How to Get the Profession Libérale Visa (the Basics)

Very often I’ve gotten an email starting with, “…there seems to be no information at all online about the Profession Libérale visa.”  It’s true.  For whatever reason, there’s not too much information about it.  So this article will be a small corrective to that problem.  Unlike Visitor status, in which the requirements are straightforward and you have to really mess up in order not to get or renew it, Profession Libérale (hereafter PL) is a bit vaguer, and more importantly, as I’ve stated before, requires you to start a business.  Don’t take that part of it lightly.  If you’re looking for an easy way to stay in France, choose Visitor status.  There’s nothing simpler for the wide public.

Begin at the Beginning

All French immigration dossiers have an order to them.  PL starts with your cover letter.  It will be written in the language of the country you are applying from.  If you are applying from the US, it will be in English, and if you are applying from here, it will be in French.  It does not have to be long.  Mine was about 1000 words and a full three pages.  You’re explaining to them why you want to be in France and what your business plan is.  What are your qualifications to pull that off?  What are your financial projections?  You’re not pitching to an investor, but your narrative needs to be that this is a serious endeavor on your part, that you have the ability and skills to execute well, and that your projections are reasonable and not wildly optimistic.  Remember that you cannot apply for PL from Visitor if you have not renewed your Visitor status at least once.  


I often tell people that “trust, but verify” is the fundamental principle of presenting your visa applications in France.  The French are happy to take you at your word…as long as you have paperwork to back up your assertion.  Your cover letter is going to be accompanied by your evidence.  Been published in print or on the web in the field you are entering in France?  Include that.  Have a degree (the French are obsessed with certifications and degrees whereas we silly Anglo-Saxons look to your work history) in the field?  Have a certified copy of your diploma, and if it’s not in French and you are applying in France, have an official translation of it.  Have a French-style resume, which is a “CV” here?  Have that also, in the proper language for your application.  There are other things you should include as well, but remember the principle: you’re simply “proving” everything you asserted in your cover letter.

The rest of your dossier is full of the standard things required in a residence visa lease, health insurance, etc.  PL is a right to live and a right to work visa so the cover letter and evidence only cover your right to work.  You still need to give them all the assurances that you know what you’re doing in terms of accommodations and aren’t just showing up here with hope as a strategy for finding lodgings.

Not Done Yet…

If and when you do get the PL visa, you still need to actually make money.  Again, there’s not clear evidence on what threshold you need to reach in your first year, but it seems that if you can take in at least 15,000 € of topline revenue in your first 12 months, you will get renewed, and not just for another year, but for four years.

I hope that gives a bit of information to fill in the gap left by the French government on this visa status, and good luck with your application should you decide to go down this path.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

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89 thoughts on “How to Get the Profession Libérale Visa (the Basics)

  1. Hi Stephen,
    Looks like I am doing the same thing you did 4+ years ago, searching websides for details about various visas etc. And here I see your block. Really great blog!!!

    Did you consider apply for Talent Passport (New Enterprise)? What’s the difference vs Profession Liberale Visa?

    Kind regards,

      • Hi Stephen,

        The Passport Talent VLS TS is now renewable. How does it compare currently to the Profession Liberale visa?

        Is the Profession Liberale visa still an option? I’ve heard talks about it no longer being valid and I haven’t been able to source check well.

        Thank you,

  2. Are you fluent in French now? How long did it take before you were comfortable enough to speak French (more/less fluently)? I really want to relocate and seek citizenship but my French is utterly pitiful even though I’ve taken several years of French language classes in the USA. Sad.

    • Jade

      I am comfortable and conversational in French now, but true fluency in any language takes 15-20 years. Fluency takes more than just knowing how to translate. It’s about cultural references and history that you normally have an entire childhood to assimilate. The key is patience. As for your challenges in the US, it’s always going to be harder to speak in a non immersive environment. Spend a week here and you’ll watch your progress skyrocket.

  3. Hi Stephen,

    Thanks so much for your post. One question I have is, do you happen to know if it is at all possible to apply for this visa from france? I’m currently here on a travailleur temporaire visa and I’d like to apply for the profession liberale without having to go back to the US. Plus with the Corona virus who knows if the borders will even be open. Thanks in advance!

