How To Move To France Without a Job
If you've ever dreamt about moving to the land of croissants, lavender fields, and Haussmannien buildings, you're not alone. I first moved to France as an au pair and then again as an English teacher. But the most recent time I moved to France, I didn't want to teach English anymore. So I had to figure out a way to move to France without a job.
Sure, I knew I could go back to school and get my master's. And you can pretty easily go to school in France and get a visa too. Luckily, school in France comes pretty cheap, so it's possible even on a small budget. But I didn't feel pulled towards going back to school, and you might not either.
Plus, public universities in France also require a certain level of French. So if don't already speak French, this might not be the best option for you either. But fortunately, there is another option if you want to move to France without a job (or a University acceptance letter or a ring on your finger).
French Long Stay Tourist Visa (Visa de Long Séjour Touristique)
All you need to call France your home (and to fill your tote bag with baguettes and tulips) is a special visa called a Long Stay Tourist Visa. This visa allows you to stay in France as a tourist for up to one year. Depending on what country you're from, usually, you're only allowed to stay in France for 90 days as a tourist. But this visa will allow you to stay from 6 months to a year.
The thing is that just like a tourist, you are not allowed to work for a French company while in France. So if you don't have another form of income like a retirement fund or some other form of savings, you'll need some way to pay your bills. Luckily, there is a loophole. You're allowed to work virtually for a company that isn't French, whether that be your own company or someone else's.
So if your boss is fine with you getting your work done from Paris instead of Brooklyn, this might be the perfect way to live out your French dream.
How To Move to France Without a Job as an American
Depending on what country you're from how you attain the French long-stay tourist visa will be different. So I can only speak on how I got my visa as an American. But if you live in another country, France has a helpful visa calculator. All you have to do is type in where you're from and what you'd like to do on your visa and it'll tell you everything you need.
In general, you'll need your typical visa stuff like a valid passport, an ID photograph, and travel health insurance. But since you'll be staying in France for such a long time, you'll need to prove you have the funds to cover your trip. This means you'll either need a letter from your employer agreeing to your trip or a copy of your business license. You'll also need your last three month's bank statements.
But if you'd like to get an idea of what you need or you're American like me, here's a most in-depth list of everything I needed for my long-stay tourist visa:
What You Need for a Long-Stay Tourist Visa in France
A travel document, issued less than 10 years ago, containing at least two blank pages, with a period of validity at least 3 months longer than the date on which you intend to leave the Schengen Area or, in the case of a long stay, at least three months longer than the expiry date of the visa requested. Be sure to transmit (scan) ALL PAGES of your travel document containing visas, entry and exit stamps or any other inscription.
If you are not a US citizen, please provide proof of your legal status (green card, visa and I94 or endorsed I20 for F1 visa holders or endorsed DS2019 for J1 visa holders. The "travel endorsment" signature is valid for one year and must not expire before the date of return to the USA).
If you have an official travel document, a note verbale is required.
Purpose of travel/stay
Letter from the employer or proof of business ownership / business license (if self employed). If retired, pension certificate. If student, certificate of enrollment.
Promise not to exercise any professional activity in France, if applicable accompanied by a letter explaining your project.
Proof of enough resources to cover all expenses during trip (pension certificate or last 3 bank statements).
Proof of accommodation in France: property title deed, tenancy agreement or any other supporting document. Or proof that accommodation will be provided by a person residing in France, or if not, a document explaining the accommodation arrangements planned for France.
Travel health insurance
Travel health insurance certificate issued by the insurance company (covering any possible costs for medical repatriation, and emergency and/or hospital treatment, for a minimum amount of €30,000, valid in France for the whole stay. A copy of your American health insurance card is not an acceptable proof of adequate coverage).
Overview of How to Move to France Without a Job
Overall, if you are able to attain travel insurance (mine was $88/month with Cigna), prove you have funds for your trip and where it's coming from, and a place to stay, the rest should be pretty easy. Leave any comments or reach out to me on Instagram if you have any questions!