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France Work Visas & Work Permits

When establishing and expanding your business in France, the process is likely to involve bringing part of your existing workforce. To do this, you’ll need to apply for and obtain a France work visa for each employee. 

France has complex and strict immigration rules for foreign workers, so it is crucial that you understand the visa process and know which visas are most suitable for your employees. If you do fail to follow the rules correctly, you may encounter unexpected delays to your expansion.

At Horizons, our global experts offer comprehensive France work visa services, immigration advice, and customized outsourcing, giving your business and your employees everything needed to successfully commence your expansion into France.

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Standard requirements for French work permits

The exact requirements for French work visas can vary depending on the type of visa and the details of the applicant. Applicants from non-EU countries will generally need to have valid application forms, a travel document such as a passport, proof of residence, and so on. Additionally, there is usually an application fee. 

In some cases, applicants may also need other supporting documents such as criminal record checks, proof of medical coverage, and evidence of work experience or qualifications.

Types of France work visas

If your employees are from EU countries, they do not need to obtain working visas to seek employment in France. This exemption also includes several other European countries such as Switzerland and member nations of the European Economic Area. 

For those who are not visa-exempt, there is a range of options. The following are some of the most common:

  • Long-term visa: Enables work for periods of more than 90 days.
  • Short-term visa: Enables training for periods of up to 90 days.
  • Intra-group transferee card: This allows some workers to be transferred to a French subsidiary business (where applicable).
  • EU Blue Card: A work and residence visa for third-country nationals.
  • Corporate executive visa: A visa specifically designed for corporate executives working in France.

Of these options, the long-term visa, otherwise known as the visa de long sejour, is probably the most suitable for most organizations and employees. 

How to get French work visas for your employees

To bring employees to work for you in France, your organization will need to be heavily involved in the application process. You will need to follow various steps as part of the application. 

As an employer, you will need to submit the visa application to the correct government department, known as DIRECCTE. This can be done online. If successful, the application will be passed onto the French consulate in the applicant’s country who will then contact the applicant.

Importantly, applications may take a number of weeks to complete, so be sure to initiate the process well in advance to avoid delays to your expansion.

Further considerations for your French working visas

A common additional consideration for employees moving to work in France is the inclusion of family members on the visa. If any of your employees need to bring their families, this should be organized and disclosed in advance of the move.

How can Horizons help?

At Horizons, we support businesses of all kinds with their expansion into France, and we are experienced in obtaining French work permits. Our France work visa experts provide reliable advice and bespoke outsourcing services to help you navigate France’s complex work visa process quickly and cost-effectively. We can ensure that you and your valued employees are fully compliant with France’s unique immigration system, save you time, and answer any questions you may have throughout the process.

In addition, we provide extensive outsourcing services covering recruitment, payroll, HR, administration, and more to help your business start trading in France as quickly and effectively as possible, even if you haven’t established a French subsidiary for your organization.