American seeking work in Paris

Old Jan 10th, 2008, 01:51 PM
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American seeking work in Paris

Quoting earlier post--> Author: kerouac
Date: 01/02/2008, 01:37 pm
...If some of you just moved to Paris, you wouldn't have to worry about that anymore.

Date: 01/04/2008, 11:04 am
Dear Kerouac,
I would of course LOVE to "just move to Paris," but isn't it true that it's difficult for an American to earn a living there? Work restrictions and visas, etc?

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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 01:54 PM
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It's not difficult - it's nearly impossible unless married to a citizen of an EU country, studying in France or have a job where your employer will get the visa for you
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 01:56 PM
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I'm not a French resident or Parisian resident, but know a little about this and know someone who has tried this -- yes, it is difficult, of course. I know someone who was French Canadian and fluent and it was still difficult and he gave it up because the company rescinded the offer and didn't need him (he was in telecommunications).

Of course there are restrictions on working and visas, what exactly are your skills and credentials? YOu can move there if you are financially indepdendent, and if you are married to a French citizen.
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 02:01 PM
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Or if you happen to have EU citizenship yourself, something that is very difficult but not impossible to obtain.
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 04:44 PM
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Social work and psychology are my fields. Not fluent in French (yet?!?), but years of studying it have given me a broad base to build on if I can GET over there!!

Love your resp, alanrow, "not difficult --> IMPOSSIBLE!" Hilarious, albeit depressing
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 05:14 PM
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You can get a job in Paris -- if you are in the US Army and the Huns invade again.
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 05:29 PM
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It's been nearly impossible for decades. I had a friend, who's fluent in French,and was looking for work in Paris, back in the late 80s/early 90s and couldn't find anything.I never worked in Europe during the 70s/80s/90s/ or 2000s or because it was/is pretty impossible.
In Denamark, in the 70s/80s, I was told that I would have to speak British English,for the job that I was interested in and then of course that still wouldn't guarantee anything. I'd still have to go through the visa/ work permit drama. Thank goodness those days are over with...having to switch English for the type of work. So, I make my money at home and purely vacation overseas. Priceless. Smiles. Happy Travels!
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 05:39 PM
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You would have to speak British English? What on earth does that mean?

In the work circles I travel in American English and British English people talk to and work with each other all the time without a problem.

Huh??? It's not as though they're different languages....
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 11:13 PM
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It works both way btw - it is nearly impossible for a Frenchman (or any EU citizen) to move to the US too.
Same with a holiday of more than 3 months - we need a visa for that too, and it is a nightmare to get.

I'm just saying this so you don't think it is an anti-US thing here in Europe or whatever. I know most of you won't but some (a very small minority) will and probably do.
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 12:05 AM
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Two ways...start a business hiring French workers. Catch on with an American firm doing business in France. One more...Tour France and write about it.
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 12:54 AM
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Is there any European ancestry (parents/grandparents even greatgrandparents in some cases),countries eg Italy may grant passports to 2/3rd generation Italians.
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 01:07 AM
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Difficult but not impossible.

1. Any EU passport that you can get will open the door to employment in France (not always automatically in the case of countries like Romanian and Bulgaria).
2. France actively recruits immigrants with certain skills in high demand. It is pretty easy to find the list of professions by doing a web search.
3. Immigration lawyers are an expensive but useful option. They know every trick of the trade.
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 03:19 AM
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Not to diminish the value of what you do, but:

"Social work and psychology are my fields."

will make it tough to get a work permit in any European country, much less France, which is among the more restrictive. If you were in a more technical field, it would likely be easier.
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 06:55 AM
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Aside from the idea that social workers may not be in short supply or not a technical profession, the jobs that would be in that field would require fluency in French even more than many other jobs. IN fact, those are probably some of the worst professions to try to transport to another country if you are not fluent in that language, unless you are fluent in a language where they have a lot of low-income/immigrant people. You probably couldn't practice psychology, anyway, without some licensing (and maybe social work, although there are usually a variety of charities that may use them).

English wouldn't cut it for that reason in Paris, but in the US, for example, being fluent in Spanish and a native of a Latin American or S American country can help you get a job in social services or health work in areas with a lot of SPanish-speaking immigrants (like where I live). I still don't think they would sponsor anyone for a visa just for that reason, but they definitely would be interested in workers with those skills if they had some credentials to back them up.

There probably are places you could use social work skills as an expat, but not in Paris. Some third-world countries, for example, or NGOs, aid organizations, etc. I wanted to volunteer with Doctors without Borders, for example (it was a pipe dream, I know, as I cannot realistically leave my job for a year for many reasons, and it requires a minimum commitment) -- and they mostly want clinical personnel, although they do use a few people with my credentials of survey research and analysis.

Are you licensed as a mental health specialist in any way, like a LCSW? Because if so, Doctors without Borders is currently looking for people like that with some French skills. You may not have to be fluent, but you should be able to carry on some type of conversation. You won't be going to Paris, though, but Africa, probably.
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 07:30 AM
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An American with a degree in psychology should try to pick up some medical writing skills in a related field (technical writingm that is: trial reports, protocols, investigator brochures, peer review journal articles) and then look for a company with global facilities in France that makes drugs/devices for Alzheimer's, neurology, etc. If you have some med writing skills and know brain/neuro terminology, you might very well get an offer from a French company. Several actively recruit and they ARE willing to get work permits, it's a high demand field and they prefer native English speakers. However, the jobs may not necessarily be in Paris, the companies could be in Lyon, for example. Or in the greater Brussels region...I know several Americans working in this field with French employers who didn't balk at all about getting them work permits.
www.emwa.org and www.inpharm.com job listings.
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 07:32 AM
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A few years ago my son lived in southern France and studied French. I won't go into all the details of his being there, but it was even a hassel to rent an apt and open a bank account. I can only image how difficult it must be to secure a job unless you work for a company that is already there. I guess if that is really what one want perseverance is the key.
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 02:50 PM
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Thank you all for the great ideas.
Perserverence it is then.
Watch for a furure post saying,
"I made it! I live in Paris!"

(and am paying off the immigration attorney still?!?!)

Thanks.
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Old Jan 11th, 2008, 03:25 PM
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My husband worked in France for two years. While he loved it and would have stayed, he says that there were income tax issues that made it prohibitive. For him it was a good ride while it lasted.
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Old Jan 12th, 2008, 01:36 AM
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"My husband worked in France for two years. While he loved it and would have stayed, he says that there were income tax issues that made it prohibitive. For him it was a good ride while it lasted."

Don't diminish the importance of the tax implications. You will need professional assistance to work through all of the details, and this won't come cheap. And, remember, the US government taxes your worldwide income. You get a foreign earned income exclusion and credits for foreign taxes paid, but this just makes your taxes that much more complicated, even if you don't end up paying anything to Uncle Sam. And, to top it off, some US states will keep their hooks in you even though you live abroad.

I don't begin to understand it.
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Old Jan 12th, 2008, 01:48 AM
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Another way around this is to work from the computer. I know people who kept their jobs in American while they lived in France, Italy or Spain.

With the dollar continuing to plunge that may be more difficult right now... especially in Paris.
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