Work Permits and Visas in France (2023)

Visas, Work Permits and Migration

Expanding into a country or hiring a workforce abroad can lead your business to great profits, but unfamiliar laws and regulations can counteract your company’s goals and plans. At Bradford Jacobs, we want to eliminate this complicated part. By using our PEO service we can arrange all needed visas and permits including the entire application process without your physical presence. French visa, residency and permit regulations require expert guidance as they vary according to the country foreign nationals live in – the European Union, the European Economic Area and other foreign nationals are all affected by these complex regulations.

Our team is trained to research the latest information on France visas and work permits and therefore, we created a guide to introduce you to the rules and requirements. By reading this guide you will get familiar with all the requirements so you or your employees can start working in France in no time.

What Types of Work Visas and Permits are there?

When travelling abroad for work, business or pleasure, most people need either an entry visa or work visa, work or residence permit depending on the country they are going to and which country they are travelling from. In France the process is highly complicated and although information is readily available, the procedures can be tricky for the uninitiated and professional advice will be a boon! Those not on the exempt list will require a Type C Schengen Visa also known as a Short-Stay Visa or Uniform Stay Visa which allows them to:

  • Visit family
  • For holiday and cultural reasons
  • For training, business meetings and internships
  • For paid work under certain circumstances (e.g., for less than 90 days)

This visa does not permit citizens to bring their families or settle in France. They can apply for single entry or multiple entry. People who are not in the EU, EEA or EFTA also require ‘permission to work’ as well as a Short-Stay Visa and a short fixed-term contract.

To work for less than 90 days:

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A Temporary Work Permit (ATP, autorisation proviso ire de travail) applied for by the employer from the French Labor Ministry.

To work for more than 90 days:

For longer stays and longer periods of employment, prospective employees require a Work Permit. These permits can be through:

Long Stay Visa (VLS-TS) or Visa de long séjour valant titre de séjour (VLS-TS) – allows the individual who holds it to live and work in France for one year. This visa must be validated by the l’Office Francais de l’Immigration et de I’Integration (OFII) before they enter France. This can be used as a Residence Permit, and also serves as a Work Permit. There are a number of categories of the VLS-TS Visa which can be found at:

The Talent Passport Permits

‘Salarie qualifie’ – For highly skilled and qualified workers with:

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  • A degree and/or up to five years’ equivalent professional experience
  • A work contract for one year with income over twice the minimum wage
  • ‘Enterprise Innovante’ – A work contract for one year with income over twice the minimum wage, and the job must be related to the company’s research and development strategy.
  • ‘EU Blue Card’ – A work contract for one year minimum, which requires a degree or three-year educational diploma or up to five years’ equivalent professional experience. The salary agreed to must be at 1.5 times the average French gross salary.
  • Specific Work Permit – If the foreign national does not possess a Visa or Residence Permit or qualify for the Talent Passport Permit, the employer applies for a ‘specific work permit’ to be submitted at least three months before the employee is due to start their job. The contract can be fixed or permanent. After receiving the work permit, the employee must then apply for the entry visa and residence permit.

Temporary Worker Permit marked ‘Employee’ This allows salaried employment for those who do not qualify for the Talent Passport or other Long-Stay Visas, but will need:

  • A fixed-term work contract
  • The employer will need to apply for a Work Permit and acceptance will depend on the regional employment levels i.e., “opposability of employment status”
  • How to obtain a France Work Visa?
  • European Union (EU), European Economic Association (EEA) and Swiss nationals do not require a Residence Permit, Work Permit or Visa to travel to live or work in France.
  • Third Country nationals who are not on the visa-exempt list and whose employment will be for less than three months need to obtain:

Employment contract

A Short-Stay Visa – this can be obtained from a French Consulate or Embassy in the individual’s country of residence and started online. A Temporary Work Permit applied for by the employer from the French Labor Ministry. For longer periods of employment and residence in France, a Work Contract that needs to be authorized by the *DIRECCTE (the French Regional Department of Enterprise, Competition, Consumer Affairs, Labor and Employment). A Work Permit, a Visa and a Residence permit are all required to live and work in France for up to a year. Depending on the occupation and salary, the qualifications and educational documents will determine the necessary paperwork.