      • Hi Stephen,

        Thank you for your blog and replies to questions!
        I’m also in a similar situation as Sheila. I’m in France on a Étudiant-Stagiaire VLS-TS for 6 months, which I successfully extended for another 3-months (with a récépissé), following the covid situation.

        I want to apply either for a Passeport Talent – création d’entreprise or the Profession Liberale visa.

        Would you know if in my case, I would have to return to the US to file for the new visa?

        • No; if you are here on a valid visa you can switch and apply from here. You only have to go back to your home country when you have a non renewable status or never obtained a visa in the first place.

          • At this point only performing ON STAGE artists or visual artists selling their creations fit in the passeport talent status. Youtuber does not fit into this category.

          • So if you enter as a tourist, you would have to leave and come back? Is there a way to do this from within France? Or another business scheme for self-employed (even if it means starting a business on paper) to do this from within Europe? Thank you! I really want to live in France, make enough income independently, know the language and culture, and lived there for a few months last year (on my visa waiver). U.S. citizen.

          • In order to apply from France you must have status here. As a tourist you have no status. I recently helped an American apply from Germany, but he had legal residence there, hence he could. I also helped an American apply from Japan, because she had legal residence there. Unless you have some kind of status here, you can’t apply from here.

          • The message
            So if you enter as a tourist, you would have to leave and come back? Is there a way to do this from within France? Or another business scheme for self-employed (even if it means starting a business on paper) to do this from within Europe? Thank you! I really want to live in France, make enough income independently, know the language and culture, and lived there for a few months last year (on my visa waiver). U.S. citizen.
            MY ANSWER
            1 – tourist = no immigration status = 90 day limit per 183 days (last 6 months)
            2 – visiteur = immigration status that allows a stay in France renewed every year but zero right to work. Starts by asking for a long stay visa bearing this name
            3 – profession libérale = immigration status grounded on the creation and running a French consulting business minimum annual sales 23,000€, Starts by asking for a long stay visa bearing this name

            BTW all immigration statuses are reviewed by the prefecture and it feels like you are being reviewed by the French police.

        • I have read that if you are a student and you successfully complete your studies and receive a degree, you may then apply to live/work in France without returning to USA.

          • Yes, but you must get a job at a certain income level within a certain amount of time, or that visa expires. It is not open-ended.

            It also provides a shortened path to citizenship for the successful.

          • Allow me to widen the answer.
            1 – within a few limitations once you have a French immigration status that can be renewed, you can change it for one that corresponds to your personal and/or professional life at the time. This means asking for a carte de séjour with a different name on it.
            2 – there are many and I mean A LOT of different statuses to choose from on a professional ground and ’employee’ is rarely the most secured or the easiest all things considered. There has been a radical change for the “salarié” procedure where now the employer starts the process and not the foreigner anymore.
            3 – self-employed is divided in France in 3 categories (profession libérale, artisan & commerçant) and it is critical to very clearly identify what you are doing professionally in order to register the business correctly. Many foreigners who do it without proper counsel, do it wrongly and end up in some sort of trouble sooner or later.
            4 – the normal procedure toward naturalisation is carte de séjour then carte de résident then naturalisation. Therefore a realistic timeframe discloser to 7 years. It is rarely shorter even though reading the legal provisions one can think it can be done after 2 years.
            5 – the corporation set-up in France is also very different. Being a partner alone does grant any immigration right and for the same reason can be done without any immigration status.

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  5. Hello Stephen!
    Hope you are well, I had a question about the renewal of this visa, do we need to provide a certificate of proficiency in french language at the time of renewal? I heard somewhere they ask for a A2 level certificate at the time of renewal? Is that true?
    Thank you so much!
    Bonne journee!

  6. Dear Stephen,
    What a great blog! For folks who are a bit anxious about intepreting government rules and regulations on immigration, blogs like yours are super well received.

    I currently have a recherches des emplois visa after finishing two years at uni (grand ecole, if it matters). I have many questions about the types of work you can do with a profession liberale visa, since I will unlikely get a CDI or CDD due to my work.I am effectively a consultant for large IOs, and would ideally like to set myself up as a consultant with micro-entrepreneur status and the accompanying visa. My main question is whether the income generated from clients has to come from France, or if they can be international? Thoughts?

