France Work Visas For Australians

Many Australians choose to pursue work in France, and many French companies employ Australian employees. If you are looking to hire an Australian employee, it is likely that they will require a French work visa.

However, the process of helping to secure a visa for your employee can often be time-consuming and complicated, as can working out which specific combination of visas and permits they will require. As such, many companies choose to pursue legal assistance when employing Australian citizens. Contact Total Law today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online, to learn more about how we can help you navigate the immigration journeys of your employees.

    Request a call back from our immigration experts

    Australians Work Visa France: An Overview

    Australian visitors looking to visit France for up to 3 months will likely not require a visa.

    However, if you intend to hire an Australian citizen on a more long-term basis, it is likely that they will require a long-stay visa, a work permit, and/or a residence permit in order to live and work in France. The specific combination will depend on the route through which they are applying.

    If you are a business looking to hire a foreign employee, you will also have to demonstrate that you have already tried to fill the role using the French labour supply.

    There are a number of work permits for which your prospective employee might apply. Mainly, these are:

    • The long-stay visa
    • A residence permit which authorises long-term employment, such as the Talent Passport and the intra-company transfer residence permit
    • A specific work permit, for which the prospective employer themselves needs to apply

    The details of these three categories will be outlined in this article.

    EXCELLENT
    Immigration Advice Service 4.7 rating 414 reviews
    Reviews.io Logo

    Reach out to us for assistance with securing a visa for your employees. Contact Us

      Request a call back from our immigration experts

      Three men sitting around table, looking at laptop.

      French Work Visa and Permit: Eligibility Criteria

      In order to work in France for longer than 3 months, your Australian employees will likely require a long-stay visa. In order to be eligible for this visa, you should intend to stay in France for longer than 3 months. You should also not be a citizen of the EU or the EEA.

      The eligibility criteria for the work permit is more specific. In order to be granted a French work permit, your prospective employee will generally need to satisfy the following eligibility criteria:

      • Be applying for an area in which where is an employment shortage
      • Have qualifications and professional experience which are well-matched to the parameters of the job in question
      • Your company must comply with French laws regarding employment and social protection
      • The prospective employee must comply with an regulatory conditions relating to the job role
      • The proposed salary must be at least equal to the French minimum wage at the time of application. Note that this is approximately €20,000, as of 2023

      Note that the work permit alone is unlikely to be sufficient, however. If the employee will be staying in France for up to 3 months and they are an Australian citizen, they will also require a long-stay visa.

      Types Of French Work Visas & Permits For Australians

      Overview

      The three main types of French work permit are as follows:

      • The long-stay visa. Certain long-stay visas allow the holder to engage in professional activities when in France, such as being posted by their employer to provide a service, taking part in intra-group mobility, or following a professional course in a company
      • A residence permit which authorises long-term employment, such as the Talent Passport and the intra-company transfer residence permit
      • A specific work permit, for which the prospective employer themselves needs to apply

      Whilst there are other options for foreign workers looking to work in France, such as the Working Holiday visa (which is another type of long-stay visa), these are likely to be the best options for companies wishing to hire non-French workers for an extended period of time. In instances where Australian employees will be based in France for more than 3 months, they will generally require both a long-stay visa and a residence permit.

      Specific Work Permit

      This is a specific work permit which is requested by the prospective employer before the employee’s arrival in France. In this case, the permit will be required before the visa and residence permit can be successfully obtained. In particular, this route is necessary for employees seeking a permanent contract (with the exception of the Talent Passport), temporary workers on a fixed-term contract, and posted workers excluding intra-group mobility.

      Long-stay visa

      If your prospective foreign employee will be exercising a professional activity in France for longer than 3 months, they are likely to require a long-stay visa. In particular, this visa type covers:

      • Engaging in an intra-company transfer (ICT)
      • Talent Passport long-stay visa, which includes the following categories:
        • Qualified worker
        • Employed by innovative company
        • Highly skilled worker (EU Blue Card)
        • Employees on assignment with a work contract in France
        • Researcher
        • Business founder- entrepreneur
        • Innovative economic project
        • Economic investor
        • Legal company representative
        • Artist and performer
        • An internationally or nationally renowned person in their field

      After the employee enters the country, this visa type will then generally need to be accompanied by a residence permit.

