American seeking work in Paris

Old Jan 13th, 2008, 09:26 AM
  #41  
 
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There are only two ways you can seriously expect to work legally in Paris:
- get a company you're working for in America to transfer you to their French subsidiary. For this you have to be working for that company before you get transferred. GSteed's "Catch on with an American firm doing business in France" is highly misleading. The douche of cold water Christina's throwing at this idea is probably well-judged in your case: first you have to be working for BP or HSBC, and doing well enough they're prepared to invest in you (expat transfers at an early career stage are almost always a loopily expensive alternative to local staff, and they're done to build a cadre of suitably experienced hifh flyers). Or:
- Persuade a French employer you've got skills they need that can't be found anywhere in Europe. Your case has to be watertight: the employer has to show the French government hard evidence they've gone out and looked for such skills everywhere from Poland to Ireland. BTilke's given a sensible suggestion on how you might do this: other suggestions for thinking laterally are in "What Color Is Your Parachute?"

You can't legally work from a computer. First, even if you're self-employed, it's working for a living, and the law is you can't do that without a work permit (US law on this is almost identical) Second, even though the Frenmch police really have got a lot of better things to do than raid every non-European with a laptop, you can't get a visa for staying in France longer than three months in any six without showing a damn good reason, and evidence of funds to support you that don't require you to work. You'll fail that test.

I'd get down to the bookshop and start on the "Parachute" exercise right awy: it really is the only option
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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 07:07 PM
  #42  
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Posted earlier by Christina:
Frankly, I think any American who is likely to work in France, or for such a company, wouldn't be posting on Fodors asking naive questions about how one can work in Paris without even mentioning skills or credentials or their current experience, or whether they even have a job.


Hey, Christina?!?!

O U C H !!!

Does it occur, my dear, that one has to start somewhere?? So I started here. And I have gotten great leads and ideas to check out, even if I am seen as naive.
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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 10:25 PM
  #43  
 
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MaCRo_Francophile: I wouldn't be so hard on Christina. I think everybody here is trying to ensure that you don't get false hope and that you únderstand there are no shortcuts.

Getting a work permit in France is difficult. Getting a work permit in a field like social work or psychology is that much harder. For the easiest route, you will have to go work for a company that has operations in both countries and a reputation for transferring folks between countries. I would think this is going to take a stretch of your skills into a new career path. If, however, you do catch on with such a company, this can go from pipe dream to reality faster than you think.

And, FWIW, it is your career path that will likely be the deciding factor. Speaking French will not likely be the deal-breaker, as your best bet will be an American or international company, which will have a global business language, likely to be English.
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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 01:00 AM
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I think the bottom line is if there is a will there is a way, much depends on just how much effort and sacrifice that you want to put into it. How bad do you want it? There have been other people that have found their way around the red tape and endless hassles.

It will not be easy, but lots of people have given you some great ideas here.

You could also only date French citizens and manage to fall in love and marry one, which would make things much easier and be one way to solve it.

You could make a total career change so that it might be easier.

You could sell everything and retire early like friends of mine did at 35 ( who lived in Paris for some time very cheaply):

http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Shores/5315/


You could possibly do language study there and get a visa for 6m ( I am not sure if this can be done in France, but have friends that did this in Spain).

While the husband took classes, the wife worked via laptop to her office in California and the kids went to the local school.

You could build up a career on the internet and only live in Paris part time and travel to other places that you like when outside of Paris. If you want to stay close by you could go outside Eu in Croatia, Morocco, Turkey etc which are all great places where you could live quite cheaply.

Here are some people doing that:
http://www.nunomad.com/

Maybe do some coaching online? ( Just a thought) Or write the latest self help book?

You could maybe work on getting another ( dual) passport ( Panama???) for greater ease in finding a way into Eu? Or look at grandparents or great grandparents? Sometimes you can get dual citizenship this way and once you have one for eu , it all gets easier for Paris.

The only limits are the ones that you place on yourself. If that is your dream, think out of the box, get educated and do the work required.

There are people who want to travel who are WALKING around the planet.

http://www.walkingman.org/

"The difficult I'll do right now. The impossible will take a little while."

Nothing is really impossible. I just read about a man that fell 47 stories and lived. WOW. Finding a way to live in Paris is easy compared to that miracle.

If you really want to live in Paris, do what it takes to get there!

Carpe diem!

www.soultravelers3.com


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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 01:52 AM
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One more out of the box thought.

These friends stayed 3 months each in Provence, Italy and Switzerland ( planned to do the Netherlands for 3 months but got pregnant). So "lived" in Europe for 9 months.

