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France Work Visas and Permits

Is your company preparing to scale in France? During this exciting time of growth, you’ll need a talented group of employees to make the move. It can be a challenge to obtain the necessary work permits for all of your employees to legally work in France. Fortunately, G-P is here to guide you along the way.

Types of work visas in France

Citizens of countries in the European Union (EU) do not need a work visa to work in France, nor do those from Switzerland or countries in the European Economic Area (EEA), including Norway, Lichtenstein, and Iceland. All other employees will require permits to live and work in France.

There are several types of work visas in France, and each one has its own set of requirements. Make sure employees know which category of work visa they’ll need so that they can gather the relevant documents and ensure all qualifications are met. Here are the most relevant work permits:

  • Short-term visa or visa de court sejour: The short-term work visa can authorize training assignments for up to 90 days. This visa does not allow for an extension of stay, so be sure to obtain an alternative visa if it’s possible your employees will need to stay in France for a longer time.
  • Long-stay visa or visa de long sejour: Most of your employees will likely need this visa. It authorizes citizens of countries outside of the EU and EEA to live and work in France for longer than 3 months.
  • Corporate executive visa: To stay and work in France, corporate executives will need this type of visa.
  • Intra-group transferee card: This visa applies to employees who are working in a group of companies and assigned to a subsidiary in France.
  • EU Blue Card: This type of visa allows highly qualified third-country nationals to enter, live, and work in France.

Requirements to obtain France work visas

The required documents for obtaining a work visa vary depending on each employee’s country of residence. Make sure employees are aware of this general list of requirements:

  • An application form
  • Identity photographs
  • Residence forms
  • Tickets or detailed flight booking information from a travel agency
  • An original passport or travel document
  • A processing fee

Additional documents may be required, including:

  • Supporting evidence of residence in France
  • Documents proving medical coverage
  • Documentary evidence of means of livelihood for the length of stay in France
  • Letters of reference, academic transcripts, and other supporting evidence of socio-professional situation

Application process

The employer has to begin the process of getting authorization for employees to work in France. Here are the steps of the process involved with obtaining a long-stay visa:

  1. Employees must sign a contract with the sponsoring company in France.
  2. The employer will file an application with the Labor Department or DIRECCTE.
  3. Once it has been approved, the National Agency for the Reception of Foreign Nationals and Migration, or OFII, will process the application.
  4. The OFII will inform the employer of the application’s approval and hand the information over to a consulate of France in the country where the employee currently resides.
  5. Employees will be contacted and asked to make an appointment online to apply for a work visa. The visa can then be picked up at the consulate. It will function as a permit for work and residence in France.

Other important considerations

Because the work visa in France is closely tied to residency status, it’s important for employment to be established before employees begin the process of obtaining a permit to move to France.

Discover how G-P can help you manage your global teams.

At G-P, we’re committed to breaking down barriers to global business, enabling opportunity for everyone, everywhere, and helping companies tap into the fullest potential of their workforce. We help you maintain full compliance with local laws and ensure everything from hiring and onboarding to paying your employees is quick and easy, regardless of where they are in the world.

 Find out more about how our Global Growth Platform™ can help you grow your team across the globe.


THIS CONTENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE. You should always consult with and rely on your own legal and/or tax advisor(s). G-P does not provide legal or tax advice. The information is general and not tailored to a specific company or workforce and does not reflect G-P’s product delivery in any given jurisdiction. G-P makes no representations or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of this information and shall have no liability arising out of or in connection with it, including any loss caused by use of, or reliance on, the information.

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