      Residence permit which authorises long-term employment

      Both the Talent Passport and the intra-company transfer residence permit act as residence permits. They are both examples of a multi year residence permit, meaning that the holder is authorised to reside in France for a number of years and can renew the permit once it expires, provided that they still satisfy the eligibility criteria. The applicant will first need to apply for a visa before entering France, however. As seen in the previous subsection, for instance, there is a Talent Passport long-stay visa.

      For immigration assistance, permits and visas, speak to our specialist team for help today. Contact Us

        Request a call back from our immigration experts

        Australian Workers In France: Application Steps

        The particular application steps for foreign employees planning to work in France will depend on their specific circumstances. The steps for the three main categories are described in this section.

        Long-stay visa

        In order to obtain a long-stay visa, the prospective employee will need to apply to their local French consulate or embassy. In the case of Australia, there are consular services available in Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Nadi, and Perth. The employee can do this online, using the French government website. Afterwards, they will likely be invited to attend an interview at the consulate or embassy.

        Once the employee arrives in France, they will then need to obtain a residence permit from their local Prefecture. The Prefecture is the local representative of the national government.

        The application should be started within 3 months of the intended arrival in France.

        Residence permit which authorises long-term employment

        If the applicant lives outside of France, they will first need to apply to their local consulate or embassy for a Talent Passport Long-Stay visa. In Australia, these services can be found in Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Nadi, and Perth. This document will allow legal entry into France.

        Upon arrival in France, they will then need to apply to their local Prefecture for the residence permit itself. They will be given a certificate of approval which should then be taken to the Prefecture, at which point the official residence permit will be granted.

        If the applicant is already living in France, they will instead need to apply to the Étrangers en France for a change of status. They will need to demonstrate that they meet the eligibility criteria for the new residence permit.

        The application should be started within 3 months of the intended arrival in France or of the expiry of the applicant’s current residence permit. This is to ensure that the applicant receives the new permit before they lose legal status.

        Specific Work Permit

        In the case of this category, you as the employer will be required to submit the application. You will need to have first attempted to fill the role from the French applicant pool, using government agencies such as Apec and Pôle Emploi. The job must be posted to agencies of these kind in order to demonstrate that sufficient efforts have been made to fill the role from within France.

        Once this requirement has been satisfied, you can then submit the work permit request on the Étrangers en France platform.

        If the application is successful, the employee will then be required to include this permit with their visa and residence permit applications.

        What Documents Will I Need?

        The specific documents required for the application will depend on the exact circumstances of the person in question. However, when applying for a work visa in France, your prospective employee will generally require the following documents:

        • Passport
        • Passport photos, to the French specifications
        • Cerfa long-stay visa application form
        • Proof of French health insurance

        If you are an employer looking to obtain a work permit for an Australian employee, you will need to provide the following documents:

        • A letter which details the role which they will perform for your company, or the reasons for their employment and what their duties will be
        • Either an except of the commercial register for legal entities, a craft licence, or a tax notice
        • If the employment is part of an intra-company transfer, evidence of the relationship between the French company and the company abroad
        • A copy of the employee’s passport
        • If the employee already lives in France, a copy of their valid residence permit (and any previous residence permits which they have held)
        • The employee’s CV, and any other relevant proof of their qualifications and experience
        • Copies of their qualifications (if applicable). This will be more important in fields such as medicine and law, for instance
        • Evidence that any applicable specific regulatory conditions are met
        • Evidence that you have already tried to fill the role with a French candidate

        If your company is based outside of France, you will also need to provide the following:

        • A certificate of employment or employment contract from the non-French company
        • A sworn declaration of application for registration with France’s social security system
        • A letter which appoints someone who is based in France to handle the administrative formalities associated with the job (if applicable)

        Note that the specific documents required will depend on the nature of the applicant and the job which they are filling. It will also depend on exactly what combination of visas and permits the applicant requires in order to legally live and work in France.

