Embarking on an adventure in France isn’t just about tasting exquisite wines or exploring the lavender fields of Provence—it’s also about navigating the practicalities, such as securing a work employment visa.

This guide is your first step towards unraveling the complexities of French bureaucracy, ensuring your journey is as smooth as a fine Bordeaux.

Let’s dive in!

Who Requires A French Work Permit?

Most non-European citizens who want to work in France for more than 90 days must get a work visa. This visa allows you to live and work in France for the duration of your work permit.

Non-European citizens from Monaco, Andorra, San Marino, the Holy See, and foreigners having an EU long-term resident permit do not require a work visa for stays of up to one year.

Is It Easy To Obtain A Work Visa In France?

The French work visa requirements are straightforward for the majority of jobs. Your French employer will apply on your behalf for a French work permit, and after that is accepted, you can apply for a work visa. 

However, as a non-European, getting work in France in certain regulated professions such as lawyer, medical professional, or architect is difficult.

France provides a variety of work visas. Which one you require is determined by your qualifications, the job you are engaged in, and the time frame of your stay.

France Long-Stay Work Visas

Long-stay employment Visas in France have been developed for persons who want to enter France and stay for longer than three months, up to a year, for employment purposes. 

The Most Common Work Visas

Here are three of the most prevalent work visas in France for expats:

  • Employee VLS-TS: For employees with a permanent contract or a contract that lasts more than one year. This visa, commonly known as a “salarie” long-stay visa equal to a residence permit, is valid for one year.
  • Temporary VLS-TS: For staff with a 3-12 month fixed-term contract. It has a one-year validity period and is also known as a “travailleur temporaire” long-stay visa, similar to a residence permit.
  • Talent Passport: (passeport talent): a multi-year residence permits valid for up to four years for highly skilled immigrants who will contribute to the enrichment of the French economy. 

This permit also serves as a work permit, and you are permitted to bring your spouse and young children with you.

Note: If your contract is for up to 12 months, you will obtain a Talent Passport VLS-TS that is valid for one year.

What Are The Different Types Of French Work Visas? 

These are visas for those who want to visit or spend time in France and stay for more than 90 days to engage in a paid activity.

  • Visa for French salaried employees
  • French work visa for starting and running a business
  • French Work visa for professionals and self-employees
  • Long-term French sports visa
  • Long-term French visa for volunteer work
  • A Visa for work from the French International organization

Visa For French Salaried Employees

For anyone looking to work in France for up to a year. When applying for this form of visa, applicants must provide a work contract that has been approved by the DIRECCTE.

French Work Visa For Starting And Running A Business

If you want to start and run a business or company in France, you must apply for this sort of visa, whether on your own or in conjunction with another organization.

Remember that you will be requested additional documents, such as confirmation that you have the financial means to start the planned business.

French Work Visa For Professionals And Freelancers

Some professions, including bailiffs, notaries, court administrators, and insurance general agents, are not permitted for non-EU nationals. Others, such as doctors, attorneys, and architects, will require authorization from the appropriate professional bodies.

Before applying for this sort of visa, make sure you understand what you will need to do to carry out your occupation in France.

Long-term French Sports Visa

Every athlete who intends to enter and stay in France for up to a year must follow certain processes in order to participate in sports events. If the applicant is employed and will be paid for the activity in question, they must apply as a “salaried employee.”

When the candidate will not be paid, he or she must apply as a ‘visitor.’ In this situation, the sports club or institution must sponsor the applicant’s stay in France, including their accommodation, insurance, transportation, and so on.

Long-term French Visa For Volunteer Work

This is a visa for persons who want to do humanitarian work in France for more than three months and up to a year.

If you intend to apply for such a visa, keep in mind that you must begin the process through a French Foundation or Association recognized by the French authorities as a registered charity / public utility.

French Visa For Work With An International Organization

Applicants who will be working for an international organization on an official assignment in France must apply for this type of visa.

How To Apply For A Work Visa In France

To fully and effectively complete the application procedure for a France long-stay Work Visa, each applicant must go through certain processes.

Whether you need a France long-stay work visa or not, will depend on your nationality and the part of France you wish to visit.

Some expats who intend to enter France for employment and stay for more than three months do not need to get a long-stay visa in order to be permitted to stay.

Every other national, regardless of where they intend to visit in France, will need to secure a long-stay visa in order to enter and remain in the country. However, in almost every case, a residency permit and a work permit are required in order to work.

Find which category of the French Long Stay Work Visa you belong under.

Examine all of the Work Visa categories to determine which one applies to you. Then prepare to begin the application process.

Complete the documentation: The requirements may differ from country to country, but the differences are usually minor; thus, take care to collect the documents in accordance with the rules in your own country. The following documents must be submitted in order to apply for a French work visa:

  • Visa Application Form: Make sure you fill out the application form completely and accurately.
  • Two Photographs: Along with the other documents, you need to provide two pictures. They cannot be more than three months old.
  • Your Current Passport: Check the validity and issuing date of your passport before applying. It must have been issued within the last ten years and be valid for at least three months after your planned stay in France. 

To be able to insert the visa sticker on the passport, it must have at least two vacant pages.