    • France isn’t inwardly oriented. They don’t expect all your business to be domestic. But if you start a French business you’re going to have to house that income in France. They can live wherever they want. Your income from them has to live in France 😉

    • Hi Stephen,

      Thanks for this informative article! Do you have to show a history of success as a freelancer? If you find a US company that will take you on as a freelancer, will that strengthen your dossier or are they more interested in having you just work as a freelancer in France? Thanks!

      • Britta

        You can take clients from anywhere in the world. The point is whether you can make a good case to the French that you can build a sustainable income as a freelancer. Previous history is helpful, but not required!

  7. Stephen,
    Thank you for a highly useful posting on a hard-to-find-guidance-on subject. I noted your comment in italics about having to have renewed the visitor visa at least once before being able to apply for the PL visa. I am up for my first renewal of a long stay visitor’s visa and had hoped to ask for a modification to my visa during the renewal process so that I could begin to work as a freelancer in France as soon as possible. By any chance, do you know if the rule of needing to have renewed the visitor visa at least once has changed? (My fingers are crossed.) And if it hasn’t, do you know I can apply for the PL any time after I’ve renewed my long stay visitors visa? Or would I have to wait out an entire additional year, until the renewed visitor visa expires? Thanks in advance for any guidance you can give on this complex subject.

  8. Hello,

    Should one include a business lease with the application? Or is that only necessary for brick-and-mortar business models?


    • No business lease necessary, unless it’s an integral part of your business. This visa classification is most often used by freelancers, who don’t have an office. Also keep in mind if you’re going to start a business that does north of 100k annually in revenue, this visa classification won’t work for you.

      • Wow. What do you mean? What happens to one (in theory) if one to exceed 100’000€ annual? There is so little to no information about profession liberale that this is the first hear about such criteria.

        • Fotus

          There isn’t going to be a giant red light that goes off the moment you hit 100,000. The problem will occur later, with two different agencies.

          The tax office will reject your claim to profession liberale status, and demand that you incorporate into some form of company to house this income.

          The rejection of your profession liberale status will mean you cannot present tax returns in that status at your next renewal with the immigration authorities, which will lead to the non-renewal of your visa.

          The effect of crossing this financial barrier is delayed, but deadly for those who wish to stay on in France under this regime.

          • Once again I am bringing a different angle here:
            1 – 100,000€ annual sales puts you in the “REEL simplifié” income tax status where one must have full accounting and therefore itemise expenses. So it is possible that 30,000€ is spent during the 1st year considering the size of the billing.
            2 – Should it be the case then asking for the immigration status “PASSEPORT TALENT Nº4 – créateur d’entreprise” would be a much better deal than the “profession libérale” one as it could be a 4 year carte de séjour.
            3 – Stated differently and broadening my comment. Profession libérale is 1st and foremost a legal status as a self-employed professional. Then and only then there is a choice between 3 different fiscal statuses for the related BNC (the name of the income tax of profession libérale)
            – MICRO (often linked to the auto-entrepreneur status)
            – réel simplifié which is standard by law between 74,000€ and 500,000€ in annual sales
            – réel normal above that.
            So it is possible to register both with the prefecture and with the tax office right away with the right status.
            Choosing it wisely can be complicated as many elements go in the decision making process.

  9. Hello Stephen,
    Great information! Thank you for the time and energy you’ve put into it.
    I’m an American currently living in Germany considering a move to France to start my own business as an artist/designer. My questions are – Do you know if work as an artist (creating textile, ceramic, metal, and photography based works) would also be classified under the PL visa scheme? It seems that it would for the manufacturing or service categories, but also isn’t very clear. Also, in terms of the Cover Letter for a PL application, would I then apply in German since I reside there now (or English due to my nationality)?
    Lastly, I’ve been working as an English teacher in Germany the last seven years- would such work experience (despite two degrees in design) hinder the acceptance of my visa application?
    Your thoughts/experience would be much appreciated for answering these! Thank you in advance.
    All the best,

    • Several things need to be said:
      under French law there are only 3 types of artists:
      selling copyrights – authors, translators of books, illustrators of books, artistic photographers,
      selling art – painters, sculptors, visual artists
      performing artists – anyone who is on stage performing.

      Therefore this is what you describe creating textile, ceramic, metal, and photography based works is defined as ‘CRAFTS’ and fall in the category of ‘artisan’ and never profession libérale, which basic definition is that NOTHING is sold not a thing! It is a much more complex immigration status to obtain as the financing to launch this activity in France is significant (at least as the French administration sees it). Indeed you need a shop to perform your crafts and therefore renting it as it is illegal to do it in your home.

