Not going to France yet

If you’re subscribed to my French newsletter, you know that I didn’t leave for France on Thursday as I’d planned. Why? Because my visa was turned down. Why? No reason given (!) but they said I could appeal. So I wrote a long letter of appeal, but you can imagine how tricky that is when you don’t know what exactly it was that they objected to. Anyway, that was nearly two months ago, and the only response I’ve received was a letter of acknowledgement. My ticket was non-refundable (natch), so I had to eat that, but the real drag is the fact that I expected to be in France by August and I’m not, and I don’t know when I will be. 🙁

9 thoughts on “Not going to France yet

  1. Becky says:

    C’est dommage! I, too want to live in France

    one day and have been living vicariously through you reading about how you are doing it. Du

    courage. It will happen when the time is just right!~Becky

  2. Marisa says:

    Hi Laura,

    I’m sorry to hear about your visa woes. Although I don’t have a

    visa problem because my husband is French, I was wondering about something. I know that you

    work online and I was wondering if there could possibly be any connection. My reason for

    saying so is that awhile back I was doing work online, and my bank in France had an incredibly

    hard time believing this as they’re not used to the internet being used for employment, and

    the idea that the contracts might look different or exist in different forms (sometimes even

    not existing at all) etc. I know you’ve probably covered all your bases because your visa

    research is meticiulous (I’ve read the info. you shared on About), but I just thought I’d

    throw that out because I had a heck of a time convincing my bank that YES, people really do

    work online and get paid for it. The idea of self-employment or independent contractors is a

    very foreign concept here. But, in any case, I really hope your appeal comes through. My

    husband has worked in politics and immigration issues so if you ever any questions, I’d be

    glad to ask my husband if that might help in any small way. Again, hope it all works

    out.

    A fan of your websites in Bourgogne,
    Marisa

  3. Hi Becky and Marisa,

    Thanks for your nice comments.

    Marisa: In fact,

    I have enough savings (in theory anyway) to meet the financial requirements, so my working

    online is a non-issue.

  4. Eden says:

    Hi Laura,

    I too am very sorry to hear

    that your visa application was turned down. I hope the appeal goes well. I had also wondered

    if your working online might have affected their decision in some way. I cannot imagine why it

    should, but who knows. Hang in there.

    Eden

  5. p2 says:

    potential problem: France is protecting native teachers of French and you pose a potential competitve threat

    ideas:

    1. make a deal with a native teacher based French school/program to help develop some online resources which complement their in-class program, then get them to help lobby for your long stay visa

    2. contact any business, political or cultural resources you know with links to France and beg them to lobby on your behalf with the consulate

    3. go stay for the 90 days without a visa, network and make connections which will help you obtain the long stay visa

    4. go stay beyond the 90 day limit and take your chances; there a thousands of expat Americans in France without visas and the last American deported was a convicted felon and it was a number of years ago (so I am told)

    Bon chance!

    I am working on my long stay visa application right now, and am trying to research any potential problems and solutions.

  6. P2 –

    That would be true if I were trying to get a work permit, but I’m not.

    I am not going for work; I applied for a long-stay, non-professional visa.

  7. p2 says:

    I think even though you have applied for non-professional visa which requires a written statement indicating you will not work, your work experience and existing following on the net might be construed as a potential competitve threat to native French teacher based in France. Otherwise, I cannot imagine why an obvious Francophone like you would be denied a visa. Do not despair, but use your power, finess and intelligence to overcome this visa problem.

    Suggestion for a French attorney licensed in both France and US (Delaware): Jean Taquet. I have used M. Taquet and found his advice very useful; he is well versed on visa /immigration issues specific to US citizens, which are quite different than those of citizens of European Union member countries.

    PS – You have an excellent web site which has helps me to improve my French language skills. Keep up the good work! Allez Laura!!

  8. Mike says:

    Laura, I’m a big fan and want to assist you with visa. I am an American and live in Southwest France and married to French lady. Please contact me and I will discuss my ideas about my offer. Thanks. Mike

  9. Ray says:

    Sorry to hear about your visa troubles. Probably comes down to a low level decision made by a low level fonctionnaire with a chip on his shoulder. You may love France, but France doesn’t necessariy love you. That’s the state of international relations at this moment. Enjoyed your site, especially the part about French gestures/body language.

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