VISA: How to work in France?

Before we start we want you to know that this article is only an overview of the the different VISAs you can get to work in France, and the way to get them. Also, because each case is different, we advise you to go to the closest French Consulate or Embassy for more information if you decide to work in France.

Do I need a work VISA?

If you are from EU/EEA or Switzerland, no. If not, you do.

How do I get a VISA?

First, you will need to find a company to organize the authorization for you to work in France. Depending on how long you will work, the company needs to ask for a short term VISA (<90 days) or a long term VISA (>90 days). In both cases, you need to find a company, apply, and pass the interview(s). To do so, you will most of the time need to speak French and often prove that you have the necessary level of French in order to work there. To prove your level (A1/B2…), there are a lot of tests you can prepare for and pass. If you plan on taking a test, we can help you with your test preparation.

What are the other work VISAs?

The Talent passport is available if you belong in one of the following 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

The EU Blue Card
if you have the following:

  • A 3 year degree (Bachelor’s degree or higher) or 5 years of experience in your field of expertise.
  • Have a +1 year contract with a monthly salary at least 1.5 times the French average gross annual salary (53,836 euros in 2017)
  • You have worked in your field of expertise for at least 2 years

After 18 months, you will be granted the authorization to work anywhere in the EU. After 5 years, your family will receive a residence and work permit.

The Expatriate Employee Permit is for any employee of a company based in France (for at least 3 months) who is being sent to France on an assignment. You must make at least 1.8 times the minimum wage (around EUR 2,664 per month). This permit is valid for 3 years.

‘Exceptional economic contribution’ permit is the investor VISA as you know it in U.S. You must be investing a large amount of money in France (at least EUR 10 million in tangible or intangible assets) or planning to create more than 50 jobs to be eligible for a 10-year residence permit

There are also special VISAs for au pairs, scientists, students… but they are not actual “work” VISA so once again, if you need information about them go to a French Consulate.

Because you will need to apply for a job in most cases, we will see how to do so next week. Let us know if this article helped you in the comments or if you want, share your own experiences.