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Work Visa
in France.

SALARY PAYMENT IN Euro (EUR, €)

CONTRACT LANGUAGES French / English

PAYROLL TAX 29.50% – 31.30%

PAYROLL CYCLE Monthly

TIME TO HIRE 12 hours

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Types of work visas in France

EU/EEA citizens (that’s all 28 European Union member countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway), Swiss nationals and some other nationalities do not need a visa to enter France. All other employees will require permits to live and work in France e.g. a visa, residence permit and/or work permit. It can be challenging to arrange all the necessary permits and it is best to always check the requirements as things can change frequently. Up-to-date information on entry requirements regarding your nationality and/or residence is available on the official website of the French Foreign Ministry.

Using our PEO service can help make this process much easier.

There are several types of visa, each with their own requirements:

  • Short-stay visa (visa de court séjour): This is valid for training assignments up to a maximum of 90 days. Bear in mind that this visa does not allow for an extension of stay, so be sure to obtain an alternative visa if it’s possible that your employee will need to stay longer.
  • Long-stay visa (visa de long séjour): Valid for periods of more than 90 days, this visa is the one most likely to be suitable for your employees and organization. If you hold a long-stay visa, after arriving in France you need to apply for a temporary stay permit (Carte de séjour temporaire). If you want to extend the purpose of your stay, you need to apply for a renewal of your residence permit. You have to do this at the local French administration two months before the expiry date of your visa.
  • Temporary long-stay visa (Visa long séjour temporaire de six mois): This visa is valid for stays up to 6 months, but you do not need to apply for a temporary stay permit (Carte de séjour temporaire) from your home country. You cannot remain in France past the visa validity date.
  • Corporate executive visa: This visa is specifically for corporate executives to stay and work in France.
  • Intra-group transferee card: Employees who work in a group of companies where there is a French subsidiary and they are assigned to work there, may be eligible for this visa.
  • EU Blue Card: A work and residence visa for qualified non-EU foreign nationals to work in an EU country. It permits its holder to enter and remain in a particular EU country for employment.

Required documents for a work visa in France

The documents required to apply for a work visa will vary depending on your employee’s country of residence, but the collection of these documents is a very important part of the visa application process. In general, the documents required are:

  • A completed visa application form
  • Two recently taken passport-style photos, no older than three months
  • An original, valid passport – make sure to check its date of issue, which must be no longer than 10 years ago, and be valid for a minimum of 3 months after the end of your planned stay. It must also have at least two blank pages in order to be able to put the visa sticker on it.
  • Proof of accommodation in France.
  • Proof of the paid visa fee
  • Proof of medical insurance which will cover your employee during their stay.
  • Proof of financial means during their stay, for example, their employment contract stating their salary

All documents must be originals with a photocopy attached, and if not in French, must be translated into either French or English.

In addition, to apply for a French visa for business purposes, you will need:

  • an invitation letter from the French company with their address and the dates of your visit (letter must state coverage of expenses for the applicant);
  • a certificate from your employer allowing your business travel;
  • proof of previous trade relations between the two companies if applicable;
  • business bank statements (last six months);
  • memorandum and Article of Association in original certified copy (registered with joint stock companies) Trade License (first issued and present renewal), Proprietorship/Partnership documents.

Process to get a work visa in France

Getting a work visa when the employee is based outside of France

  1. Identify whether the employment levels have to be checked before hiring the future employee:
    • If this is the case then you can apply for a work permit
    • If this isn’t the case, then the employer will have to publish the job offer for 3 weeks in a public employment agency (Pôle Emploi or Apec) before applying for the work permit.
  2. Complete the online application for the work permit on the dedicated portal
  3. Receive confirmation by e-mail that the application has been submitted
  4. If the work permit is issued, the employer and the foreign employee will receive it by e-mail
  5. The future employee will then have to attach the work permit to his/her visa application at the consulate and/or residence permit application at the Prefecture.      

Getting a work visa when the employee is based inside of France

  1. Check that the employee holds a valid residence permit and that this permit authorizes him to work in France (this can be done with the Prefecture of the place of residence of the employee in accordance with the information on their website
  2. Identify whether the employment levels have to be checked before hiring the future employee:
    • If this is the case then you can apply for a work permit
    • If this isn’t the case, then the employer will have to publish the job offer for 3 weeks in a public employment agency (Pôle Emploi or Apec) before applying for the work permit.
  3. Complete the online application for the work permit on the dedicated portal
  4. Receive confirmation by e-mail that the application has been submitted
  5. If the work permit is issued, the employer and the foreign employee will receive it by e-mail
  6. The future employee will then have to attach the work permit to his/her visa application at the consulate and/or residence permit application at the Prefecture.

