Focus: Working nomads and Immigration

8 years ago
Focus: Working nomads and Immigration

Many companies face the challenge of employing digital nomads increasingly willing to work remotely

Typical situation:

  • A full-time American employee working exclusively for an American company, which has no branch, nor client in France, and doesn’t plan to develop any activity in France.
  • With the permission of his American employer, the employee wants to live in France and work remotely from home.
  • The employee will remain under American payroll and under the authority of his American employer.


In this kind of situation, some French Consulates issue, wrongly, a Visitor visa.

REMINDER: in order to obtain a long stay visa with mention « Visitor », the applicant must prove that he can live on the French territory using his own financial resources, and commits not to exercise any activity subject to authorization. (cf. circular of March 29th 2009).

The Ministry of Labour reminds that the long stay « Visitor » visa forbids to exercise in France any type of professional paid activity: whether at a French entity, at home for a foreign company or for one’s own account.

What to do?

In order for the employee and his American employer to comply with the French Labor law, the procedure of Secondment for own account needs to be implemented (art. L. 1262-1 3° of Labor code).

The process is :

  1. Sending a work permit application to the Labor authority in the jurisdiction of the assignee’s future place of residence in France
  2. Filing a visa application at the French consulate of the assignee’s place of residence abroad.
  3. Depending on the issued visa, additional formalities may need to take place after the arrival in France, either at the OFII, or the Prefecture of the place of residence.

Timeframe :2 to 3 months, between the day the work permit application is submitted, and the arrival in France. Processing times remains at the discretion of the French authorities.


To handle any similar situation, we invite you to contact us in order to validate the applicable procedure.

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