How to get a work permit for France

I recently received an email from someone interested in improving their French by finding work in France. Sounds doable, doesn’t it? Unfortunately not- the person wasn’t from the EU, thus hampering her chances of working in France.

I must admit that this is something that I had naively failed to even consider- I really did take my EU status and my capacity to legally work in France for granted. I blush when I think of my incessant complaining about the paperwork to complete when I had reached France. Unfortunately for my blog reader, working in France looks unlikely- here’s why.

The main issue that arises for people of non EU origin looking for jobs in France is the absence of a work permit. While EU members skip this step completely, non EU members require a work permit to enter France. This is extremely difficult to find. The main issue with finding a work permit is the fact that you must find a job before receiving a work permit as your prospective employer must apply for a work permit for you. There are different types of work permit (for example seasonal work permits and temporary work permits) but all must abide by the same common rule. As the European Union attempt to cut down on immigrants, your propestive employer must convince the French government that they couldn’t find anyone of an EU member state to work. This is quite complicated and it is unlikely that an employer will either a) be willing to do this or b) succeed in doing it. Therefore, this element makes it extremely unlikely for non EU citizens to find work permits in France.

However, all is not lost. Otherwise, citizens of  Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Seychelles, Taiwan, Uruguay and the Vatican City, as well as British Nationals (Overseas) can visit France without a visit/ work permit for up to 90 days.

Some countries offer working visas. Currently, these are Argentina, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Hong Kong.  This is deefeinitely a good option. Applicants can legally stay in France for one year- although there are age restrictions. Applicants can travel to other EU countries during the visa. The applicant must have sufficient funds in their bank account before travel, as well as travel insurance. Otherwise, tourists with a holiday visa can stay in the country for 90 days.

There are many programs created by American, Canadian and Australian countries. These programs aim to create short term employment (less than 3 months) for candidates outside the EU. These typically include au pairing, teaching English or internships. However, they are usually extremely expensive!


Bon courage- please comment if I can help further!



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