Oct 022009

(asked by anonymous from somewhere)

Any advice on how to live in France and work without being an illegal immigrant?

It’s a pretty straightforward question (the e-mail was actually much longer but didn’t contain anything else relevant to this site).
So straightforward that the person asking the question could have found the answer with some research. Oh well, I’ll do it then as it’s a very interesting and somewhat important question. I’m even surprised I was not asked this question earlier (maybe the other people did the research themselves).

So, all of the answers are on the site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (at least they were the last time I checked, let’s see).

Of course all of these apply to non-EU Citizens.

Let’s start with the easiest options: get married to a French citizen. As soon as it happens, you’ll be allowed to get a “spouse” visa that will allow you stay and work in France for as long as you want (it’s more complicated than that and will require lots of paperwork, but usually it’s the easiest way to move to France long term).

Shorter term, you can be a student, you register to a school, you get a student visa and you’re allowed to stay in France as long as you’re in school and you’ll also be allowed to work (part-time I think).

Then you have different work permits. Here they are:

-The “Skills and Talents” Permit: You have a project that will participate in the betterment of French economy? Apply to the French Consulate in your area, and they’ll decide if it’s deserves such a permit. If you get it, your family will also be able to move and work in France. I don’t have more details about this work permit, it’s pretty new, you may want to look that up on the web is you want to know more.

-The “Employee on Assignment” Permit: if your company has offices in France (or subsidiaries) and they’re willing to send you there.

-The “Seasonal Worker” Permit: if you have a seasonal job in France you can get it, as long as you don’t stay more than 6 months a year in France (but you’ll be able to come back the following year).

-The “Scientific” Permit: You have Master’s degree or more and want to do research/teach in France it’s possible with that permit.

Of course, for all of those permits except for the first one, your employer must be based (or at least have some offices or something) in France (doesn’t have to be French) and will have to apply for your visa and do all the paperwork and sponsor you and all of those.

For more info, you want to contact the French Embassy in your country.

More Questions Answered:

  7 Responses to “Any advice on how to live in France and work without being an illegal immigrant?”

  1. So, basically…marry a Frenchman, become a student, or forget it. Damn.

  2. Yes basically…
    They're pretty much the same laws in America and in roughly all of the Western countries by the way.

    Countries are closing their borders more and more and that sucks (and tells a lot about the sorry state of our civilizations).

  3. You can also be a language assistant, which is how I came here. It's also temporary but a lot of the bureaucratic stuff is easier than it is for students I think, and you probably make more money.

  4. Yes of course, but I was giving options to settle in France on the long term.
    How long can you stay as a language assistant? And don't you have to be a certain age or a student or something?

  5. i think you missed one … you can be a a 'professionel, non-salaire' and work independently as a contractor/consultant or have your own business (restaurant, services, etc).

  6. I think it's included in the "skills and talents" permit. I'm not sure. But the list I took was straight from the Ministry of Immigration, so if it's not that, they forgot it too.

  7. Man, I wish you could just like… move places. I want to go to France after I'm done with school for a few months, and I have a feeling I'll want to stay. I'll figure that out somehow…

 Leave a Reply



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.