Special notes about work visas in France

  • Obtaining a work permit does not exempt foreign nationals from the requirement to apply for a visa allowing them to enter France and a residence permit granting the right of residence (for stays of over three months).
  • Citizens of the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland are not affected, as they benefit from free movement within European territory and can settle and work in France.
  • The post-Brexit transition period expired on December 31, 2020. British citizens must now also apply for a work permit depending on their date of arrival in France and their situation.
  • Since April 1, 2021, the Ministry of the Interior has been responsible for monitoring foreign workers and in deciding whether to grant a work permit they will review:
    • Employment levels in the profession and region in question
    • The degree to which the foreign national’s skills, experience and qualifications match the characteristics of the proposed job.
    • The conditions of employment and pay offered to the foreign national, which must be comparable to those granted to other employees of the company (or occupational sector) in similar roles.
    • The proposed salary, which must be at least equal to the statutory national minimum wage(SMIC) (i.e. €19,747 as of May 1, 2022).
    • The employer’s compliance with legislation governing employment and social protection.
    • The employee’s compliance, where applicable, with regulatory conditions governing the position in question.
  • The French work visa is closely tied to residency status, so it’s important for employment to be established before employees begin the process of obtaining a permit to move to France.

Hiring in France, Made Easy

Your business can easily hire employees in France without opening a local entity. We handle local employment law, complex tax regulations, and international payroll in 180+ countries worldwide. All you need to do is focus on your business.

FAQs

The EU Blue Card is a work- and residence permit for non-EU/EEA nationals. it provides comprehensive socio-economic rights and a path towards permanent residence and EU citizenship. It has been described as Europe’s answer to the US Green Card.

  1. If the employee holds an EU Blue Card, they are authorized to enter, re-enter and stay in the country that has issued it. Their family members can accompany them. The EU Blue Card holder and their family members are entitled to freedom of movement within the EU.
  2. If the visa holder is a citizen of a European country, they must have a right to stay in France as worker, inactive or student in order to bring their family. They can be accompanied or joined in France by the members of their close family (husband/wife, children, ascendants) whatever their nationality. Other people with whom they are linked may also be authorized to live with them in France (partner, dependent, etc.), but, in this case, it is not an automatic right.
  3. Non-European foreigners without a residence permit cannot bring their family to France.
  4. Service-Piblic.fr, the official website of the French administration, provide an online module where you can answer a few questions and it will guide you the information relevant to your situation and your rights

Waiting times for appointments and for processing applications will vary depending on your nationality and the time of year. You should submit visa applications well in advance of the departure date. In general, however, a short-stay visa will usually take five to 20 working days and a long-stay visa will usually take 15 – 20 working days, and possibly up to 2 months in some specific cases.

Your permitted length of stay is dependent on the type of visa you hold:

  • Short-stay visa (visa de court séjour): a maximum of 3 months
    • Long-stay visa (visa de long séjour): 3 to 12 months
    • Temporary long-stay visa (Visa long séjour temporaire de six mois): a maximum of 6 months
    • EU Blue Card: The standard period for which a Blue Card is valid, is three years. If your work contract gets extended, you can renew your EU Blue Card accordingly.
    • Intra-group transferee card: up to 3 years
    • Corporate executive visa: Up to 4 years

Your permitted length of stay is dependent on the type of visa you hold:

  • Short-stay visa (visa de court séjour): a maximum of 3 months
  • Long-stay visa (visa de long séjour): 3 to 12 months
  • Temporary long-stay visa (Visa long séjour temporaire de six mois): a maximum of 6 months
  • EU Blue Card: The standard period for which a Blue Card is valid, is three years. If your work contract gets extended, you can renew your EU Blue Card accordingly.
  • Intra-group transferee card: up to 3 years
  • Corporate executive visa: Up to 4 years

An Employer of Record (EOR) provides a valuable service to businesses, by hiring and managing international employment on their behalf. While the company retains supervisory and management control of their employee on a day-to-day basis, a France EOR becomes the registered employer of the employee. They will provide a registered entity for running a compliant local payroll in France, arrange all visas and work permits and be able to advise companies on laws regarding local contracts, worker protections, notice periods, termination rules and severance pay. They will also act as the host country interface between employees and local government authorities.

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