      Being an independent under French law means that you need to fit in one of these 3 categories -profession libérale -artisan -commerçant (which is being a merchant)
      following a 17th century logic (this legislation comes from Louis 14th!) if one activity is qualified as a merchant it supersedes everything else. If one activity is qualified as craft, it supersedes all the profession libérale activities. This means that you can be aside from your craft – teacher, coach, adviser, fashion creator, selling drawings and so on, it never changes the fact that there is the craft in your activity.

      Ideally, your application should be in French. German would be acceptable. I have no idea about submitting it in English.
      The bottom line in my view – you need to rethink everything about your project to move to France, making sure you submit according to the right provisions of French law, learning a lot about what the “artisan” status.

      • Golly. You know your stuff! What about “performing artist aka online performer aka youtuber?” Would I fall under this category?
        I’ve prepared my dossier for Germany but I’m looking to France as a backup plan.
        My qualifications are in engineering incl. a degree from a university in france. However they are totally irrelevant to my work at the moment.
        Thanks for your help and the great article x

  10. Hi Stepen,

    I had a German visa and lived between Germany and Paris when I launched my skincare brand. Our audience has always been primarily French. I no longer have that German visa but continue to do business in France back and forth from the US. I am now looking to just be full time in France and get a Talent Passport visa to start a business (we are rather tiny but big promising).
    Thanks to lots of press, our mission in the wellness space, both the brand and myself have a bit of a name/following.

    I already have an apartment lease in Paris I’ve held for years, lots of press (NY Times, i_D mag to name a few), I have just a little over 30k euro in my account, and every year Ive had at least one partnership contract that increases in monetary value (2016 was 15k this year is 100k, with possibility of redoing the same project next year). The one for this year (technically already done but they don’t have to know that do they? I can write that its extended due to covid delays) and have some friends who have their own businesses/agencies who are willing to write me letters saying we have future collaborations (so that I can show future pending work) , I have an FBI report of no criminal record. Do you think this is enough to get one of these visas?

    Do I have to have a masters? Is this enough history that I have been doing lots of committed work over the last few years? My biggest point is that I can bring in even more economically to France if I am able to be there full time vs just flying in. Do you think letters from friends who have businesses promising future work upon my arrival is enough? (I obviously won’t say they are friends)

    • Annya

      This article is not about passeport talent, but about profession libérale, and you certainly have a lot going for you in that regard. As for your question regarding the letters of interest, of course, there’s no way for the authorities to know those are also your friends. 😉

      • Apologies, I assumed they were the same thing. It seems this PL is much easier to get approved than Passport Talent- Creation of New Business.

        If so, do you think I am able to change my application for this?

        • There are 10 subcategories for ‘passeport talent’ I see 14 and I can explain if needed. About half of them deal with creating a business in France with different requirements for different situations.
          In short ‘profession libérale’ requires a business plan and securing the financing which includes the French clientele.
          All the ‘passeport talent’ demands a minimum of money invested, and of compensation coming from the business among other things.
          I write quite a lot about both trying everytime showing how different they are.

          • Thanks Jean. I have looked into these and applied for Passport Talent. They however categorized me as independent worker and did not accept my application as of right now, due to pandemic, they are only doing Passport talent. Based on my needs I thought I qualified for PT under a few categories so I am very confused

          • When you write this:
            “Thanks Jean. I have looked into these and applied for Passport Talent. They however categorized me as independent worker and did not accept my application as of right now, due to pandemic,”
            This is wrong. This decision should have nothing to do with the pandemic. It is very likely that your visa request did not fully complied with the Nº5 sub category of passeport talent. One is very different from the other this one demands a lot more in terms of education and financial investment (30,000€ invested the 1st year!)

  11. thanks for the very helpful articel but there is something i want me to ask can PL visa buy property in FR? because I don’t get much information about it. and what about my property ownership status if I have a PL visa. thank you

  12. normal French banks only look at income preferably income earned “in France”. Therefore having a successful self-employed business in France makes it easier to get the loan. Also there are brokers who find lenders when most of the money is outside of France.
    Last thing as Stehpen said, buying real-estate in France is completely disconnected to any immigration status.

