Monica was an immensely talented luxury interior designer who began working with me as the temporary work contract (CDD) that had enabled her to get a European Blue Card drew to a close. While she loved her work and was eager to continue working with the same company that had employed her, they had a very small number of salaried employees and worked primarily with contractors. They wanted to keep her on and continue dazzling their own clients with Monica’s talents, but the firm managers were inflexible in their policies regarding hiring long-term employees on CDIs (indefinite work contracts in France). So she’d have to find another way to remain in France.
When we began working together, she already had all of the elements she needed to put together an excellent application for the “Compétences et Talents” visa, a visa type for experienced professionals with high incomes which was discontinued in 2016. She had an international professional network ready and willing to hire her on a project-basis, an impressive portfolio, and a plan to create a great income for her new business. The only thing she didn’t have was the time or the energy to compile her own visa application on top of her demanding full-time work.
When someone with Monica’s credentials and background prepares to move to France, or, as in her case, ask for a new visa status while here, her experience and capabilities tend to speak for themselves, and the process of putting together the visa application is simple and exciting. It becomes a matter not of creating a business or identifying a client base, but of showcasing her unique talents and skills in a way that highlights her future contributions to her industry in France. For Monica, hiring someone else to create the visa application is a matter of being able to spend time focusing her creative energy on her own work, rather than spending time on an important project outside of her zone of genius. Of course a highly creative and competent professional can easily put together an application that will pass muster with the authorities, but writing the application wasn’t the best use of Monica’s time, and it may not be the best use of yours.
Monica had the vision of what she wanted to do, the talent to back it up, and the main thing she wanted was someone to just take care of everything for her while she continued to focus on her work. She painted the broad strokes of where her project was going and the type of work she’d like to continue doing long into the future, in Europe, the United States, and around the world, while I took care of the details and of putting together all of the aspects of her plans into a viable presentation for the préfecture.
The biggest challenge to her application came when the visa rules changed one month after her visa application for “Compétences et Talents” was submitted. That visa type ceased to exist, and though her application had been submitted before the deadline, they wanted additional documentation so they could change her status instead to one of the new “Passeport Talent” visa types. Without assistance, Monica would have had to research and ask questions about the new visa types herself, in French, to préfecture officials who themselves had only a vague understanding of how the new visa types would work. It would have taken time away from her job to negotiate a new understanding of the visa types and to figure out which one to apply for. Instead, she had assistance throughout the process and was able to continue focusing on her future design agency while I revised her application and informed her of what we’d have to put together to meet the new visa guidelines.
Today, Monica runs a successful design firm in Paris and works with clients and major design firms internationally, and is creating an online learning platform for art, architecture, and design students to work in English and French.
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