How to Get a Work Visa in France: A Practical Guide

How to Get a Work Visa in France
How to Get a Work Visa in France | photo courtesy | Visa Guide


If you are a foreign national who wants to work in France, you will need to apply for a work visa that suits your occupation, skills, and qualifications.

A work visa is a type of employment permit that allows you to enter and work in France legally.

There are different types of work visas, depending on whether you want to work temporarily or permanently and whether you have a job offer from a French employer or not.

In this article, we will explain how to get a work visa in France in 2023 and what are the requirements and procedures for each visa category.

Who needs a work visa in France?

The requirement for a work visa in France is contingent on factors such as nationality, residency status, and the nature of the work.

The general guidelines are as follows:

  1. EU/EEA/Swiss Citizens:
    • Citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland can work in France without a work visa.
    • They enjoy the freedom to live and work in the country with a valid passport or national identity card.
  2. Non-EU/EEA/Swiss Citizens:
    • Individuals from non-EU/EEA/Swiss countries generally need a work permit, unless exempted by a bilateral agreement or specific provision.
    • A residence permit is also required for stays exceeding three months.
  3. Students in France:
    • Students in France can work up to 20 hours per week with a student visa, eliminating the need for a separate work permit.
    • For full-time employment or post-study work, a dedicated work visa application is necessary.

Types of work visas in France

Various work permits are available in France, each with distinct eligibility criteria and application procedures. Common types include:

  1. Short-stay Work Visas:
    • Valid for up to three months for specific purposes like business trips or seasonal jobs.
    • Apply at the French embassy with a passport, application form, photo, fee, and supporting documents.
    • No work or residence permit is required.
  2. Temporary Work Visas:
    • Typically valid for three months to a year, allowing limited-term employment.
    • Obtainable with a job offer from a French employer sponsoring your visa.
    • Requires a work permit obtained by the employer, and a residence permit for stays exceeding three months.
  3. Long-stay Work Visas:
    • Multi-year visas, often lasting five to ten years and renewable.
    • Grant permanent work and residence rights in France.
    • Obtainable with a job offer or through special categories like talent passport, self-employed visa, or family reunification.
    • Requires a work permit, visa, and residence permit upon arrival in France.

How to apply for a work visa in France

The work visa application process in France varies by type, but the general steps include:

  1. Find a Sponsor:
    • Secure a job in France with an employer willing to sponsor your visa, using platforms like Indeed or LinkedIn.
    • Network with individuals connected to French employers and obtain a job offer.
  2. Obtain a Work Permit:
    • Have your employer acquire a work permit from French labor authorities.
    • Submit necessary forms and documents, such as a contract, job description, salary statement, and proof of qualifications.
  3. Apply for a Visa:
    • Apply for the visa at the French embassy or consulate in your home country once the work permit is approved.
    • Submit your passport, visa application, photo, fee, and work permit approval.
    • Provide additional documents like a resume, diploma, and certificates, and attend a visa interview.
  4. Enter France and Apply for a Residence Permit:
    • Enter France within the visa validity period, presenting passport, visa, and work permit approval.
    • Apply for a residence permit within three months if the visa is valid beyond three months.
    • Submit documents to the French Office for Immigration and Integration or local prefecture, undergo a medical examination, and pay a fee.
    • Receive a residence permit showing visa status, stay period, and employer, to be carried at all times in France.


Securing a work permit in France is a feasible process, although it necessitates careful preparation and patience.

Key steps include finding a suitable job with a French employer willing to sponsor your work permit, obtaining a work permit and visa from French authorities, and applying for a residence permit upon arrival in France.

Meeting specific requirements tailored to your visa type and occupation is essential.

By diligently following these steps and ensuring you have all the required documents, you can legally work and reside in France.

We trust this article has provided valuable insights into obtaining a work permit in France in 2023.

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