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First Step of Your Relocation to Paris Region: Getting a Visa and Work Permit

First Step of Your Relocation to Paris Region: Getting a Visa and Work Permit

To work or establish your business in Paris Region, you will be required to apply for a visa and work permit depending on your exact purpose of entry and length of stay in the country. Read on to find out about this crucial step before you relocate and learn which visa and work permit you may be eligible for!

Do you need a French visa?

EU Citizens

If you are an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen you do not require a work permit or a visa to take up employment in France and you can move freely in the country. You will not need to show any other documentation besides a valid passport or national ID. Although not necessary, you may apply for an EU-citizen residence card if you wish.

Non-EU Citizens

If you are not from the EU, EEA or Switzerland and intend to invest, work and stay in France for an extended period, you are required to possess a work permit and an appropriate visa to enter the French territory.

Brexit: UK Citizens

For arrivals as of January 1, 2021, UK citizens must follow the formalities provided for non-EU citizens in terms of residence and will need to apply for a long stay visa to stay in France for more than 90 days whatever the purpose of stay.


How long will you stay?

There are two categories of entry visas you can apply for, depending on the purpose and length of your stay:

Short-Stay Visa

It is also known as the Schengen visa and issued to non-EU nationals for the purposes of tourism, business trips or family visits. It is also available for those traveling to France to attend training programs, internships, conferences or corporate meetings and the length of stay should not exceed 90 days. After the 90 days, you must leave the Schengen area. The Schengen short-stay visa is renewable, but you will have to wait six months to submit a new request. The cost of this visa varies from €35 to €80 depending on your nationality. Find out more here.

Long-Stay Visa

If you are taking up paid employment in Paris longer than three months, then you need to apply for a long-stay visa, work permit and residence permit, which your employer must sponsor and obtain on your behalf. The long-stay visa only allows you to enter France, while the work permit and residence permit allow you to legally work and live in France. The duration of your long-stay visa must be between three months and one year but to extend your stay you must apply for a residence permit at a prefecture. Applying for this long-stay visa costs €99. Check that your nationality or the context of your stay in France do not exempt you from the visa application requirements here.

Check out the French Government page for the different stages of the visa application process.

Which Work Permit are you eligible for?

Whatever the length of your stay for business purposes, you must obtain a work permit before you can take up paid employment in France, unless you are eligible for a “Talent Passport”. Recruitment of a foreign employee requires a specific work permit authorizing paid employment. The employer should submit the work permit application at least three months before the employee is due to take up their role.

The “Talent Passport” for International Talents

The “Talent Passport” is a multi-year residence permit for non-EU nationals to live and work in France. You may be eligible if you are a qualified employee or if you wish to start a business that will contribute to France’s economic attractiveness. Check the 11 different professional categories that qualify here.
Note that your employment contract or your stay must exceed three months. This “Talent Passport” is valid for four years, on a renewable basis, and can be extended to immediate family members allowing them to work and live in France too.

Procedure and Cost

The procedure should be initiated no earlier than three months before the date of arrival in France and you should apply to the French consular authorities in your usual place of residence.

Applicants must pay a tax of €200 to the French Immigration and Citizenship Office (“OFII”) when the permit is issued. In addition to this, tax stamp duty of €25 is also charged, bringing a total cost of €225.

The French Tech Visa: For the Startup Founder and Employee

The French Tech Visa is a simplified procedure, dedicated to the Tech ecosystem, for three types of international tech talent to obtain the multi-year residence permit “Talent Passport”:

  • International start-up founders selected by partner incubators and accelerators,
  • International talents recruited by French companies recognized as innovative by the French Ministry of Economy,
  • International investors wanting to settle in France.

Check out our partner “Welcome to France” page to get more information about this visa.


Further useful information

Dematerialization of Immigration’s Procedures

The French authorities have decided the gradual dematerialization of immigration’s procedures, aiming to make the process more efficient. The first procedures to be dematerialized are residence permit applications or renewals, and work permit applications for foreign employees.
Check out the new online service for work permits.

Health Conditions and Final tips

To tackle the COVID virus and limit the introduction of its variants, border control measures are required on a temporary basis, for both entering and leaving France. The rules are based on the country of destination or origin and can be found on the Interior Ministry website.

Visit the official visa website for France here to access any visa application and to have more information such as useful documents you may need.
Do you plan on relocating in Paris Region? Check out our guide to help you step by step and learn more about getting a work permit and visa.  We can help you at any stage of your relocation so you can start enjoying your new life in Paris Region: Come for business, stay for life!

Choose Paris Experts

Olivier Allegret

Head of Client Solutions