France Digital Nomad Visa

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France is the most visited country in Western Europe. Aside from just tourists, it is home to millions of digital nomads because of its high standard of living and fantastic lifestyle. However, digital nomads will need an appropriate visa to live and work in France for up to three or more years.
Photo by Chris Molloy on Pexels
But contrary to many European countries, France does not have a specific visa for digital nomads. This article explores visas for digital nomads in France.

Does France Have a Digital Nomad Visa?

France does not provide a digital nomad visa for anyone, as the French government does not have any provision for it. However, as a non-EU or EEA citizen, there are alternative visas that you can use to live as a freelancer or remote worker in the country. They are:
  • 1. The short-stay visa
  • 2. The long-stay visa

The Short-Stay Visa
The short-stay visa is for those who want to stay in France for three months (90 days) or less. Once your visa expires, you will have to leave the country and cannot renew the visa.
However, if you intend to stay longer than three months in France and enjoy the rich French culture, you should opt for the long-stay visa. Examples of this type of visa include the Schengen, student, transit, etc.

The Long-Stay Visa

The long-stay visa allows you to stay in France for up to one year and beyond. There are different types of long-stay visas in France, serving different purposes. Some of these visas include:
  • 1. The Profession Liberale visa: for freelancers in France.
  • 2. The EU Blue Card visa: a 4-year valid visa for non-EU citizens with a university degree and five-year professional experience.
  • 3. The Working Holiday Visa: a 1-year valid visa for non-EU citizens to work (skilled and unskilled jobs) and travel freely in France.

There are others, but the three above are more common among digital nomads in France. They include:
  • 1. The Visa passport talent 'artistic and cultural occupation': also known as "profession artistique et Culturelle." It is meant for self-employed and employed artists and creators who want to stay in France for one year.
  • 2. The Young professional visa: also known as "visa jeune professionnel." It is created for young non-EU citizens who want to get professional experience in the country.
  • 3. This visa is designed for young foreigners who wish to come to France to gain professional experience by being immersed in French culture.
  • 4. The Talent Passport: This visa is meant for digital nomads who want to own businesses in the country and are ready to start with at least €30,000. With this visa, you can stay up to four years in France and bring your family over.

It is important to note that as an EU or EEA digital nomad, you can stay in France without needing a visa for three months. However, you must register your stay with the French authorities at a local registration hall at the end of this period.
We will discuss the most common long-stay visas in France below.

Entrepreneur Professional (The Profession Liberale) Visa

The Entrepreneur Professional (Profession Libérale) Visa is a type of visa in France created for self-employed individuals or entrepreneurs who wish to start a business or work as freelance professionals in France. Once you have this visa, you can work in any liberal profession for four years.
You can apply for this visa at the French consulate of your country. Once you apply, you will get the visa, which is valid for one year. After one year, you can renew it for another three years. Then, you can apply for a residence permit or naturalize.
Aside from staying long in the country, you can relocate your family to France with this visa.

The EU Blue Card Visa

The EU Blue Card allows you to work and live as a highly-skilled non-EU national in France for up to 4 years. Within these four years, it also allows you to live and work in the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) countries.
However, there are essential details to know about this kind of visa. Firstly, you must keep your job or employer the same within the first two years of your stay in the country. If you lose your job, you must get another one within three months; else, you will lose your visa.
To be eligible for an EU Blue Card, you must:
  • Have a valid job offer or employment contract in an EU country for a highly skilled job that meets specific salary requirements.
  • Have a university degree or equivalent qualification or at least five years of professional experience.
  • Be able to demonstrate that they have sufficient resources to support themselves and any family members accompanying them during their stay in the EU.

The France EU Blue Card allows you to travel to other EU nations for 90 days every 180 days and even bring your family members to live with you in the EU. With this visa, you can access healthcare and social security benefits in the country of employment.
After one year and six months of holding the EU Blue Card in France, you can apply for an EU Blue Card in another EU country to continue living and working if you meet the eligibility requirements. However, it is vital that you provide truthful information when applying for the EU Blue Card Visa for France so you don't lose your visa. You may also lose your visa if your resources are insufficient to cover you in the country or you no longer meet the stay requirements.
You can get long-term residency in France through the EU Blue Card Visa, even if you t raveled out and returned. Since this visa has strict rules for calculating your time spent in the country, you can add up your time in other EU countries and apply for long-term residency.

