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If your residence permit is no longer suited to your circumstances, you can apply to change your migratory status so that it matches the purpose of your stay in France as closely as possible.
You are in France and your circumstances are changing
Foreign nationals living in France under a long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit, a temporary residence permit, or a general or specific multi-year residence permit can apply for a different multi-year permit.
This is known as a ‘change of status’ and must be applied for at the Préfecture of the foreign national’s place of residence in France two months before the previous residence permit expires.
Foreign nationals must meet the criteria for the type of residence permit that corresponds to their new reason for staying in France.
The newly issued multi-year residence permit is marked with the same wording as the temporary residence permit previously held.
Further information can be found on Préfecture websites.
You completed your studies in France and want to find a job
Foreign students resident in France under a ‘Student’ residence permit and who have recently graduated with a master’s degree may wish to stay in France to find their first job.
Students looking for work or planning to start up a business can obtain a provisional residence permit authorizing them to reside in France for up to 12 months, on a non-renewable basis.
Students can also apply for a change of status so as to be able to take up paid employment in a company and apply for:
- A ‘Talent Passport’, if the student holds a qualification equivalent to a master’s degree or higher.
- Otherwise, the student can apply for a temporary residence permit marked ‘Employee’ (permanent employment contract) or ‘Temporary worker’ (fixed-term employment contract). A binding job offer may suffice. In this case, the application may still be rejected on the grounds of employment levels.
Students may subsequently apply for a multi-year residence permit corresponding to the reason for their stay in France.
Applying for a residence card
A residence card authorizes the holder to live and work in France for 10 years.
To obtain a residence card, foreign nationals must meet the following criteria:
- Be able to show evidence of five years’ regular, uninterrupted residence in France.
- Have health insurance.
- Be able to show evidence that they are diligently following the provisions of the Republican citizenship contract.
- Be able to show evidence of sufficient mastery of the French language.
- Have sufficient stable and regular income.
Further information can be found at service-public.fr.
You are coming for another reason
What if you do not fall into any of the previous categories?
You can find further information on our website or find the right contact point in the following table:
|You are coming to France on a business trip||
If you are coming to France for a conference or seminar or on a business trip to attend a one-off meeting or to meet with customers: unless you are exempt (due to your nationality), all you need is a short-stay visa.
If you are in France on a short-term assignment to train, advise or provide technical assistance to a company in France: as well as a visa, a provisional work permit may be required. Please see the ‘Working in France’ page.
The deciding factor is whether the applicant provides a service to or actually participates in the life of the host company and/or has an employer-employee relationship with the host company.
|You are attending a conference or seminar in France|
|You are travelling with your spouse||Please see the ‘Accompanying family’ page on our website.|
|You are coming to France as a tourist or for personal or family reasons||Unless your nationality means you are exempt, you must obtain a short or long-stay visa. Please see the ‘Do you need a visa?’ page for further details.|
|You are a student or student intern||Contact your university’s international mobility team and visit the website of the French agency for the promotion of higher education, Campus-France, for further information on what steps to take.|
|You are an intern||
Internship: You must have an internship agreement.
Intra-company internship: Employees transferred between companies to complete an internship within the same group for up to 12 months under an internship agreement.
Please visit service-public.fr for further information on what steps to take.
|You are a researcher||Please visit the Fondation Nationale Alfred Kastler (FNAK) to find out about the procedure for obtaining a visa and residence permit.|
|You are retired||You may be eligible for a retiree’s residence card. Please visit Service-public.fr for further details.|