remote work in France

Can I (Legally) Work Remotely in France?

Business owners who have conversations with accountants about classifying business expenses or certain depreciation strategies are used to hearing two words when we pose a question hoping for a yes or no answer: “it depends.” I fully understand this answer now, but the younger version of me just wanted a simple answer. I’ve come to realize that international living does not often offer simple answers.

The single most asked question I’ve run into in forums and Facebook groups in the last two years has been, “Can I work remotely in France?” Implied in this question is the adverb “legally” since, of course, anyone can open a laptop anywhere in France and work remotely. While I have my reasons for being in the “Yes” camp, I’ve run into a lot of “No” people online, who despite having no personal stake in the situation (they’re not remote workers) or no official status to speak for the French state (they’re just part-time online Karens), insist that their interpretation is the correct one. I’ve also run into a few people, one in particular who we have mentioned before on this blog, who insists that remote work is not permitted, which is why you need to take her $4000 course to help you get a Profession Liberale visa (which will allow you to work legally).

* * *

At the heart of this question is really an issue of taxation, which is a big deal in France. 

Your tax records are an important part of various applications you’ll have here, particularly for citizenship. 

You are required to file taxes as long as you are a resident of France. Even if you’re not resident in France, you will need to file taxes if you are earning any kind of income here. This most often applies to those who own rental property.

Filing taxes, of course, is different from paying taxes. You only pay taxes if you have taxable income, and there are certain policies and exclusions that can reduce that amount for any given individual.

What’s important for any tax authorities that come knocking is a narrative. You need to consult with an accountant and possibly an attorney on your own particular situation, but when it comes to France and many other countries in the world, the remote work question was never clearly anticipated in current law and doesn’t look to be the most important issue to be resolved as the world recovers from extreme and disproportionate measures taken during Covid-19 and is heading into an energy crisis centered in (and precipitated by the US and) Europe but that will be felt around the globe.

Here’s a scenario.

I’m an American businessman taking my family to Paris for a week-long vacation. While there I take two hours of business calls each day, which are billable hours to my client.

The “No” people would argue that I have now “worked in France” illegally.

Here’s another.

A South African businesswoman has a Chilean-based business but does a consulting call with someone living in Marseille. 

The “No” people might argue that this South African entrepreneur has now “worked in France” illegally.

As I already noted, the laws on the books in France (and in many other countries) never anticipated that “work” could be something digital and that billable conversations could be happening between countries, much less continents.

In both of these cases, the country where the business is domiciled can easily be considered the place where the business took place, and any income derived from those countries will need to be reported by the individual earning that income in those countries. Some may choose to construct or construe it another way, but that’s up to them.

In no way can these be construed as slam-dunk “working in France illegally” scenarios.

But let’s move from those hypothetical situations to a real-life ones I’ve witnessed as I’ve helped hundreds of people get their visas to come to France over the years: the French government, both before and after 2020, has consistently approved Long Term Stay Visitor Visas in which the “proof of income” the applicant presented came in the form of a letter from an employer who stated that his/her employee would be working remotely. Those visa applications have never been denied on the grounds of the applicant stating an explicit plan to work remotely in France.

So, at least as far as the visa-granting portion of the French government is concerned, it’s perfectly legal to work remotely in France.

The same is also true for real estate. If you own real estate in France, you are allowed to earn income from that real estate, even if you don’t live in the country. But you need to declare that income to the French government. This is an example of filing and paying taxes in France even when you don’t live here. That’s what happens when you live a multi-country life in any format: simplicity disappears.

US-based remote workers who are resident in France will end up declaring their US income to the French, albeit in an indirect way. When you file your taxes in France, as I have for almost a decade now, there’s a line item for worldwide income, which in my case, is mostly derived from other US-based companies I own. If I were a remote worker, my income would have originated there and I would have paid taxes in that jurisdiction.

***

According to the “no remote working in France” crowd the French government is wrong, at least the part of the French government that issues visas to those who are openly stating their intent to work remotely in France.