Working Holiday Visa

The Working Holiday Visa, also known as the "Vacances-Travail" visa, allows young people from non-EU countries to visit France for one year and work part-time or full-time. People who apply for this visa do not intend to stay permanently.
As a Working Holiday Visa holder in France, you cannot work in certain professions, including healthcare, law, and education.
To be eligible for the Working Holiday Visa in France, you must:
  • Be between age 18 and 30 (inclusive) at the time of application.
  • Hold a passport from a participating country.
  • Not have previously held a Working Holiday Visa in France.
  • Have sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay in France without relying on public funds.

Aside from the ability to work in France, the Working Holiday Visa allows you to travel within the Schengen area for up to 90 days in 180 days.

Requirements for the Digital Nomad Visa

As explained earlier, the Entrepreneur Professional (the Profession Liberale) visa allows you to start your business or work as a freelancer in France in liberal fields. However, to qualify for this visa, you must provide the required supporting documents:
  • A valid passport with at least six months validity beyond your intended stay period in France.
  • Proof of health insurance that covers your entire stay in the country.
  • Proof of accommodation.
  • Proof of financial means to support yourself and your business. Bank statements or income tax returns will serve.
  • A detailed business plan that outlines the nature of your business, your expected income and expenses, and market analysis.
  • A police record extract that shows you void of any criminal case.
  • Have relevant qualifications or experience in their profession.

Please note that if you work with a company, you must earn up to €20,000 annually.

Requirements for the European Union Blue Card Visa

You can work and live in France with the European Union Blue Card visa for four years if you are a highly skilled non-EU citizen. To be eligible for this visa, you must meet the following requirements:
  • 1. Have a valid passport with up to six months of validity beyond your intended stay in France.
  • 2. Provide proof of your five-year experience in your industry.
  • 3. Show that your gross annual salary is more than one-half the average annual salary in France (€39,300).
  • 4. Provide a copy of your employment contract or job offer.
  • 5. Show proof of language proficiency and a comprehensive health insurance.
  • 6. Submit a clean criminal record certificate.
  • 7. Proof of higher education degree or equivalent qualifications.
  • 8. Legal documents that prove your qualification to practice your (regulated) profession.

France Digital Nomad Visa: Who Can Apply?

The France digital nomad visa opens up exciting possibilities for remote workers and entrepreneurs looking to live and work in one of Europe's most vibrant countries. Designed to attract digital nomads, this visa offers a unique opportunity to experience the cultural richness of France while pursuing professional endeavors. Let’s take a look at who is eligible to apply for the French digital nomad visa.

The Entrepreneur Professional (the Profession Liberale) visa

To be eligible for this visa, you must meet the following criteria:
  • 1. You must have a professional project that is economically viable.
  • 2. You must demonstrate that your profession is France-regulated or that you have a France-recognized professional qualification.
  • 3. You must prove that you have sufficient financial resources to support yourself and your business in the country (if you own a business).
  • 4. You must have appropriate health insurance coverage for your stay in the country.
  • 5. You must have a solid business plan.
  • 6. You must have sufficient French language proficiency, at least at the B1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

The EU Blue Card Visa

To be eligible for the EU Blue Card visa, you must meet the following criteria:
  • 1. Have a university degree or equivalent qualification or at least five years of professional experience.
  • 2. Be able to demonstrate that they have sufficient resources to support themselves and any family members accompanying them during their stay in the EU.
  • 3. Have a job offer or employment contract from a French company for a highly skilled job that requires specific qualifications and skills.
  • 4. Earn at least one and a half times the minimum annual salary in France.
  • 5. Demonstrate proficiency in either French or English.
  • 6. Have comprehensive health insurance that covers all medical expenses in France.
  • 7. Have a clean criminal record that clarifies that you are not a threat to public order or national security.

How to Apply for the French Freelancer's Visa?

The Profession Liberale visa and Blue Card visa have unique application processes. They are explained below.

The Profession Liberale Visa

Follow these processes to apply for your Entrepreneurial Professional visa:
  • 1. Get the Entrepreneur/independent professional application form, fill it out, and submit it online or to the French consulate in your country. The processing time often spans between 15 and 20 days.
  • 2. Book an appointment with the French consulate through the French website or the TLS website (a phone call would suffice also). Ensure that you go with your supporting documents to the appointment.
  • 3. Ensure to meet the appointment, submit your document, and pay the visa fee.
  • 4. Track your passport online and get your visa.
  • 5. Travel to France, register your business with URSAAF, and validate your visa through the OFII (French Office for Immigration and Integration) website. You might have to pay a fee to validate your visa.

To validate your visa, you will need:
  • Your valid email address and visa details.
  • Your arrival date and address in the country.
  • Your card information to pay for your residence permit.

