Immigrating to France

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by SthrnCmfrtr, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. SthrnCmfrtr macrumors 6502

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    #1
    The wife and I have been interested in moving to Canada, specifically British Columbia, for a while now. A new idea has been to move to France, since we both enjoy the concept of the government actually being sufficiently afraid of the people that they listen to them... not to mention the culture, the people, the beauty of Europe in general, and so forth.

    My wife, who will be finishing up her Masters in Library Science this coming summer, has been looking at various positions at American/International schools in the country, and they look appetizing (and since my wife has a hell of a résumé, she has a chance of getting a job there). The bad thing is that we haven't been able to find any immigration resources in English.

    She barely speaks any French at all, and while I do, I'm not fluent. With something this important, I'd really rather not chance anything with my imperfect knowledge of the language.

    So does anyone know where I can find some good, solid information about French immigration/work permit/etc policies en anglais?
     
  2. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #2
    I don't know how well this is going to work out for you. French people really love French --- their language, and themselves.
     
  3. ghall macrumors 68040

    ghall

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    #3
    You should definitely invest in some French classes for your wife. Good luck to you. I wish I was brave enough to move to another country.
     
  4. SthrnCmfrtr thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Bah, I doubt it'll be that bad. I grew up with the notion that French people would ridicule you for mangling their language, and that Germans would hug you if you just said "Guten Tag" to them, but my experience has actually been exactly the opposite. Granted, I speak German terribly... but the French stereotype, based on what I've seen, is largely incorrect.

    They can't be worse than idiot Americans, at any rate. If I never see another morbidly obese redneck woman pick her sweatpants out of her buttcrack in Wal-Mart, it'll be too soon :mad:
     
  5. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

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    #5

    I agree.

    In my experience I found the French to very polite and helpful, especially if you make the effort with their language. Even my garbled French brought a few smiles from French waiters/waitresses. ;)

    Good luck if you do decide to emigrate to France - I'll be extremely jealous!
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #6
    Part of that stereotype is that for many foreigners France = Paris, and the Parisians can be closer to the stereotype...

    My experience, though I do speak French decently, is that many will try to help you in English if you at least make some half-hearted effort in French.

    As for immigration info goes.... Sorry, can't help you.

    B
     
  7. SthrnCmfrtr thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I've been working with her, with the help of some Pimsleur method CDs. She speaks Spanish, so it's harder in some ways and easier in others, but she's picking it up more quickly than I did.

    The thing to remember is that alcohol makes everything easier. My French teacher's grandfather, who spoke no German, went to Germany in 1914, got drunk, and made an impromptu speech on the top of a table in a German bar. Of course, he was arrested as a spy, and spent the entire duration of World War I in prison, but it could have been worse. All of his traveling companions were executed, and in fact every male in his graduating high school class was killed in World War I.

    So unless something like that happens to me in France, I'll probably think it has its good points and bad points, just like any other decision I've made. Whether we stay there for the rest of our lives or just a couple years is completely up in the air, and depends on how those good and bad points end up summing out. If nothing else, we'll get to travel around Europe in a more-or-less leisurely fashion. At worst, we'll be completely miserable and end up moving back here or to Canada after a couple years.

    Either way, it's more interesting than not going, so why not at least try?

    ON-TOPIC: I think I found some good resources.
     
  8. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

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    #8
    Yes, the French are very nice people once you get to know them. I went to school for a while over there and didn't have much desire to come back to the States.
    I think your biggest hurdle, though, is going to be the immigration part. You may have trouble getting approved for citizenship over there unless you or your wife have a job offer from somewhere in France. I don't know exactly how their immigration works, but I do remember, when I was there, people telling me that getting citizenship is very difficult. Good luck, though! Let us know how it turns out. Ce sera une bonne idee aussi d'apprendre le francais (if I were on my Mac I would have put in the proper accents, but I don't know how to do it on this PC at work)

    EDIT: In the event that the France thing doesn't work out, you should consider Quebec (since you mentioned Canada as well). Montreal and Quebec City are quite European compared to most North American cities. In fact, if you go to Vieux Quebec (old town Quebec City) you feel like you're in 18th century France.
     