Salaried Employees Visa

For this, applicants must have:

  • a work contract (fixed or permanent) authorized by the DIRECCTE for up to 12 months
  • Permission must be obtained by employer to employ foreign Third Country nationals
  • Talent Passport Permits

Applicants require:

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  • Highly qualified and skilled workers with high-level qualifications,
  • a contract of one year or more with up to 1.5 times national gross average salary

Specific Work Permit

If the foreign national does not possess a Visa or Residence Permit to allow paid work and does not qualify for the Talent Passport Permit, the employer applies for a ‘specific work permit’ which must be submitted at least three months before the employee is due to start work.

Temporary Worker Permit marked ‘Employee’

This is a Temporary Work Permit allowing salaried employment for those who do not qualify for the Talent Passport or other Long-Stay Visas but will need:

  • A Fixed-term work contract
  • The employer will need to apply for a Work Permit and acceptance will depend on the regional employment levels i.e., “opposability of employment status”

Those without Work Permits:

These need to be applied for by the employer and must be submitted at least three months before the employee is due to start work. Also, the employer must have tried to find a suitable French candidate through a government portal or through a private organization.

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How to apply for Work Visa / Work Permit in France

  • Find a job
  • Examine the type of visa and work permit required
  • Employer applies for relevant work permit through the local employment office (DIRECCTE) where the employee will work. Some Long-Stay Visas such as VLS-TS / Talent Passport Permits can be used as a Residence and Work Permit
  • After receiving the work permit, a Long-Stay Visa needs to be applied for which acts as both Visa and Residence Permit
  • When arriving in France, contact the L’Office Francais de l’Immigration et de I’Integration (OFII) with completed OFII form. They endorse the passport with a sticker to show the employee is legal in France. Work Permits Allows employee to apply for Work Visa and Residence Permit to work in France.

The employer has to apply for the Work Permit (excluding e.g., VLS-TS / Talent Passport Permits) three months before employee is due to arrive. When the application is sanctioned, it goes to the OFII and once agreed the employer is notified and it will then be sent to the Embassy or Consulate where the application originated. This allows the employee to apply for a Long-Stay Visa.

Documents required for Work Permit:

  • Letter explaining employee’s job description and duties and reason for enrolment
  • Application for work permit Cerfa no. 15187*1 when employee is outside France
  • Recent extract of commercial register
  • Proof up to date with social security payments
  • Proof employer tried to fill the position in France
  • Copy valid passport of employee
  • Proof of residence in home country
  • Copy of employee’s qualifications relevant to position
  • Employee’s CV with evidence of skill for position

For companies outside France other documentation is required. All relevant documents need to be sent, by employer, to French Immigration Office (OFII) to be approved.

A VLS-TS Long-Stay Visa:

Applied for at a local French Embassy / Consulate where the prospective employee is resident. The process can be started online via the French website but an interview may be needed in person for the necessary biometrics. An external service provider can be utilized to help with the visa process.

Documents required:

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  • Application form for Long-Stay Visa, Form 14571-05 for salaried employee, can be completed online visa France-visas
  • Valid Passport issued within the previous 10 years and valid until three months after employee’s expected departure
  • Two passport photographs
  • Submit a OFII Form
  • Other paperwork will depend on which Long Stay Visa is being applied for.

When arriving in France, a notice will be attached to passport. Within three months, the holder must register with the OFII to have the Residence Permit authorized.


Is it hard to get a work permit in France? ›

A long-stay work permit in France can take some time. The average duration is about six weeks. According to the law, a long-stay visa application has to be processed within 2 months but in reality, processing times and costs vary according to conditions and the nationality of the employee.

Can I travel to France with work permit? ›

Every other national, no matter which part of France is planning to visit, will have to obtain a long-stay visa in order to be permitted to enter and remain in the country. However, in order for one to be able to work, a residence permit and a work permit must be obtained in almost every case.

How long does France work permit take? ›

Typically, a France work visa takes around 15 to 20 working days after the submission of all the documents to the French Embassy/Consulate. However, the processing time may vary depending on the type of work visa you have applied.

