France Work Permits From UAE

If a UAE citizen is travelling to and residing in France for professional purposes, they will need to apply for and be successfully granted a valid work permit. Once an employment contract is in place for services to be rendered in France, a visa must be issued, and a work permit and a residence permit must be obtained in order for the individual to legally earn and live in the country.

In most cases, employers hold the responsibility for obtaining a work visa and work permit for France on behalf of their employees. Contact Total Law for support throughout this process on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online.

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    Is a Work Visa Required For UAE Citizens?

    As the United Arab Emirates is not a member of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Schengen Zone, work permits are required for those who travel there for business purposes.

    There are varying types of work visas and work permits for France, including options specifically for:

    • Employees posted to the country to provide a service on either a temporary or permanent basis.
    • Employees who are taking part in an intra-company transfer (ICT), where they remain contractually attached to their original employer but moves to a French branch of the company or has an additional local contract with a French host company.
    • Employees who have been hired by a French employer either for a fixed or indefinite period (including seasonal work).
    • Employees following a professional course in a training organisation or company.

    If a business’ employee holds dual citizenship between the UAE and other European Union or Schengen state country, they may be exempt from applying for a work permit or residence permit. This varies widely and every individual’s circumstances are different, so it’s recommended that businesses seek specialist legal advice – employees should never be sent into France without first checking their status. Total Law can help; call the team now on +44 (0)333 305 9375.

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    The Difference Between A Work Visa And A Work Permit For France

    In most cases, Emirati nationals will require both a work visa and a work permit to be legally employed in France – be that for a French company, Emirati company or company based anywhere else in the world.

    A work visa allows the individual entry to France and the work permit allows their activities once actually there. If the former is in place but the latter not, any professional activities undertaken may be done so illegally. The latter will not be granted without the former.

    Types Of French Work Visa For UAE Citizens


    France offers a whole host of different work visas and work visas for those travelling into the country to complete business activities.

    To facilitate their employees to work in France, overseas employers must first obtain a valid work visa and then, upon the visa holder’s arrival in France, obtain a work permit.

    In most cases, the employer must initiate the application for a work visa and work permit, and pay any relevant fees. Work visa types include:

    Short Stay Work Visa

    French short stay work visas are issued to employees of businesses who are visiting France either to undertake short term work or to take part in a business trip. Short stay work visas of this type are non-renewable and valid for up to a period of 90 days, to be taken within a six-month period of the visa being granted. Typically a short stay visa for work will stipulate the exact allowed duration of stay, equivalent to that of the work assignment.

    Short stay work visas are usually fast-tracked by the French Consulate and so a decision can be expected within two to three weeks. This is just a guide, however, and applications can be made no more than three months prior to the intended arrival in France.

    Temporary Work Visa

    Where an employer requires a temporary job to be completed but its intended duration is over 90 days, a temporary work visa (known as a ‘traveilleur temporaire’) can be applied for. This type of work visa can be valid for any duration between three months to a year and is most commonly granted for models, modelling assistants, language teachers and teaching assistants.

    Again, this type of work visa is considered a fast-track option but should be applied for no sooner than three months before the intended arrival in France.

    To apply for a short stay work visa or a traveilleur temporaire, the application must include the following supporting documents:

    • A valid passport for the applicant (expiring no sooner than three months after the intended end date of the stay in France)
    • 3x standardised passport photos
    • A signed employment contract for the assignment giving details of the dates for its completion, the relevant role of the applicant and the place of work
    • Proof of health insurance providing a minimum of €30,000 coverage for the entire duration of the work permit
    • Proof of accommodation (usually a hotel reservation, but if the employer provides accommodation, details of this)
    • Proof of return travel (usually a flight reservation).

    Long Stay Work Visa

    A long stay visa for work can be applied for if an employee is required to work in France for over a year. A renewable option that is valid for any period between one and three years (on occasion four years), a long term work visa is usually only issued for senior management employees, medical professionals and those working for firms considered ‘innovative’ by the French authorities.

    Long stay work visas are more difficult to obtain than short stay ones, and it’s likely that French authorities will request further evidential documents to support applications. However, the following documents are considered standard:

    • A valid passport for the applicant (expiring no sooner than three months after the intended end date of the stay in France)
    • 3x standardised passport photos
    • A signed employment contract for the assignment giving details of the dates for its completion, the relevant role of the applicant and the place of work
    • French ‘extrait kbis’ corporate documents including organisational charts demonstrating the French brand of the international organisation or the relationship between a French third party and the employer
    • Receipts of social security payments made by the employer
    • Proof of health insurance providing a minimum of €30,000 coverage for the entire duration of the work permit
    • Proof of accommodation (a hotel reservation, details of employer-provided accommodation, or a rental agreement)

    On average, it takes between six to eight weeks to receive a decision on a long stay work visa for France.

