Obtaining the necessary work permits to work in France legally can be challenging. To make the process easier, we shared the types of visas and the complete procedure in the article.
Types of work visas for France
There is no requirement for a work visa for EU nationals to work in France., nor do citizens of Switzerland or European Economic Area (EEA) countries (including Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland). All other employees require a permit to live and work in France.
In France, there are various work visas, each with some requirements. Ensure employees know which type of work visa they need to gather relevant documents and ensure they meet all qualifications. As you expand, here are the most pertinent French work permits for your company:
- Short-term visa: A short-term French work visa can be granted for a training assignment of up to 90 days. This visa does not allow for extended stays, so be sure to obtain an alternative visa if the employee may need to stay longer in France.
- Long-stay visa: This visa is the one most of your employees will likely need. It authorizes foreign citizens to live and work in France for over three months.
- Business Executive Visa: To stay and work in France, business executives need this visa.
- Intra-Group Transfer Card: This visa is for employees who work in a group company and are assigned to a French subsidiary.
- EU Blue Card: This type of visa allows highly qualified employees from third-world countries to enter, live and work in France.
Requirements for obtaining a French work visa
The documents required to obtain a work visa vary by each employee’s country of residence. If you have any employees who are US or Australian citizens, please make sure they know the following general rules:
- application form
- ID photo
- residence form
- Air ticket or flight booking details from a travel agency
- Original passport or travel document (note that for US citizens, passports must have been issued no more than 10 years ago, be valid for at least three months after returning to the US, and have at least two blank visa pages)
- handling fee
Additional documents may be required, including:
- Supporting evidence of residence in France
- Documents proving medical insurance
- Documents proving your means of livelihood during your stay in France
- Letters of recommendation, transcripts and other supporting evidence of socio-professional status
Employers must start obtaining authorization for employees to work in France. The following are the process steps involved in getting a long-term residence visa:
- The employer must sign a contract with a French guarantee company.
- The French employer will apply to the Ministry of Labor or the “Local Labor Office”.
- Once approved, the French Immigration Office or “OFII” will process the application.
- OFII will notify the employer that the application has been approved and hand over the information to the French Consulate in the employee’s current country of residence.
- The employee will be contacted and asked to make an online appointment to apply for a work visa. The visa can then be collected at the French Consulate. It will serve as a permit to work and live in France.
Other Important Considerations
Since French work visas are closely linked to residency status, it is essential to secure employment before employees start obtaining permission to move to France.