  13. Hi! Your articles have been the most helpful yet in our research. Thank you so much.

    Is this the visa to try for if we have an existing business in the US, and wish to continue that same business in France?

    And when they say financial requirements, does that need to be proof of a certain amount of income from the specific business or just money in an account?

    Thanks again!

    • Christina

      You can play it that way if you want, but I wouldn’t make it sound like the businesses are connected. Just indicate you’ve had experience in this before and you want to do it again, but in France.

      Financial requirements just mean money you have access to. It could be in a bank account, 401k, stocks, etc. I know this seems counterintuitive, but the French don’t think of business bank account money as “yours.” If you are paying yourself W-2 or 1099 from that business, those stubs would be more helpful.

  14. There appears much discrepancies with VFS Global and the Washington DC embassy with Passeport Talent as this appears the only way to earn a real visa that can be renewable up to 4ans and permits work. VFS says one thing, the Embassy says something different. For example, for all the “flavors” of these talent passeports, many individuals could be working for themselves based on being authors, artists, having a reputation nationally and/or internationally in a specialised field, high level degrees, diplomas, etc….yet it appears that the Embassy wants French contracts, French employment by a French company with French clients, etc..etc..if not, you can apply for a long term visitor visa but not available due to the COVID, yet VFS states just show that you have money, etc.. through forms, documents, etc…and have a French project that helps France then you can apply for the passeport talent.

    What happens if you get visa rejected–what then? All that work, selling cars, selling furniture, moving out apartments for a country that appears to not have its’ act together re: visas. If France is serious abt accepting talented folks to improve the community, then perhaps, they need to take these passeport talents seriously and vastly improve their horrendous ‘system’.

    • Gary – your points are well taken – but given the current disruption and the fact that France has currently removed two much easier options that Talent, namely Visitor and Prof Lib – they are somewhat out of context. So let me answer how I would in any time: visas are not a guarantee in any country. It’s a risk to “get ready” to move when you have no guarantee that you will have permission. As I’ve said here before, you can’t even apply until 90 days before your arrival at the earliest. That means that many of us, myself included, spent 9-10 months preparing as if we were going to move, even though we didn’t have permission. All life decisions are risky. Visas are no different.

      • I would add to Mr. Heiner’s answer, several things.
        1 – There are 10 defined sub-categories, and I 14 in reality. So there are very different by nature divided between employee – self-employed & art&culture. So each of them must be very clearly identified.
        2 – France considers even today the employee status to be much better than anything else. So this bias tains the administration position and guidelines.
        3 – specifically the Nº10 – internationally famous as it is often called needs 3 things a) a very strong personal&professional project that demands to be in France b) a strong and large base of support in France c) it brings something valuable to France that goes beyond the financial aspect.
        4 – therefore asking for French contrats, French events, French projects already secured is of course needed to grant the Nº10 visa.
        5 – VFS does a bad job including explaining, the French consulate is very strict in its guidelines and since it issues the visa and not VFS, the applicant should always follow its guidelines.
        6 – A French list is to be interpreted, and understood as showing the information requested not just what document is asked for.

      • Brilliant blog indeed, thanks for all the input Stephen. Quick question to your comment ‘the fact that France has currently removed two much easier options that Talent, namely Visitor and Prof Lib’ – do you mean they are not currently issuing PL or visiteur visas? Am in the midst of doing a PL on the France visa website and it doesn’t say anything about them not being available…? TIA x

          • This said, the French consulate in DC & therefore the various VFS offices through out the country are closed during most of Feb.
            If I understood correctly, COVID pandemic has put enough people out of work such that they needed to suspend their activities until enough people are back to work.

  15. Thank you for the informative post!
    I’m in France currently with a 4 year salarie CDS.
    From my understanding I could apply for the Profession Liberale while still in the country on this visa, is that right?
    Secondly, I would like to start a company with my friend (a French citizen), is this allowed with profession liberale ?

    • Anna

      If you are salarie you need to check your contract to find out if you are permitted to start a business or acquire a profession liberale designation. Many of my friends on CDI are explicitly forbidden from starting a business.

      On the logistical side, yes, if you are already here on a valid visa, you can apply for a new visa from here.

      You don’t need a visa to start a business with a French citizen. You don’t even have to live in France to do that. That’s not an immigration question. Profession Liberale is not a “license to start a business” it is a “small business license.” You don’t get Prof Lib so you can start a company with someone. That’s something else entirely.