The Blue Card Visa

Follow these processes to apply for your Blue Card visa:
  • 1. Fill out the Blue Card visa form online at the French visa website or physically at the closest French consulate. You may also have to submit your documents on the application.
  • 2. Schedule an appointment with the French office, ideally three months before your planned arrival in France. Ensure to go to the meeting with every required document and their copies. You will also need to pay the visa fee and submit your biometrics.
  • 3. After the interview, track your application status with your reference number. Once you receive your visa, you can travel to France.
  • 4. On arriving in France, you must validate your visa online to get your residence permit. To do this, you must book an appointment on your local Prefecture website to apply. You will need these to complete your application; visa number, residence address in the country, payment card, and date of arrival.
  • 5. After applying, you will have to wait a few weeks for your application to be approved. However, you may first receive the Autorisation Provisoire de Séjour (APS)- a temporary residence permit that allows you to live and work in the country. After which, you will receive your residence permit card.

Required Documents for the Professional (The Profession Liberale) Visa

See the documents required to complete this process:
  • A valid passport will remain valid for up to six months after your visa expires.
  • Receipt of your application form and visa payment.
  • A certificate that shows that you have no criminal record.
  • Documents that show your ability to perform your intended activity.
  • A written business plan that will produce up to €1260 monthly.
  • Proof of means of finance that shows you earn up to the annual minimum legal wage in France.
  • Submit a complete "retailer, crafts person, manufacturer" form (CERFA no. 13473*01).
  • Three recent ID pictures.
  • Proof of a valid address or certificate of accommodation with a date within the past six months. Alternatively, you can get a lease contract dated within the past three months.
  • Your stamp duty proof of payment.
  • A cover letter that shows your reason for coming to the country.
  • Covid-19 vaccination certificates.

Required Documents for the European Union Blue Card Visa

See the documents required to complete this process:
  • A valid passport with a copy of every page with writing and stamps.
  • A completed and signed Cerfa form no 15615-01 and the required documents are on the second page. Your employer has to sign this document.
  • A proof of residence dated within six months.
    If you are living in a rented apartment, you can provide any of these documents as proof:
    • a lease or rental contract dated within three months as proof.
    • rental payment receipts
    • an energy bill including gas, electricity, landline, etc. Mobile-phoneare not valid in this case.
      If you are residing in a hotel, you are to provide these as proof:
    • proof of residence
    • receipt of the past month's rent
      If you are living with a host, you are to give these as proof:
    • a hand-written and signed residence certificate by your host
    • their previous energy bill
    • a copy of their proof of identity
  • Three recent ID pictures.
  • You must submit original marriage certificate documents and French translations as a married person. A sworn translator must translate them from the Appeal court.
  • A higher education diploma of at least three years. A sworn translator must translate it from the Appeal court.
  • Documents that prove your five years of professional experience in your field.
  • Any documents justifying five years of professional experience (if applicable).
  • Your contract of employment.

How Much Does the Digital Nomad Visa for France Cost?

These are the payments you will need to make when processing your Profession Liberale visa:
  • You will pay €99 to the French Consulate for your visa entry.
  • You will pay €200 to the OFII for your temporary residence permit.
  • You will pay €25 for stamp duty for your residence permit.
  • You will pay €225 for an extension application.
  • You will pay another €225 for your permanent residence card.

These are the payments you will need to make when processing your EU blue card visa:
  • You will pay a visa application fee of €140.
  • You will pay €225 in tax for stamp duty when getting your residence permit.
  • You will pay €269 to obtain the visa.

Visa Processing Time

The Profession Liberale Visa France typically takes from three weeks to a few more weeks.
However, the EU Blue Card visa takes a maximum of 90 days to be ready.

Paying Taxes as a Digital Nomad in France

If your visa allows you to stay in France for up to one year, you have become a tax |resident. Your taxation in France depends on the tax treaty between your country and France. If your country has a tax treaty with France, you will only have to pay taxes on your global income to the French authorities.
It is important to note that if you are married and living with your family, you would rather pay household tax based on how many people live in your home in France.
Below are the tax rates for different income ranges in France in 2023:
  • 1. If you earn up to €10,770, you will pay 0% in taxes.
  • 2. If you earn between €10,778 to €27,478, you will pay 11% in taxes.
  • 3. If you earn between €27,479 to €78,570, you will pay 30% in taxes.
  • 4. If you make between €78,571 to €168,994, you will pay 41% in taxes.
  • 5. If you make from €168,995 upwards, you will pay 45% in taxes.

France for Digital Nomads: Essential Information

France is an interesting country to live in as a digital nomad. You must be aware of certain information about the country so that you can enjoy your stay in the country.

