October 2, 2007

We’re officially post-tourist now

Today is the three-month anniversary of our arrival in Paris; given that two of those were 31-day months, it’s actually day 92 for us. That’s significant, because had we come as tourists, without visas, we would have been obligated to leave the country by now. But we’ve jumped through all the necessary bureaucratic hoops to stay here legally, so as of this week we’re “really” residents in the sense that we’re doing something run-of-the-mill tourists couldn’t (or at least shouldn’t) do.

And we’re celebrating by…doing completely ordinary things like making lunch, answering email, and going for a walk in our neighborhood. Ordinary things, but in an amazingly special place.

2 Responses to “We’re officially post-tourist now”

  1. Louise Colligan said:

    Dear Joe and Morgen,

    Thank you so much for providing such detail about the way you have gone about your plans. My husband Doug and I are so grateful that the long-stay visa gods somehow led us to your website a couple weeks ago. We are also two writers–somewhat more senior than yourselves–who are finally making plans to spend six months to a year in Paris. (People were always telling us: “You two can work from anywhere.” We’re finally going to test that out.)

    At the moment, we are in long-stay visa application hell. We are finding the Catch-22 details of your experience all too true. We have an appointment on October 23rd at the NYC French Embassy and are getting various things translated–brokerage statement, bank statements, health insurance, and the like. We did book an apartment for three months, and the owner was kind enough to send us the lease in French. We do speak some French. I am writing my own statement in French, with candor, appreciation of French culture, and rookie grammar errors, about our motivation for this trip, which is similar to yours.

    A couple questions if you have the time:

    1. We need to provide a statement saying we won’t seek work in France. We don’t plan to but have book contracts here in the U.S. Should we mention this as a source of income? We have IRA pension accounts we we can pontentially draw from, though we haven’t done so. (We’re 60 and still working.) We’ve just sold our house and plan to use the interest to pay the apartment rental. However, the sale doesn’t go through until December, so we can’t really list it as a source of income at this time. Should I mention the house sale in my letter?

    –Do you know of people who have been turned down for long-stay visa?

    –We get sick reading about the fall of the dollar against the euro. How is that affecting your plans?

    –Will you have to pay French taxes on your freelance income from the U.S.?

    Again, merci bien pour votre l’assistance. No need to respond if you don’t have the time. We’ll just keep reading the blog.

    Louise Colligan

  2. Joe Kissell said:

    I’ve replied to Louise’s questions by email, but for others who are wondering, we’ll be writing future entries covering all our dealings with the consulate (and, later, the Préfecture here in Paris) in detail. Short answer to #1: if you can demonstrate to the French consulate that you have access to sufficient funds, the specific details aren’t too important. Someone here on a visitor visa can certainly receive money from things like book royalties in the US. I do, and I said so in my letter to the consulate – no problem at all.

    As to the other questions:

    • I’ve heard of one person whose visa application was denied – she wasn’t given a reason.

    • It would be nice if we could get more euros for our dollars, sure, but it’s not THAT bad.

    • Yes – People living in France for longer than 6 months must pay French taxes on their worldwide income (plus, US citizens living anywhere in the world must pay Federal income taxes on their worldwide income).