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Work in France: what do you need to know?

Who can work in France?

The answer is very simple: anyone who have have the proper visa and work permit, can work in France. Citizens of EU countries, EEA countries, and Switzerland don’t need a work permit in France.

Anyone coming from any other country will need a visa or a work permit to work legally in France. Getting a job is often the first step to getting a work visa in France, and the company could help you to complete part of the visa process. But first, you have to prove that you are a better candidate than the French or EU/EEA candidates, because companies invest a fair amount of time and money to secure work visas for foreign employees. So first of all, find a job.

Different types of visas to work in France

There are many different types of residence permits to work in France, each one with its own requirements. Some permits provide exemptions from other general requirements for migrants coming to live in France.

Students and graduates

Students who have a valid student visa, can take on part-time paid work during their course (a maximum of 964 hours a year).

Student interns

You must be a student with a university and the internship must relate to your studies. While most internships are unpaid, you can receive a small allowance from the employer. You need to have an internship (convention de stage) signed by you, your employer in France, and your school or college, as well as proof of financial security (approximately €615 per month).

Talent Passport permit

In 2016, French government made it easier to obtain certain work permits for non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens. The passport talent permit is one such example. This permit now includes the following ten categories:

  • skilled recent graduates

  • employees of an innovative company

  • highly-skilled workers (EU Blue Card holders)

  • employees on a mission with a French work contract

  • researchers/scientists

  • champions of an innovative economic project

  • economic or financial investors

  • company representatives

  • artist/performers

  • a person internationally or nationally renowned in science, literature, arts, education, sports, and so on

In summary, if you are an executive, independent professional, or employee who, in the eyes of the French authorities, has the potential to make a significant contribution to the French economy, especially in intellectual, scientific, cultural, sporting, or humanitarian fields, and you’ll be involved in a specific project, then you can apply for this four-year, renewable residence permit.

Employees on assignment permit

If you have been working for at least three months in a company outside France and are seconded to one of your employer’s companies based in France or another company in the same group, and will be earning 1.8 times the minimum wage (around €2,664 per month), then you are eligible to apply for this permit, which is valid for three years and then renewable.

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