An American (Expatriate) in Paris
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France is the one of the most exciting places to visit in the whole world. Each expatriate should know about the requirements set for immigrants before coming here to work. There are some requests to learn while crossing the border of a foreign country. First of all, the expatriates should pay attention to visas and permits. The paper presents some necessary information about it.
France has kept the borders open for the qualified and skilled workers. The common rules are convenient for international companies and proper service agreements. There are some options for international companies: high level of executive freedom, the transfer of temporary workers and the common judicial rules for hiring. There are several types of permits. The client and his or her family should note that the Schengen Visa gives permission to stay in France up to ninety days. Work permits are active for a year. The extension of the expatriate period relies upon French authorities.
Full work permission is provided by a French company which wants to employ a non-resident. He or she should be a full-time worker and receive salary in euro in order to get this permission. There is no temporal limit. A long term visa such as a family (in this case) visa costs ninety-nine French francs. Family members aged twenty-five and below are relieved from the visa fees. The client’s children are also exempted from the visa fees. Work visas are among the necessary requirements. If the client goes to France with a work assignment, the employer should provide a contract. It has to be affirmed by the special Department for travelers. The Ministry of European and Foreign Relations provides a guide for completing an application form for Schengen visa. The application is processed within two months and costs 60 Euros.
The intended period of the client stay goes beyond ninety days for his or her expatriation needs a long-term visa (“Visas for France,” n.d.). The visa is adapted to the length of stay and special conditions. The visa is provided for professional, family and academic reasons. The procedure looks the following way: the client has a family and a career; he or she comes to work in France and the employer applies for work permission. Visa will be released according to the reason of work permission and will also be available for the family members. It depends on the work permission of the client. Police authorization and the medical research may be requested upon the client’s arrival in France. Long-term visa’s fees are higher compared to Schengen visas’ fees. There are various visas available for visitors and expatriates depending on the period the client is planning to stay in France. It should be mentioned that visa requirements for different countries are various. The client has a possibility to consult a local French Embassy. He or she will get necessary requirements there. For instance, visitors from the USA do not need a visa for a short stay: the client needs only in the case of long stay of more than ninety days.
Next important point in terms of expatriation is housing and relocation. If the American client and his or her family go to France, it is necessary to learn about the relocation and further living in the country. One of the widespread reasons for choosing to live here is weather. French citizens like talking about the weather. Nevertheless, although it is never drizzling here, there occur storms and the weather is not always sunny.
Many working people with families prefer living outside the city. It is quite a marvelous choice. Living outside the city gives a chance of getting away from air pollution and loud noise of the capital. The client should know that living in the suburb does not mean the long traveling distances. Here, the prices of property and renting are less costly. People have access to fresh, clear and green areas. Transportation infrastructure is well developed around the region and quite cheap. Some state services offer a housing guide to neighbor regions. It is necessary to check the housings for water and wind proof quality. No one among the locals is accustomed to leakages from rain. The client purchases or rents the property according to his or her budget. It is an important to check the annual housing charges. The property is easy to find with the agencies on every street. One can also information about the property sales in the local newspapers (“Buying Property in France,” n.d.). There are English-speaking estate agents and brokers to consult with. The best season to search for a property is winter.
It is necessary to mention roads in France. They are a big challenge for the locals. Country villages are characterized by weaving sections. The effect is quite different throughout the region. There are geographical varieties of coastal towns. Each town has different contentions and histories. The region experiences a huge expansion of the economic activity and population. It puts a considerable pressure on the towns expanding.
The next point concerns culture and language training. It is hard enough to deal with the physical environment, and a social view can cause a challenge for a new expatriate. Book shops and bars are the best places to meet new people. Cricket clubs also present socialization opportunities for the visitors. Protestant churches locate in Monaco, Cannes and Nice. Language classes with of a wide range of social dimensions are advertised here. There are excellent international schools in France. The international education center has a great reputation among other facilities. It accepts children of various nationalities aged from three to eighteen.
A lot of expatriates will enjoy closeness to Italy without actually living there. It is one of the marvelous favors of the French life. Various bridges and tunnels connect France with Italy. Milan, San Remo and Venice are very popular among the expatriates due to market days. Trips to wine shops in Italy have already become a great tradition. They require crossing of the border only. It could be a very exciting journey for the American expatriates. The atmosphere is considerably more profuse in Italy than in France. Life of expatriates in France implies great effort in maintaining their local culture. There is a variety of English book shops in Cannes and Monaco. Anglo-Saxon institutes locate in Nice. Despite the scarcity of the open land, cricket is still developing in France. There is a huge variety of Irish and British pubs in Monte Carlo. Monaco also offers a range of drinking places for American. There is an enormous choice of restaurants and cafes. French national cuisine is delightful. There are excellent pizzas here. French cooking reflects an identity issue related to historical links with Italy. Sometimes it causes misunderstanding. In general, cultural vacation for an expatriate promises to be very exciting and unforgettable.
