France Working Holiday Visa

If you are a young traveller interested in visiting France and earning money whilst you do so, France’s Working Holiday visa might be an option for you. France’s working holiday programme allows young travellers to experience living and working in France for up to one year. Specifically, the programme allows you to visit France as a tourist whilst also legally working in France.

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    An Introduction to the Working Holiday Visa In France

    If you are between the age of 18-30 (and up to 35 years of age in some cases), and a citizen of one of the 16 countries and territories which have signed an agreement with France, you may be eligible for France’s Working Holiday visa.

    This visa allows you to visit France for up to a year as a tourist and to undertake paid employment whilst there.

    Upon successfully receiving this visa, you will be eligible to work in France without needing to receive further authorisation from the French government. Your visa will specify that your stay is a ‘vacances travail’ – a working holiday.

    It is generally not possible to extend the Working Holiday visa. It is only intended to be used for up to one year, and for visitors whose primary reason for visiting France is travel.

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      Eligibility Criteria: Am I Eligible To Apply For The France Working Holiday Visa?

      France’s Working Holiday visa is intended for young travellers who want to work in France whilst undertaking their travels.

      In order to be eligible for France’s Working Holiday visa, you must satisfy a number of conditions. These are as follows:

      • You must primarily be visiting France as a tourist, and intend to have paid employment as a secondary pursuit
      • You must be from a country or territory which has signed a Working Holiday visa agreement with France. These countries and territories are:
        • Australia
        • Argentina
        • Brazil
        • Canada
        • Chile
        • Colombia
        • Ecuador
        • South Korea
        • Japan
        • New Zealand
        • Hong Kong
        • Mexico
        • Peru
        • Russia
        • Taiwan
        • Uruguay
          Note that these agreements are bilateral, and so eligible French citizens can in turn generally also apply to these locations for a Working Holiday visa of their own.
      • You must be between 18- 30 years old, unless you are from Argentina, Australia, or Canada, in which case you can apply until you are up to 35 years of age
      • You must have a passport which is valid until at least the end of your stay

      You must have a clean criminal record

      How to Apply for the France Working Holiday Visa

      France’s Working Holiday visa is a type of long stay visa, so this is the type of application which you will be submitting.

      In order to apply for the French Working Holiday visa, you will need to contact the embassy or consulate in your home country in order to schedule an interview appointment. You can book this appointment online.

      You will next need to attend your scheduled interview in person. At this interview, you will need to present the required documents, which are listed in the next section of this article. The interviewer will ask you a number of questions, including why you have applied for this visa type and why you wish to visit France. The interview will generally last for around 10 to 15 minutes.

      Next, a decision will be made on your case. If you are successful, you will be granted a Working Holiday visa. This visa will entitle you to enter France and to travel and work in France upon entry.

      What Documents Will I Need?

      In order to apply for the French Working Holiday visa, you will generally require the following documents:

      • Completed Application Form
      • 2 passport photos which meet the French visa photo specifications
      • A passport which is valid until at least the end of your intended stay in France
      • Proof of health insurance for the duration of your stay in France
      • Proof of French accommodation
      • Proof that you have paid the visa fee
      • Proof that you have sufficient financial means to support yourself for at least the start of your stay in France
      • Proof of a clean criminal record
      • A medical certificate from your GP showing that you are in good health

      You will need to present these documents upon attending your interview at the embassy or consulate in your home country.

      Arriving In France

      Upon arriving in France, you will need to demonstrate that you are authorised to enter the country. As such, you will be expected to present a number of documents. These will include:

      • A valid passport. You visa should be included within your passport
      • Proof of accommodation in France
      • Evidence that you have the means to financially support yourself for at least the beginning of your stay
      • Proof of your intention to leave before your visa expires, e.g. round trip travel reservations. This could be by rail, air, boat, etc.

      A border agent will use these documents to verify that you are authorised to enter the country. Whether or not you are granted entry is at the discretion of the border agent(s) at the port of entry.

      What Are The Benefits of the Working Holiday Visa?

      France is a large and varied country which provides numerous exciting opportunities for travellers. It is a culturally rich location, and offers a wide range of attractions. This includes castles, beaches, museums, cafes, and restaurants. France is also known for its food, boasting a number of famous dishes. Whether you prefer to organise your holidays around city life, history, culture, nature, or food, France has much to offer its travellers.

      Visiting France on a Working Holiday visa will allow you to explore the country for up to a year whilst earning money in order to support your travels. You will have access to the full range of France’s sights and attractions and will be able to experience what it is like to live in France for longer than the usual 3 month tourist period.

      France’s tourist highlights include places like Paris, Cannes, Marseilles, the beaches of Normandy, and the Palace of Versailles. Spending a year living and working in France will allow you to experience the full range of what France has to offer, without the need to limit your travels to 3 months.

      What Is The Processing Time Of The Working Holiday Visa?

      The processing time for the Working Holiday visa is generally 12 to 15 working days. Once you have attended your interview, a decision will be made on your application. If your application is successful, your visa will then be processed.