Is a work visa the same as a work permit? ›

A US visa gives you the right to enter, transit and leave the US, while a US work permit authorizes you to seek and take employment. Each has specific eligibility rules and different application processes. The USCIS regularly updates this process, so it is beneficial to have a US Immigration lawyer to guide you.

Can I change Schengen visa to work permit? ›

In most cases, you cannot convert a Schengen visa to a German residence permit. To obtain a residence permit, you must have entered Germany with a German national D visa instead.

How much does a French work permit cost? ›

Applying for this France work visa costs 99 EUR (120 USD). Workers who apply for this visa and have family members coming with them can have their employer start the “accompanying family member” procedure at the same time as the worker's application.

How much bank balance is required for France work visa? ›

Proof of sufficient financial means for the period of stay in France. You must show evidence you possess the daily money amount of 120€ if holding no proof of prepaid accommodation.

Which European country gives work visa easily? ›

Estonia. Estonia is known for its high rate of accepted work visa applications, making it the easiest country to obtain a work visa. On the other hand, it receives a relatively small number of requests compared to other countries. Therefore, Estonia might be your best choice for working abroad.

Can I travel in Europe with work permit? ›

As an EU national you generally don't need a work permit to work anywhere in the EU. Work permits are never required for self-employed people in the EU.

How long can you live in France with a visa? ›

Whatever the duration of your planned stay, the duration of your long-stay visa must be between three months and one year. In order to extend your stay beyond the period of validity of your visa, you must apply for a residence permit at a prefecture.

Do I need a visa to go to France 2022? ›

Visas. You can travel to countries in the Schengen area, which France is part of, for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training.

Can you get a work visa in France without a job? ›

According to the French Embassy, Americans can stay in France (without working) for up to three months on a tourist visa. If you want to stay longer than that you need to apply for a work visa. The problem is, you must have secured a job before you can apply for a work visa.

How do u get a work permit? ›

How To Apply for a Work Permit in 5 Easy Steps
  1. Step 1: Apply for an Immigration Status That Allows You To Work. ...
  2. Step 2: Prepare Form I-765. ...
  3. Step 3: Prepare Your Supporting Documents. ...
  4. Step 4: Pay the Filing Fee. ...
  5. Step 5: Submit Your Work Permit Application.

Is it hard for foreigners to work in France? ›

For anyone who is not from an EU country, finding a job in France is extremely difficult, for the simple reason that France has a very high unemployment rate and will not give a job to a foreigner if a citizen is qualified.

Which comes first work permit or visa? ›

Before the Entry Visa is issued, the work permit application must be approved.

Is my work permit my visa? ›

A work permit or study permit is not a visa. We won't automatically issue you a visitor visa if you extend your work or study permit. If you need a new visitor visa, you will need to submit a separate application.

What is the difference between permit and visa? ›

The difference between visa and permit is that visa is a document acquired by an individual to enter a specific country for a specific period of time whereas a permit is a foreigner attaining citizenship for residence on a permanent basis.

Which country gives work visa easily? ›

Singapore. Singapore is another country that gives easy work visas to Indians, irrespective of whether they are graduates or self-employed.

Which country is best for work visa? ›

Here are 6 countries where getting a visa is relatively easy.
  • The Netherlands. The Netherlands is known for the work-life balance that it offers. ...
  • Germany. ...
  • Australia. ...
  • Singapore. ...
  • Canada. ...
  • New Zealand. ...
  • FAQs.

How much is the salary for France visa? ›

(at least 1.5 times the average gross annual salary, which in France is set at a minimum annual gross salary threshold at €53,836).

Who is eligible to work in France? ›

If you are a citizen of an EU country, you have the right to live and work in France without a permit. This also applies to citizens of Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. If you are not a citizen of one of these countries, you must obtain a work permit to work legally in France.

What is the easiest visa to get for France? ›

A France Schengen visa is issued to foreigners that wish to visit France, the French territories or another Schengen area country for less than 90 days within a 6-month period.

