Where do I start to get good information?

I am a hopeless romantic with the wild idea that I've got to somehow get to France to make a life with my boyfriend. Unfortunately, he has been in Paris looking for a job for 16 months now, so it doens't look good for me to just sell my house in America and live there with him while I continue to build my internet business.

So.... any advice on HOW I should proceed would be greatly welcomed.

1) Should I continue trying to get a job with an American company? Most of the ones I see are for IT specialists and I don't do that so it has been frustrating.

2) Should I just come on a tourist visa and work odd jobs, maybe as a caretaker of a gitte or an English walking tour guide in Paris? Something where I could be paid in cash and hope for the best?

3) Should I just come on an extended tourist visa and hope for the best until my money runs out?

4) Should I get a certificate as an ESL instructor or are there too many of people doing that already?

5) I've heard horror stories about trying to establish a business as a foreigner. How bad is it?

6) Where do I even begin to sort out the various visa rules of France? Are there really helpful web sites? What happens if I come on a tourist visa but then want to either take a real job or start a business? When I search Google I get a lot of blogs but not a lot of hard information.

Thanks for any direction.

I agree - it is an excellent newsletter.

A very good site is french-property newsletter, this will give you current and accurate advice regarding taxation, employment etc. You will also need to check out the special taxation arrangements that Americans are imposing on their citizens living overseas. There is a blog on this on the network.

France is a super-regulated country and, as has been said, they support their own. To give you an example of this, it is illegal in Paris to buy an apartment to let to tourists, because there is a shortage of property on the market for Parisians to rent.

The french economy is, like all others, going through hard times and unless you feel sure enough that you can continue to build your internet business whilst here in France, I would suggest caution.

It is also more difficult for non EU citizens, unless they are retired or have a private income, to start out over here on their own.

You also don't say what nationality your boy-friend is, but at least I am glad to see that love is not making you blind enough to encourage him to enter the USA via Mexico. I know the States is paranoid about who they let in, but why would he need to come through Mexico anyway?

Hang on to your house!!!

Thank you all for your comments. Of course I don't want to do anything illegal, that's why I told him he could not come here through Mexico. So, that was a little bit of my desperartion coming through.

But I was wondering if I came on a tourist visa, and then found legitimate employment, is it like the US where you have to leave the country and wait for a new visa?

And I will check out the American's group. Thanks!

Yes do it if....

YOU HAVE family in uk who can bail you out?

SO unless you have good funds for finding a secure rental or house purchase

plus lots of money left over prepare of a possibility of a buisness project taking

time to take off.....WHY we are in a a bad state of affairs financialy and even well

thought out projects instigated by wise aznd hard working people will not ignite as

soon as you put the match to the firecraker.

Out here in the countryside the people who are working well are plumbers, electricians...
good builders and some exceptional products....SUCH as food...wine...petrol.

Not sure how many people can afford baby sitters...CERTAINLY THEY would go for locals

who they know really well. The French are not unfriendly but they are loyal to the French.

Do not think about the cash idea...

Unless you are paying into the sytem social payments in employement here in France

or in the system by being self employed and paying these social charges. There are no hand

outs in France to people who are not entitled to assistance.Not what we want to hear perhaps but

maybe this is WERE the balance of France begins.This is a complex topic.

IF you intend to explore areas or an area as a extended holiday with plenty of back up

security.....LOTS of money

Why not?

Have to echo Bob and say that you really should not even consider working for cash. France is super regulated and working for cash, for anyone, let alone a foreigner is totally illegal. You are even supposed to declare your babysitter!

As for establishing a business it is full of paperwork and you need to be totally informed or you can make horrendous mistakes, however, it is the same for everyone and not particularly more difficult just because you aren't French.

The most important thing to do, is make sure you have a high level of French, plenty of money to support yourself and make sure you enter the country legally, that way you are in the best place to find a job or start a business. Unfortunately, I don't know anything about visas though.

That's the sensible advice - but, hell, why not just do it?

Don't think that I would want to answer your second question! To ask if you should try to relocate to another country and then work illegally on the black would not be the way to do things in my opinion.

Hi Kim.

I would start by joining this group and see what information/support you can get: http://www.survivefrance.com/group/americansinfrance

Best of luck


Hi Sheila,
I’ve been trying to find the American Group on SFN. In my effort I came upon this post prompted by a search with key words-American Group, and so I clicked on the link you provided above only to get a message ‘Access denied, something went wrong’ This is after I searched the site for Groups to no avail. Do they not have these groups anymore do you know? Thanks in advance for any insight/advice you might have, Kirsten


Hi Kim… I would start with the above; France USA Contacts or FUSAC for short. It is a magazine that has been going for at least twenty years and which is specifically aimed at Americans in Paris.

If you want to teach English then you will probably find that American English speakers are both in short supply and are very much in demand. At least they were, thirteen to eighteen years ago, when I was Tefling in Paris. Americans may be even more welcome today after the Brexit vote.

Good luck with your new adventure.