My client Jasmine* came to me after an immigration lawyer screwed up her case.
She had been in France for several years, and was a photographer – a hugely talented photographer, at that.
She had been in France on several different visas from the Long Stay Visitor visa she’d gotten when she’d PACSed her French partner, to the vie privée after they’d been living together for more than a year, then back to Visitor after they’d broken up.
An immigration lawyer had helped her to put together an application for a change of status in Paris, and then, when that failed, a new “profession liberale” visa application in the US, but both were turned down.
Two reasons. One: she was unsure of being able to make enough money for the PL visa by doing just one type of photography, so she wrote a business plan including *every* type of photography she was capable of doing – from weddings and portraits to real estate listings to tourist photo shoots. Her business plan was unfocused, and a skeleton of what it should have been. (The lawyer, to whom she had paid an obscene sum of money, just collected the documents, but didn’t help with
To make matters worse, the wording on her website suggested that she was *already* working in Paris (she wasn’t – she had just prepared her website as part of creating her business idea), on the Visitor visa, even though she technically didn’t have the right to be working.
(In the game of French bureaucracy, you only need one strike to be out, and that was two.)
We began working together by renewing her existing visa and developing a plan for her change of status. I explained the problems with her previous application and asked her what she wanted to focus on – and we discussed strategies for ensuring the Préfecture wouldn’t get the wrong idea.
I helped her to renew her visitor visa, so she could apply for a change of status directly in France, without going back to the US *again*, and then, we got to work on her business plan.
We niched down her business, focusing on her main skill sets and the type of photography she REALLY wanted to be doing.
We got her letters of support from friends, previous clients, and a few potential clients who wanted to hire her for their ongoing photography needs.
We set her rates and projected her finances.
It was a long, drawn out process, especially since the prefecture requested more information about her marketing strategies and business structure after we submitted her dossier, as DIRECCTE thought it looked like she was starting a photography studio – requiring more money and more equipment – and wanted to be sure that she could pay her business expenses. (She’s actually an autoentrepreneur).
It took over a year before she FINALLY got her carte de séjour, but now, Jasmine is doing an AMAZING job, photographing events all over the city, and traveling to other parts of France.
I’m Allison Lounes, and I enable motivated small business owners to achieve their dream of moving to France by helping them to create an online business so they can get a profession libérale (self-employment) visa.
I’m currently enrolling in a new group program to support you through developing your business idea, guide you through your visa application process, and help you
If you want to learn how YOU can start a business, get a visa, and relocate to France to create a life you love, message me to learn how we can make that happen, together.
*Not her real name.