They worked it so they did not need long term visas and even brought their dog!! They both worked from their laptops and toured on weekends. ( They flew home for a visit at xmas and handled some hands on things for work).

http://atasteofeurope.blogspot.com/

There are restrictions for Europeans traveling to the States too, but I have known some in RV's who traveled and worked( by laptop to Denmark) while in the US, Canada and Mexico ( and further south).

I am not sure about the working restrictions, but it seems many have found ways to do it legally, so something to look into deeper if you have interest. I think it is quite different if you are a traveler and not a resident.

This French family traveled the world for 4 years for only 1500 euros a month total costs which I found inspiring!

http://ccarautourdumonde.free.fr/

I hope these things inspire you and others to consider many different possible ways to reach a goal.

I love this quote when I am looking at a challenging goal:

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.
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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 03:17 AM
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<<< These friends stayed 3 months each in Provence, Italy and Switzerland >>>

But Switzerland is due to join Schengen which removes that option
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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 03:25 AM
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..and Provence and Italy were in Schengen anyway.

So these friends were either illegal or did it all so long ago, the example is meaningless.
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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 04:54 AM
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3 months in Provence (France), 3 months in Switzerland (not yet in Schengen) and 3 months in Italy doesn't break the current Schengen rules of 90-in-180 days. You just have to break up your stay in Schengen by 3 months out of it.
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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 05:47 AM
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I just gave it as an example and I know they researched it considerably so that they would not be ilegal. They did it last year. Their legal residence and work stayed in America while they traveled slowly.

I think they got around it by going home for a few weeks at xmas time. ( They left the dog in Europe with friends). Who is to say it was not two different trips?? I think they talked to a lawyer about it.

It is a mute point at this time if they were illegal or not as they had no problem and a wonderful time. I am not an immigration lawyer, but then I was not talking about immigration, but looking for *possible* solutions and different ways to look at this.

This still could be done in many different ways. One could do Paris, then Morocco, Croatia, Turkey, Egpyt, dubai,south africa etc or lots of different places. Ukraine, Romania, Montenegro,Croatia,Uk, Ireland etc are also possibilities and more.

Paris & the Cotswolds....not a bad combo.

Seems like one could "live" 6 months out of the year in Paris by splitting it up to two 3 month stays, so would not need a visa. Why not 3 months in Paris, then 3 months in Dubrovnik, then back to Paris for 3 months , then 3 months in Istanbul? One of MANY possibilities. It would also be quite cheap that way and all our beautiful, modern, European cities.


Going slow saves LOTS of money as does renting by the month off season. Maybe it is not living in Paris like a native, but might be a way for some to fulfill that dream. Expats are always on the outside any way, perhaps even more so in France than some places.

In fact, I would recommend something like this before moving there permanently, to make sure one really would want to make a permanent move. Living some where is much different than being a tourist for two or three weeks. The dollar/Euro exchange is also killer at the moment, which will impact.

Some people find that after 6 months or a few years in Paris, that they do not really want to live there after all. Always good to spend some time leaning into things.

Just thoughts. I know...I am a never ending optimist...works for me.

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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 09:20 AM
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Don't want to encourage this, but I had an American friend who lived and worked in Paris for 10 years illegally with no problem whatsoever, traveling back and forth to the US at will, sometimes once every 2 years, sometimes twice a year, plus trips all over Europe whenever she felt like it. She had a lease on her apartment, a bank account, and all the trappings of a normal person except health coverage all that time. She was not ever bothered by the French authorities for anything (and she never paid taxes). Basically, she did nanny work, babysitting, catering parties and things like that -- all cash-in-hand work.

Then she got horribly sick from kidney disease (a family problem). The French hospital system took complete charge of her in spite of her illegal status, and she received 100% coverage because it was a life threatening disease. She then went through 9 months of thrice weekly dialysis (4 hours each time), but she got tired of this and stopped -- not her conception of life. She decided that it would all be finished by 15 December, and in fact she died on 13 December.

The city of Paris buried her free of charge.

Anyway, my point was that it is nice to be legal, but lots of people don't worry about it and don't suffer from it.
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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 11:54 AM
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MaCRo~ Do you mind my asking? Have you been to Paris before?
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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 08:12 PM
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Yes, I've been to France. First in '89 when we drove through greater France, then in '07 just to Paris and the Burgandy region. And of course it is apparent now, I fell in love! Or else I'm going through a mid-life crisis, and Paree is my red convertible!!!

I have also considered coaching as a slight career change that could serve me there. It's not a far stretch from the psych/social work field, and even in U.S. is done mainly over the phone, so is highly mobile (with a good cell phone plan).

