Immigration. Travel. Living.

Job guide for expats in France

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If you are not a citizen of the EU or Switzerland, then you need to obtain a work permit and a work visa before arriving in France. Getting a job in France can be difficult: the unemployment rate is quite high at just over 9%, and significantly higher among young people.

Salary in France

Salaries are regulated by the state, and the employer has no right to pay his employee less than the required norm. Now it is about 10 € per hour. Considering that the working week lasts 35–40 hours, the monthly minimum wage is 1480 €.

The average salary is 3 thousand euros, and it depends on many factors such as your specialty, work experience, etc.

The salary is usually set for one year and written in the contract. Often an additional 13th salary is paid, which is calculated not only before the New Year, but in some companies also in the summer.

Working conditions in France

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You can contact the Pole Emploi Employment Service for help finding a job. It is not only a focal point for vacancies, but also a place where applicants are assisted in obtaining relevant training, for example, sent to language courses FLE (French as a foreign language).

The country has legally adopted a 35-hour week, as a professional you can work 45 hours a week, but in this case, you will be compensated for additional days of rest. The French corporate culture is very hierarchical and formal, so there are few opportunities to change positions within the company.

This is one of the reasons why many expats choose to work as self-employed owners of bars, restaurants, or vacation homes, migrants in France often specialize in providing services for other expats. They work as real estate agents, help fellow citizens with resettlement issues, manage property, work as insurance agents, translators and immigration lawyers. The demand for such work is especially high in large cities where there is a large expat community. There are options in areas such as the Dordogne, Charente-Maritimes and Provence, where a large number of foreign retirees and holiday homeowners live.

Those who know English well can make a living from lessons. There is also a demand for the services of those who speak one or two less common but popular languages ​​(for example, Japanese, Chinese or Spanish). Individuals in certain professions, such as journalists and IT professionals, can work remotely. There are vacancies for architects and doctors, but only for those who speak French at a decent level.

Open a business in France for an expat

If you want to manage the company yourself, you need to get a merchant’s card, subject to the registration of a legal address and opening a bank account. This certificate is issued at the embassy of your country in France. The merchant’s card is valid for one year, if necessary, it can be renewed. The main purpose of this card is the ability to independently manage the affairs of your business.

Having your own business in France, you can much more easily get a residence permit for permanent residence in this country. As in other countries, there are several types of businesses in France. Starting a business in France is usually associated with a small business.

The most common type of entrepreneurial activity is a limited liability company (EURL). This form of running your own business is convenient because it has a fairly simple procedure for processing documents for registering a company, and also differs in the lowest amount of the minimum authorized capital – only 1 euro.

If you decide to open a representative office of your company in France, you must follow these steps: Submit the statutory documents to the commercial court at the place of registration of the representative office; Register in the commercial register; If the head of the representative office is not a French citizen, obtain a foreign merchant card for him/her.

“Talent Passport”

In 2016, the “Talent Passport” scheme was introduced for qualified graduates of French universities, employees of IT companies, scientists, and representatives of the creative professions… This program is especially useful for people in higher-paid positions and entrepreneurs and includes holders of EU Blue Cards (with a minimum wage of 1.5 average French salaries, which is about 54,000 euros per year). There is also a category of internationally renowned professionals, technology innovators, museum curators or writers, and journalists.


Separate conditions apply to those who want to set up a business in France. They need to invest at least € 30,000 in investments in commercial, craft, or manufacturing activities and submit a compelling business plan.


Au pair work

In France, there is a special program for young people from 18 to 30 years old. Mostly, this is not even a job, but placement as a helper in a local family, which provides housing, food, and a small weekly payment of about eighty euros. Usually, you need to take your children to kindergarten or school, do homework with them, clean the house, and walk pets. You can stay in such a job only for a limited amount of time, from six months to one and a half years. During this period, a person is required to attend state French courses. A big plus of the Au pair program is the issuance of a long-term visa, an analog of a residence permit.


Family activities are strictly regulated, with thirty hours of work and 1.5 days of rest every week. Two weeks of vacation are provided per year. This program gives a great chance to those people who want to go to study or stay to live in France.


France is a wonderful European country that is extremely attractive for tourists and immigrants from all over the world. A sublime culture, beautiful architecture, and competitive salaries make this country very popular in the global job market. Our company has a lot of experience in this sphere, and we will be happy to help you successfully immigrate to France as an expat.

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