  • Proof of Financial Strength: The French authorities need to be familiar with your plan such as, how you plan to pay for your stay in France. As part of this requirement, you must submit the following documents that are relevant to your situation:
  1. Bank Statement: Bank statements over the last few months.
  2. Contract: If you will be working in France, you must have a contract outlining your wage.
  3. Income: Rental property income.
  4. Retirement Plan: Plan for retirement benefits.
  5. Letter of Declaration: A letter of declaration from a sponsor indicating the willingness to fund your costs for the duration of your stay, supported by papers confirming the sponsor’s ownership of money (e.g., bank statements for the last three months, other).
  • Certificate of criminal record: Demonstrating that you have no open criminal cases.
  • Proof of payment: Proof of the French work visa fee.
  • Other documentation: Demonstrating your potential to support yourself for the duration of your stay in France.

Additional Documentation For The Visa Of Salaried Employees

The following additional documentation is needed for the visa of salaried employees.

  • OFII form: It is the form used to apply for a residence permit in France for stays of more than three months
  • Work agreement: The original work agreement, as well as a copy, must be filed and approved by the DIRECCTE. When the application is granted, the OFII will notify the employer and submit the approval to the appropriate French consulate.
  • Police clearance: A National Criminal History Record Check, which you must get in your native country and must be no more than three months old.

Prerequisites For The French Acquiring And Running a Business Visa

  • Evidence of financial resources and status: Included are three months’ worth of bank statements and complete transaction lists, as well as three months’ worth of salary slips if the applicant is employed. 

These documents should be accompanied by proof of the applicant’s socio-professional condition (degrees, curriculum vitae, portfolio…).

  • Tax clearance: If the applicant has lived in France for the last ten years, the French Inland Revenue will provide them.
  • Own Business: If you are starting a business on your own, create a portfolio that includes a business strategy and a preliminary budget for several years (in French).
  • Certificate of Guarantee: Certificate of guarantee provided by a French registered bank or insurance firm, or certificate of credit balance from a French registered bank account in your name.
  • Agreement and Certificate: Rented business agreement + French Company Register registration certificate

French Professionals And Independents Visa Requirements

  • Evidence of financial resources and status: This comprises three months’ worth of bank statements and complete and detailed transaction lists, as well as three months’ worth of payslips if the applicant is employed.
  • Proof of your socio-professional Situation: (degrees, CV, employment certifications, portfolio, etc.)
  • Declaration Required by Law: Sworn statement of non-bankruptcy in the last ten years in all countries where the applicant has lived, duly endorsed by a justice of the peace, as well as a statement of non-conviction of the applicant in all of these countries.
  • Police Clearance: A National Criminal History Record Check, which you must get in your native country and must be no more than three months old.

Sports Visa Requirements In France

  • OFII form: It is the form used to apply for a residence permit in France for stays of more than three months
  • Work agreement: The original work agreement, as well as a copy, must be filed and approved by the DIRECCTE. When the application is granted, the OFII will notify the employer and submit the approval to the appropriate French consulate.
  • Police clearance: A National Criminal History Record Check, which you must get in your native country and must be no more than three months old.
  • Minor: If you are under the age of 18/minor, parental consent + copies of parents’ passports

Visa Requirements For Volunteer Workers

  • Proof of financial resources: Three recent bank statements and a thorough transaction list, including three recent pay stubs if the applicant is employed.
  • Declaration required by law: Sworn statement of non-bankruptcy in the last ten years in all countries where the applicant has lived, duly endorsed by a justice of the peace, as well as a statement of non-conviction of the applicant in all of these countries.
  • Contract for voluntary work: This must include: both parties’ names and addresses, a detailed description of the volunteering activities to be performed, time period the applicant is hired for, confirmation of the volunteering worker’s registration with French National Health Insurance.

The detailed amount of all subsidies with methods of payment and benefits in kind given to the worker, and the number of holidays allowed.

  • Police clearance: A National Criminal History Record Check, which you must get in your native country and must be no more than three months old.
  • Registration: Registration with the authorities in France.
  • Minor: If you are a minor, you must have written parental consent.

French international organization visa requirements:

  • Note Verbale: An official third-party letter issued by the International Organization and endorsed by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Protocol Office.

Make An Appointment 

You can usually arrange an appointment online. Some countries, however, do not provide this option, in which case you must go to the embassy or consulate and arrange an appointment in person.

You must pay the visa charge

Pay the visa fee on the day of your interview and keep the receipt since you will need it later to show to the consular officer as proof of payment.

The fee for a France long-stay Work Visa is 99 Euros. The following individuals, however, are exempt from paying the fee:

  • A French national’s family member
  • A member of the family of an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen
  • A French citizen’s adopted child

Attend In The Interview

Make sure you arrive at the embassy on time on the day of your appointment. Relax and try not to be nervous. Wear something that is both comfortable and smart. It is strongly advised that you organize your documents ahead of time in the sequence specified.

How Long Does It Take To Get A French Work Visa?

A French work visa typically takes two months to process after the completed application is submitted. If you do not receive a positive response within two months after submitting your application, your application is considered rejected. 

You will obtain a written explanation of the refusal as well as the deadline for filing an appeal.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve now armed yourself with essential knowledge to tackle the French work employment visa process.

Remember, while the journey may seem daunting, the reward of working and living in France is unparalleled. Embrace the challenge, and soon, you’ll be sipping café au lait by the Seine, living your dream.

Happy Leaving.

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