How to Obtain a Work Visa in France
We know France for its incredible work-life balance. French residents are so serious about this that the French Government adopted a law that includes the “right to disconnect,” allowing employees to turn off work notifications during their time off. Other benefits of working in France include a minimum monthly wage, a 35-hour workweek, generous overtime compensation, and several holidays and vacation time.
To complement this work-life balance, France offers delicious cuisine, beautiful scenery and climate, and rich history and culture. It is no wonder that many foreign workers look to France for a short or long work contract.
The work opportunities are wide in France and run the gamut from entry-level to senior levels. Expats can search for jobs on local sites like Strategies Emploi and The Local. With the right qualifications, a French company may offer you a contrat (French for “contract”) — and you will need one before you move.
If you are moving to France to work, you will need a work visa. Depending on your planned length of stay, there are different types of visas. You may even qualify for a EU Blue card as one of the Talent Passport residence permits. The Talent Passport, also known as Passport-Talent visa, is a type of French work visa granted to those who can use their talent and bring economic prosperity to France. With the Talent Passport residence permit with the mention “EU Blue Card,” non-EU/European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens can come to France as highly qualified workers and bring along family members. The initiative was adopted in 2009 and matches EU national salary and working conditions to educated or experienced non-EU foreign workers.
From temporary to the long term, there are many types of work opportunities in France. In this article, we will discuss work visa requirements and how you can get a French work visa.
Still, if you need additional information, browse French Immigration advisors on Relocate, learn more about their areas of expertise and how their advice may help you make informed decisions about your relocation goals.
Who Needs a French Work Visa?
Generally, any foreign national wishing to work in France needs a work visa. As with any rule, there are exceptions. European Union (EU) or EEA member states are exempt from the work permit requirement — as are third country nationals engaging in professional activities, such as modeling, domestic work, and athletic events. A full listing of exemptions is on the Welcome to France fact sheet.
Typically, most expats must apply and get a visa before taking paid employment.
French Work Visa Requirements
The requirements for getting a French work visa largely depend on where you are from and do not necessarily mean a travel visa is unnecessary. France-Visas, the official visa website for France, lists the requirements for various types of work, including: Short- or long-term employees, Seasonal workers (travailleur saisonnier), Language assistants or teachers, Models or assistants, Medical professionals, Airline crew members, and Internships.
Common documents you may need include the following:
- Standardized passport photos
- Proof of financial means
- Proof of medical insurance
- Proof of residence permit
- Accommodation certificate if staying with family members
The following lists the various types of work visas that may apply to your professional purpose. Whether you are self-employed or on a seasonal contract, the steps you need to take depend on your situation.
Passeport Talent Residence Permit
The Passeport Talent Residence Permit allows you to stay and work in France for up to four years. You can also bring your family and they can live and work in France too. The purpose of the Talent Passport is to simplify the process for talented foreign and self-employed people and build the economic attractiveness of France.
Performers, researchers, and highly qualified professionals are just some of the situation types that fall under this type of visa.
If you are self-employed or want to engage in liberal work activities, such as industrial, agricultural, commercial, or artisanal, you can apply for a long-stay “entrepreneur/profession Liberale” visa. For regulated industries, such as legal or medical, applicants must meet education requirements.
This type of visa is for young professionals between the ages of 18 and 30. To qualify, you must meet certain conditions, such as meeting the age requirement and already working. If your application is accepted, you can receive a long-stay visa, which allows you to live and work in France for up to a year.
Travailleur temporaire may apply to a number of situations where you’re working as a temporary worker. You can receive a long-term residence visa when granted a fixed-term contract with an employer.
The type of work that can apply to this professional situation includes foreign language teaching or reading and medical professions.
In English terms, this designation means seasonal worker. If working in the tourism industry or agriculture, you can apply for this long-stay visa.
Seasonal workers can and often work for more than one employer. When the seasonal work contract expires, and you find new employment, the employer provides the work permit that allows you to stay in the country.
If granted a permanent employment contract, your work visa bears the statement “Salarie”- meaning employee. The type of employer can range from a corporate organization to a private employer, such as a domestic job.
When visiting France for a professional training course or professional internship, you may apply for a short- or long-stay visa with the ‘“Stagiaire” designation. Translated to English, this means trainee.
When submitting your visa application, attach a signed training agreement. The agreement must also include the signature of your employer, the training organization, or the company hosting the event.
How to Get an French Work Visa
To get a French work visa, applicants must apply through the dedicated online portal. The French government recommends starting early but no earlier than three months before your departure date.
The application process can be somewhat overwhelming. Fortunately, Relocate can connect you directly to French Advisors, who can help you get started with your work permit application. Below we will take a closer look at getting your work visa and ways our Advisors can help you.