Let’s go back to the nuance I mentioned at the beginning of this article. While the “No” people tend to be unconditional surrender types, who cannot admit the possibility they could be wrong, I am willing to admit I might be wrong, despite being a “Yes” person. Here are two counterarguments I would make:

  • There could be a scenario in which the different departments (immigration and labor/taxation) of the government are in conflict with each other on policy and that a future court case and ruling would clarify this issue. It wouldn’t be the first time that this happened in a government, French or otherwise. But I don’t see this as a priority in a French state that is currently (and is for the foreseeable future) a chaotic mess politically.
  • It may also be the case that some of these people are taking the perspective of French jurisprudence, which requires specific permissions to do things. A lack of permission implies illegality. Anglo-Saxon law tends to the principle of “if it’s not forbidden, you may do it.” As with the conflicting-government-departments angle, I understand and appreciate this perspective. But it doesn’t change my mind.

For the moment, not only can you legally work remotely in France, you can even explicitly tell the French government you plan to do so before you move here. And they’ll give you a visa to do it legally.

Photo by Artem Maltsev on Unsplash

A version of this article originally appeared on Noobpreneur. It also appeared on Medium.

72 thoughts on “Can I (Legally) Work Remotely in France?

  1. Depends on your Visa… With a Carte de séjour “Visiteur”, it’s a big no-no says our French/American accountant, whether or not you’re officially a French tax resident (i.e., to a 1st approximation, in France more than 180 days/year). Part of the application requires signing a document that says one won’t work. If your butt is in France, then you’re working in France. This is typically the visa = residency card that a ‘retired’ person applies for, annually, for 5 years, then can apply for a 10 year card which, ironically, permits one to work. Working on vacation doesn’t count because you’re not a resident.

    • Lauri

      While I would hesitate to correct a professional, especially someone who works with both France and the US, as I point out in the article, I’m relying on the French government’s actions, not an individual accountant’s advice, for my opinion on this matter. Given that the French government routinely approves visitor visas in which someone says they are working remotely, it seems that your “butt” theory doesn’t “sit” with them. 🙂

      I also don’t accept your “doesn’t count” premise in which a visitor to France has more rights than a resident of France when it comes to work…

      • This is one thing that confuses me: can the consulates really have a completely erroneous understanding of the law to the degree that they consistently advise visa applicants that this is legal and above board? Surely not! If not, why do people consistently say that it is illegal? Their argument is that consulates aren’t on the same page as the tax authorities, but how on earth can that be? They’re government agencies, surely. It would be incredibly damaging to people’s futures to explicitly grant them the rght to do something which is actually illegal. It doesn’t really make sense.

        • Jackie

          There you are showing your Anglo-Saxon bias. Why “surely not?” Governments all around the world have instances in which agencies clash with each other. In the US the Federal law considers marijuana businesses illegal, meaning that any legal marijuana businesses cannot benefit from the legal tax deductions at the federal level, even though those businesses are legal at the state level.

  2. I have been in France a little over a year and I have just received my residency permit. I am from the United States. I am wanting to start a concierge business. It is not a tour guide. It is just someone that will meet women at the airport, I’ll set them up an Airbnb and show them around town, my daughter is going to do the same thing in London although she still resides in the United States, the company is going to be in her name and no money will transfer to me. The money will not be commingling in any account. This is a way for her to earn money and for me to just get out and meet people and have a good time , I have been told that I will be kicked out of France and my visa will be revoked since I am not taking jobs away from the French. I am not making money here in France, I am just wanting to know what your thoughts are

    • Jan

      I assume you are on a visitor visa.

      While I don’t accept the “taking away jobs from the French” narrative, as the French would never do what you are proposing, this is not what I am talking about in this article, which is a remote job.

      If you don’t have a visa classification that allows you to have a business doing what you’re proposing, you’re playing with fire.

      If you want to get out and have a good time, volunteer:

      https://theamericaninparis.com/2016/05/31/guest-post-paris-greeters-by-craig-ziegler/

      or join meetup:

      https://theamericaninparis.com/2015/12/04/meetup-a-great-way-to-build-a-core-of-diverse-friends/

      You won’t get kicked out right away, insofar as there are no immigration police roaming around randomly asking Americans if they have started illegal businesses, but this is a bad idea if you plan to live long term in France. Keep it legal. What you’re proposing, by the terms of a visitor visa, isn’t.

      PS The English are WAY stricter about this than the French are. It is a TERRIBLE idea for your daughter to be doing something like this in London under the radar. Register a business and make it legal!

  3. I’m hoping to move to France for under 12 months and work remotely for a UK org while I’m there. My employers are ok with it, and I’ve got no plans to extend my stay past the 9-12 months.

