How to obtain the elusive French Profession Libérale Visa

All you need to know about how to move to and start a business in France
Do you want to obtain the Profession Libérale visa but feel confused about what you find online? Get all you need to know right here!

Getting a Profession Libérale Visa: All You Need to Know

There are some who know in their bones that France is where they want to make their forever home and hence want to put themselves on a path to citizenship. But unless you have a French spouse or love interest, or a particular set of skills (now I sound like Liam Neeson) a sponsored visa for work may be difficult to obtain. A Profession Liberale (PL) visa sidesteps those problems by giving you the ability to take your fate into your own hands.

Indeed, the likeliest person to obtain a PL visa is someone who has already owned a business or worked as a freelancer in the past. They didn’t come to France expecting a handout or a basket of benefits. They were happy to earn their way and prove themselves worthy.

Unlike a simple residential status, PL means that you are operating a French small business. That means being enrolled (and paying into) social services, health care, etc. But that also means when crises come (like COVID-19) there are financial safety nets in place to help you and your business keep moving forward.

Obtaining PL status is only the start of your journey.

You’ll then actually need to prove to the French that you are successfully building your company to certain metrics that they don’t publish (but I know and will share with you).

If you do manage to successfully hit the mark, you’ll not just get a renewal for one year, but for four, and by the time that status is up for renewal, you’ll be inches from being able to apply for citizenship!

Learn How to Move to France and Put Yourself on the Path to Citizenship!

What you get...

Everything you need to know (and none of what you don't) to be prepared to obtain and maintain your Profession Libérale visa. As you likely already know, there is precious little in the way of reliable information about the Profession Libérale visa available on the internet. This course compiles all the information you need to know from someone who has learned the hard-fought lessons first-hand and obtained (and successfully renewed!) a Profession Libérale visa.

Get Behind the Text: The French do not provide any kind of templates for the Profession Libérale visa. Even worse, France doesn't communicate the intent behind the different documents they demand! You’ll get my winning templates to help you craft your own.

    • Business Basics: Never started a business before? If you want to dive deeper on that, I do offer a more detailed course, but in this course, I’ll give you the basics you need to obtain the Profession Libérale visa and put yourself on a path to successful renewal.
    • Working with the French: You don’t have to have French clients in order to get and renew this visa, but if you want to work with the French, you need to know a few things about how they work professionally. I share my lessons with you.
    • Learn My Lessons: I initially obtained a French Visitor visa and held it for two years before switching to a Profession Libérale visa. Just by taking this course and learning what to do, you can save the two years I lost on my citizenship path.
    • Understand French Bureaucracy: This visa has both residential and business components, and the French are quirky about their bureaucratic paperwork. Learn the proper mindset to deal with them successfully.
    • A Path to Citizenship: Not every long term visa status gives a path to citizenship, but the Profession Libérale does. Simply by obtaining and successfully renewing this visa you will be a great deal further towards future French (and EU) citizenship.

Who this course targets...

This course is purpose-built for those who:

  • Know that they want to live and work in France in the medium and long term
  • Are interested in a French/EU citizenship path
  • Have no small business experience but are willing to try
  • Have plenty of business experience but don’t know how business in France works
  • Want to understand both the residential and work facets of the Profession Libérale visa.
  • Have already obtained a French visa before and are thinking about switching to a Profession Libérale
  • Want to pursue a digital nomad life but are interested in having fiscal ties to a European country

Testimonials about the course

"This course has been incredibly helpful and worth every penny. It has saved me hours of googling and confusion. Thank you Stephen for putting together all this information and sharing your knowledge and tips!"
Kali Arabis
"Stephen's course is very clearly laid out and I enjoyed his delivery! I thought the sections flowed well and came away with a clear checklist of how the Profession Libérale path will work. I also appreciated the thoughts about moving, since I have been wondering how to handle the logistics of furniture and such. Overall, a great course!"
Cindy Black
"I cannot tell you how helpful this course was to me in obtaining a Profession Libérale visa. Stephen's calm, careful way of sharing each step needed in pursuing this goal truly made a difference for me in making my dream of living in France and being able to work a reality. I am closing in on retirement and worried that I might have a rough time understanding all that needed to be put into place to obtain this visa - and I wasn't entirely wrong (!) - but with help from this online course and Stephen's blog and Facebook groups - I became more confident in my abilities - and voila! Here I am in France! I encourage anyone considering an attempt to obtain a Profession Libérale visa to take this course! Thank you Stephen for doing all you can to make it easier for people like me to enjoy 'la vie en France!'"
Kathleen Mancebo

