Work permit

Who needs a work permit ?

All foreign nationals who will be employed in Metropolitan France (except European Union citizen), require to obtain a work permit before applying for a professional visa.

Please note that since march 1st, 2016, the Australian working Holiday maker has automatic access to work without any prior necessary work permit. However, his employer must register the employment to the French Labour Administration.

Who should apply for the work permit ?

The procedure has to be initiated by your future employer

  • If your employer or his representative is in France : he will have to contact the nearest DIRECCTE in order to start the procedure and apply for a work permit on your behalf.
  • if you are sent by your Australian employer in France : he will have to contact directly the relevant DIRECCTE on your behalf (please refer to the DIRECCTE website for contacts: Please note that these offices deal in French only.
More information



How to obtain a work permit ?

The prospective employer files an application for a Work permit .The application is forwarded to the DIRECCTE, to obtain an approval or a Temporary Work Permit ("APT" : "Autorisation Provisoire de Travail").

Once approved, this document is forwarded by the DIRECCTE to the French office in charge of International Migrations (OFII : Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration - Once approved, the OFII will inform the employer and forward the approval to the competent French Consulate.

Upon reception, the employee will be contacted by email by the Consulate and given the green light to take an appointment online to apply for his professional, provided all the other required documents are already available.

Notice :

- Foreign nationals seeking positions which can be filled by French or EU nationals will not be granted a work permit;
- Work permits are not issued for casual employment.
- The work permit requirement also applies if you intend to perform any artistic activity, modelling, farming, wine harvest, or any professional activity implying receiving a salary once in France, whereever is the employer.

Accompanying family:

If the employee wants to be accompanied by his family (spouse and children under 18 only), the employer in France has to file an application with the OFII for each accompanying family member at the same time the application for a work permit is made.

This procedure applies only to people legally married. For “de facto” and civil partnership couples, please refer to the long Stay Visa (visitor).

Under no circumstances working visas or residency permits are issued directly to the applicant in France, even if the foreign worker is temporarily on French territory when the Temporary Work Permit is granted.

IMPORTANT : the fact that a Working or Temporary Working Permit has been issued by the relevant authorities in France is just a prior requirement to enable to apply for a professional visa and does not presume of the visa being granted.

Visa should therefore be applied for separately at the competent French Consulate with enough anticipation for the processing time.

Dernière modification : 08/08/2016

top of the page