How much does it cost to sponsor a work visa in France? ›

Fees. The amount varies depending on the duration of the employment contract: for a period of 12 months or more: 55% of the salary paid to the foreign worker, up to a limit of 2.5 times the monthly amount of the SMIC (i.e., €4,197.37 € as of August 1, 2022).

How do I show proof of money for French visa? ›

We need to provide an acceptable proof of funds that shows your financial ability to travel and bear expenditures during your stay in the Schengen area (personal bank statements for the last 3 months, last 3 pay slips, credit/debit cards statements, travelers cheques etc.).

Which country is hardest to get work visa? ›

Hardest countries to get a visa
  • China.
  • Russia.
  • Saudi Arabia.
  • Bhutan.
  • Pakistan.
  • Nigeria.
  • Turkmenistan.
  • Iran.

Which country gives work permit without job offer? ›

Out of the many immigration pathways and work permits Canada has on offer, the Open Work Permit lets you move to the country without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or an offer letter from an employer who has paid the compliance fee.

How do I get a 5 year Schengen Visa? ›

5-year MEV is granted to people that have obtained and lawfully used a previous multiple-entry visa valid for at least two years within the previous three years. This visa permits you to enter 26 countries in Europe as many times as you wish, within five years, as soon as you do not violate the 90/180 days rule.

Which Schengen country is easy to get visa in 2022? ›

The easiest country to get a visa to is Lithuania. Almost 98.7% of short-term visa applications for a Schengen Visa to Lithuania received a positive response in 2018.
Other Important FAQs.
SomaliaSri Lanka
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How long can you stay in Europe with a work visa? ›

Although multiple-entry visas are valid for longer periods - six months to five years - you may only spend 90 days (duration of stay on your visa sticker) in the Schengen Area within a rolling 180-day period (known as its validity period).

Which country in Europe is easiest to get a job? ›

Thinking of moving to Europe? Here are the easiest countries to get a work visa
  • Denmark. Denmark is also in dire need of workers in all kinds of industries and is looking for professionals from other countries to step in and help. ...
  • Ireland. ...
  • Portugal.
2 Oct 2022

Is France visa same as Schengen visa? ›

French Visa is a Schengen Visa that is utilized for visiting France.

Can I move to France permanently? ›

If you arrive in France from 2023 onwards (on a long stay visitor visa) and you decide that you want to live permanently in France, then you are still able to apply for French Residency.

How do I get a residence permit in France? ›

You may apply for a resident card if you:
  1. Provide evidence of regular and uninterrupted residence for at least 3 years in France;
  2. Arrived in France as a result of a family reunification procedure;
  3. Are joining a non European citizen who has a resident card;
1 Aug 2022

How can I move to France? ›

Most Americans who want to move to France will require a work visa. If you are employed, your work contract will need to be approved by the French Labor Ministry and the French Office of Immigration and Integration.

Does France hire foreigners? ›

The answer is yes. So long as a foreigner is legally residing in France, with the proper documentation, and has been for more than three months, they are eligible.

What are the most required jobs in France? ›

Here's our list of the most in-demand skills and the most in-demand jobs in France in 2022.
Top 15: The Most In-Demand Jobs in France in 2022
  • Insurance Agent. ...
  • Software Engineer. ...
  • Data Analyst. ...
  • Childcare Specialist / Au Pair. ...
  • School Teacher. ...
  • Nurse. ...
  • Front-End Web Developer.

How do I get an EU work permit? ›

How to get a European Work Visa
  1. Check what Employment Visas the country where you wish to work offers.
  2. Figure out if you qualify for a work visa to EU.
  3. Meet the criteria for an EU work visa. ...
  4. Collect the required documents for an employment visa.
  5. Schedule a visa interview.

How can I get a work permit quickly? ›

You can generally request expedited processing by calling the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833) or by asking Emma after you have obtained a receipt notice.

What is type of work permit? ›

What are the types of Work Permits? There are seven main types of work permits: Hot Work Permits, Cold Work Permits, Confined Spaces Work Permits, Chemical Work Permits, Height Work Permit, and Excavation Permit. Each work permit is categorized depending on the nature of the job and the hazard involved in it.