    Everything I’ve read seems to indicate that I’ll either have to use a wage portage company or set up as a freelancer which would be a huge faff!

    I’m excited to hear that the visitor visa actually seems fine – but do you have any sources for the French govt routinely approving these sorts of applications for visitor visas? It just contradicts everything else I’ve read so would love some more info!

    • Ellen the source is my unbroken line of remote-working, French visitor-visa-gaining clients since 2014. I’ve never had someone denied over this issue. Indeed, these people often explicitly declare they will be remote working.

  4. Excellent article. I have had numerous battles on (nameless) FB groups over this issue. I have read of numerous people going to the consulate (in London in this case) applying for the auto-entrepreneur visa who have been told by consular staff that as their clients are all in the UK, they should apply for the visitor visa. They have been asked to write a clear letter stating their work is remote for a UK employer and that no money will be exchanged in France. One man queried this and it was referred higher up in the consulate – he then received an email the following day stating this was indeed fine and above board.

    This is something I too would like to do. But I have a few concerns. My main concern is would there come a point where you are legally defined as a long-term resident, fulfilling what they consider “permanent establishment” rules, at which point you must begin to pay into the French system officially. Also, how does one go about accessing the health care system? Or do you continue to use annual health insurance instead? Have you – or anyone you know – ever come up against problems at the renewal stage of the visa process, as this is dealt with by individual prefectures rather than consulates, who often have wildly differing ways of doing/interpreting things?

    I want to pursue this in the very near future but the fear of being slapped with a massive fine and deporation order frightens me, as I want France to become my permanent home! I wonder if, after five years of using a visiteur visa for remote work, I would gain permament residency and change my status to an auto-entrepreneur and start paying properly into the system. Sorry for the long post! I suppose my main question really is: this sounds fine and dandy for the first year or two but does it work long-term without complications down the line?

    • Jackie

      In a decade of helping people with this, I’ve never once had a visitor visa remote-working client come back and say they have been slapped with a massive fine or have been deported.

      Nor have I ever had the people on forums (how brave they are, lol) who insist that this is “illegal” produce even one single case of someone being “deported” and “slapped with a huge fine” over this issue.

      It’s fear-mongering, and I tried to deal with it in this article. I can’t say any more than I said.

      You seemed to conclude that this was “fine” as a “temporary measure” but it’s not. You can do this for the rest of your life, because not everyone wants to start a French business (in fact, I generally advise against it, if one has a choice). After five years as a visitor, you can convert to a Carte de Resident, which allows you to start a business, work a job, whatever.

      If it’s “fine and dandy” for the first year or two, it’s fine and dandy for the next twenty. I don’t give temporary advice here. 🙂

      • So people you know have applied for renewal at the prefecture year after year without problems? Your advice is very reassuring. It’s the “later down the line” issue that worries me, and you have reassured me. Do you happen to know if those people have accessed the health system after three months without a hitch? I presume they declare themselves “inactif” in France to do so, while each year declaring their foreign-sourced income on their French tax return.

        • Jackie

          When you say “access the French health care system” you make it sound like that’s difficult. As with the US, the French Health Care system is open to everyone. It’s a question of payment that is the issue. The French don’t care how you pay. They don’t refuse service if you don’t have insurance, just as they don’t in the US.

          You can apply for “assurance etrangers” here in France, which gives you the same levels of treatment and the same costs that all of us who pay into the national system receive, all for around 450€ a year.

          There’s an article on our site explaining how you can get access to the national system just by residency. I don’t know where you’re getting your advice from (declaring yourself “inactif”) but it’s wrong.

          https://theamericaninparis.com/2021/12/13/how-to-get-a-numero-provisoire/

          • I am on my second year in France under a visiteur visa with a foreign source of income. I will say that at the end of my first year, when I went to renew my visa, I was asked to provide proof of health insurance covering this second year. This is the same request made when I first applied for the visa, and for which I purchased coverage through Cigna Global as described in this article:
            https://theamericaninparis.com/2021/09/14/how-to-get-a-long-term-stay-visitor-visa-vfs-and-covid-19-edition/

            Having never obtained a Numéro Provisoire from the French health system, I purchased a second one-year policy through Cigna and the prefecture accepted that for the renewal of my visa. The Cigna policy is not exactly cheap, and I regretted having to buy it, especially as I am already paying a considerable amount for health insurance through my American employer. But it did satisfy the prefecture and my visa was renewed and that was the important thing.