  16. Love this blog! What about renting out a property? I am a Canadian living in France on a long stay visitor visa. I have a small second cottage I have for family and friends. I would like to rent it out when not in use. It wouldnt make more than 10k euros/year. Can I do that on a visitor visa? If not, can I even get a different visa with such low earnings?

    • Krista

      Property rental falls into a gray zone, as you could live outside of France and you would still be able to rent out a property (and pay taxes on your earnings). I suppose you could use that towards your total income, but you would need to tack on at least another 4k in savings or income as 10k is not enough to pass the means test for a visitor visa.

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  19. Hi Stephen – Quick question: For the proof of medical insurance requirement for the PL application, is proof of coverage under Assurance Maladie / Ameli / Carte Vitale sufficient or do you need coverage with an insurance provider?


  20. Hi Stephen great blog thank you question I have a passport talent visa and want to bring my daughter to work for me in france is this possible as my employee? Thank you

    • Hello Lucy – jumping in here as I have some experience in applying for the passeport talent! How old is your daughter? Depending on your situation, you could bring her over under the vie privée et familiale (VPF) visa. If she gets approved for this visa she would be allowed to have any type of legal employment here in France. You can learn more about what you’ll need to provide to apply for this visa here. If you need some additional assistance on this, feel free to contact me here for a consultation 🙂

      • There are 4 very different ways to approach this project:
        1 – If you have a French business i.e., having a Nº SIRET that is NOT! MICRO entreprise, you can go through the procedure to get her the right to work for you. Chances of success about zero and if it does the social charges are very expensive.
        2 – VPF is really possible only with a minor and should be done through the “regroupement familial” procedure. It takes a very long time about 1 year before the visa is issued. If she is over 18 it does not work.
        3 – she can always be a student in France, then depending on her long term goals, she chooses the school and the topic, getting a French master opens a lot of doors when it comes to immigration.
        4 – the cheapest, fastest, and simplest is “visiteur” and you sponsor her for lodging and financial means. What is left is the health insurance policy she needs to get the visa. In a couple of months she is with you.
        Bottom line the latter one gets her with you very easily and she gets nothing else. With student she gets a part-time right to work as an employee, and she can still be sponsored by you for the home & the money.

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  22. Dear Stephen,

    Thank you for sharing this information. I am applying to be a freelance line producer in the film/commercial industry. I have 5-6 interested French clients willing to write letters of intent. I will draft these for them.

    Three quick questions, please:

    1- should the letters of intent from French companies be written in French, or OK if they’re in English?

    2- would it be OK if all 6 were practically identical, or should I try to differentiate to keep each more original?

    3- do the companies need to provide supporting documents (incorporation and tax documents) along with the letters? I understand this is only necessary if joining or partnering with a company on contract.

    Thank you so very much,

    • Joaquin

      Americans think “more is better” but that’s not how the French bureaucratic mind works. Have two, maybe three at the most. Have the additional ones on hand should you be asked for them. Do not give the French more than they ask for, ever.

      The letters do not have to be differentiated, and certainly do not have to be in French, especially if you are applying from an English-speaking country.

      The companies need to provide ZERO supporting documents.

    • I would like to answer slightly differently even though Stephen’s answer is right on when he states:
      “Americans think “more is better” but that’s not how the French bureaucratic mind works. Have two, maybe three at the most. Have the additional ones on hand should you be asked for them. Do not give the French more than they ask for, ever.”
      My experience is that the French administration demands “full proof” and this generates more than what an American expects to bring. So it is not a myth that French files have a lot of documents.
      This said, all the documents in the file must serve a purpose. Adding the wrong document harms your changes of success and it only takes one. Stephen’s comment is spot on in that regard.
      The French administration demands to be convinced that your annual billing is going to be at least 23,000€. So having letters and signed contract showing an annual billing of about 40,000€, does that job.
      Depending on the clientele, as well as the services rendered the right number of letters can be between 3 and 7 or so. Each case is different.
      The key is that those letters can all have the same format, pretty say the sae thing, as long as it matches the business plan and the financial projections.
      The file must be very coherent, and delivers unified message.
      So the letters of intent from French companies are written in French, why would it be in English?
      So it is OK if all 6 were practically identical as long as the services they mention are coherent with the project and their own activities. BTW, back to Stephen’s comment if those 6 gross over 100,000€ and you never manage to make this kind of money, it looks fishy!
      The companies as such do not need to provide supporting documents but your project can demand that you introduce those companies as being the heart of your clientele and you explain why.
      I believed that the answer needed some nuances.