  9. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

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    #9
    http://www.workpermit.com/france/france.htm might be a start…

    As pointed out above. Paris does not equal France… just like living in London does not equate living in the UK… (Oh, oh, I am going to get shot down for this! :p)

    You do need to speak the language though… what work would you be doing? Your wife seems to be in a good position if she can get the language skills.
     
  10. Queso macrumors G4

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    #10
    I think you need to consider the reality of France rather than the romantic ideal. It's a prosperous country, most people are well educated, housing is good and the place is very arty and people-centric. However, it is incredibly bureaucratic, you need a permit for just about everything, and taxes are high even by European standards. The French language is an absolute necessity as the government actively campaigns to prevent the incursion of English into the culture, and the strikes and people power sound great until you're constantly having your life disrupted by them.

    Personally I love the place, but think it would drive me mad to live there. Make sure it's right for you before you leap.
     
  11. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

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    #11
    That's a good resource, arkitect. Pay attention, OP, especially to this section: http://www.workpermit.com/france/france.htm#French_Can_the_candidate
     
  12. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #12
    France is a very beautiful place, I've only been about 5 or so times and each time I'm mesmerised by the scenery of the south, the epic fields of the centre and of course the moutains. You should probably only go if you know more than a foundation of the language.

    Course if you're going to an American based school there then all might be well.

    What I'd give to move there myself.
     
  13. SthrnCmfrtr thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    We wouldn't go over without good job offers :) My wife's already been looking into it, since the places she's interesting in working at hire all their candidates through specific hiring firms. She's put her résumé on file at the major firms, so at this point we've done about all we can in that area. We're just working on getting the Visas now so that if she gets an offer, we can actually get into the country :)

    I liked Montreal when I visited a few years back, but since it was February all I did was shiver and drink too much. If we moved to Canada, we'd have our sights set on British Columbia, since it seems to have the weather and cultural climate that suits us the most. And relatively inexpensive land, suitability for our house ideas, etc. Quebec, I've heard, is harder to get into than France :-/

    I'd be writing full-time or teaching at an American/International school, depending on how our finances looked (and if I could get a job). I should have the first draft done of a novel I've been working on for a while, so I'd likely be revising it, getting an agent, working on getting it published, and so forth.

    Je peux deviner que nous ne serions pas riches par quelque norme, mais nous sommes plus intéressés en explorant le monde et nous développer -- en années à venir, au moins.

    I'm aware of all that. We'll adapt, and if we don't adapt, we'll leave. Taxes don't really worry me so long as I agree with the reasons (in the immortal words of Bill Hicks, "I'll pay those extra few dollars a year to ensure that little brown kids aren't being clubbed to death like baby seals..."). Personally, I see American taxes as exorbitant because something like 28.5% of my taxes are currently going to the military. Being taxed more for education, healthcare, and so forth doesn't bother me. My wife and I are rather frugal and have inexpensive tastes, if you ignore my overwhelming Mac obsession ;)

    Of course, if it's financially untenable -- if, after taxes, my wife's income is not enough to live on -- then it's just out of the question anyway. I haven't been able to find any cut-and-dry information on how much in taxes a person of moderate income could expect to pay each year. We're not so interested in France that we're willing to starve to go there, and we don't have any illusions about prosperity -- we just admire Europe in general, France in particular, and if offered a decent-paying position, we'd pursue it with enthusiasm.

    Thanks for the thoughts, folks :)
     
  14. aloofman macrumors 68020

    aloofman

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    #14
    There are many good reasons to move to France, but I don't think this is one of them. Ask a French citizen if they think their government listens to them.
     