            I’ve never been clear personally whether enrolling in the French health system would equally satisfy the ongoing visa requirements? The insurance requirement for obtaining the visa in the first place lists certain conditions such as that it must cover the costs of repatriation, which I doubt the French insurance does. But maybe it is nevertheless true that Assurance Maladie would be accepted by the prefecture for visa requirements for years 2 and after?

  5. That’s very interesting Luke. Can I ask how you satisfied the income requirement going forward? Did you show a tax return with the foregin income declared? Or bank statements?

    • Hi Jackie, in my case I provided the last three months of paystubs from my American employer, and that fulfilled the proof of income requirement.

      • So there is yet more proof that what is said so well on this site is correct – it is perfectly acceptable to work remotely for a foreign employer while on a visitor visa. If the prefecture actually looks at your pay stubs and know you are working and say that is absolutely fine, there is no problem.

  6. Thanks for this, I have just been accepted on a VLS-TS visa on this basis. When it comes to filing taxes, do you have a recommendation on a French accountant (yours perhaps!)? That would be hugely appreciated, thank you (even a direct message to my email if possible). Thank you!

  7. Thanks for the very interesting discussion. My French wife & I are planning to move to Lyon in Aug 2023 for at least 12 months, assuming that I could remain employed and paid in Australia. We are now very unsure that this is possible. If anyone has any advice or insight it would be very appreciated.

    I have a long stay visa and I planned to apply for citizenship through marriage.

    • Hi Tom

      As noted, there is no reason why you couldn’t continue to do this. There’s a lot of fear-mongering online, but it’s not substantiated by any evidence from people actually going through the process.

  8. Does anyone know the steps that a US company will be responsible for if their remote employee works in France for over the 180 days? Will they need to file any special document/pay any fee?

    • Angela

      As someone who has employees for my US company all over the world, I can think of no tax document I, as an employer, are responsible for. The IRS doesn’t really care where your employees live, only that they pay into SS if they are W-2.

  9. Thanks much for the information.
    Lots of contradictory information. Even some French lawyers will say, yes, others no. Is there anything that is granularly specific/evidenced-based argument from the French consulate-embassy a law, something that one can point to other than anecdotes, for Long stay visitor visas regarding the ability to pursue US based remote work on the soil of France?

    I can see this turning into an remote work visa de facto and the French stopping this as folks abuse the system? Maybe I am wrong. Opinions only.

    • Elise, as I already noted, if there were such granular evidence, don’t you think I would have provided it in this article?

      People are seeking certainty from a system that often doesn’t give it.

      • Thank you for this article! It gives me hope, which other FB groups had previously squashed. My husband and I are U.S. citizens and plan to move to France next year. He will be fully retired. I am a travel advisor and work as an independent contractor (1099) under a host agency in the U.S. I earn commission from travel suppliers who pay the earned commission for booked travel to my host agency, who then pays me.

        We have sufficient savings to show proof of funds so I don’t need the proof of income for visa purposes, but I would love to continue my work after the move to France if possible. But I was under the impression (from the Karens) that this wasn’t possible on the Long-Stay Visa. Based on your article, it appears I could continue my work??

        • Hi Wendy

          In your situation, I think the easiest thing would be to show sufficient income for the two of you from savings, 401k, etc. Don’t complicate the issue by mentioning work, but do remember to include your already-taxed US income (which would include these earnings) in your French tax return.

          Glad you ignored the French Karens 🙂

  10. There remains enormous lack of clarity on the ability to lawfully and legally work a la distance from a US based corporation on a long stay visitor visa.
    Can someone kindly share case law and/or a statute from France that explicitly states this acceptable and permissible? This is huge grey zone and appears a bit suspect to work given the ‘butt test.’ Thank you

    • Thanh

      I wonder if you actually read my article. If there were relevant “statute” or “case law” don’t you think I would have provided it?

      All I can tell you is no one from either side of the argument has produced one example of someone being deported for remote working.

      Not one.

  11. Thank so much for your insight Stephen! Have you heard of satisfying the income requirement during renewal with an employee contract rather paystubs? In my case, the position hasn’t started yet, but it’s time for me to renew my long stay visa.

