Photo via Plum Delux: http://www.plumdeluxe.com/how-to-plan-the-perfect-sabbatical

Visa Q&A: Going on Sabbatical

sabbatical planning and visa requirements

Visa Advice by Laurence Raybois ©2015 — Photo via Plum Delux.

This post is part of a series called Q&A Tuesday: French Visas. Our resident expert is Laurence Raybois from Americans Moving to France and Rural France Resources.

This month’s question:

I’m an academic planning a year-long sabbatical in France. My question is: what kind of Visa do I need and does that visa cover my spouse and children? If not, what type of visa do they need? 

Answer:

The visa that you will need as an academic planning a year-long sabbatical in France will depend on what you intend to do while there.

If your intention is to spend your time doing independent research/studies that have not been formalized between you and your employer in the US, and for which you will not be compensated by a French institution, then a one-year visitor’s visa will suffice.  You will need to prove that you will have the means to support yourself in France without needing to seek paid work there, since this status does not allow its recipients to work.  Your spouse and children will not benefit from your status, but can apply for it independently from you.  Or your spouse could request a completely different status enabling him/her to work in France.

As an academic, you may be hoping to get a formal research position in France.  If that’s the case, then you will need to get a scientist’s visa.  One key advantage of this option is that, unlike the visitor’s status, it comes with family benefits, and would result in your spouse (and minor children) being automatically allowed to not only come with you, but work as well while in France, without him/her needing to apply for a work visa.

If you are being sent to France by your academic institution specifically so that you may accomplish a specific task, then you may also be able to benefit from the “employé en mission” status, which carries the same family benefits as the scientist’s visa.

So the key is to plan ahead!

Laurence Raybois Consulting © 2015

We want to hear from you!

Send me your questions or put them in the comments below. We’ll try to get your question answered in an upcoming post.

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I’m so proud of Dan and his new job – it seems like a perfect fit for him. He gets all weird and embarrassed when I brag about him, so I’ll just say this: his new job is very cool. Challenging and stressful, no doubt – but cool. I’m very proud of him. :) He will move to London in May – the girls and I will join him towards the end of June.

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. Believe it our not, we’ve already sold our house. (The market here is cray cray!) Next week we’re headed to London on a scouting trip. We’re going to visit our top choice schools and a few key neighborhoods. We’ve been to London before, but it will be so fun to visit with the intention to move! Details to follow…

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As with most vacation rental sites, Kid & Coe only lists the daily or weekly rate. If you’re planning a month-long stay, ask for a discount!  Check out a few of my favorites in Paris:

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Q&A Tuesday: French Visas and Sufficient Funds

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This post is part of a series called Q&A Tuesday: French Visas. Our resident expert is Laurence Raybois from Americans Moving to France and Rural France Resources. We want to hear from you! Send me your questions or put them in the comments below. We’ll try to get your question answered in an upcoming post.

This month’s question:

I read that we can obtain a long-term visa if we have “sufficient funds to live off during your stay.” My question is – what does that actually mean? How much money do we need to have in the bank? We are a family of four and would like to stay for one year.

Answer:

When applying for a French visa, the notion of “sufficient funds” has some flexibility built into it.  In the case of a visitor’s visa, which does not allow its recipient to work in France, the official amount of resources required is currently at 1, 138.17 Euros per person per month for the duration of the visa.  Meeting this criterion can be done in a number of ways, including by showing money in the bank, investment or retirement income, or employment in the case of a person who will continue to work from a distance with a US employer.

However, other criteria will come into play.  A person who owns a home in France or will be benefitting from another source of free or inexpensive housing will be given more flexibility, and so will a person moving to an inexpensive part of France.  Financially speaking, as in many other ways, living in a rural area of Auvergne will be vastly different from living in Paris and will be taken into account.  Also, steadiness of income over a long period of time is highly valued, and a history of peaks and valleys in your income will work against you.

On a related note, I occasionally run into people with considerable income or assets who, upon being asked to document their ability to support themselves, are tempted to show it all.  I always discourage them from doing so, since wealth is still taboo in French society.  Show what you need to show for the purpose of your visa but no more, unless of course you are being specifically asked for it.

Laurence Raybois Consulting © 2015

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