France has a two-tier immigration system similar to other member states of the European Union (EU). European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) citizens are permitted to live and work there without restriction. There are restrictions on immigration for people from outside the area. You will require a visa to reside and work in France if you fall under the latter category. The government organization in charge of immigration and visas is the French Office for Immigration and Integration (L’office Francais de l’immigration et de l’intégration – OFII).
Work visa categories in France
French work-related visas fall into four main categories. Although the application process is similar, each has unique requirements, costs, and different duration of validity:
French short-term work visas
The maximum duration of a short-term work visa for France is 90 days out of every 180 days. This visa may be obtained for any type of brief business or work travel. It is non-renewable. A short-term work visa for France costs between €9 and €80, depending on your situation and nationality. When you apply, the fee must be paid in the currency specified by the consulate or embassy.
French temporary work visas
A temporary work visa is required if the job will last longer than 90 days. A temporary residence permit is included with this visa. It is valid for up to a year. Only six months of employment in a year are permitted for seasonal employees, who are the exception. A temporary work visa costs €80, and the residence permit is €225.
Long-term French work permits
You’ll require a long-stay work visa if your employment is for an extended period. With some exceptions, they are frequently good for a year. A talent passport is valid for four years, the au pair permit is valid for one to two years, and the international transfer visa is valid for three years. The long-stay visa is renewable in all cases. France charges €99 for a long-stay visa and €225 for a residence permit. When you apply, your fee must be paid with tax stamps.
France has a work permit known as the talent passport. Applying for this particular visa is possible if you are a highly skilled professional or entrepreneur whose work or business concepts significantly advance the French economy. You can travel with your spouse and (dependent) kids under this four-year visa.
Case-specific work visas
Some case-specific work visas are:
You must provide proof while requesting a volunteer visa, such as an official letter of acceptance or invitation from the organization. If you are chosen, you will be granted a VLS-T long-term visa for the period of your placement. France provides three different kinds of volunteer visas:
- Volunteer work based on association
- Civic volunteering
- European Voluntary Service (EVS)
Internships and work experience
A student trainee visa may be requested by students who desire to participate in a paid internship with a French company or organization. The placement must be a component of an intergovernmental program, an EU cooperation initiative, or a university training program. Nurses, medical students, and pharmacists, for instance, are all eligible for this visa. For an internship with a French firm, you may also get a visa. An internship contract must be signed with your sponsoring employer, group, or business to get an internship visa.
You may apply for a working vacation visa if you are between the ages of 18 and 30 and want to work while visiting France, depending on your country. The age restriction is raised to 35 for citizens of Argentina, Australia, and Colombia. Typically not renewable, this visa has a one-year validity period.
How to apply in France for a work visa
France has three steps for obtaining a work visa. You must first acquire a job offer. Next, a work permit application must be made by your potential employer. You may then apply for a work visa.
The Regional Directorate of Economy, Employment, Labor, and Solidarity is where the French employer may request a work visa once you have your employment offer in hand. They will typically have to provide:
- Information about the position and its description
- Business registration number or corporation tax number
- Proof that the individual complies with the position’s criteria
- Proof of salary as some highly-qualified positions have minimum pay requirements
Requesting a work visa
You may apply for your work visa after you have been granted a work permit. You may accomplish this by applying online along with the required supporting materials. Typically, you’ll need to give:
- Passport or picture ID that is valid
- two current passport pictures
- a record of your job offer or business trip (e.g., work permit, employment contract, or business event invitation)
- a declaration attesting to your financial ability to maintain yourself while you are in France (e.g., bank statements)
- Information about your stay’s lodging arrangements
- evidence of health insurance
Next, you must schedule an appointment at the visa application facility in your country of residence no later than two weeks before your intended departure date.