    • KJ

      Renewal is a different matter. Remember that renewal is not about “I could do this” but rather “I have been doing this” so they usually are looking at bank statements and French tax returns (if you’ve been there long enough to get one yet). It’s not like the original visa application where you were needing to prove income.

  12. Hi Stephen,

    Thanks for your helpful post. I wonder if you have any insight about working remotely while on a working holiday visa?

    My Company wish to continue to employ me, however on the advice of their (NZ) accountant they wish for me to contract to them, as they say I will no longer be a tax resident of NZ.

    Their proposal is for me to continue to work for them as normal, but send invoices monthly for the work I complete. Would this then mean I am “working permanently” in France, despite no money exchanging hands in France?
    I can’t seem to find anyone in this scenario for advice on how to proceed.
    Any help would be appreciated.

    • Levon

      As I continue to stress, working remotely cannot be construed as working in France until the French decide to make a law stating that is the case.

      However, what you are proposing is a bit of a stretch, since the company is asking you to no longer be a NZ tax resident.

      I would suggest tax domiciling in one of a couple countries in Europe, create a company there, and bill from there.

      I’ve done this myself for different projects I’m working on, and would be happy to do a paid consultation with you on it if necessary.

  13. Hello! I’m an American living in France for a little over one year now. I’m here finishing my masters. I have been searching for a job in France but have been having some difficulty. So, I am wondering since I’m still on a student visa, can I “legally” work remotely in a part-time contract position with a US company?

    • Emily as I maintain in this article, you do not need special permission from any country to work remotely inside it unless that country has specific legislation regarding it in relation to immigration status. France has no such laws on the books.

  14. Hi,
    I’m an American living in Lyon for two years, probably will stay two more before returning to the US. I live with my partner (PACSed in France; married in US). I work for my US company in France.

    I have not been filing taxes because I don’t want anything to impact my employer. I’m afraid if I file taxes in France, it will spur some sort of permanent establishment nightmare for my boss/company which I want to avoid.

    Also, I cannot figure out how to file taxes in France! Is it online? Which forms should I use? Any help is appreciated. Do you have an accountant you can refer?

    • Rose

      Your fears are unfounded and irrational, while putting yourself in a potential pickle if you want to keep living in France.

      You have to file taxes every year. The French don’t have any ability to see where your income comes from, only that there is some “worldwide income” which goes into a single line item on your tax return. Nothing is going to happen to your employer. The French simply do not have the infrastructure in place to investigate this kind of thing. Not even the IRS does, and they are the most heavily-funded tax entity in the world!

      My accountant is no longer taking new clients, but shoot us an email and we can send you some that we’ve researched but haven’t yet gotten feedback on.

  15. Hi, I’m a British citizen hoping to move to France and work there for a little while as I studied French at university and want to improve my language skills even more. However, because we have now left the EU, it is very difficult finding employers willing to sponsor a work visa. Unrelated to the job search in France, I have just started a completely remote role teaching English as a foreign language to earn some more money. It is a freelance contract with a language school based in France. I am wondering if I could potentially go to France for a few months and carry on this remote role there as my job. But the fact that it is a French company makes me think not. Do you know anything abut this or have any advice?

    Thank you

    • Lydia

      As we stated in the article, a remote job means you can work anywhere. As long as the French employer is paying your UK company/bank account, and you pay your taxes appropriately, you don’t need to worry, whether you are here on a short 3-month stay or on a long stay visitor visa.

      It’s a remote job. Try to disconnect yourself from the assumptions around a regular in-person job.

  16. Hi Stephen, thanks for this article. I am an American living in France and have a quick question. I am a resident here, and have been working for a French company with a CDI. If I took a job with an American company, working remotely in France, but still want to have the benefits of French system (cotisation for retirement, health benefits, mutuelle etc) is that possible? Can I do that by paying taxes in the US or in France? If so. How do I pay taxes in France on a US income? Thanks in advance!

    • Payton

      The short answer is that you cannot get the “benefits of the French system” while working for an American company.

      If you have been living here, you should surely know this is an impossible ask.

  17. Hello Stephen,

    I was wondering which line item would be the one you are referring to for “worldwide income”. I see multiple that I could imagine it referring to. Namely:

    1. Salaires perçus par les non-résidents et salaires de source
    étrangère avec crédit d’impôt égal à l’impôt français

    2. Autres salaires imposables de source étrangère

    Thanks!