  23. Thank you very much, Jean and Stephen. It is clear.

    Will it be a ‘problem’ if the letters from French companies are in English?

    I’ve already sent the requests out, and received a couple back..

  24. Hi again Stephen,

    I have gathered the documents for my application. There is one point that remains in question to me.

    Under the <> form, one required document to provide if you are self-employed is: “proof of URSSAF (French body managing social security payments) registration”.

    I do not plan to set up a company, but to work as an independent/freelance Line Producer in the commercial film industry. I would get hired and paid on a job-to-job basis through the Intermittent du Spectacle program.

    I understand that by asking for proof of URSSAF they’d like me to prove that I’m on my way to getting set up for the type of work I propose I will do in France.

    Curious to know how you suggest I set myself up here. Do I show proof of my Pole Emploi and Intermittent du Spectacle accounts? And do I go into detail about this on my cover letter, to show my understanding of it all.

    Other than this, I believe I am ready to submit and get to that Consulate Interview!

    Thank you!

    • On my second paragraph between was “List of documents to be submitted with an application for an Entrepreneur / independent professional” temporary residence permit.

      The line got deleted.

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  28. Hi, continuing on with the proof of potential clients theme, it is a deal breaker if I don’t have any? I feel confident that I will find some, but as my business one that I am proposing to start once I get a visa and move to France, I don’t have any clients yet.

    • Tessa

      The business needs to show some sort of base of viability out of France. It doesn’t mean that all of your clients need to come from there, it just makes it more palatable to the French if at least one client comes from there. Obviously, if you’re selling hats to Eskimos, that’s one thing, but most businesses should have the ability to be marketed to the French in some way.

      • I fully admit that my approach is a lot more conservative that what Stephen states.
        This is the legal logic the French administration uses regarding this immigration.
        “the applicant already has his/her clientele waiting in France, so he/she deserves the immigration visa to start working for these clients.”
        So the goal is to “fake” a French clientele and this is where I get closer to Stephen’s statement.
        My experience is that one submits this kind of visas after having being in France several times and know people there. All the business plans I help with include a section as a teacher and as a coach. There, French friends and acquaintances can state they need your teaching or coaching without even actually using your services once you are in France.
        At the same time, and Stephen is totally on target, the business plan describes a panel of services fully tailored for a French clientele and therefore it should be possible to add emails exchanges, describing online conversations showing the pertinence of the project.
        In short if the “French clientele” is not properly documented, there is zero chances of success. At the same, the said “French clientele” can feel 90% fake closer to a story board. as long as the story is believable it works!

        • Hi Jean/Stephen, your answers are really helpful especially as my situation will be similar, however my business will be aimed predominantly at English-speaking tourists rather than French clientele do you have any suggestions in this situation? Thanks in advance

          • Melanie

            I’ve helped someone who got approved for a business that offers fancy picnics in Paris to tourists. You have to realize that this is considered “French” not because you’re aiming it at French people, but that the business is actually doing commerce physically in France. It doesn’t matter to the French that these people don’t live here. Imagine if you could only start a business that French residents or citizens used!

            Hope that helps.

          • There is a slight misunderstanding here. An American tourist in Paris is de facto a “French client” as he/she consumes the service/produit in France. This said it complicates a tad more the presentation of the clientele in the business plan but not that more.
            So you will have a French business because you will have “French clients” using your “French services/products” while being American tourists staying in France for a short period of time. So think “French consumers”!!

          • Thanks both of you for your replies. Again very helpful, I guess though my main concern is similar to Tessa’s about how to provide supporting letters from this type of client – would letters of support from tourist offices and tourism businesses be a good alternative?

          • About the way to get the proper documentation to define the so-called “French clientele”, yes agencies are a possibility but probably not enough. To help you at this stage I need to dive in your project. I would check if the French merchants with whom you can have referral contracts, commission base agreements would just as good if not better and you make a mix of both.

          • That makes sense. This has clarified for me I need to focus more on building contacts and prospective collaborations as I’d overlooked this somewhat but can see this will make my plan much more viable. Thanks so much for the advice.

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