How do I get a work visa for France?

You are going to work in France, and getting a work visa is part of the preparation for your stay. Here is everything you need to know about how to get a work visa for France, with information about visa types, work authorization, insurance, the documents required for your application, and how to apply.

Which visa should I apply for to work in France?

Your visa should be in line with your work contract, whether it’s long-term or short-term:

  • You must apply for a short-stay visa if your work trip lasts less (or exactly) 90 days in a 180-day (six months) period in total.
  • You must apply for a long-stay visa if you stay longer, between three months and one year maximum. This is a Type D or a “national” visa. Your long-stay work visa should be registered within three months after you arrive in France. After one year, you will have to apply for a residence permit (called “titre de séjour”) to stay in France.

Specific cases:

  1. If you are:
  • Assigned by your employer to a company based in France
  • Employed by a group of companies based abroad for a mission in France, or attending a training in the French buildings of this group

You will have to apply for a visa according to the duration of your contract with this company in France. If you apply for a long-stay visa, you will be written as a “travailleur temporaire” (temporary worker).

2. If you are:

  • A trainee

You must apply for a long-stay visa with the mention “Stagiaire ICT”, and register it within three months after you arrive in France.

  • An executive with a managerial mission or a senior expertise

You apply for a three-year long-stay visa with the mention “salarié détaché ICT”. Within two months of your arrival in France, you will have to ask at the prefecture for a pluriannual residence permit.

For these two last cases, your family (wife, husband, children under 18) can join you. Members of your family are allowed to apply for a residence permit of the same duration as yours. This allows them to work.

If I want to work in France as a seasonal worker, which visa should I apply for?

To work as a seasonal in France, you need a work visa. You will be able to work in France six months out of 12.

You must apply for a long-stay visa with the mention “travailleur saisonnier” (seasonal worker).

If you have several French employers, you will need a work authorization. Then you will have to get a residence permit at the prefecture, within two months of your arrival in France. This is a pluriannual residence permit.

However, your employer will have to grant you a new work authorization each year you work for them.

Which other documents do I need to get a work visa for France?

The following documents are required for a work visa application:

  • Your visa application form, dated and signed, and the France-Visas receipt
  • Two recently taken passport photographs
  • Your passport, delivered less than 10 years ago and with a minimum of two free pages. It has to be valid for at least three months after you leave the Schengen Area. In the case of a long-stay trip, it can be valid for three months after your visa expires.
  • If your country of residency is different from your citizenship, you have to submit legal proof of residency in this country (residence permit…)
  • Proof of your visa insurance.

Regarding your professional activity in France, you will have to provide:

  • A work authorization which your employer will get via DIRECCTE (form Cerfa n°15187*02), sent directly to the embassy or the consulate of your country of residence by Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration (OFII)
  • A copy of your degrees, qualifications and work certificate

What is a work authorization?

A work authorization is a document allowing a foreign citizen to work as an employee in France.

To get a work visa, the company willing to hire a foreign citizen has to get a work authorization from DIRECCTE (Direction Régionale des Entreprises, de la Concurrence, de la Consommation, du Travail et de l’Emploi) to allow them to work legally in France. This authorization has to be included in the visa application.

However, your employer does not have to get an authorization if your mission is linked to sport, cultural, artistic or scientific purposes, business tourism (summit or convention), movie and audiovisual production and broadcasting, musical production, visiting professorship or lectureship, or services to the employer during their stay in France (excluding companies).

You have to justify the exemption by proving your mission in France is linked to your mission in your country of origin.

If you are a model, you are also exempt and the agency has to fill in a specific form.

If you work for an individual, they have to provide you with a commitment form (called “Formulaire d’engagement”, the employer commits, by signing this form, to respect the social French policy), dated and signed.

How do I apply for a work visa?

  1. You fill out the form online on France-Visas.
  2. You receive a receipt from France-Visas, proving you sent your form. You have to print it.
  3. You have then to book an appointment to submit your application. Depending on the country you apply from, this appointment will be at the French consulate or at an organization approved by France to collect visa application forms (VFS Global, TLS, Capago).
  4. During this appointment, you will give all the documents to support your application. You pay the fees at that time.
  5. An appointment will be fixed for you to take your passport back.
  6. You can follow the process of your application online.

When should I apply for a French work visa?

Your application has to be sent no more than 6 months before your departure.

How much does a work visa for France cost?

The work visa for France costs €99. You have to pay in the local currency, during your appointment to register your visa application form.

If your visa application is denied, there will be no refund for this amount.

Do I need insurance to apply for a work visa?

If you apply for a short-stay visa, you need medical insurance to cover any medical fees or hospitalization and in case of repatriation or death. AXA offers a range of insurance policies tailored to the needs of people traveling and staying in the Schengen Area.

If you apply for a long-stay visa up to six months, two of these options should cover your needs: Low Cost Schengen insurance and Europe Travel Insurance.

We do our best to provide the most accurate and up to date information, however, the visa regulations can be changed at any time by the French consulate in your country, depending on the circumstances. Because of that, we cannot take responsibility for these changes. Please contact the consulate to find out the exact regulations at the time you apply for a visa.


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