An employer in France who wishes to hire a non-EU citizen, which now includes both British and Americans, Canadians, Australians, etc., must apply for a work authorization (work permit) for certain types of work.
This is in addition to the employee obtaining a work visa or residence permit and has traditionally put non-EU workers at a disadvantage, as employers often prefer to avoid the cumbersome bureaucratic procedure if there is a candidate from the EU. UE equally qualified for the position.
Citizens of EU or Schengen countries do not need work permits to access a job in France.
Now, however, the process has become a bit easier for employers with the launch of an online portal for work permit applications.
Follows various other procedures that move online, including green cards for certain groups and driver’s license swaps as France begins to drag its cumbersome bureaucratic procedures into the digital age.
In announcing the new platform, the Interior Ministry said it was “a new stage in the modernization process for foreigners.”
The ministry added: “The applications will be examined by six interregional platforms created when this task was transferred to the Ministry of the Interior as part of the reform of the regional organization of the State. A seventh national platform is dedicated to processing applications for seasonal workers.
“The prefectures remain responsible for issuing residence permits to the foreign employees in question.”
Employers can access the new platform HERE as of April 6, 2021.
Who needs a work permit?
Work permits are required for both permanent and temporary contracts for anyone who does not hold the passport of an EU or Schengen nation.
Permits are also required for seasonal jobs such as people who work the ski season, in holiday or harvest camps, as well as for students who wish to work during their studies.
If you have more than one employer, each employer must apply for a work permit.
However, there are some exemptions to the permit requirement. Are;
- work at a sporting, cultural, or scientific event
- work at a seminar or trade show
- the production and dissemination of cinematographic and audiovisual works (such as musicians who perform concerts)
- personal service workers and domestic workers working in France during the stay of their private employers in the country.
- provide an audit or expertise in IT, management, finance, insurance, architecture and engineering, under the terms of a service contract or an intra-company transfer contract.
- occasional teaching activities by guest lecturers
Work permits are different from visas, so even if you are covered by a visa waiver (citizens of many countries, including the UK, do not need a visa if they work in the EU for less than 90 days of each 180), you will still need a work permit if you do not qualify for one of the exempt sectors listed above.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism