- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals France Guide (PDF)
As with most countries, there are certain requirements expats must meet before working in France. These may vary depending on the expat's country of origin. Citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland don’t require work permits to find employment in France.
Non-EU nationals must usually go through a complicated application process for the right to employment in France. There's also a limitation on the number of job categories open to non-European foreigners. As such work permits in France are notoriously difficult for expats to get.
Eligibility for a work permit in France is related to employment status, and it's usually necessary for expats to find employment before relocating. Expats may need to rely on their prospective employer to obtain the permit on their behalf.
Expats looking for employment in France may also need to prove that their skills are unique and can't be found among EEA nationals, which can be a troublesome task. Patience is a valuable asset, as expats in France are bound to experience the country’s infamous bureaucratic process first-hand.
Applying for a work permit for France
Expats planning to work in France for longer than three months are required to have a long-stay visa, which can only be applied for after their prospective work contract is sent to the French Ministry of Labour for approval. Once the contract has been reviewed and approved an appointment can be made to apply for the visa. Expats arriving in France on a long-stay work visa are required to register with the Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration (French Office of Immigration and Integration).
Work visas for France vary in their length of validity, requirements and number of entries. They generally also depend on the type of worker and their field. Common work permits for expats moving to France include the Skills and Talents permit, as well as the Employees on Assignment permit.
*Visa and work permit regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.
Are you an expat living in France?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to France. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.
GeoBlue is one of the best international health insurance plans for US expats abroad or internationals residing in the USA. The GeoBlue Xplorer plan includes worldwide coverage and great customer service with access to a premium international network of hospitals and doctors including the Blue Cross Blue Shield network in the USA.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.