcome.

Perhaps you could put together a business plan, showing how you will be able to earn xyz sufficient to pay your cotisations and living expenses… something to give confidence to the powers that be, that you will be a solid citizen, working hard and following their rules.

as has been suggested… contact the French embassy in the country where you are resident… ask their advice… have facts and figures ready to show you are a good bet.
see what that embassy advises.

good luck

Well sort yourself out then. You won’t get many PACs or marriage offers with that attitude :joy: