Ever dreamed of hunting for your ideal job under the radiant French skies?

Well, grab your job-seeking gear!

Today, we’re diving into the essentials of the Job Seeker Visa in France, turning your pursuit into a delightful promenade!

What Is A French Job Seeker Visa?

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The job seeker or new business creator visa (recherché d’emploi ou creation d’enterprise or RECE residence permit) will allow you to stay in France for a few months while you look for work or set up your own company. 

Do I Need To Apply For A French Job Seeker Visa?

You can apply for this visa if you are a foreigner and have completed your degree or diploma in France. These include vocational degrees, or any master’s degrees and higher diplomas. You can also apply if you are a researcher who has completed their research.

You will not require this visa if you are a citizen of any European Union member state. In that case you can work in France without a residence permit too. Algerian students will need to follow other regulations and cannot obtain the job seekers visa. 

There are also some exceptions for students coming from countries that have migration flow agreements with France. They can usually apply for temporary/provisional residence permits, although exact requirements might vary with time.

What Is The Eligibility Criteria For A French Job Seeker Visa?

The French job seeker/setting up a business permit (RECE) is applicable for foreign students who wish to stay in France after completing their education. 

You will need to have a student status or be a researcher on a talent passport to apply for this visa. Once you have completed your professional degree, you can go ahead and submit your application.

What Are The Requirements For A French Job Seeker Visa?

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There are several documents which you must prepare in advance before applying for the job seekers visa. These include:

  • Your passport, along with a copy of the identity page.
  • Your birth certificate, which must mention the names of your parents.
  • Three recent ID pictures.
  • Your existing valid student residence permit. This should include both the card and a copy of the stamp of your first entry into the Schengen Area or more specifically, France. If the visa is a long stay equivalent, then you will need proof of its online validation.
  • The diploma that you have just received from your educational institution.
  • Proof of health insurance.
  • Proof of address. This should not be older than 3 months and can include utility bills, proof of house insurance, certificate from your student residence, or rental contract etc.
  • Proof that you intend to set up a business related to what you studied at university (if applying for setting up a business).
  • Proof that you have the necessary financial resources to provide for yourself during your stay (applicable only if you had left France after obtaining your degree).
  • A copy of the email confirming your appointment at the prefecture.

It is generally advisable to carry both the original and a photocopy of each document to your appointment. And for any documents that were not originally issued in French, you will need to have them translated by a translator accredited by the French courts.

How Do I Apply For A Job Seeker Visa For France?

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You can either apply for the job seekers visa before your existing student permit expires. But if you don’t do this, you need not worry too much. You can even apply for the visa from your home country within four years of having completed your degree.

You will need to follow the following steps to obtain the permit:

  1. Find out the eligibility requirements
  2. Locate the application office
  3. Schedule an appointment
  4. Prepare the necessary documents
  5. Submit your application
  6. Pick up your RECE permit

1. Find Out The Eligibility Requirements

Naturally, you will first need to see if you are eligible for obtaining a job seekers visa. As discussed above, there are certain countries whose citizens do not require this visa in the first place, while for others you will need to obtain a different type of visa altogether.

2. Locate The Application Office

If you are already residing within France, you will need to locate the prefecture or sub-prefecture in your area of residence. If you left France after completing your degree, you will need to submit the application at the French consulate in your country.

3. Schedule An Appointment

You must make an appointment with the relevant office if you wish to apply for a job seekers visa. This is usually done online. Make sure you do this beforehand since time slots might be hard to come by, and in any case you will not be allowed to visit these offices without prior approval.

4. Prepare The Necessary Documents

Once you schedule your appointment, you will also be sent a list of documents you will need by the prefecture. The list of documents has also been discussed above. 

There might be certain documents which will vary depending on your specific circumstances so make sure to research extensively and be prepared on the day of the appointment. 

You will also need to fill in a copy of the ‘request for a provisional residence authorization’ form, which can be obtained from the prefecture.

