Do you need a work permit?Print the page
You are coming to work in France as a foreign employee of a company located in France or abroad
Whatever the length of your stay for business purposes, you must typically obtain a work permit before you can take up paid employment in France.
There are a number of exemptions from the work permit requirement as well as multi-year residence permits that are equivalent to work permits.
|Helpful tip: Citizens of a European Union or European Economic Area Member State or Switzerland can work in France without a work permit.|
- Obtaining a work permit.
- Renewing a work permit.
- Employees posted to France by an employer established outside France (service provider).
To get your personalized guide, go to the ‘My procedures’ section.
What is a work permit?
A work permit may take various forms:
- A long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (VLS-TS) or a residence permit authorizing the holder to take up paid employment. Please see the ‘Residence permits’ section for further details.
- A specific work permit for people whose residence permit does not allow them to work.
|Helpful tip: These work permits must be appended to the Official Employee Register, made available to inspectors from the Labor Inspectorate.|
To work in a regulated profession, you must also have a qualification or skill specific to that profession (for example, healthcare professionals, lawyers and chartered accountants).
For further information:
Regarding the recognition of foreign qualifications in France, please see the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development website.
Are you exempt from the work permit requirement?
A number of employees are exempt from the requirement to obtain a work permit:
- Citizens of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) Member State or Switzerland.
- Citizens from outside these countries working lawfully (with a residence permit issued by a European country) and customarily for an employer established in an EU or EEA Member State or Switzerland in the context of providing a service.
- Foreign employees undertaking paid employment for three months or less in one of the following fields:
- Sporting, cultural, artistic and scientific events.
- Conferences, seminars and trade shows.
- Production and distribution of cinematic and audiovisual works, shows and recordings.
- Modeling and artistic posing.
- Personal service workers and domestic workers working in France during their private employers’ stay in the country.
- Audit and consulting in IT, management, finance, insurance, architecture and engineering, under the terms of a service agreement or intra-company transfer agreement.
- Occasional teaching activities by invited lecturers.
- Spouses of French citizens, parents of French children, and close family members of French employees in possession of a temporary ‘Private and Family Life’ residence permit.
For further information:
Decree 2016-1461 of October 28, 2016 listing exemptions from the work permit requirement.