How long does it take to get a work visa? ›

US Work Visa Processing Times

The average time for a US temporary visa to process is 5-7 months but depends on which work visa you are applying for and how many work visa applications are before yours. Before COVID-19 shutdowns, the USCIS processed work permit applications within 90 days, but a growing backlog.

What is the basic salary in France? ›

As of August 1, 2022, the minimum wage in France is €11.07 per hour. For a full-time employee who works 35 hours a week, the minimum salary in France is €1,678.95 gross per month or €20,147.40 gross per year.

How much does France pay per hour? ›

The current gross minimum wage in France in 2022 is €10.57 per hour which translates to a net hourly salary of €8.37. This places France among the group of European countries – together with Luxembourg, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany – that have a national monthly gross minimum wage of more than €1,500.

What is the least salary in France? ›

Minimum Wage Increased in France from 01 August 2022 - August 31, 2022. Minimum wages have been revised in France with effect from 01 August 2022. The statutory minimum wages have been increased to €1,678.95 per month and €11.07 per hour.

Are foreigners allowed to work in France? ›

The foreign national may begin work immediately upon arriving in France, subject to obtaining the work permit and then the appropriate long-stay visa. A long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit can be granted if the duration of the contract or of the planned mission is less than 12 months.

Can international work in France? ›

Every foreign student has the right to work in France

French law allows foreign students to work up to 964 hours per year maximum, the equivalent of 60% of the legal work year.

Can UK citizens work in France? ›

As of the 1st of January 2021, UK citizens will need a Long Stay visa if staying in France or in a French Oversea territory for more than 90 days whatever the purpose of stay (work, studies, ICT, Au Pairing, passport talent, visitor, family reunification, family members of French nationals, etc.).

What job can I do in France as a foreigner? ›

If you are looking for a corporate career and are a highly skilled worker, France's leading industrial sectors are energy, manufacturing and technology, transport, agriculture, and tourism. Alternatively, many expats abroad take on jobs as au pairs, English teachers, or positions in the tourist industry.

How much does a French work visa cost? ›

Applying for this France work visa costs 99 EUR (120 USD). Workers who apply for this visa and have family members coming with them can have their employer start the “accompanying family member” procedure at the same time as the worker's application.

Can I legally work in France? ›

If you are a citizen of an EU country, you have the right to live and work in France without a permit. This also applies to citizens of Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. If you are not a citizen of one of these countries, you must obtain a work permit to work legally in France.

Can I get a visa to work in France from UK? ›

You submit a work permit and visa application (form 15619-01, 'authorisation to work for a salaried employment'), signed by your employer, to the French consulate or visa centre. Your employer submits a secondment declaration on SIPSI. You validate your long-stay visa online if you're staying for 12 months or less.

Where Can UK citizens work without a visa? ›

Where can you live visa-free after Brexit?
  • The Common Travel Area. The Common Travel Area was introduced in the 1920s. ...
  • The Isle of Man and Alderney. The Isle of Man and Alderney are part of the UK. ...
  • Gibraltar. If you have a valid British passport, you don't need a visa to live or work in Gibraltar.
  • Belize.
13 Jun 2022

Do I need a visa to work in France for less than 90 days? ›

If you are employed in France for three months or less, you will be issued with a short-stay visa (which is valid for up to 180 days and entitles you to be in France for a maximum of 90 consecutive or non-consecutive days). You do not need to apply for a work permit.

What are the top 3 jobs in France? ›

  • Doctor/Physician.
  • Lawyers.
  • Commercial Pilot.
  • Healthcare professionals.
  • Bank manager jobs in France.
30 Sept 2022

Can I work in France without documents? ›

Whatever the length of your stay for business purposes, you must typically obtain a work permit before you can take up paid employment in France. Citizens of a European Union or European Economic Area Member State or Switzerland can work in France without a work permit. Please have a look at our dedicated fact sheet.

What is the average salary in France? ›

What is the average salary in France in 2022? In 2022, the average salary in France is €2,340 net per month or €39,300 net per year. Due to the differences in the cost of living across different French cities, the average salary in Paris is €2,570 net per month, 9.8% higher than the national average.


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