5. Submit Your Application

Arrive at the prefecture on the day of your appointment and submit your completed application to the agent assigned to you. Once you have done this, you will be issued a receipt which you will need to keep safe.

6. Pick Up Your RECE Permit

Once your cards are ready for pickup, you will be informed via a text message. You will need to make an appointment again to pick it up. You should carry proof of identity, your most recent residence card and the receipt issued at the time of submission with you. 

To pay the visa fee you will need to buy a tax stamp. You can either buy this stamp online or at a tobacco store.

Where Do I Apply?

If you are a student and already present in France at the time of application, locate the prefecture or sub-prefecture of your area. But if you have left the country after obtaining a degree, you will need to go through this entire process at the French consulate in your home country. 

The procedure however, will remain the same in both cases and the visa will be issued for 12 months.

How Long Does It Take To Process?

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The entire process can take around 3 months from the time of application. But if you have not heard back from your prefecture within 4 months, this means that your request was refused.

How Much Does A French Job Seeker Visa Cost?

The visa will cost 75 euros to obtain, and you will need to purchase a tax stamp to cover this cost. However, if you previously held a talent passport residence permit (for researchers in this case), then you will need to pay 225 euros as the fee.

For How Long Is A French Job Seeker Visa Valid?

The visa is usually issued for a total of 12 months. Once the visa has been issued, you will need to validate it online within two months of having arrived in France.

Can I Take My Family With A Job Seeker Visa In France?

Generally, if you wish to bring your family members with you to France, they will need to fulfill their own conditions for obtaining visas and residency. A job seekers visa will not allow you to bring your family members with you to the country. 

Any family reunification rules will for most cases apply after you have secured a job offer and transitioned to a work visa. You will also need to have resided legally in France for at least 18 months before bringing your family to join you here.

Can I Extend The Visa?

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The job seekers visa is not renewable in France, which means that once the time period elapses, you might need to return to your home country.

How Can I Convert My Job Seeker Visa To Work Visa In France?

If you are successful in finding a job at a French company within the time that the visa allows you to stay in the country, then you can change your visa and residency status accordingly. To do this, your wages must be at least 1.5 times the minimum wage in the country.

You can either apply for a temporary residence permit as an employee in the country, or a multiple year researcher talent residence permit if you are a part of an ongoing research project. 

You will also need to get your employment contract validated by the Regional Department if Competition, Consumption, Work and Employment (DIRECCTE). However, this does not apply to researchers.

Do I Need To Know French?

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Obtaining the visa does not require any French language skills per se, neither are you required to submit any proof of language to this effect. However, you might find that knowing French greatly boosts your profile and hence chances of finding employment locally.

What Is The Success Rate Of Finding A Job In France With A Job Seeker Visa?

It is hard to say definitively what the success rate looks like since finding and landing a job will depend a great deal on individual profiles and factors like qualifications, skillset and work experience. 

But in any case, if you are coming in to the country, work on your profile and strengthen it before you start actively looking for work. This will make your application attractive to potential employers.

Can I Work In France With A Job Seeker Visa?

The residence permit will allow you to legally work full time in France for the entire duration. While previous legislation would require you to change your permit within 15 days of starting a new job, current laws state that your job seeker visa will remain valid for the original duration of 12 months

Once that visa expires, you can put in an application to change your status to obtain a work visa and the related residence permit. 

Pros And Cons Of French Job Seeker Visa

✅ Chance to work and settle in a country with numerous opportunities❌ The visa is non-extendable
✅ You have up to a year to test your luck in the job market without any fear of having to go back to your home country❌ If you are not able to find a job within the year, you will need to return to your home country
✅ Do not need to necessarily speak French❌ Cannot bring your family with you to France under this visa type
✅ Can work full time under this permit


Voilà! You’ve journeyed through the essentials of securing a Job Seeker Visa in France! Armed with this knowledge, it’s time to step into the French job market with élan and confidence.

Opportunity Awaits!

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