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Digital Nomad Survival Guide: France

digital nomad visa in france

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There is no doubt that COVID-19 changed our world forever in many different ways. Despite the hardships, the pandemic made everyone re-examine the workforce. We tried out new and preferable work situations. Today, cafes and co-working sites around the world buzz with the excited energy of keyboards tapping.  It is the age of the digital nomad. It’s the time for having your cake and eating it too. 

Now, more than ever, people are moving away from in-person office-based jobs to work remotely. This allows people to choose where to live based on personal preferences and to work their dream jobs, without having to sacrifice either one. Although there is no so-called Digital Nomad Visa in France, different options are available for digital nomads wanting to relocate to France. 

Who doesn’t dream about working with the real Eiffel Tower behind you on the Zoom screen, nomming on a delicious croissant?

via GIPHY

How long can I stay in France as a digital nomad?

To begin with, as a citizen of the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, or Switzerland, you are entitled to free movement between the EU countries. Luckily, you can already work remotely as a digital nomad in any country in the EU if your company permits. However, after 3 months of remote work in a new EU country, we recommend your employer register you locally. 

Because of the Schengen agreement, most non-EU citizens can travel to European countries, like France, for up to 90 days visa-free. We know, you want to stay longer than three months so you can live and work the French fantasy as a digital nomad.

If you are a non-EU, non-EEA or non-Swiss citizen, don’t worry. You can apply for a long-stay visa. Luxuriate on the French Riviera, bathe in the warm winter French sun amidst the lavender fields, and become a local in an alpine village. Live and breathe the French fashion lifestyle, and partake in all the other unique experiences France has to offer. 

What is the long stay visa? 

3 French visas for a digital nomad

Just because the digital nomad visa doesn’t exist in France doesn’t mean you can’t become a French digital nomad. With the Long Stay Visa, you’ll still get to work and enjoy all the emblematic places like the Bordeaux vineyards, Arc du Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. 

The Long Stay Visa category allows non-European Union nationals to live in France for longer than 90 days. There are a few different options to choose from, but they all allow you to work as a digital nomad in France. So what are your options, and which one is the best? That answer depends on your work situation and your intentions in France in the future.

Option #1

How can I be self-employed in France? Apply For The Entrepreneurs’ Visa

At first glance, as a digital nomad, you can apply for The Entrepreneurs’, called the “profession libérale” visa. This option is meant for those who are interested in participating in, or creating, economic activities in a liberal, artisanal, agricultural or commercial profession. Bring your economic activity to France and explore our markets, design your own jewellery, teach English, or many other options. 

This visa is valid for up to one year, as long as you apply for the visa validation within 15 days of arrival to France. It is a non-traditional way to work as a digital nomad in France that allows you to explore new financial opportunities. Do not miss your chance to take the bull by the horns! 

Of course, if you want to go this route, your business will need to be approved by the French government. In addition, all supporting documentation must be submitted and approved to the government before obtaining the Entrepreneurs’ visa. Speaking French and/or working with a bilingual person who knows each step of the process is important. It can help determine whether the visa goes through.

Want expert assistance with applying for your Entrepreneurs’ Visa?

Option #2

How Can I Start a Small Company in France? The Talent Passport

The talent passport visa is perfect for the digital nomad looking to start a business in France AND who aims to invest at least 30,000 euros into their business.  

This visa can grant you a 4-year residence permit in France. Working in France with a Talent Passport makes bringing your family with you easier. It means you can enjoy four years of stable residency in beautiful France, with your favourite people enjoying the experience with you. 

After this four-year period, you might be tempted to extend your visa for one more year. Is it possible? 

It is.

And if you’ve really fallen in love with your business and incredible life in France, you might want to make it your forever home.

Can you come to France on a Talent Passport, and later apply for French citizenship?

You can.

Option #3

How Can I Work Remotely In France for a Company Based In Another Country? The EU Blue Card Visa

If you are already a digital nomad, you are in luck! The inter-company transfer passport visa and EU blue card will allow you to continue working for your company while enjoying the French quality of life. 

If you qualify for an EU Blue Card visa, you have the right to:

  • Bring your family to live with you (in this case, your family must also meet entry conditions)
  • Travel to other EU countries for up to three months in a six month period of time
  • Live and work in France for 1-4 years (renewable)
  • Obtain a social security card in France

Current Requirements For The EU Blue Card Visa

As you might guess, the stipulations for this visa are often updated and difficult to meet.

To be granted an EU Blue Card Visa in France, you must provide proof of:

  • University qualifications
  • Five years experience in relevant industry
  • An active work contract for a position you started at least 1 year ago (not self-employed) or Binding Job offer in France
  • Gross annual salary at least 1.5x the average national French salary
  • Health insurance for you and any relatives you plan to bring to France
  • Validation of legal requirements to practise your profession in France (for regulated professions)

Keep in mind that once you obtain the visa, you are generally not free to change your job or employer during the first two years. If you lose your job while on a EU Blue Card Visa, you have three months to find a new job before your visa is withdrawn. 

Additionally, it is also possible to lose your visa if France determines that the information provided was untruthful, you don’t have enough resources to maintain yourself, or you no longer meet the requirements. 

The EU Blue Card Visa is attractive for highly-skilled professionals because it gives a lot of freedom to move within the European Union. After 18 months on this visa, you can even move to a different country in the EU and continue working. 

The best part is that The EU Blue Card Visa can also help you to earn long-term residence status in France, even when you aren’t there 100% of the time. This is because the rules for calculating the period of time necessary to reside in France are less strict than other French residence visas. You can add together periods of time spent in different EU countries. Is it right for you?

Option #4

How can I stay for a good time, not a long time? The Working Holiday Visa for Digital Nomads in France

Last but not least, an exciting visa to mention in this group is the working holiday visa (WHV). This is great for those who only want to live in France for a year without the intention of establishing residency. 

It is especially aimed for people between the ages of 18 and 30 (35 for Canada) who wish to go and experience a whole new culture for one year as a digital nomad. The Working Holiday Visa is often an extraordinary way of fulfilling this desire. It will permit living and working in France during a one-year period for most non-EU nationals. 

The requirements to obtain a WHV in France are only that:

  • You be 18 to 30 years of age (35 for Canada)
  • You haven’t already had a WHV in the past
  • You aren’t bringing a dependent child
  • You have proof of a return ticket 
  • You have “sufficient financial resources” for the start of your stay. The amount of these resources is specified in the agreements.

The WHV opens the doors to new horizons and represents a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the heart of France. The daily life will surprise you day after day! From beaches of the Côte d’Azur, to the breathtaking Champagne landscapes. From an adventure on Mont Blanc to the Provence countryside. It is up to you where you want to start your adventure. 

In conclusion, there doesn’t exist a “digital nomad” visa for France. However, different options allow you to work remotely from this beautiful country. Our lawyers at Lexidy France would be more than happy to explore the many opportunities available to you! 

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