My client Jordan came to France as a student, studying French and photography. Having completed a TEFL certification, she soon found a part-time job teaching English, and then, hit what I’d call the student job jackpot.

A tech startup wanted to hire her to develop their English curriculum, evaluate the English level of their employees, and provide lessons. It wasn’t just “teaching English,” it was “English coaching.”

To comply with her student visa, they offered several different solutions. She worked for a while through a “portage salarial,” an independent company that registers you as an employee and pays full social charges on your behalf. It cost 50% of her total gross income – but the company was willing to pay.

Then, they hired her on a part-time CDI, and she was able to work about 20h per week on her student visa, around her language classes.

As her time as a student drew to an end, and her photography classes finished, she wondered what the next step was. The job wasn’t able to sponsor her, but would be willing to keep her. She wasn’t going to remain a student for much longer, but didn’t want to leave.

We decided to put together a profession liberal visa application so she wouldn’t be “just” an English teacher, but an English coach, using her skills with startup companies who wanted to develop their markets abroad, and providing professional English lessons related to their fields.

It would enable her to continue working for her current company, switching from a CDD position to a contractor position after her contract expired, and to work with other tech companies and independent professionals who wanted to use English in a professional setting – and who wanted their company to pay for their skills. 

Over the course of a few weeks, we calculated an appropriate hourly coaching rate for continuing with her current company, and put together service packages to pitch to other companies, leveraging her skills evaluating employees’ English to determine their learning needs, as well as putting together individualised learning plans and coaching packages to attain those skills. Her current company signed a contract for ongoing professional services, and she began approaching other, similar companies who might benefit from offering the same service to their employees.

After she successfully submitted her visa application at the Paris prefecture, we set up her business, and she began marketing her services to independent clients as well, and quickly began selling packages of multiple tutoring and coaching sessions to complement her income from the one main client. She has plans to turn her coaching skills into short online programs touching on several important English skills for professionals, like professional small talk and professional communication and email writing in English.

Her first carte de séjour is up for renewal this summer, and there’s no doubt in my mind she’ll get multiple years due to her rapid success in launching her business and transforming her clients’ careers.

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