The One Lucky Remote Worker Who Got a Visa (Allegedly)

This ain't it

I saw some misinformation the other day among the expat community. Not unusual, but the response was risible. Someone was asking how they could move to France. Not an uncommon question, but bold since they were trying to do so with no income or pension. 

There were some suggestions. People were trying to help this person out with ideas, and ways to secure work in order to get a visa. A number of people chimed in to say that you would need to find a job in France because you could not work remotely, and this person had no hope of securing a long stay, renewable, visa without a French job (but also getting a job that gets you a visa is like that Spiderman meme). Of course I saw this advice about remote work and called bs. 

As I have mentioned numerous times, I am a remote worker. I work “in America”, but I live in France. My primary residence is in France. I have French residency (CdS). By all accounts the French “own” me. I am allowed to renew my residency if I so choose. 

Immediately the expats replied back. “No one is able to do that”, “you’re the first person in 7 years I’ve ever heard of who was allowed that”, “they don’t give visas to remote workers”. Like I’m the one person the French decided to give this mythical visa to. The French saw me and decided they liked me that much? Not bloody likely.

In my experience applying for and receiving a French visa is not hard. I know the immense privilege that statement entails, but it wasn’t. My reasons for moving back to Paris were petty so blame it on it doesn’t have the same weight for me. 

But on a scale of ‘this is impossible’, if you want a proper salary job in Paris, you are going to find it the most difficult. If you want an apartment, you are going to find the process a lot harder (so very, very hard), but getting a visa, for me, was not the difficult task. And it is certainly not some inconceivable impossibility that there are more than student visas and work visas. In fact when I applied there were like 20 different visas. You’ve got options.

Don’t listen to anyone on the internet. Hell don’t even listen to me. Go to the French Consulate’s website. Better yet ask them. 

The French Consulate (in America) has really great communication. They reply back within a day, and actually answer questions. They are world’s away better than the shitty American Embassy, who’s stock answer to everything is “I don’t know, ask someone else”. They should be defunded for being so useless. They are so very, very awful, and only exist to inhabit exclusive real estate and throw parties for themselves.

When it comes to something as important as emigration you want expert advice. Not guesswork. Don’t let a bunch of people on the internet, who pretend to know all, tell you things they clearly know not enough about. Just because we emigrated does not make us experts.