How to work remotely in France: a guide to digital nomad visas
Culture, scenery, quality of life — getting a digital nomad visa for France has obvious appeal. Here, we look at visa requirements and costs, plus top destinations for working remotely from France.
6 min read
Remote, home office, hybrid, or flexible — work can look a lot of different ways these days. As offices become borderless, a growing number of countries are offering digital nomad visas to attract remote workers. And there’s promising news for francophiles: France is considering starting its own digital nomad visa program.
Until that happens, there are other French work visa options that are already available. This article delves into the different paths to working as a digital nomad in France. We’ve also got tax information and tips on the best destinations in France for digital nomads to help you get started.
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Does France have a digital nomad visa?
Unlike Spain and other European countries, France hasn’t introduced a specific digital nomad visa. However, the country has been exploring options to attract remote workers, freelancers, and digital nomads to work from France.
While there isn't a dedicated program yet, there are existing visa categories for people from outside the European Union to work and stay in France. For example, the "talent passport" visa is available for highly skilled individuals, including entrepreneurs, researchers, and employees of innovative companies. Remote workers from outside the EU can also apply for a so-called “long-stay visa,” which are valid for anywhere from three months up to one year. Let's look at these options more closely.
What is France's “talent passport” visa?
France's passeport talent (“talent passport”) is a special visa category aimed at highly skilled individuals. It’s designed to bring global expertise and exceptional talent to France, giving a boost to culture, research, innovation, and the economy. This visa program simplifies the immigration process and allows visa holders to stay in France for up to four years.
The passeport talent has various subcategories, including Innovative Startup, Economic Impact, Researcher, and Artist. Each subcategory has specific eligibility criteria and required documentation, plus various paths to permanent residency.
Passeport talent visa: requirements and costs
Generally, applicants are expected to have exceptional qualifications, expertise, or achievements relevant to their field. The required documents typically include:
- Employment contract, business plan, or project proposal
- Proof of financial means (enough for the whole period you plan to stay in France)
- Proof of health insurance coverage
- Certificate of a clean criminal record
- Supporting documents such as degrees, records of professional experience, and other materials related to the specific subcategory
You can find more information about the passeport talent on the French government's official website.
The visa fee for the passeport talent can vary based on your nationality and the specific subcategory you're applying for. On average, it’s approximately €250.
What is France's long-stay visa?
For non-EU digital nomads who want to stay longer than 90 days in France, the visa de long séjour (“long-stay visa”) could be the answer. It allows individuals to stay in the country for an extended period, including those who intend to work, study, join family members, or simply reside in France.
Long-stay visa: requirements and costs
You'll typically need the following documentation to apply for a long-stay visa in France:
- Valid passport with available blank pages
- Completed visa application forms
- Passport-sized photos
- Proof of the reason for your extended stay, such as an acceptance letter or employment contract
- Proof of financial means to support yourself
- Proof of health insurance coverage
- Certificate of a clean criminal record
You’ll also need to meet specific criteria depending on your visa category. The fee for a long-stay visa is around €99, and you can apply online using this link.
Working remotely in France as an EU citizen
If you’re already an EU citizen, then you don’t need a visa to live and work in France. That’s because of the laws about freedom of movement within the EU.
However, your tax liability in France is tied to your residency status. Generally, you’re considered a resident for tax purposes if you spend more than 183 days in France within a calendar year. Taxable residents are typically subject to French taxation on their worldwide income. This applies even if you’re an EU citizen.
Taxes for digital nomads in France
In France, residents are taxed on their worldwide income, while non-residents are typically taxed only on their income from French sources. But income that you earned while physically present in France could also be subject to taxation here, even if your employer is based elsewhere.
To avoid being taxed twice, check if your home country has a tax treaty with France. These agreements will often set out the rules for determining tax residency and how taxation works between the two countries.
Because tax regulations can be so complex, it’s highly recommended to consult with a tax professional. Make sure to look for someone who’s knowledgeable about international taxation and the specific rules in France. They can help you understand your tax obligations, optimize your tax situation, and make sure you comply with local laws. Remember that laws and regulations can change, and staying informed about the latest developments is crucial!
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Digital nomad destinations in France
While France may not have a dedicated digital nomad visa, it still attracts plenty of digital nomads thanks to its culture, infrastructure, and lifestyle. Here are some of the top digital nomad destinations in France:
Paris is renowned for its art, architecture, museums, theaters, and iconic landmarks — there are endless opportunities for exploring. It’s also a well-connected city, with a diverse mix of people and professionals from all over the world (plus excellent internet for your video calls). And when you need a break from work, you can always unwind in a charming Parisian café.
Lyon is a food lover's paradise. The cost of living is lower than in Paris, but the city still has a high quality of life — and exceptional culinary experiences, bistros, and restaurants. For digital nomads, Lyon also has a growing tech and innovation scene.
Toulouse is a hub for aerospace and technology industries, so there are lots of professional opportunities if you have the right skillset. The city has a relaxed pace of life but with all the amenities of a big metropolis. Plus, Toulouse is more affordable than some larger French cities, making it an appealing choice for digital nomads on a budget.
Strasbourg hosts several European institutions, so it’s a good fit for anyone interested in international affairs and policy. Located next to the Rhine River on the border with Germany, the city is full of history and architectural charm.
Montpellier is a university city with a youthful and vibrant atmosphere. It’s close to Mediterranean beaches and is known for its startup and innovation ecosystem, making it a good spot for budding entrepreneurs.
One more tip: When considering a digital nomad destination in France, it's essential to consider factors such as cost of living, visa requirements, internet connectivity, local culture, and your lifestyle preferences.
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