French immigration has issued new procedures to easily process immigration application documents faster. EU citizens are automatically allowed to visit France for three months without any visa. In the past, French authorities have been protective of their domestic labor force. A lot of bureaucratic obstacles then got in the way of companies wanting to recruit foreign workers.
Now, France also keeps its borders open for non-EU foreigners. A number of temporary work visas and work permits were issued to non EU foreigners who want to work in France. A foreign expert can also get a work visa as an independent non salaried expert.
The normal procedure for the application of work permits requires a French employee to prepare a petition through the assistance of a French counsel. This petition also involves the submission of personal documents with certification or letter from a French employer explaining the applicant’s migration purposes. Upon arrival in France, the applicant should pass a medical examination to be issued a work permit.
An EEA (European Economic Area) is for EU nationals working in France and have the same rights as French nationals. They have the right to good working conditions, access to housing as well as trade union memberships. Immediate dependents and families are entitled to join them and have similar rights.
This issue was addressed in a post in France Expat Forum last July 28, 2000:
To get to the point, yes, you will have a tough time establishing residence in France – and by that I mean getting a long-stay visa. To get a long-stay visa, you have to get a job. And frankly, universities in France are state-run and thus teaching at a university is usually a “fonctionnaire” post (i.e. civil service). You won’t get support for a visa for a fonctionnaire post as a US citizen. There are some private universities in France, but given that they can get English lit and other PhD’s from the UK with no visa requirements, again, you’re looking at a long shot.
To be honest, I don’t know what the requirements are for a mortuary employee in France – and any online source I might be able to find on this is guaranteed to be in French. The customs for funerals are a bit different from those in the US – but at the moment, burial is the standard, with cremation something “new” that is just starting to catch on. (Namely because it’s cheap.)
But if either of you were to manage to find a job where the employer would sponsor you for a visa, the spouse would get a visa that does not permit them to work in France. If you each try to come on your own working visa, you could run into trouble should one of you lose your job for any reason.
Types of French Visa and Costs
Temporary French Visa
The Schengen visa may be issued for either a multiple, double or single entry and is eligible to visit France for three (3) months. The Schengen Visa cannot be extended while the holder is in France. The Schengen holder can not also re-visit the country after the visa has expired. When you apply for the Schengen visa, you must submit documentation in order to support their application form. You must submit an answered application form, proof of your intention to leave before the visa expires, and proof of funds for the length of the trip. All French applications should be submitted in original copy. You are also required to submit an original copy of your marriage certificate (if married), valid passports for you as well as your spouse, Form 1 A as well as C form and three passport photos.
The long-term visa was discussed in a post in France Expat Forum last February 23, 2009:
2. I’m not sure how that works on the visa side of things, but most préfectures will issue you a one-year carte de séjour the first time out. You might ask at your interview. But I know they are open to at least a month of travel after you finish your schooling “to take in the patrimoine of France.”
The Student French Visa is issued to students who want to enter France except for Swiss or EU nationals since they must have a long stay student visa on their passport. It will allow you as a student to live and stay in France until you apply for Residence permit. You must then pass all requirements to obtain this French student visa. These requirements include:
- Letter of admission or registration from the French Academic Institution.
- Evidence of resources for 500 Euros a month for living expenses for a period of stay such as for food, medical expenses, housing and transports as well as proof for tuition fees.
- Short Bio-data
- Evidence of accommodation in France for a period of stay.
- Four passport size photographs with light background.
- Copy of your diploma or degree and certificate
- Copy of the first two pages of your valid passport for the entire period of stay in France
The cost for short-term visa in France is 35 French dollars, while the short term visa to overseas visa is 9 French dollars. The long term visa such as family and student visa is 99 French dollars, and the visa for adoption is 15 French dollars. Exempted from visa fees are those aged 25 years and below, European Union Citizens, and scholars of the French Government.
In spite of recent efforts to restrict the immigration of unskilled foreigners to France, France has nevertheless kept its borders open to skilled workers and the rules have been made ever more favorable to group companies and international service agreements.
Three options exist for international intra-company and affiliate cross-border transfers of key personnel: (1) the favoured high level executive (cadre dirigeant) ategory, (2) temporary employee transfer (detachment) category, and (3) the common law regime new hire category.
Spouses of French citizens have a right to a long stay visa and a family stay card as of right, absent fraud, and for spouses from visa waiver countries, no long stay visa is required. The spouse can acquire a right to permanent residence, provided the marriage was celebrated at least two years prior to the permanent residency request. Furthermore, children (less than 21 years of age) of a French parent also have a right to permanent residence. Also, the parent of a French citizen may request permanent residence, provided that the parent is a dependent of the French citizen.
Types of Permits
The Temporary Secondment is a permit for non French companies that need to place their employees in France. This may be applied for by any foreign company but needs the full co-operation of the French client. A sponsored employee should remain employed and lined up for the Foreign Service provider. The limit for this permit is 18 months and can be extended for up to 9 months more.
The full work permit is done by a French company wanting to employ a non EEA national. One should be a full time employee and paid in Euro in order to avail of this permit. There is no limit whatsoever for this permit.
Usually, work permits are valid for 12 months. However, the renewal and maximum length of stay are at the discretion of French authorities.
The Schengen Visa is valid for a stay in France for up to 90 days. This type of visa can not be extended. If you intend to stay longer than 90 days in France, the long stay visa is required to all nationals wanting to do so. Only extraordinary circumstances like sudden illness can a foreign national obtain an extension beyond the 90 days allowed by the Schengen visa.
The French Immigration Policy Act of 1998 promotes greater access to French citizenship. The main goal of the Policy Act of 1998 is to integrate foreign nationals into the French Culture. This act specifies that the children of foreign nationals should be given a French citizenship when their children reach maturity. This will start when the children reach the age of eleven (11). The children granted French citizenship can stay in France for a period of five years.
The Bonnet Law started to classify illegal migration. Once identified as an illegal immigrant, the applicant is expelled from the French territory.
The Chevenement Laws focus on the rights of a foreigner in the French territory. The Guigou Law Act 1998 allows for the automatic rights of children born in France to have French citizenship.
The law of French immigration issued on February 2003 focused generally on the security of immigrants entering France. It was also designed to reinforce measures against illegal immigration.
A new immigration bill on French immigration was issued in 2007. This requires the DNA test for the foreigner before they get to unite with relatives in France. The bill also requires French language test for visa applicants and parents wanting to join family members and sign immigration contracts. It also has authorized voluntary genetic tests to prove family ties.