    Special Case Work Visa

    Where an employer requires an employee to work on a voluntary basis (either through the European Voluntary Service, or for an association-based cause), or intends to hire a new employee fresh from studies in a relevant role (usually medical students into their chosen discipline) in France, they may be able to apply for a special case work visa.

    Application requirements for this type of work visa depends on the individual circumstances of each case and so there are no set criteria. It is always recommended in these instances that companies seek specialist advice – such as that from Total Law, who are contactable on +44 (0)333 305 9375.

    For clarity and help navigating the French work permit process, speak with our legal experts. Contact Us

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      Types Of French Work Permit For UAE Citizens

      Once a visa application has been made successfully and a work visa granted, the visa holder may travel to France. Upon arrival in France, they must apply for a work permit. This allows the individual to legally carry out the professional duties required of them for their role.

      The following types of work permit are available, with each coinciding with specific professional circumstances and the issuance of certain work visas:

      Talent Passport (Passeport Talent) work permit

      The French government introduced a specific work permit type in 2016 in order to attract foreign nationals who are considered to hold special professional talent to France. It’s believed that by having these people work in France, they will in turn benefit the French economy and society at large. Those eligible for a Talent Passport work permit must already have been granted a valid visa, and fit into one of the following categories of worker:

      • A ‘skilled’ recent graduate
      • Employees on a civic mission with a French employment contract
      • Scientists or researchers
      • Employees of a company deemed ‘innovative’ by the French government
      • Artists and performers
      • Investors into French business
      • Nationally or internationally renowned for literature, arts, education, sports or science

      Alongside longer term work visas, Talent Passport work permits are usually valid for a period of up to four years. They can be extended to the permit holder’s spouse and dependents also, making them an attractive prospect for employers to offer.

      a family traveling in France

      EU (European Union) Blue Card


      An EU Blue Card is a work permit that is often considered the European equivalent of an American Green Card. Open to highly skilled workers, it acts as a joint work and residence permit for professional assignments of between one and three years.

      The EU Blue Card is a work permit that’s valid for not just France but a full 25 out of the 27 European Union member states (with just Denmark and Ireland excluded).

      To be eligible for an EU Blue Card, the worker must:

      • hold a degree or diploma attesting to at least three years of higher education; OR
      • have a minimum of five years professional experience in their ‘highly skilled’ field; AND
      • hold an employment contract valid for at least a period of one year; AND
      • earn a monthly salary at least 1.5x the French average gross annual salary

      An EU Blue Card is the ideal work permit option for employers who may need their posted employees to travel around other EU states.

      Expatriate employee work permit

      Where an employee is being relocated to either the French brand of their employer or to a French company within their employer’s corporate group, an expatriate employee work permit may be applied for. To be eligible for this class of work permit, the employee must have been employed for the company for a minimum of three months in their current country of residence and earn at least 1.8x the French minimum wage.

      Expatriate employee work permits are valid for a period of up to three years, but in some circumstances can be extended thereafter.

      Exceptional economic contribution work permit

      Where an employer is investing large sums of money into French business or is planning to create at least 50 jobs in France, they may apply for an exceptional economic contribution work permit. A representative of the company will be eligible for this work permit, which is valid for a period of up to 10 years and is also valid as a residence permit. The spouse and dependents of the permit holder are also covered by this work permit – making it another attractive offer for businesses looking to recruit specific talent for such a post.

      Scientists and researchers’ work permit

      A temporary work permit, the scientists and researchers’ work permit is designed for employees who hold either a master’s degree or equivalent higher educational qualification. The permit holder must be in France to carry out research work at at least a university level.

      The validity duration of a scientist and researchers’ work permit depends on the research project being undertaken and decisions on validity are granted on a case-by-case basis.

      Seasonal workers work permit

      Where an employee is being relocated to France for a seasonal work contract that lasts over three months, a seasonal workers work permit is available. Proof will be required that the role to be undertaken is only seasonal and it is therefore unlikely that any extensions will be granted.

