U.S. Citizens and Visas

Hi!  I am very interested in living in France, either short-term or long-term.  I am an experienced ESL teacher and am considering the following options:

1)  Looking for a teaching job in France

2)  Continuing to teach online to support myself while living in France

I have researched the Visa requirements, but have heard that it is nearly impossible for U.S. citizens to get Visas for France.  Is this true?  Any tips?

I would also like to take a French course, but don't completely understand the requirements regarding applying for a Student Visa.  Could one apply for a Student Visa if just taking a course through, for example, L'Alliance Française?


Just come and rent a flat for a couple of months and work on line from here. You can stay here for up to 3 months without a visa.  Then leave and come back in!

If you can get a company to hire you full time it would be easy to get a work visa.  It's super easy to come and just stay here.  But, to work a regular job you can get a work visa .  Also, go to the French Embassy site and look at the descriptions for visas. 

I traveled here I. france last year coming and going every 3 problem!
Good luck !


I can't help you in relation to your U.S questions as I am Irish but I am an ESL teacher living in France. I've just got a job teaching online. If you wana teach ESl and don't speak French my biggest piece of advice is go to a big city. It will be very difficult otherwise, and yes definitely learn French other than going to Paris you won't survive without it.

Best of luck

You will survive just fine without French, but learn it to get ahead and get a better job.   Not sure how an Irish person teaches English as a second language , it's difficult to understand what they are saying.  Anyway, you can do anything you put your mind to!  I'm living here and learning French slowly but surely!  Enjoy the culture and language and it will happen naturally!  Don't let negativity by anyone or anything keep you from your dream!  This is a pep talk !!! Go Girl!!! You can!!!

If she wants to live here long term not just "survive" and complete administrative tasks to get a job here without having to leave the country every 3 months, then she will need French it's a fact and pragmatic advice that she will need when she gets here this is from from someone who offically lives  here and pays taxes! I was confirming that her taking French lessons is a good step.
I am not negative and I never once said she would'nt find a job. Ok now I will state what I thought was the very obvious, an Irish person or any person for that matter teaches English as a second language by being a native speaker and highly qualified and experienced.

The problem with just staying 3 months, leaving, and then returning is that you can still only stay a maximum of 180 days per year in France.  I am not looking for a job, so a student visa or working visa is not for me.  I am however seeking a long term visa, that allows one to stay longer than 3 months.  The process is not easy believe me.  I have been lucky enough to meet some people along the way that have provided excellent tips that I have never seen before.  I just returned 2 days ago to the US from Bordeaux, checking out the neighborhoods that most suit us, and whilst there met an expat from the US.  Most are from the UK which has completely different requirements for entry.
French Banks hate Americans because of all the extra paperwork required when working to open accounts to US citizens.  But you MUST have one if you plan on staying longer than 3 months and want to rent with an agent, set up your internet, electricity and so forth.  Another thing to consider is your driver's license .  If you want to stay in France longer than one year, you must have a FRENCH drivers license.  19 States have reciprocal agreements with France.  If you aren't in one of those states you have to pay around 2000 euros for the test and lessons, and if you fail the test you get to pay again. Check if your state reciprocates if you plan on staying with a long term visa. Then there is the health insurance and a myriad of other things, but as said earlier, if this is what you want to do then you can do it.  Go to the website for the nearest Consulate to you and see the requirements. Start soon, the process takes months.
Good Luck

I am an American living in Chicago but looking to return to Antibes to live for a few years. Am aware of the application process but still confused about what type of insurance I will need. You mentioned you’ve been working on getting insurance. Can you offer any tips?

One needs to know the language of the country one lives in! Saying to this woman that she doesn't need to know French to live there is ridiculous. She will be isolated, will depend on English speakers to help her with anything she needs to do, will not get hired by any reputable company and won't participate in the culture. A lot of retired English people have done that, don't speak French after living in France for many years, they hang out with other Brits, watch English TV etc BUT they don't have to work, big difference.

Hi, regarding the French driver's licence, if you fail the test, you do not repay 2000 euros, only 30 euros to take the written test again. If you fail the driving part, you take additional one hour lessons. If you live in one of the states not accepted in France, it is a good idea to take a driver's license from one of the states accepted by France, will save you time and money. I had a CA driver's license, on the wrong list so I had to take the French one! Since I knew how to drive, the Driving School gave me a "deal", 900 euros.

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