  18. Hello Stephen,
    I am in the process of applying for the Long-stay visitor visa now. I am from the US, working for a US company on a W-2, and I would like to live and work in France. There is so much fear mongering that I have had some serious doubts admitting this in my application. Reading your article is reassuring.

    My question is, in my cover letter, do I mention wanting to take the year to figure out if and where I’d like to live in France? Do I mention that I will be working remotely for a US company? I have a letter from them if I choose to use it.

    I am hoping to stay in France for the 5 years and get permanent residency. However, I’m so used to the US, where you don’t dare admit you want to stay in the country, and I’m wondering what tactic to take / how honest I should be. Or if less is more? Any advice would be very helpful!

    Thank you,
    Jessie

    • Jessie

      Yes, you will show your letter from your company as your “proof of income.”

      I’m a bit confused by your comments, so let me try to correct a couple of your premises:

      “where in the US, you don’t dare admit you want to stay in the country.” Given that you’ve never been an immigrant to the US, I don’t know why you would think this. If you speak with any green-card-holding immigrant you would find out that you very much need to state you want to stay, and in fact, once you get a green card, as long as you hold it, you can’t be absent from the country more than six months at a time.

      As for France, you’re applying for a renewable one-year visa. You’re telling the French that you’re willing to leave your home country behind and live with them for a year and possibly renew at the end of it. In what scenario are you supposed to pretend to them that you aren’t considering living in France long-term? Why would they be offended/worried about this? Some people have stayed on this visa classification for a decade or longer.

      However, you cannot tell them you’re going to take a year to figure out where to live in France simply because you have to register with a specific address, where you are going to do your OFII visit. This isn’t America where you can just wander around. You’re an immigrant and once you’ve gotten the hang of things after your first year, and you can secure an address where you can get mail and show up again for your renewal appointment the following year, feel free to “wander around,” as you’ll know the ropes by then. But let me be the first to tell you if you haven’t been told, wandering around “figuring out your life in France” is not a possibility for a first-time never-lived-in-France-before person, on the paperwork level or even on the practical level.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  19. Hi Stephen,

    This is a fantastic article, and I wanted to know if you had any expertise in a particular wrinkle to the above information:

    My spouse is a diplomat with the US Department of State. We’re about to PCS (permanent change of station) to France for 3 years for her next assignment. She’ll be working in the embassy.

    I am currently employed as a W2’d salaried employee with a US technology company, and I want to work remotely. I’m fairly confident and unworried about my personal situation and personal liability; I know that there’s a bi-lateral work agreement with France, I know I don’t need a work visa, etc.

    My employer is naturally concerned about whether they’re opening themselves up to liabilities by not having established an operating or legal entity in France, and whether employing me regardless of my tax/visa liability (or lack thereof) is a risk to them.

    Thus far, my searching online has only indicated that this is a terminally grey area, with no clearly established guidance or laws anywhere.

    Do you have anything to add to the conversation? Your perspective is invaluable. Thank you!

    • As you indicated, this is terminally grey. If your employer is terminally nervous about it, they are likely just unfamiliar with the laws regarding remote work worldwide. Ask them to provide cases in which a person working remotely in another country has tax reporting requirements in that country. Then ask them to find that for France. 🙂

      In my experience, if the employer is too nervous, they will simply say, “no” to the employee, and for others, they will say, let’s see where it goes.

      Accountants and lawyers, terminal rule followers, are even afraid of rules they can’t see. Hazard of the profession, and it serves them well, I’m sure, but it just doesn’t apply here.

  20. Hi Stephen,
    Thank your for this article. I’m considering moving to France this spring with my spouse, who is French. I’m applying for the family/spouse visa and wondering if in this situation you believe it would be possible to continue to work remotely for my current, US-based employer without them having to go through an EOR or setting up as an enterprise without establishment in France? Or is this something specifically for people with Visitor visa status?

    Thanks for any advice.

    • Amefree

      The vie privee visa is very privileged, granting you the ability to work in France once you get it. You shouldn’t have any worry about continuing your remote work for a US employer.

  21. Thank you for the information in the post.
    When one is completing the CPAM health cerfa form with a visitor long stay visa, if they are working remotely for a US based, US sourced income job, should they indicate on that form, that they are not working in France? Section B has “professional employment section”. It our undestanding that “working in France” means French company, organization, etc. not a US income remote worker job. Therefore, one is not working in France? Or should the “other” category be ticked with an explanation of remote worker US based job.
    Thank you.