      However, the overall time taken to process your application can vary based on the number of other applications being processed, or whether any further information is requested for your application. In order to minimise delays, make sure you attend your visa interview with all of the necessary documents, and are prepared to answer the interviewer’s questions.

      Note that, if France is not your main travel destination, your application is likely to be unsuccessful.

      Application Fee: How Much Does It Cost?

      The application fee for the Working Holiday visa is €99. You will need to verify that you have paid this fee at the time of your interview, so make sure to keep evidence of your payment.

      You will also need to show that you have the financial means to support yourself for at least the start of your stay in France. However, it is not necessary to prove that you have enough money to cover your entire stay, as you will be able to supplement the money you have available by finding employment when in France.

      You may also choose to seek legal assistance to aid your application. Contact Total Law today at +44 (0)333 305 9375 to learn more about how we can help.

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        What If I Am Ineligible? Other Options

        If you are not eligible for the Working Holiday visa, for example if you are older than 30 or 35 years of age, there are a number of short and long – term French work permits which you might also consider.

        Short – Term Permits

        There are a number of situations in which you may be able to get a short – term permit, such as if you are:

        • Transferring from a branch in your home country to a French branch of a company
        • Working on a short fixed – term contract for a French company
        • Providing services to a French client in a short – term capacity

        A short -term work permit allows you to work in France for up to 90 days. If you intend to work for longer than that, you will need to apply for a long – stay work permit.

        Long – Stay Permits

        The following are examples of situations in which you may be able to acquire a long – stay permit, for when you will be working in France for longer than 90 days:

        • A long – term transfer to a French branch of company based in another country
        • A long – term employment contract with a French company
        • Providing services to a French client in a long – term capacity
        • Self – employed work in France
        • Conducting research in France

        However, your specific options will also depend on your home country and any particular agreements which it might have with France.

        You may also need a visa to enter France, depending on your home country.

        The documents which you will require for both short – term and long – stay work permits will vary depending on the exact application in question, but it will generally include documents such as your passport, CV, diplomas or degree certificates, and evidence from your employer.

        Bilateral Agreement: Getting A Working Holiday Visa As A French Citizen

        France’s Working Holiday visa is bilateral, meaning that it is also possible for French citizens to apply for Working Holiday visas in the countries and territories with which France has signed a Working Holiday visa agreement.

        The terms of the Working Holiday visa are similar in all cases, generally allowing for up to one year of travel and work for individuals who are between 18 and 30.

        The required documents are also generally similar, such as proof that you can support yourself for at least the start of your stay and evidence of a clean criminal record.

        Certain countries may also have additional expectations. For instance, in the case of Japan, having proficiency in the Japanese language is generally considered essential to securing employment, so not speaking Japanese would be a significant obstacle.

        The cost of the Working Holiday visa application also varies between countries and territories. In the case of Japan, South Korea, and Brazil, for instance, the application is free, whereas the application cost for Mexico is approximately €35.

        Contact Total Law today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to find out more on the specific application processes for the numerous countries with which France has a Working Holiday visa agreement.

        How Total Law Can Help You

        Getting a Working Holiday visa is a great option for young travellers who wish to experience the many benefits which France has to offer whilst also working to support themselves. It allows for a longer stay that is generally possible for a normal tourist and allows you to experience what it is like to live and work in France.

        However, getting a Working Holiday visa in France is a process which requires both numerous documents and navigating a number of stages. As such, many people opt to seek legal assistance to help with their application. At Total Law, our immigration experts are adept at providing assistance with cases just like this. We offer a range of services, including helping you to gather the correct documents for your application and to prepare for your interview. Contact us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to learn more about how we can provide you with bespoke immigration advice.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Whether or not you are eligible for a Working Holiday visa in France will largely depend on if you are from a country which has signed an agreement with France and whether you fall within the eligible age bracket, which is generally 18 – 30. If so, you may be eligible for the Working Holiday visa.

                  The eligible locations are listed in this article. The Working Holiday visa agreements are bilateral, meaning that French citizens can also apply for Working Holiday visas to those locations.

                  You can stay in France for up to one year on the Working Holiday visa. During this time, you are authorised to travel and work in France, though travel should be your primary reason for being in the country. You will not require additional authorisation from the French government in order to legally work during your stay.

                  Generally, without the Working Holiday visa, tourists can stay in France for up to 3 months. Under normal circumstances, tourists are not authorised to work whilst in France.

                  You can indeed work in France on the EU residence permit. The permit itself is valid for up to 10 years, though it is also possible to renew it.

                  Note that citizens of the EU are eligible to work in France without a visa or EU residence permit. EU citizens are permitted to live, work, and study in any other member state of the EU.

                  You cannot directly convert a Schengen visa into a work permit. A Schengen visa does not allow you to legally work in France. You would instead need to make a new application and apply for a work permit and/or a visa, depending on the country from which you are applying.

                  If you have the Working Holiday visa, it is not necessary to have already secured a job when you first move to France. However, you should be able to account for how you plan to spend your time in the country, for instance by providing a timeline for when you intend to find a job and evidence that you have the means to support yourself in the meantime.

                  For most French work permits, however, you will need to demonstrate that you already have a job offer in France.