Another point to be mentioned is language training and education for children which is quite important for the expatriates. It is common knowledge that a language barrier prevents communication. Expatriates have to improve French skills for the further experience of living in France. Language school culture is still an essential moment of an expatriate’s adaptation to French way of life. One of the most qualified places to study in is the American School of Paris. The school has a long history. Studying here includes various activities such as communication, music making, arts and sports. Now the school holds students from more than sixty countries (“France, Paris: American School of Paris,” n.d.). The American School of Paris is a great place to get necessary skills. It has already become the best place to get the educational experience embraced with the study of French traditions. School provides a qualified curriculum. Here children are obtaining necessary skills for the further individual advances. Each child explores his or her talents in such prominent disciplines as art, technology, music, theater and sport. The school offers proper facilities: science and language training centers, bright classrooms, computer laboratory, music studios, cafeterias, gymnasium and the center of performing arts. The American school imparts an association with various traditions and cultures. It is a non-profit institute protected by the law of France. The school underscores learning of French and provides a vast range of educational resources. Student government, drama, community service and clubs are the popular school activities. It is necessary to note the cost of education. It is quite important for the expatriates. Such schools are entirely unsubsidized, and the parents have to pay very high fees. Annual rates are the following: kindergarten costs $22,635, the fifth grade of the kindergarten - $31,391, grades from six to thirteen cost $35,459. The school takes a fee for bus transportation ranging from $3,621 to $4,040. Application fee totals $1,216. The main admission fee for the assessment is $12,864; it is paid once by new students. All fees are payable in U.S. dollars or Euros. All fees are based on the exchange rate of USD.
The spouses may have concerns about the employment in France. Therefore, information about work requirements is quite important. Recruitment specialists advise job applicants to keep realistic and opened minds about them. They have to be prepared to start from lower positions and work the way up. Being mentally different could be an essential benefit in crossing the border. It is a chance to appreciate the cultural varieties and get a worthy experience. The open cultural perception of the employment system and fluent French are the main initial steps to get a job.
For the non-European citizens it is almost impossible to get hired because of the work permission situation. Entry visa, work permission and the job should be acquired before coming to France. Non-Europeans can be informed about the requirements and processes for visa obtaining at the Office of the International Migration. It is quite hard to rent a house without for unemployed foreigners. Usually the landlord can require a proof of employment (“How to find a job in France,” n.d.). It is difficult to search for a job having no constant accommodation. As a result, it is problematic to get residence permission without a proof of having a job and housing. At the beginning, it is necessary to have some contact addresses or temporary housing. The client should be warned that recruitment organizations are dealing with non-management arrangements. They cannot take applications from foreigners. It is necessary to look for a job at home before the arrival abroad. An expatriate has to assess his or her experience and skills. It is an opportunity to demonstrate the real professional value and unique personal qualities to the employer. English communication skills are obviously favorable, but there is an essential need of conversation in French. The client may choose among the international companies in a certain place.
There are companies which may require bilingual skills. The expatriates can work in the English-speaking enterprises. The client and his or her spouse may use their language skills teaching English in France. New citizens mostly choose to become English teachers in the business sphere. The most recognizable qualification is teaching English as the foreign language. There is a chance to participate in such courses in the USA or Paris. The teaching job may include various locations of working both in and around the city. The non-European citizens will again require work permits to get a job in a language school. These positions are advertised in the international resources. English-speaking publication is the best source for an expatriate to find a job. Internet sites can also provide necessary and practical pieces of advice (“An A-Z of Paris for Kids,” n.d.). The major point is to be prepared to appreciate different work ethics and cultures. Legal employment system offers a protection of labor rights of all employees.
Next important point to mention is the health insurance. An expatriate should know that it is one of the requirements to become a French resident. An expatriate cannot apply for a long-term visa without such request. There are many companies selling health insurance for French and foreign citizens. Health prices are lower in France than in the USA. If an expatriate comes to see a physician, he pays twenty-four Euros. It is quite necessary to pay attention to illnesses. If an expatriate pays the social security premiums, he or she is entitled to the same health care as a French citizen. In an emergency situation, an expatriate can get first aid visiting a local outpatient clinic. The nearest doctor on call will provide necessary help.
An expatriate can either decide to work for a company or be self-employed. After he or she has worked seventy hours, he or she would obtain health insurance. It would be covered by the government in accordance with national health system policies. A foreigner has to purchase insurance prior to submitting a visa application. Expatriates can choose a private health insurance if they do not have access to the social security. Such cases depend on the period of stay and needs. The best variant for an expatriate would imply asking an insurance broker for the right solution. Life insurance presents an insuring contract with a fixed payment in case of death. It implies regular money investment for the further retirement advantages. A foreigner needs to have a contact insurer who specializes in the agreement details and possible occurred damages. An expatriate can consult a broker. The role of the latter is provision of the best benefits of the contract. The profits are fixed by the insurers. An experienced and skilled broker does not demand paying extra money for the enrolment. Usually there are two or more parties in the contact. The client should consider such a deal. The insurance contract’s benefit is a guarantee of broker’s advice for the best conditions for the expatriate. He or she will inform about the insurance events such as damages and cancellations. He or she will interfere directly in the case some issues arise. An expatriate can be ensured that each insurance party is controlled by the French Authority of Insurance (Graffin, n.d.). The individual number will help check the official registration of an enterprise in the insurance industry.
