Student Trainee In France

Employers in France may take students from foreign colleges or universities for internships related to their academic fields. Non-EEA/Swiss nationals may need an internship visa depending on their nationality and the duration of their stay in France as student trainees.

If you are a business or public hospital in France looking for more information and/or legal advice regarding what immigration and labor law obligations you must meet before taking student trainees from abroad, call us today on +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online, to speak with our team of expert business immigration lawyers.

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    Who Can Be a Student Trainee in France?

    Students looking for a work placement in France, either to fulfill their study course requirement or to gain professional experience in an area related to their academic degree or vocational training, may be eligible to do an internship with a company or organization in the country.

    Students enrolled in higher educational institutions in France can do an internship as part of their degree or vocational training as well as to obtain professional experience even if that is not needed to fulfill their course requirements.

    In the latter case, they must obtain a form called “convention de stage” from their educational institution stating that the institution is aware that they are going to work as an intern in the host company/organization.

    Students from colleges/universities abroad, however, can do an internship in France only if that is required to complete their degree or vocational training course.

    Recent graduates with at least a bachelor’s degree or higher obtained from a French college or university can also do internships in France.

    Students holding EU scholarships, French government scholarships or intergovernmental scholarships can apply for a student internship in France as well.

    So, as an employer in France, you may take students from any of the above categories as interns in your company/organization, provided such internships are related to their area of study or training and you meet the relevant requirements from the French immigration, labor and other concerned authorities.

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      Does My Student Trainee Need a Visa to Intern in France?

      Whether your student trainee will need a visa or residence permit to intern with your company or organization in France, depends on their nationality as well as the duration of the said internship.

      French citizens, authorized residents or EEA/Swiss nationals will not require a visa or residence permit to do an internship in France. Foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries for France, e.g. the US, can work for less than 90 days as student trainees in the country without a visa, too.

      However, if the duration of their internship is for 90 days or more, they will need to apply for a long-stay internship visa, or internship VLS-TS, in France. When the long-stay visa expires, they may apply for a temporary residence permit in case their internship is extended or renewed.

      International students from visa-required countries living and studying in France can work as student trainees on their current study visa.

      If they are studying outside France, they will have to apply for a suitable visa to travel to the country and do an internship with your company.

      If the internship duration is less than three months, they will need to apply for a short-stay Schengen visa. If it is for 90 days or more, they must apply for a long-stay internship visa.

      Student Trainee France Eligibility Criteria

      To be eligible for an internship visa in France, your overseas student trainees must fulfill the following requirements:

      • They must be 16 or above
      • Their proposed internship must lead to a degree/diploma or to the recognition of a level of professional qualification in their countries of residence, or be part of an EU cooperation program or an intergovernmental scheme in the fields of education, training, youth or culture
      • Their internship remuneration must be the equivalent of the basic monthly maintenance allowance paid to government scholarship holders in France, i.e. € 615, except for interns taking part in an EU cooperation program or an intergovernmental scheme

      There must also be a training agreement between the student, the home college or university, and the host company in France.

      If the duration of the internship is 90 days or more, the host company must reach out to the DIRECCTE (i.e. the Regional Department of Competition, Consumption, Work and Employment in France) for validating the said agreement.

      Canadian nationals taking part in a work placement scheme in France, however, do not need to have their agreement validated.

      Our business immigration lawyers can guide you through the steps necessary to apply for foreign student trainees. Contact Us

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        Conditions for Employers in France Intaking Interns

        As an employer in France, you will have to meet certain conditions before issuing internships to foreign students in your company, such as:

        • The internship must be a temporary position and related to the student’s academic course or vocational training
        • It must help the student trainee acquire or develop professional skills related to their field of study/training
        • The activities allocated to the student must comply with the educational project of their home college/university
        • You cannot replace an employee by a student intern in the event of the former’s absence, suspension or dismissal
        • You cannot make the intern carry out regular tasks corresponding to a permanent work position within your company
        • You cannot intake student interns to deal with a temporary increase in work pressure or for a seasonal job

        You can take up to a maximum of three interns if you have fewer than 20 employees. For an employer with more than 20 employees, the total number of student trainees cannot exceed 15% of the workforce.