Also I read an earlier post where someone said, "heck, work hard here in the states for a few months, go to Paris for a month, and come home and repeat." That's a possibility too. If I can make better money here than there. Someone suggested the book, What Color Is Your Parachute. The above thinking reflects the philosopy of the book, Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow.

Plus I LOVE my field of work and as I get into this, I begin to wonder if I would grieve having to leave it even if it meant living in Paris. Esp if it means courting a corp. before they'd bring me on and I could PERHAPS finagle 2 or 3 years in France. Not all of the US corporations active in France that I've looked at since reading your replies are in Paris, many are in greater France.

Since I posted this question, a friend told me she lived in Greece for a year on a program, and at year's end wanted to stay so she put up fliers stating she would do therapy with ex-pats, and made enough cash to allow her to stay a second year. If I'm thinking out of the box and perhaps under the table, then voilà.

And yes, as someone stated today, to do something great, begin it. I guess this is rubber-meets-the-road time, so we'll see what I'm made of and if I'm really up for this risk!!

I appreciate all of the insight, creativity and suggestions you folks have supplied. Out of the box thinking, here I come...
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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 09:40 PM
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If you are interesting in going into coaching, here is a site run by an American I know who did just that. He was laid off by his American company and there was no question of leaving Paris:
http://jonamos.blogspot.com/
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 05:54 AM
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MaCRo
Your last post mentions "We" but otherwise I haven't hear other people in your plans.

Without digging into your business, I wanted to give a few pointers.

First, if you're bringing a wife or girlfriend, make sure she's onto the program. She might not be into living in Paris forever.

If you're gay, this may be easier. I find that gays help each other on the formalities of living in France.

Whether you're going to be alone or with someone, there's a little thought about Paris. When you take a trip to Paris and it's lovely and beautiful and entertaining, sooner or later you're going to get to the pavement. This is a very big city. If you encompass the whole city, it's somewhere near to 12 million people.

Citys of this size produce a lot of garbage and bad smells. The smog exists in Paris and you'll see a lot of people wearing masks. Are you going to live in a place like this?

Give a long visit to Paris, especially when the heat raises and the garbage starts to smell and look into your heart, have you left your home for this?

There are over 50 posts on your ideas. Many of these people live in France now and a big portion live direct in Paris now. Give some thought!

Blackduff
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 06:41 AM
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Blackduff:

Well, I'm planning to go solo and I'm a woman.
(You didn't know women yearned for convertibles too? Yep, they just get Volkswagen Bug convertibles!) (True, no? Or Coopers.)
The "we" in '89 was a carload of college buds touring Europe from Germany to Spain.

I have read that if one has lived in NY one is more likely to be acclimated to and successful in adjusting to life in Paris. However, part of Paris' appeal is that it has that small-town, even villagesque appeal. Alas, perhaps my naïveté again.

I was curious about your statement, Blackduff--> "Many of these people live in France now and a big portion live direct in Paris now."
So by this you mean? Do you wonder if they're happy there?? I should ask them?? I should trust their advice?? I'm curious.
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 06:56 AM
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Kerouac,
I looked up Jon Amos.
Trés interessant!!! Merci beaucoup!
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 08:06 AM
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I lived in Paris for 3 years and that was more than enough for me. Too crowded and expensive, and too hard to find decent, affordable accommodation.
It was great for the first couple of years, but after that the novelty wore off. I know lots of people who love living there though.
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 08:39 AM
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MaCRo
I just meant that there are a lot of the posters on this thread live in France. I'm just saying the posters are writing from lower back Montana. Again, some of these posters (who do live in France) live in Paris and their special information is specific.

Two years ago I stayed at my brother-in-law's house in the suburbs of Paris. I would have a coffee in the morning and I watched the people heading to work. There were actually seeing people running to the train or bus. Now where I live, nobody runs, except to the restaurants or the beach places.

Also during my Brother-in-Law's visit, I stopped at the green grocer during the evening rush hour purchases. People ran all of the way through the store and head out the door.

The anxious rush is past my life. The Midi of France expelled "rush" from everyone down south. Paris is nice to visit but I certainly won't live there full-time.

But give us a bit more information about what you "See" in Paris. As we post more and more, maybe we can agree what you're looking. I'm sure everyone on this forum are sincere about your needs and wants.

Blackduff
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Old Jan 16th, 2008, 08:45 AM
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MaCRo
I just meant that there are a lot of the posters on this thread live in France. I'm just saying the posters are writing from lower back Montana. Again, some of these posters (who do live in France) live in Paris and their special information is specific.


I screwed this statement. It should say a lot of this thread's posters are living in France. This is not someone writing from out back of Montana. And a big part of the posters live in Paris.

I hope this is more specific.

Blackduff
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Old Jan 17th, 2008, 08:33 PM
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ttt
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