Settling in France’s overseas Departments and Regions
The living conditions provided to international talents and their families on-site, in particular quality of life, social relations at work, integration, prospects for the future, the family environment and the quality of the opportunities offered, irrevocably influence the choice of destination for international mobility.
The mechanisms set up to provide for these conditions are essential to making France a welcoming place for investors, entrepreneurs, start-ups and international talents wishing to set up business, work and establish themselves permanently there with their families. Talent mobility, for instance, is a key component for companies and national economies by which to measure attractiveness.
It can be planned in mainland France but also in the overseas departments and regions, which are France’s overseas assets. Thanks to its overseas territories, France is the only European Union country found on three different oceans.
Foreign talents: residing and working in the overseas departments and regions
In the overseas departments and regions (DROM), the entry and stay of foreign talents as well as the exercise of a professional activity is possible under the same conditions as in mainland France.
Some conditions may apply locally, however, as these overseas territories implement different conditions in line with their characteristics. With this in mind, you can find these specificities explained directly in our different sheets, grouped by theme in the “Our rubrics” area of this website Visa, staying, working; Social protection; Personal taxation; Employment regulations; Day-to-day life.
Have a look at our dedicated fact sheets
As Mayotte has a specific status compared to other overseas territories, we recommend that you consult the following fact sheets:
France has 12 overseas territories. Combined, they are home to nearly 2.6 million inhabitants. Amongst these, a distinction is made between overseas departments and regions (DROM) and overseas communities and territories (CTOM).
French overseas departments and regions (DROM)
Guadeloupe: a French region at the heart of the Americas
Guadeloupe is located in the Caribbean at three-hour’s flight time from the United States. Its port infrastructure is comprised of 13 multipurpose ports, 10 fishing ports and three marinas. Grand Port Caraïbes is ISO 14001-certified and is recognized, having won awards for the standard of its services at Caribbean level. Guadeloupe Pôle Caraïbes airport, which can handle four million passengers per year, is the overseas territories’ leading airport. The island has innovation centers, clusters and technical networks (Synergîle, GuadeloupeTech, Cluster Maritime Guadeloupe, RITA).
French Guiana: A European presence in South America
French Guiana is located on the north Atlantic coast of South America. Its growth is based on its exceptional geostrategic location, a qualified and competitive workforce, and an abundance of natural resources. Aerospace-related activity, which is centered on the Guiana Space Centre and a number of research centers, mean that French Guiana has the second-highest proportion of research jobs in all of France’s regions, just behind the Greater Paris region.
French Guiana also has substantial resources (gold, iron, bauxite and diamonds) as well as major ecological treasures: the Amazon rainforest covers 95% of its surface area, i.e. over eight million hectares. Seafood-related trade puts Cayenne in fourth place for French fishing ports.
Martinique: the pearl of the French Antilles
Martinique, which lies halfway between Brazil and the United States, is an associate member of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). The fact that it is part of French national territory, coupled with its status as an EU ultraperipheral region, mean that the island is aligned with French standards in terms of business climate, whilst being able to represent Europe in a thriving region with a North American influence. Martinique has the seventh busiest French port infrastructure in terms of traffic as well as top-tier airport facilities.
La Réunion: Europe in the middle of the Indian ocean
With its unique geographical location, its status as an ultraperipheral region and its vibrant environment, Réunion has many competitive advantages, fostering access to the economic markets of the Indian Ocean area, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
The island provides an ideal bridgehead for the expansion of economic activities towards these regions. Its economy, which is focused on agriculture and tourism, is driven by the presence of major companies and a flourishing innovation ecosystem coordinated by a Technopole and a cluster (Qualitropic), which is centered on the tropical bioeconomy.
Mayotte: a crossroads for maritime trade between Europe and the Indian ocean
Located at the northern entrance of the Mozambique Channel and 150 miles from Madagascar, the island of Mayotte has been a crossroads for maritime trade between Europe and the Indian Ocean for centuries.
The island’s natural and cultural advantages provide strong potential and the sharp increase in the number of air passengers, together with the introduction of a direct flight between Paris and Mayotte, are leveraging growth.
French overseas communities and territories (CTOM)
French overseas communities and territories (CTOM) are:
- New Caledonia;
- French Polynesia;
- the French Southern and Antarctic Lands; and
- the Wallis-et-Futuna Islands.