Expatriate’s family can be involved in a variety of recreational and social activities. Vacation getaway is considered to be the marvelous pastime in France. Apart from that, shops are one of the most attractive places to visit in Paris. Some of the most alluring are small shops which sell pottery made by local craftsmen. Rarities, books, wine, food and clothes are available in this European capital. Compared to New-York, Parisian shopping is more expensive. The expatriates can find anything from music to designer clothes in the submarine shopping complex. It is a very exciting place to visit (“Shopping in Paris,” n.d.). Champs Elysees is one of the most famous streets in Europe. It is a marvelous avenue with different designer boutiques, shops, cafes and restaurants. The prices here are truly high. The avenue is especially magnificent for those who enjoy shopping. Markets in Paris are very popular among the locals and foreigners. Most of the stores open until 6-7 PM. Sometimes they close on Sunday. Value-added tax is about twenty percent. Non-European residents can recover a part of the tax. The expatriate can require a refund in a proper form at the time of purchase. Here there are no refunds for tobacco, alcohol and food.
Expatriates can opt for active rest such as cycling and walking. The detailed guides for long-distance saunters are available in the bookshops. Independent trips and group tours with necessary directions and maps are also provided there. Headwater is another major option for cycling, walking and canoeing along the river from hotel to hotel. Expatriates have a wide choice of sightseeing trips to different places, but independent cycling and walking are cheaper. The Adventure Center offers family activity, holiday breaks and sport holidays. The Alps are the marvelous in summer. They offer exciting hiking and active outdoor rest. Many experts can help in planning summer trips. They will sort out the activities according to the customers’ tastes.
There are a lot of places where to take children in Paris. For example, new Great Gallery of Evolution in the National Historical Museum has a three-floor exposition that children will truly admire. Lower levels are occupied by the deep-sea creatures. The animals are a centerpiece of the middle floor. Birds complete the exhibition on the second floor. Glass lifts transport from the top to the bottom of the building. Savannah sound effects recreate the genuine atmosphere. A visit to the museum will become a very exciting adventure for both children and adults. The Parisian zoo offers breathing and living versions of such creatures
The next point to consider is bilingualism. There are a growing number of organizations which assist children to remain or become bilingual. There is a new English Learning Centre for children. It offers all kinds of necessary materials, such as videos, books and games to help children improve English or learn French.
There are a lot of establishments in France where to send children to learn various disciplines. Drama and dance are very popular occupations. Drama is considered to be an essential part of thoughts and feeling expression next to dance and music (“An A-Z of Paris for Kids,” n.d.). Theatre workshop is established for the English speaking expatriates. It can be an unbelievable experience for those who enjoy arts. Many of parks in the city provide different facilities such as sports, pony rides and games. Large parks are very popular entertainment places for the children. Museums entertain with attractive exhibitions. Notably, they hold more visitors than Disneyland in Paris. Marvelous shows take place during school holidays and weekends. The majority of cinemas show movies to children throughout the year. Libraries with games and toys are also available for them. There is a range of other activities for children attending French schools. The expatriates can enjoy them within certain academic courses. The American library is available for the kids. French youth has the day off school on Wednesday, which is why they can entertain during the week. Family can use this opportunity to develop their interest in theatre and art.
French society creates favorable conditions for accommodation of children. Parents can take them to restaurants and cafes. French railway is generous to families: there are considerable subsidies for families with children. If the client has three children and he or she will obtain an elevated status of a large family member. It allows privileges for tax payers. There a lot of the bonuses provided to expatriates. The town council of Paris issues cards which allow free entry into many interesting places, such as museums, galleries and swimming pools. The client can also get a compensation for metro tickets.
One of the most pressing considerations to address is the expatriate taxes. It is important to understand some implications of the US expatriate taxes. Great atmosphere and marvelous community of France have already made it a popular place for foreigners and tourists. The American citizens who live and work in France are subjects to the taxation system. They are obliged to retain expatriate taxes (“US Expat Taxes Explained,” n.d.). An American citizen must file the US taxes each year no matter where he or she lives and works. The expatriate can also be requested to provide information about his or her assets from the foreign bank accounts. It could be done for the regular return of income taxes. Some regulations are meant to protect expatriates from double taxation. An expatriate’s income elimination permits to compensate up to $93,000 of foreign income from the US taxes. Tax credit allows reserving taxes he paid at home with the US expatriate taxes. Foreign housing elimination allows excluding family and property charges because of living abroad. Certain planning and precise tax regulation will help get benefits of minimizing the tax bills.
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