Work permit in France

Work permit in France
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Internationally expanding companies may consider hiring remote employees who live in France or employees who are traveling to countries like France to work. Depending on their nationality, employees and digital nomads need a France work permit to work in the country legally.

As an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure your employees can work in their country legally. This guide will show you how to do that for your employees living in France and how to ensure compliance with immigration laws.

Types of work visas and permits in France

When you’re hiring your globally dispersed teams, your employees need to follow all the local employment and immigration laws in the country where they’re working. This is true whether your employees in France are French citizens, citizens of other countries traveling to France, or employees who are relocating (or being transferred) to France.

Citizens of France do not need a France work permit to work in their country. Citizens of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) countries, or Switzerland do not need a work permit to live and work in France as well. Students also do not need to get a work permit to work as it is a part of their residence permit. Citizens of other countries may need a work visa or work permit to live in France and work in the country.

The following is a list of France visas that employees can use to work in France.

Long-term visa

The long-term visa, also known as the long-stay visa (visa de long séjour), allows employees to travel to France and stay for longer than three months. An employee’s nationality does not exempt them from the requirement for a long-term visa if they intend to stay in the country longer than 90 days.

The duration for the long-stay visa is between 90 days and one year. If an employee wants to extend the long-stay visa for periods longer than one year, a residence permit must be issued to the employee at a prefecture.

Holders of the long-stay visa have the same travel rights as holders of the Schengen visa. The Schengen visa is a visa that allows travelers to move through any of the countries in the Schengen zone for up to 90 days in 180 days.

Short-term visa

The short-term visa, also known as the short-stay visa, is available for employees to stay in France short-term — under three months.

It can be used for employees to take part in certain activities that do not exceed 90 days, such as:

  • Tourism
  • Family visits
  • Business trips
  • Conferences
  • Internships
  • Corporate meetings
  • Training programs
  • Remunerated activities

Citizens of the EU, EEA, and Switzerland do not need a short-stay visa to stay in France for under three months.

The short-stay visa is also required to transit through France outside the international zone of airports, such as when travelers need to change airports or are waiting for a flight at the house of a friend or relative.

EU Blue Card

Eligible employees who are not from the EU or EEA can apply for the European Blue Card (EU Blue Card). This card is a combination of a residence permit and a work permit. It is supported by 25 countries across Europe, including France. This type of visa and work permit is only for highly qualified individuals.

Corporate Executive Visa

Corporate executives can get a Corporate Executive Visa to work as a manager or as an executive.

Positions relevant to this visa include:

  • Managing director of a French corporation
  • President of a simplified incorporation
  • Managing director of a French limited company
  • Managing director of a branch or liaison office

Intra-group transferee card

The intra-group transferee card, also known as the intra-corporate transferee card (ICT) is a visa specifically for employees of multinational corporations established outside of the EU that have a branch office in France.

The intra-group transferee card is used for employees of foreign multinational companies that are being transferred to the French subsidiary of their company. The duration of this card is for the period of employment, with a maximum of three years.

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France visa requirements

Specific requirements differ depending on the visa or work permit.

Short-stay and long-stay visas

Certain documents are required to be submitted when applying for a visa:

  • An application form
  • A travel document with two blank pages
  • Two recent ID pictures
  • Receipts for application fees
  • Any other supporting documents, if applicable

EU Blue Card requirements

Applicants must provide proof of these qualifications such as degrees as well as proof of high earnings, travel documents, and an existing employment agreement.

Corporate Executive Visa

To get a Corporate Executive Visa, non-EU nationals need to have a prior simplified authorization (récépissé de declaration).

ICT card requirements

To be eligible for an ICT card, employees must:

  • Hold a long-stay visa
  • Have an employment contract of at least three months with a French company
  • Prove seniority of at least three months in their position
  • Earn more than 1.8 times the minimum monthly wage

Work permit requirements

Certain documents are required to go along with applications for work permits.

Documents that are required for applications for a work permit include:

  • Letter explaining the employee’s role and why they are being recruited
  • Copy of the employee’s passport
  • France work permit application form
  • Tax notice or up-to-date register for legal entities
  • Evidence of the relationship between the company established in France and the company established abroad for intra-corporate transferees
  • Copy of the employee’s residence permit for employees already living in France
  • Copies of the qualifications or certifications for the employee’s role
  • Proof that regulatory conditions are met for the position in question, if applicable
  • Evidence that the company made efforts to find a French candidate for the position
  • Copy of the employee’s certificate of employment or employment contract with at least three months of service for companies outside of France
  • Copy of the declaration of registration with the French social security system
  • Registration with the paid leave scheme (caisse des congés payés), where applicable
  • Letter appointing an employee to complete required administrative formalities, where applicable

When you’re hiring employees in France, make sure your employees fulfill all of the France visa requirements so they can legally work in the country.