      Extended stay research scholar work permit

      If an employee is present in France under a visa allowing them to study, the employer may apply for an extended stay research scholar work permit. This permit only allows the holder to work in an educational establishment or training company on a one-year employment contract that constitutes no more than 964 working hours between September 1st and August 31st.

      Our team can help with securing the best work visa for your employees. Contact Us

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        Sending / Hiring UAE Workers To France: Application Steps


        Employers from the UAE or looking to move Emirati employees to France to be posted into employment need to apply for and obtain a work visa, work permit and residence permit. There are several steps to doing so, for which the employer is responsible.

        The exact visa application process varies dependent on the employer and employee circumstances, but the following can be considered a standard application procedure.

        It is always recommended that businesses appoint a legal representative for the visa, work permit and residence permit application process. Posting employees to France also involves numerous legal responsibilities pertaining to the employment contract and working conditions once the employees are in the country on assignment.

        For guidance and support on the entire process to ensure everything is above board, completely legal and up to industry best practice, contact Total Law on +44 (0)333 305 9375.

        Declare intention to post employees to French authorities

        The first step an employer must complete is to notify the French authorities of their intention to post an employee or employees from the UAE to France. This declaration is known as a ‘SIPSI declaration’ and consists simply of an online form detailing the employee’s information, the employer’s corporate information and an outline of the work to be completed in France.

        This declaration has to be made ahead of the employee arriving in France. If it has not been, the employee can expect to be delayed upon their arrival and in their ability to start work, and the employer can expect to be liable to pay a large administration fine.

        Apply for work visa

        The relevant work visa class should be applied for by the employer. Once the employer has filed the application, the employee will be contacted to provide their own information and submit the relevant personal supporting documents.

        In most cases, the applicant employee will need to attend an in-person interview at their local French Consulate or Embassy. In the UAE, this will either be at the Embassy of France in Abu Dhabi (found at Etihad Towers, Office Tower #3, Corniche W St, Abu Dhabi) or at the French Consulate General in Dubai (found at Habtoor Business Tower, 32nd floor, Dubai). These interviews are pre-booked and the employer can choose whether or not to send a company representative along with the employee.

        Visa validated online

        Depending on the visa class granted, the employee may need to validate their visa online. This notifies the French immigration authorities of their intention to travel imminently and ensures that the visa flags up as ‘live’ on the relevant systems upon the employee’s arrival in France.

        Travel to France

        Once the work visa has been validated (if required), the employee is free to travel to France. Their details may need to be checked upon arrival in France, but in most cases will not be subject to any further checks at the border.

        Depending on the requirements of the work visa, the employee or employer may need to then apply in-person at the local prefecture (police station) for a work permit and/or residence permit. If this is the case, such a requirement will be stipulated on the visa documentation so that those involved may be aware well ahead of any arrival in the country.

        For a French work visa and/or work permit, the employer is responsible for the payment of any relevant visa application fees. There may be indirect costs to the employee during the visa application process such as money spent on printing and copying. It is for the employer and employee to decide jointly whether such sums may be claimed in expenses.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        Total Law are immigration law specialists and hire only expert lawyers. We work with employers of all shapes and sizes to successfully apply for work visas, work permits and residence permits to France.

        With our knowledge of the French immigration system and in-depth expertise around HR law, the Total Law team work with Emirati companies all the time to globalise their businesses and help them post employees to France and other European countries.

        To receive support on your employees’ work permit applications and maximise their chances of success, call Total Law on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online, to speak to one of our legal experts.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  The Embassy of France for the UAE is based in Abu Dhabi, and the French Consulate General in Dubai. There are currently no French visa offices in Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah or Fujairah. There is no facility for Emirati nationals to travel to neighbouring countries for work visa interviews, as Emirati offices must process their applications.

                  Emirati employees travelling to France for work must be aged over 18 in order to be granted a work visa or work permit. While 15-18 year olds may work in the UAE with a juvenile work permit, there is no equivalent in France that may be applied for.

                  As the UAE is not an EU or EEA state, all residents need a visa to enter France – be it for personal or professional travel.

                  Language requirements vary dependent on visa type. Some visas do require applicants to speak a minimum level of French as judged by a short test at their visa interview appointment.

                  French work visas and work permits are only valid for employees with signed employment contracts in place. It is recommended, therefore, that all employment contracts created for the purpose of posting employees to France include a ‘get-out’ clause in case of visa rejection.

                  The most common reason for a work permit being rejected is the supply of incorrect or incomplete information. It is imperative, therefore, that employers ensure everything provided is present, correct and relevant.