    • Sara

      when the French bureaucracy refer to “professional employment” they mean in France where you pay taxes. As I’ve noted elsewhere, this may one day be clarified in law, with tax consequences, but the general rule is don’t give the French more than they are asking for. “Not working in France” is the answer. Please don’t tick other.

      We did get your earlier comment, but we don’t work weekends here. This is a French-based blog, after all 🙂

  22. Hi Stephen,
    Thanks for the article. a EU employer wants to hire me. I’m already in France with a “Passport talent Salarié Qualifié” Card. Affter some research and because the employer does not have a branch here , he will go with The Foreign Firm Slip (TFE) system (https://www.tfe.urssaf.fr/portail/en/accueil/s-informer-sur-offre-de-service/essentiel-du-tfe.html).
    The remaining question is that , will I be able to renew my residency card with that system?
    Don’t know if you have the answer.
    Regards

    • Oumar

      Your situation is not one that I’m familiar with, so I had to bring in reinforcements in the person of Jean Taquet. Here are his thoughts:

      As weird as it may sound at first it is possible that this person keeps the same carte de séjour and if not then it will be an employee immigration status which will need to be defined by the details of the position.

      I am calling this set-up le salarié en France d’un employeur étranger.

      So regardless of the nationality of the employee, URSSAF considers rightfully this person as a French employee as having a French labor contract, of a foreign employer since indeed this employer has zero representation in France that can act as an employer.

      This is the French text that introduces this set-up

      Le Titre firmes étrangères (TFE) est un dispositif du réseau des Urssaf destiné à simplifier les formalités sociales liées à l’emploi de salariés par des entreprises sans établissement en France. Cette offre de service gratuite est gérée par le centre national Titre firmes étrangères.
      Since this person already has this passeport talent status what is left is the salary to be able to renew it.

      If the position makes sense and is compatible with this scheme then this is the legal way to do it.
      Normally this should a marketing, representation, liaison, servicing the clientele type of position.

      As I said the only thing left to check is the salary/compensation.

      Otherwise it is the normal carte de séjour “salarié”

      • Hi Stephen,

        Thank you for your answer. The new contract will satify all the criteria for that passport Talent, the only remaining uncertainty was the renewal of the card. I’ve also emailed “the prefecture” for confirmation but still wainting for their reply.

        Thanks again

  23. Hi there. Great article. I was recently told by a French tax agent that assists Americans that I could work on a 1099. He mentioned I’d be paying my taxes on this income in America as it’s for an American company hiring me for a small side gig and not money I made in France by a French company. They did say that if I’m making a regular salary that would be different. They said I wouldn’t be paying taxes on my 1099 income in France just America even though I need to report worldwide income. Currently I’m not planning to work at all but it is certainly confusing what one can and can’t do and worrying if I’ll get kicked out or not. Like you said digital Karens warn you’ll be removed. Others say the tax and immigration don’t speak and I’m not working for a French company so I’ll be fine?

      • I completely get it. I was just cussed out by a hand holder that said I was wrong. She was right….and she’s the professional, not me. She told me the tax person I spoke to was incorrect on filing taxes.

  24. Hi there.. May I seek some unofficial advice from you on my siutation: I am on a long-stay visiteur visa and work online/remotely for a HK employer. However, I am having challenges with the money being transferred to my current account in India (my nationality). Can I receive money in my French bank account? Do I need to “declare” any income or pay any taxes? Or should I open an offshore EU account and get the money into it? I really need to get my pay coming into EU instead of India.
    Note: I do hope to convert into a self-employed/entrepreneurial visa the next time I travel to India in 8 months time. At the moment, visa changes not allowed within France.
    Thank you in advance for your advice.

    • I don’t know what you mean by “visa changes are not allowed in France.”

      You can receive money into your French bank account, but make sure it comes from you, not directly from your employer, especially if you are on a visitor visa. Send the money from your Indian bank account, once you are paid, to your French account. If your Indian account doesn’t have that capability, use a service like Wise.

  25. The discussion here seems to center on those working for US businesses. What about a freelancer writing/editing/kindle publishing/teaching/tutoring with many small private (non-French) clients?

    I would be very happy if I could do this on a renewable long stay viseteur visa and move through residency to eventual citizenship that way. Is this possible?

