France Quick Facts
France is a beautiful country. It is one of the most popular European destinations and receives millions of international visitors each year.
Located in Western Europe, France also has multiple overseas territories and regions in the Americas and the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Regardless of the region you’re visiting France is charming, unique and visitors love it.
France is known for being a trend-setter in fashion, music, art and food. The French culture and history are incredibly rich and interesting, so if you’re a digital nomad interested in experiencing the wonders of France, you’ve come to the right place.
Living in France as a digital nomad
France is a popular destination for many digital nomads. It attracts those who are eager to experience first-hand the food, the wine, the art, the culture, and history of France.
France has a lot of things going for it. The infrastructure is excellent and the quality of living is high. The French expect perfection, and you’ll receive no less when you’re living there. You’ll have access to all the amenities that you need while living as a remote worker in France.
Attractions and best places to visit
You can’t say you’ve visited France if you haven’t gone to Paris. The capital of the country is one of the most famous cities in the world and for good reason! Paris is a dream. It’s as elegant and chic as portrayed in the movies and in literature. Paris is filled with architectural masterpieces. While there, make sure to visit iconic places like the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame Cathedral. You also can’t miss the Louvre, one of the most important museums in Parisian history.
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city then head towards the charming countryside of Provence, where you can explore bright Mediterranean sunshine and rolling hills. Here you’ll find olive groves, sunflower gardens, lavender fields, and so many other stunning places that are perfect to photograph.
Another amazing place to visit if you love nature is Mont-Blanc and Annecy in the French Alps. The French Alps offer a breathtaking view of the highest mountain in Europe. Here you can go hiking, cycling, and mountain climbing during the summer. You can enjoy Alpine skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing during winter.
Digital nomad hotspots
France is very welcoming place for digital nomads. French culture is famous for its flexible work-life balance, which is exactly what every remote worker needs.
Paris is a popular spot for many digital nomads, though it tends to be more expensive than other cities in the country. The internet speed in Paris is incredibly fast and you’ll also find plenty of accommodation options and places where you can work in peace. Another popular destination for remote workers is Lyon. This city has a big digital nomad community, so you won’t have a problem making friends there. The city is beautiful and the lifestyle is less fast-paced in comparison to Paris.
Cost of Living
Sadly, the glamour lifestyle that Paris offers comes with a price…a very high price. Paris is one of the most expensive cities in all of France. If you leave Paris you can cut your living expenses in half, but it’s still cheaper than other countries in Europe.
You can rent a studio apartment in the city center of Paris for $1,668/month. A bigger apartment costs $2,937/month. In Lyon, you’ll find a studio apartment for $765/month and a bigger apartment for $1,588/month.
Eating out costs around $18 per meal in both cities.
Digital nomad essentials
The Wi-Fi speed in Paris is consistent, with an average of 30Mbps. Lyon’s wifi speed averages around 35Mbps.
Getting a SIM card in France is very easy. There are lots of providers, but the main one is Orange. They have multiple packages with different benefits, some even offer coverage all over the EU. Prices range from $35-$50, depending on the type of package you’re looking for.
Since both cities, Paris and Lyon, are extremely popular among digital nomads and other remote workers, there are plenty of co-working spaces for you to choose from.
We recommend you check out these ones:
There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes that offer free wifi. These places are perfect for you to enjoy local cuisine while working!
Try our free visa wizard to figure out which visas you qualify for!Find a visa
While France doesn’t have a specific visa for digital nomads, most foreigners are allowed to enter the country for 90 days thanks to the Schengen Area agreement. Technically, you’re not allowed to work during this time, but if you’re working remotely you should be fine.
However, if you want to stay in France for longer than 90 days and continue to work then you will need to apply for a long-term stay visa.
The long-term stay visa allows applicants to reside in France for up to one year. This visa enables you to engage in professional activity in France as a self-employed or freelancer.
There are different technicalities to this visa, and the application process can be long and confusing if you don’t know all the details. We’ll try to explain everything as clearly as possible so you don’t come across any problems.
If you’re applying for a long-stay visa as a self-employed person, you will need to submit a registration for micro-entrepreneur. This will depend on your registered business and the process will vary depending on your type of business. Sadly, artists and writers will likely have trouble with this type of visa due to French regulations.
If all your clients are online and you don’t intend on having any French clients or working for a French company, then the process will be slightly less complicated for you.
Keep in mind that traveling to France may come with some travel restrictions due to COVID-19. Stay up to date with the current travel restrictions here!
Citizen Remote has a broad range of resources to assist with the exciting process of relocating to another country!
Who Can Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for France
If you’re from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, then you don’t need a long-stay visa. You have the right to move freely within France, as per EU law.
However, if you’re a national of a non-EU or EEA country, you will need a long-stay visa in order to reside in France for longer than 90 days.
The long-stay visa is applicable for any remote worker who wants to undertake an industrial, manufacturing, handcraft, or agriculture operation or engage in a new development sector in France.
For further details of business types, you will need to check with the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie (CCI), or the Chambre de Métiers et de l’Artisanat (CMA), depending on the business type.
How to Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for France
Applying for the long-stay visa requires you to follow each step carefully. Make sure to gather all the correct documents (which we will list below) and have everything ready as to not delay your application.
First, you need to ensure you’re eligible for the visa and gather the information and documents you require. You can use the Visa Wizard provided by the French government to determine all the requirements you need depending on your situation. Once done you can fill out the application form and include the necessary documents. We will list everything you need in the section below.
Once you’ve filled out your application, you must book an appointment with the visa application center. Make sure you allow enough time before your departure date to schedule an appointment to have your application reviewed.
Attend your appointment with the visa application center and take all your documents. The service provider will receive you, review your application, collect the visa fee, and capture your biometric data (fingerprint and photo). They will also retain your passport and copies of all your supporting documents in order to forward them to the consulate.
The visa application submission will take approximately 20 minutes at the visa center.
Once you’ve submitted your file with the service provider, you can track the progress of your application. You will be notified when your passport is ready for collection from the same visa center where you applied.
Documents required to apply for the digital nomad visa for France
In order to apply for the long-stay visa in France, you’ll need the following documents:
All the documents must be prepared in French or English, or notarized into English or French if the originals are in another language.
How much does it cost?
The fee for the long-term visa is €99.
Keep in mind there might be other costs on your part for document translation, immigration attorney, etc.
Timeline for Applying
The application process goes smoothly if you follow all the correct steps and gather all the documents you need. Make sure you apply with plenty of time before your departure, in case you run across any delays.
The timeline for visa approval usually lasts up to 14 days (excluding days off and holidays). If your application is sent in the peak tourist season, normally from April to September, the Consulate may be overloaded, and you will have to wait longer for a response.