How to apply for a France work permit and visa

The procedure for applying for a visa differs for each work permit and visa.

Long-stay visa application

Applicants can apply for a long-stay visa at the French Embassy or Consulate in their home country. Application forms can be submitted in person at the embassy.

Short-stay visa application

Applications for a short-stay visa can be submitted online.

EU Blue Card application

Applications for The European Blue Card visa can be submitted online. Applicants can add their profile information and resume and access their application submission on the website.

Corporate Executive Visa application

Corporate executives are required to get a visa to reside and hold their positions in France. The Corporate Executive Visa is processed through the Trade and Foreign Affairs Department.

ICT card application

To get the ICT card, applicants must first obtain a long-stay visa. Then, for stays of under one year, applicants must register online within the first three months of their arrival in France.

For stays longer than one year, employees must go to their local prefecture and apply for a residence permit within two months of their arrival in France.

Work permit application

Foreign employee work permit applications must be submitted online on a dedicated portal by the employer on behalf of their employee.

Application processing time

Application processing times for visas can vary between three weeks and three months. The processing time for a work permit is 5-12 days for a short-stay work visa and up to six weeks for a long-stay visa.

Ensuring that your employees have all their visas can take time, but your company can continue to hire and onboard while you are waiting to ensure compliance with immigration laws. One way to help speed the hiring process is to partner with a global employer of record like Skuad.

Planning to hire or work in France? Here’s how Skuad can help

Foreign employees working in France may need a visa and work permit, depending on their nationality and the type of work they are hired to perform. Students and citizens from EU or EEA countries or Switzerland can work in France without a permit. Citizens from other countries will need a work permit. Your company can apply for the work permits on behalf of your employees, or you can partner with an employer of record to guarantee France immigration compliance.

Skuad can help your company hire a remote team in France. To hire employees in France, companies must have a legal entity in the country or otherwise partner with an HR outsourcing company set up as a legal entity in the country. Plus, when working with an employer of record, your company won't have to invest the considerable time and money necessary to establish a local legal entity in France.

Beyond France, Skuad can help your company expand internationally in any other nation where we are legally established. With this, Skuad can help you hire in more than 160 countries and pay your employees in more than 100 local currencies.

As your employer of record, we can also help with:

  • Onboarding new hires
  • Drafting legally compliant employment agreements
  • Processing payroll, payroll taxes, benefits, and timesheets
  • Compliance with France immigration laws
  • Ensure your employees meet France work visa requirements
  • Applying for France work permits

Get all your visas and work permit applications submitted and immigration compliance taken care of with the help of an international employer of record like Skuad. We can help you hire globally so you can concentrate on your company’s core business strategies. Contact us today for a demo.


How can I get a work permit in France?

Depending on your nationality, you may need a work permit to live and work in France. If you are a citizen of the EU, EEA countries, or Switzerland, you do not need a work permit to work in France. If you are a student, you also do not need to get a work permit since permission to work is built into your residence permit. All other employees would need a work permit to work in France.

First, you must obtain a short-stay or long-stay visa. Then, work permit applications to hire foreign employees must be submitted online by your employer on a dedicated portal (in French).

Is it hard to get a work permit in France?

As long as you meet eligibility requirements and submit your application properly with all the required supporting documents, it should not be hard to get a work permit.

However, employers must attempt to fill positions with French candidates before they can hire foreign nationals to fill their open positions. If no French candidates are available, you may be able to get the job and travel to France to work.

Can I work in France as a US citizen?

You can work in France as a US citizen. You would need to follow France immigration rules and fulfill France visa requirements like citizens of any other country.

How long does France work permit take?

The processing time for a France work permit generally takes between five days and six weeks.

Is it hard for a US citizen to move to France?

It should not be hard for a US citizen to move to France and get a job there. To stay in France temporarily for up to one year, you would need a short-term residence permit known as the Carte de Séjour. To move to France, you would need a permanent residency permit and apply for a permanent residency card known as the Carte de Résident (CR). If you have already renewed your Carte de Séjour more than three years in a row, you would need to get a Carte de Résident card.

The Carte de Résident card is valid for 10 years and is renewable. After five years, you can apply for an EU long-term residence card. The EU long-term residence card is also valid for 10 years and is renewable

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