Subject: Re: working abroad
Hi Sally, Hi Ziners:

I've lived and worked in Paris for a bit over three years now. I work for an American company, which hired me for this specific job. Getting hired by an American company for an overseas assignment is usually the easiest way. A large company, with offices overseas, usually handles the immigration problems for you.

That was my experience: my company handled most of the immigration issues, and I must say they didn't handle them all that well. My status in France has changed from temporary worker to permanent worker back to temporary worker. Part of the problem was our former lawyer; part of the problem (actually a big problem) was and is the French government. I've remained in the US Social Security System since my arrival and the French see that as an indication I don't plan to stay, and so I'm a temporary worker. The fact that a treaty with France permits me to stay in the US social security system for up to five years apparently doesn't mean anything to the immigration bureaucrats.

Each of the EU countries handles immigration differently. I've found the French bureaucracy to be terribly capricious. One colleague has to return to the US in a week or so to get a new visa that will allow him to continue to work in our French office.

I'm not sure if any of this would apply to you, but be prepared for some difficulties.

One way to work in France, at least, is to enroll in a French university and get a student visa. This visa lets you work up to 20 hours a week, I believe.

One other thing: if you have a an Irish grandparent you may be eligible to get an Irish passport. I know a couple of Americans with Irish forebears who have US and Irish passports. Having an Irish passport lets them work virtually anywhere in the EU. (If only I had Irish relatives!) (I think Italy has a similar law.)

Not sure how much this helps, but good luck!

Bons voyages! Evan in Paris