        Contact Total Law today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to learn more about the documents which will be required in the specific circumstances of your new employee(s).

        Exceptions: When Will My Employee Not Require A Visa?

        Note that, if the prospective employee would be working in France for less than 3 months, there are certain circumstances in which they will not require a work permit. If they are an Australian citizen, they will also not require a visa in order to enter France, so long as their stay will not exceed 3 months.

        These exceptions are as follows:

        • The work to be conducted is in the field of sports, culture, art, or science
        • The employee would be attending a conference, seminar, or trade show
        • The work is in the field of production and distribution of cinematic or audiovisual material, shows, or recordings
        • The employee would be working in modelling or artistic posing
        • The employee works as a personal service worker or domestic worker and would be accompanying their private employer during their employer’s own stay in France
        • The employee would be working in audit and consulting in IT, management, finance, insurance, architecture, or engineering, and the work is under the terms of either a service agreement or an intra-company transfer agreement
        • The employee is an invited lecturer and would be engaging in occasional teaching activities

        Therefore, any Australian citizen planning to be in France for under 3 months and to engage in any of the above professional activities will likely not require a French work permit, nor a visa in order to enter France in the first place.

        If your employee has European citizenship or is a citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA), they will also not require a visa or a work permit in order to live and work in France.

        Young Traveller (Working Holiday Visa)

        The Working Holiday visa is an additional route through which Australian citizens can legally work in France. Australia is part of a bilateral working holiday agreement with France. According to this agreement, young travellers from Australia can engage in paid employment whilst in France, in order to finance their French travels. In order to participate in this programme, young Australians should apply for the Working Holiday visa.

        This is a long-stay visa with the ‘working holiday’ label. If the applicant is an Australian citizen, they must be between the ages of 18 and 35 in order to be eligible (note that the maximum age is 30 in the case of most other countries involved in the bilateral working holiday agreements).

        As this programme is intended for individuals who are primarily in France for reasons of travel, employing a foreign national via this visa type may not be the best fit for your business. Nonetheless, this visa does authorise its holder to undertake paid employment whilst in France, meaning that you are legally authorised to employ somebody with a Working Holiday visa. They will arrive in France with prior approval to work.

        Processing Time: How Long Will The Application Take?

        The processing time for a French work visa can be a number of months. As such, your prospective employee should make sure to apply for their visa within 3 months of their intended arrival in France.

        They can shorten the processing time of the application by making sure that all of the required documents are submitted correctly at the time of application and that the employee satisfies the eligibility criteria for employment in France. If these conditions are not met, there are likely to be delays with the application, or the application itself will be unsuccessful.

        How Much Will The Application Cost?

        The cost of a long-term work visa is €99. The cost of the residence permit is €200 in tax, plus a €25 stamp duty payment. In most cases, all of these expenses will be necessary for the applicant.

        You may also choose to pay for legal assistance with the application of your prospective employee. Many businesses choose to do so in order to make the application process as quick and as smooth as possible. Contact Total Law today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to learn more about how we can help you with this.

        Extending The Stay Of Employees On a Work Permit

        If the employee wishes to extend their stay in the country, they must contact their local Prefecture in order to extend their residence permit. They must make sure to do so within 3 months of the expiry of their current permit. They will need to demonstrate that they still satisfy the relevant eligibility criteria in order to do so.

        Generally speaking, once your employee has lived constantly and legally in France for 5 years, they may be eligible to apply for a residence card. This card will allow them to live in France for 10 years, and it can be renewed upon its expiry. The employee can also apply for French citizenship after 5 years, or after 3 years if they are fluent in French.