What you will learn

This course will help you understand precisely what the French government is looking for in your original visa application and what you need to make a successful renewal, which will lead to a four-year Profession Libérale work and residency card. All the information you need to know is packaged together by someone who has gone through the process successfully.
  • Important mindsets for dealing with French bureaucracy
  • Critical documents and steps needed for both the residential and business components of your application
  • How to determine your emigration and immigration timeline
  • What they don't tell you: documents, processes, and other important information
  • Critical documents needed for your renewal
  • Options for staying long-term and/or becoming a citizen
  • ...and much more!

Course Curriculum

Click on any section below to expand it and see your preview options.

Meet the course creators

Stephen L. M. Heiner

Writer, Entrepreneur, and Coach

Stephen has been teaching, in one form or another, for over 20 years.  He had a teaching internship right out of high school, went on to become a teacher at every level from grade school to grad school, and even built a tutoring company over a decade which he then sold before moving to Paris to begin a new stage in his life.

Dan Fox

Project Manager, Entrepreneur, and Content Creator

Dan lives outside Seattle and has spent much of his professional life in roles focused on project management, operations, systems analysis, and change management. He recently transitioned out of a career in which he consulted for the U.S. Federal government and has been focusing his efforts on more creative pursuits, including photography, videography, and entrepreneurship. 

Stop Your Searching

While there are starting to be more and more articles about the Profession Libérale visa, there wasn’t a comprehensive course out there which covered all you needed to know, built by someone who had successfully gone through the process. Once you hear what I wish I knew, you’ll have what I wish I had when I was going through this process: confidence and calm. That transforms this process from anxiety-inducing to what it should be: fun and adventurous.

COVID-19 Changed the Game

While many people were stuck where they were because of their passports, those with Profession Libérale visas were free to leave, precisely because they had residency status. Now this didn’t mean that it was easy to find flights or that people necessarily wanted to go traveling, but it meant that visitor visa holders had an entire basket of options not available to those who only held a passport and no other residencies.

Burn Your Boats

The Profession Libérale visa is not for those who want to “test drive” France. It’s very much an “all in” commitment. You’re going to be entering the health care system, paying into the pension system, and helping to shoulder the social security expenditures of the French state. You’ll also receive a four year card upon successful renewal. If you’re really looking to change your life and go all-in on France, this is a good route to take.

How to obtain the elusive French Profession Libérale Visa

The straight talking guide about how to move to and start a business in France

  • 1 hr 11 minutes of on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on computer, mobile, and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Access to dedicated student community


No, citizenship isn’t guaranteed to anyone. You have to go through the application process, but what this status gives you is the necessary contributions to the social system that will show that you are invested in the French state. You will also be required to take a history test, a language test, and meet other benchmarks necessary. That’s a different course for a different day. But the first step is a valid path to citizenship, and the Profession Libérale visa is one of those.

Not in the traditional employment sense. You are ineligible to receive a contracted (Contract Duration Indeterminée/Contract Duration Determinée, among others) job offer from a French company. But you can create an agreement that allows you to work for someone in a contract role. That said, this visa has income limits that you have to stay within, otherwise you will have to change your status.

Yes. The French government doesn’t really track (or care about) your travel. What matters is that you file your business and personal taxes in a timely manner, and filing taxes implies that you are a fiscal resident and are spending the majority of your time in France (even if you’re not).

Well, there is some information in French, if you want to check it out. Ultimately; however, the French mindset is that if you want to come to this country, you will do what it takes to come. “Zat is not my job” is a phrase you will need to understand in order to successfully emigrate to and live in France. The idea of starting your own business is scary to the majority of French people.

Stephen L. M. Heiner, Writer, Entrepreneur, and Coach
"In a way, a citizenship of your own choice is a superpower. It’s something that you had to get and claim on your own, not something you were born into. It takes hard work and perseverance, but one path to a citizenship of your choice is to successfully obtain and renew a Profession Libérale visa in France, and this course will help you every step of the way. I look forward to your success!"

Stephen L. M. Heiner
Writer, Entrepreneur, and Coach