  15. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

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    #15
    I take it you're American? Do you or your wife have any Irish or Polish grandparents? If so, you can get a Euro passport (I'm sure about the Irish passport but the Polish one is hearsay)

    It'll make things a lot easier to get residency if you're a European citizen.
     
  16. mac 2005 macrumors 6502a

    mac 2005

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    #16
    :)
    You make a good point, rather, several good points. :) A friend of mine lived in France with her family for several years: The stories she tells on the hassle her father went through to get proper documentation for their car are as funny to hear now as they must have been maddening to suffer through then.

    France is a beautiful country, and the French, like most people, can be charming and gracious hosts. I would not, however, discount the necessity of learning the language if you want to LIVE and WORK there. Being a tourist is one thing; pulling down a steady salary and not being able to converse fluently en francais sends the wrong signal.

    Imagine the reverse scenario: A colleague from France at your workplace: Il/elle ne parle pas anglais, et il/elle parle seulement en francais. Not only would you professionally avoid this person--How could you get any work done?--but I think you'd personally dislike this person--Who moves to another country and gets a job without first learning the language? :confused:
     
  17. arkitect macrumors 601

    arkitect

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    #17
    Oh I don't know… in the UK these days it is quite common for immigrants to be unable to speak any English… they get by… somehow. :rolleyes:
     
  18. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    It doesn't take long with complete immersion to learn a foreign language. Especially one like French that is fairly similar to English.
     
  19. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    #19
    I lived and worked in France for 15 months in 2005/2006. A nice resource (in English) is http://france.angloinfo.com/ . If you are looking for help in English it's a nice way to go.

    We lived in Juan-les-Pins and it was amazing. Highly recommended.
     
  20. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #20
    France is way way harder to get into than Quebec. I have looked extensively into immigrating to France and Quebec after I get my B.A., and have decided to give up on France for time time being; maybe I'll do it when I'm way older.

    You can immigrate to Quebec without having a job offer waiting. Not so with France. Your job offer waiting for you in France will also be heavily scrutinized; they want to make sure that your job couldn't have been done by a French citizen first or a EU citizen second if either of those two categories had applied.

    Also, it takes 10 years after being a permanent resident of France to apply for Citizenship. In Quebec, you can become a Canadian citizen after only having permanent residence for 3 years. Maybe jobs in France are shut off to non-citizens; you wouldn't be able to teach at any French institution until you became a citizen. Your best bet, which is what I think you plan on anyway; is finding a job at an American institution based in France.

    Quebec is simple. As long as you have a college degree, can speak some French, have had 6 months of full time employment, no criminal background and in are in good health, you're pretty much in.

    Anyway, just wanted to clear that up.

    Good look with France, I will be insanely jealous of you if you do move there.
     
  21. juanm macrumors 65816

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    #21
    Hi. I'm half French (nobody's perfect :p). Although I'm currently in Spain, I lived there for two years, my girlfriend and most of my friends are from there, so if you have any questions, go ahead, ask them.
     
  22. SthrnCmfrtr thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    I have. Therefore, my opinion.

    Who exactly is that directed to? I've already said that I speak French (although not fluently) and that my wife is learning. We spend roughly an hour a day, every day, practicing, and have for a few months now. My wife (who has the inferior knowledge of French) would be working at a workplace that conversed mostly or entirely in English anyway.

    Mais dans votre scénario, je pourrais parler assez bien, merci beaucoup. Je sais de l'experience ;)
     
  23. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    So are you saying you are not quite perfect because half of you is French or because half of you isn't French? :)
     
  24. SthrnCmfrtr thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #24
    That looks like just what my wife and I needed. Thank you :)

    Thanks :) If I think up anything specific that hasn't been answered elsewhere, I'll ask.
     
  25. juanm macrumors 65816

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    #25
    Because half of me is French... I find that France is taking the wrong path.
    J'ai beaucoup de mal avec la mentalité du français moyen... sans pour autant nier leurs nombreuses qualités. But hey, that's just me.
     

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