        What If The Application Is Unsuccessful?

        There are a number of possible reasons why a French work visa or permit application might be unsuccessful. For example, a work permit application will most likely be rejected if the employer did not first try to fill the role from the French labour supply, or if the necessary documents were not submitted in full.

        For the general work permit application, if the application of your prospective employee is unsuccessful, you may launch one of the following appeals:

        • You can launch a free informal appeal to the deciding authority
        • You can launch a formal appeal to the Minister of the Interior
        • You can launch an action for annulment before France’s administrative court

        Note that, whilst the appeal is being processed, your prospective employee will not be authorised to work in France.

        If the applicant’s application for a long-stay visa is rejected, the applicant will be informed by the relevant consular or diplomatic authorities. They will also be informed of the reasons why their application was unsuccessful. In this case, the applicant can either submit an informal appeal to the relevant authority or refer their case to the French Visa Application Appeals Commission (Commission de recours contre les décisions de refus de visa d’entrée en France – CRV).

        How Can Total Law Help?

        Many French companies choose to hire workers from overseas. If your company plans to hire an Australian employee in particular, that employee is likely to require a long-stay work visa and a residence permit.

        A number of Australians choose to work in France due to its numerous professional opportunities. However, the process of hiring an Australian national for your company can be very complicated and time-consuming. As such, you might choose to obtain legal assistance with the visa applications of your prospective foreign employees in order to make the process as smooth and as quick as possible.

        At Total Law, we are adept at helping companies with cases exactly like this. We provide a range of services, and can help you with every stage of the application process. Contact us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online, to learn more about our bespoke legal assistance.

        Advice Package icon

        Advice Package

        Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.

        Application Package icon

        Application Package

        Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.

        Fast Track Package icon

        Fast Track Package

        Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.

        Appeal Package icon

        Appeal Package

        Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.

        Advice Package image

        The Advice Package

        During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.

          Request a call back from our immigration experts

          Request the Advice Package
          Application Package image

          The Application Package

          With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.

            Request a call back from our immigration experts

            Request the Application Package
            Fast Track Package image

            The Fast Track Package

            Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.

              Request a call back from our immigration experts

              Request the Fast Track Package
              Appeal Package image

              The Appeal Package

              By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.

                Request a call back from our immigration experts

                Request the Appeal Package

                We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone. Learn more

                  Request a call back from our immigration experts

                  Related pages for your continued reading.

                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Getting a work visa in France depends on whether or not you are able to satisfy the eligibility criteria and apply within good time of your intended arrival in the country.

                  When submitting an application for a French work visa, make sure that you have all the required documents and that you satisfy the eligibility criteria.

                  Note that, if you are a citizen of the EU, you will not require a work visa in order to work in France.

                  Australians can live permanently in France with a residence card or if they apply for French citizenship. In order to apply, they will generally need to have resided legally and continuously in France for at least 5 years.

                  In order to be eligible, they will need to have French health insurance and sufficient means of financially supporting themselves, at least equivalent to the French minimum wage. This is €20,814.73 as of May 2023.

                  They will also need to demonstrate that they have successfully integrated into French society. If they intend to apply for citizenship, they will need to demonstrate that they meet a minimum standard of French language proficiency.

                  If your employee is indeed fluent in French, they may be eligible for French citizenship after only 3 years of continuous and legal residence.

                  Australian citizens do not require a tourist visa in order to visit France for less than 3 months. As such, many Australian tourists visit France without a visa. During this 3 month period, there are certain professional activities in which Australian citizens are authorised to engage. These are detailed in the article, but include activities such as attending conferences, engaging in occasional teaching as a visiting lecturer, and modelling.

                  Living in France is generally considered to be cheaper than living in Australia, though the exact cost of living varies according to the specific town and region. Given the general greater affordability, many Australians choose to relocate to France.

                  France offers numerous professional opportunities, a thriving economy, and a rich national culture. It is therefore a popular choice with those looking to relocate to the EU.