Cost of Living

Accommodation is likely to be the most significant expense for most people in France, and the cost varies depending on location and the accommodation type. In Paris, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can range from €1000 to €1450 monthly, while outside the city center, it can range from €720 to €1230 monthly. Outside of Paris, Montpellier, for instance, rents are generally lower. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center costs around 600 to 900 euros monthly, and outside the city center costs about €450 to €650 monthly.
Groceries and food can be expensive in France, especially if you shop at high-end stores. However, there are also budget-friendly options available. For example, a liter of milk can cost around €1, while a loaf of bread can cost about €2. A dozen eggs can cost about €3.5, while a kilogram of apples can cost around €3.3. Dining out can also be pricey, with a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant in Paris costing around €60.
Transportation costs can vary depending on where you are living in France. In Paris, a monthly metro pass costs around €84, while a one-way ticket on the metro costs around €2.
Utility bills like electricity, gas, and water can also add up to your monthly expenses. The cost of utilities varies depending on the size of the apartment and the location. For example, in Paris, the average monthly cost of utilities for a one-bedroom apartment is around €140 to €205.
In summary, the cost of living in France can be relatively high, especially in major cities like Paris. However, there are budget-friendly options available if you want to save money. It is important to research and compare prices in different locations and choose the most cost-effective options for your needs.

Popular Co-working Spaces

These are the most popular co-working spaces in France:
  • 1. WeWork
  • 2. Morning Co-working
  • 3. Station F
  • 4. Spaces
  • 5. Le Tank
  • 6. La Cordée
  • 7. Mutinerie
  • 8. Nextdoor

Internet Connectivity & SIM Cards

France has a solid internet quality, with high-speed broadband connections available in most urban areas. The country has made significant investments in developing its digital infrastructure, and as a result, it ranks among the top countries in Europe for internet connectivity.
As a remote worker in France, you can get a SIM card by visiting a mobile network operator's store or ordering one online. Some of the major mobile network operators in France include Orange (€3), SFR (€10), Bouygues Telecom (€10), and Free Mobile. These operators offer a range of SIM-only plans that cater to the needs of remote workers, with options for high-speed data, unlimited calls and texts, and international roaming.
To get a SIM card in France, you must provide a valid ID, such as a passport or driving license, and proof of address. Some operators may also require a French bank account or credit card for payment. Once the SIM card has been activated, you can access the internet on your mobile device, make calls, and send texts.

Benefits of Working as a Digital Nomad in France

When you live and work in France as a digital nomad, you get to enjoy these benefits:
  • 1. As a digital nomad, you'll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in France's vibrant art, music, and culinary scenes.
  • 2. France has a well-developed infrastructure, including high-speed internet, reliable public transportation, and modern co-working spaces.
  • 3. You can always enjoy the country's natural wonders, from its diverse range of landscapes to the dreamy French winters with snow-capped Alps and the sunny beaches of the French Riviera.
  • 4. France is well-connected to other major European cities, making it easy to travel and work in other countries while still having a base in France.
  • 5. France has a thriving startup scene and a growing community of entrepreneurs and freelancers.
  • 6. You can always sample a wide range of local cuisine in France, from classic French dishes to international fusion cuisine.

Entry Requirements Before Obtaining Your Remote Worker's Visa

ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) is a new travel authorization system that will be mandatory for all non-EU travelers into the EU starting from November 2023. The ETIAS application process will be quick and easy and require you to provide basic personal information, travel details, and answers to security-related questions. You will need to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver before your trip, regardless of the purpose of your visit. Once approved, the ETIAS will be valid for three years and allow you to enter and exit the Schengen Area multiple times for stays of up to 90 days within 180 days.
Written by: Fikayomi Abisola
Abisola is an ETIAS Travel and Immigration writer with several years of writing experience in the industry. Abisola has a unique enthusiasm for travels, tours, and tourism and loves to educate travellers about the criteria involved in international travelling.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I move to France as a digital nomad?

    As a digital nomad, you can stay in France for up to 90 days without a visa. However, you must get a long-stay visa if you want to stay longer or work in France.
  • Can I work in France as a US citizen?

    You can work in France as a US citizen, but you will need an appropriate work visa, depending on the length and nature of your job.
  • Can I work remotely for a UK company in France?

    Yes, you can work remotely in France for a UK company. However, you will need the appropriate France work visa.
  • Can I travel to Schengen with a digital nomad visa?

    You can travel to any Schengen country with a digital nomad visa. This is because your digital nomad visa for any Schengen nation allows you to visit and work in other Schengen countries.
  • How do I get a freelance visa for France?

    You can get a French freelance visa through the French website or at a French embassy or consulate in your country.

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