        Furthermore, any supervisor within the host company cannot monitor more than three trainees at any given period.

        Managers instructing trainees

        Internship Agreement Application Process for Employers

        The first step towards taking a student trainee from abroad for an internship with your company in France is to sign a training agreement (“convention de stage”) between the student, their home college/university, and the host company. The said agreement must contain:

        • The full title of the student’s course of study or vocational training along with the total teaching hours per semester or per academic year
        • Skills the student aims to acquire or develop through the proposed internship
        • Activities to be allocated to the student trainee within the host company
        • Name(s) of the teacher(s) in the home college/university who has(ve) referred the student
        • Start and end dates of the proposed internship and maximum weekly hours
        • Absence authorization conditions
        • Hourly rate of remuneration to be paid to the intern along with payment conditions
        • Details of any applicable benefits (e.g. food, accommodation, reimbursement of travel expenses etc.)
        • Details of how the trainee will be supervised and monitored
        • Social security scheme, particularly in case of a work accident
        • Obligation for the trainee to provide proof of insurance covering their civil liability, if applicable
        • Internship suspension and termination conditions
        • Terms of validation for the internship in case of any interruption
        • Host company’s internal policies and regulations as applicable to the student trainee
        • Conditions for issuing the internship certificate upon completion

        The host company will have to submit the signed agreement for online validation by the DIRECCTE. You must do so at least two months before the internship start date.

        It is your responsibility as the employer to keep your list of finalized student internships updated at any given point of time. You must also maintain a record of your student interns.

        A French labor department inspector may request a copy of your internship agreements and other related details for checking and monitoring purposes.

        Once the internship is authorized, you must forward the same to your student trainee so that they can start with their visa application at the French embassy/consulate in their country of residence.

        Supporting Documents for Internship Visa in France

        For an internship visa in France, your student trainee will need the following supporting documents:

        • A passport (or any other travel document) issued in last 10 years and valid for at least three months from the expiry date of their visa, with at least two blank pages
        • Scanned copies of all pages of their passport containing current and previous visas, entry and exit stamps or any other inscription
        • Recent photos
        • Proof of residence status if they are not a citizen of the country from where they are applying for a French visa, e.g. endorsed I20 for student visa (F1) holders in the US
        • Signed and validated training contracts
        • Proof of subsistence for the duration of their internship in France
        • Proof of accommodation in France as long as the internship lasts
        • Travel health insurance for at least €30,000, covering any possible hospital treatment, medical emergency or repatriation costs, valid in France for their whole period of stay

        Please note that even if the duration of your proposed internship is less than 90 days and your intern can come to France for that period without a visa, they may still need to show the above documents to a French immigration officer at their port of entry.

        How to Renew or Extend the Internship Duration

        If your company or organization decides to renew the internship or extend its duration, you will have to apply first to the French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII) for validating an annex to your initial internship agreement.

        In case you don’t hear from the OFII within 15 days of your application, it means that your validation request has been duly accepted.

        Your student trainee will need to apply for a temporary residence permit for internship purposes, when their VLS-TS expires, from their local Prefecture following the validation of your internship agreement.

        The request for a temporary work permit must be raised at least two months before the expiry date of their current visa.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        Employers in France intaking student trainees from abroad must comply with a set of immigration and labor law obligations. French authorities are very strict when it comes to ensuring that companies or organizations in France are following the stipulated regulations for taking interns.

        It is, therefore, recommended to seek legal help before you start recruiting student trainees to intern in your company in France. At Total Law, we have a team of sympathetic and competent business immigration lawyers, who can help you throughout the process, regardless of the complexities involved in your case.

        For more information regarding how we can help you with the student trainee intake process, please call us on +1 844 290 6312 or fill out the online contact form, to speak with one of our legal advisers.

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                  Related pages for your continued reading.

                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Technically, yes. There is no official language requirement for an internship visa in France. It might be easier for a student trainee to adjust in France if they know the language. However, for international companies and start-ups, where English is the main language of communication in the office premises, you can hire English-speaking interns in France.

                  Internships in France that last more than two months or 309 hours during an academic year require the employer to pay the intern at least €3.90 an hour. Interns, however, cannot work more than 10 hours a day, or a total of 35 hours per week, whichever is less.