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 to have your cake and eat it too.
Although there is no so-called Digital Nomad Visa in France, it is home to a growing number of remote workers from all over the world enticed by France’s high quality of living and unbeatably lifestyle. So, what are the different options available for digital nomads wanting to relocate to France?
Let’s explore them.
(Updated October 2023)
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.
What is the long stay visa?
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 still can 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. The most popular of these visas for digital nomads include:
- The Entrepreneurs Visa
- The Talent Passport
- The EU Blue Card Visa
- The Working Holiday Visa
So which one is the best for you? Well, that answer depends on your work situation and your intentions in France in the future.
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.
To be eligible for the Entrepreneurs’ Visa you must:
- Make sure your job or business is economically viable (can actually make money).
- If you’re working for a company, it has to pay you at least €20,814.73 a year.
- Ensure your work is not dangerous or illegal.
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. You can also bring your family along with you on this exciting journey.
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 by 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?
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?
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?
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 an 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?
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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 at 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to get a long-stay visa?
The processing time for your visa will differ depending on which type of long-stay visa you apply for. It can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months for your long-stay visa to be processed. That’s why it’s vital you apply for your visa with plenty of time to prepare for any unexpected hurdles or delays.
How soon can I apply for a long-stay visa in France?
The application must be submitted three months to two weeks prior to the planned date of entry into France.
Can you renew a long-stay visa?
Holders wishing to extend their stay in France beyond the visa expiry date must submit a residence permit application to the Préfecture in the two months before your visa expires.
If you are currently in France and you wish to renew or extend your Visa, you would need to apply through the prefecture of your place of residence. If you are in your country of residence, you would need to apply through the French Consulate or Embassy or the competent service provider.
Can I apply for a long-stay visa online?
Certain countries are eligible to apply using the French government’s online portal. Make sure you check to see if your country of residence is eligible for online applications before you begin your application.
Do I have to pay taxes as a Digital Nomad in France?
If you plan to stay in France for a year with a visa then you’re a tax resident. Your tax situation depends on any tax treaty between France and your home country. Got a treaty? You’ll pay taxes on worldwide income to France. Got a family living with you? You’re looking at a household tax based on the number of folks at home.
Here are the current tax rates for 2023:
- Earn up to €10,770: 0% tax
- €10,778-€27,478: 11% tax
- €27,479-€78,570: 30% tax
- €78,571-€168,994: 41% tax
- €168,995+: 45% tax
So, to sum it up: Your tax life in France depends on international agreements and how many mouths you’re feeding. Plus, how much you earn decides how much you’re handing over.
What is the cost of living as a Digital Nomad in France?
Living in France is relatively expensive, especially in major cities like Paris. A one-bedroom apartment in central Paris costs €1,000-€1,450 per month. You will pay much less if you live further out or in smaller cities like Montpellier.
Groceries are also costly, with basic items like milk costing €1 and bread €2. Dining out in Paris can be around €60 for a three-course meal for two.
Transportation costs depend on location. A monthly metro pass in Paris is €84; a single ticket is €2.
Utilities like electricity and gas can cost €140-€205 per month in Paris for a one-bedroom apartment.
In summary, the cost of living is high but varies by location and lifestyle choices. Before you choose your destination, make sure to research and compare prices to find the most cost-effective options for your budget.
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! Fill out the form below and one of our legal eagles will be in touch.