French Work Requirements
Certain nationalities require a French work visa to be able to legally live and work in France. There is a number of different types of French work permits, as well as exemptions, depending on your employment situation. The French work permit is closely linked to your residence status in France, and in most cases, a job will need to be arranged before you can apply for a permit to move to France.
Who needs a work visa for France?
Citizens from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, they are free to work in France without a work permit (with the exception of Croatian nationals, who need a permit for their first year of work). In case of coming to France with a family member who has a permit for certain types of highly skilled work, it is possible to be able to work without a work permit.
Non EU/EEA/Swiss nationals will need permission to work in France they need this authorisation before a visa/residence permit can be granted. This is a procedure organised by your employer.
Working for less than 90 days
For citizens from non EU/EEA/Switzerland need a short-stay work visa to work in France for less than 90 days. For citizens from Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, Mauritius, Mexico, St Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Singapore, S. Korea, US or Venezuela, no visa to enter France is required but you will need to make sure that your employer has organised a valid work permit for you at the time of travel. In order to be sure of the latest rules, check with the French consulate in your home country.
If you will be working in France for less than 90 days, you need your employer to get you a temporary work permit approved by the French Ministry of Labour, the DIRECCTE (Direction regionale des enterprises, de la concurrence et de la consummation, du travail et de l’emploi), or a convention d’accueil stamped by the local prefecture in case that you are a scientist/researcher. This authorisation to work is then sent to the French embassy/consulate in your home country where you can actually apply for your visa.
Working for more than 90 days
In case of planning on working for more than 90 days/3 months, long-stay visa is needed to apply for, which also acts as your residence permit. Applicant`s employer has to draw up a work contract and send it to the local division of the French Ministry of Labour, the DIRECCTE (Direction regionale des enterprises, de la concurrence et de la consummation, du travail et de l’emploi). If any family members will be coming with an applicant, the employer will need to start the ‘accompanying family member’ procedure at the same time then. If the DIRRECTE approves the contract, it is then sent to the Office Francais de l’Immigration et de l’Integration (OFII). Once even the OFII approved the contract, it is sent directly to the French embassy or consulate in your home country responsible for issuing your visa. You and any relatives coming with you included will then be invited to make an appointment to visit the embassy/consulate in person in order to apply for a long-stay visa with following documents required: passport (issued within the last 10 years and with three months’ validity past the end of the visa), a completed application form and plus any other documentation required by the type of work (and permit) for which you are applying. Please note, that on arrival in France, you have to register with the L’Office Francais de l’Immigration et de I’Integration (OFII).