    • Del

      I have not yet heard of a case of a visitor getting citizenship. This is because one of the most crucial documents to your citizenship dossier is your tax statements, and as a visitor you wouldn’t be paying taxes and hence “contributing” to the French state. If you know of such a case, please share, but I’ve not yet heard of it.

      As to your US business discussion, I suppose you are asking about non-US businesses…but you need to house that income somewhere, and pay taxes on it, ostensibly. So, not sure what your question is. Whether you get your income from a US company as an employee or from a Thai corporation that you own, you can still do that remote work in France.

  26. Hi Stephen,
    I am a UK citizen, married to a French citizen who works in France as an opera singer for 2 months at a time. I am an employee of a London-based company. I would like to be able to work remotely for my company, from France, for less than 90 days, so that I can join my husband while he undertakes his contract.

    My employer has been unable to agree to my request due to a (seeming) lack of clarity (or lack of availability of information) around remote working in France, questions around taxation (is my employer liable for tax in France?), a lack of digital nomad visa scheme, etc. They said I’d have to seek legal/taxation counsel to find out if it would be viable for me to work from France – even for just a short stay.

    It’s a really frustrating situation – particularly when I previously lived in Paris for 2 years (pre-Brexit) and when my parents and sister live in France too!

    Do you have any wisdom?!

    • Madeleine

      As a UK citizen, you are permitted to come into the EU for 90 days every 180 days.

      France cannot bar you from continuing to work for your UK company during your visit to the EU. They have neither the legal nor the moral power to do so.

      If your company refuses to allow you to do so, you can always tell them you are simply going “abroad” and not specify where you will be precisely, only that you’ll be reachable. 🙂

      That’s all the wisdom I have on offer 🙂

  27. Hello Stephen and other readers,

    I just wanted to leave a comment thanking you for this resource! My long-stay visitor visa was approved for France. I followed this guide and the steps listed in another article from this website, “How to Get a Long Term Stay Visitor Visa (VFS and Covid-19 edition).”

    I work remotely and I submitted a letter from my employer with my visa application that stated my move to France for the remainder of 2024 would not change my employment status with my company. I also submitted a letter declaring that I wouldn’t search for a job while in France.

    Make sure to have all the documents listed for your VFS appointment, and you should be good to go! Excited to be in France soon! 😀

  28. Hi Stephen,
    I have dual citizenship (USA/France) and will be moving to France this summer long-term. While I obviously can work in France, my qualifications mean that it’s easier for me to find work in the US. I’m trying to figure out if it would be better for me to try to work remotely for a US employer or to set myself up as an “auto entrepreneur” and work freelance for US employers. I think that in the first scenario, I would pay taxes and contribute to Social Security in the US. In the second, I would do both in France. Is there anything that you can add? I saw in an earlier post that you advised against setting up a business in France. Can you explain a little bit more why?
    Thanks!

    • Colette

      I don’t know why you would set yourself up as an auto-entrepreneur to work for an American employer. There’s an income cap for that tax classification.

      I advised against setting up a business in France because it’s a very unfriendly place to do business. You have a golden ticket already in a French citizenship. Just set up a US business and pay what you want (based on how you compensate yourself) to US social security.

      To get any French pension benefits you’ll need to work in your new French business for at least 15-20 years, and even then, the rewards are not that handsome.

      Trust me on this: don’t set up a French business…it’s simply not worth it. You won’t derive any benefits from it. I only set mine up so that I could obtain citizenship and I will be shutting it down immediately after receiving it (if I do).

  29. Hi Stephen,

    Thanks for all the informative work you do here. My question is slightly different, I am about to renew my long stay visitor visa for the first time (it runs out in July) and I will supply my french tax return and my last three month’s pay slips, but I haven’t been called for my medical yet. I’ve sent two chasing emails with no response. What do you suggest is the next best step? Can I apply for the renewal without it?

    • Olivia

      I don’t understand…why would the French care about your pay slips for a visitor renewal? Don’t include what is not asked for.

      The bigger problem is that you have not been to OFII which will likely lead to a rejection of your renewal. I’ll send a connecting email with someone who might be able to help.

      My suspicion is that you might not have checked “12 months+” for length on your original visa application, hence did not get a renewable visa, which means you never needed to go to OFII and hence were not given an invite. If this is the case, you will need to repeat the entire process over by applying for a visa and this time checking the right box, making your visa renewable.

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