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Hello,

I am living in France as a student for the duration of this school year, which classifies me as being in "student" standing until the beginning of the next school year (mid-September 2015).

I am attempting to make plans to stay in France and work here for at least a year after I have finished my school year, which ends on June 31st. I was initially planning on looking for internships, but realizing that I will want to be here for longer than the average 6-month internship period, I should really be looking for a full year job.

Is it possible for me to stay within France and renew my student visa if I do find a job here and have a contract for at least a year? My student visa says on it that I am permitted to work in France while studying. I heard from some that it is possible to renew the visa for a period of a year each year for 5 years, then you are able to get a 10 year pass?

Thank you!
 

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Hello,

I am living in France as a student for the duration of this school year, which classifies me as being in "student" standing until the beginning of the next school year (mid-September 2015).

I am attempting to make plans to stay in France and work here for at least a year after I have finished my school year, which ends on June 31st. I was initially planning on looking for internships, but realizing that I will want to be here for longer than the average 6-month internship period, I should really be looking for a full year job.

Is it possible for me to stay within France and renew my student visa if I do find a job here and have a contract for at least a year? My student visa says on it that I am permitted to work in France while studying. I heard from some that it is possible to renew the visa for a period of a year each year for 5 years, then you are able to get a 10 year pass?

Thank you!
Your first problem is whether you'll be able to find a job. In order to hire a non-EU citizen, an employer has to get permission from Pôle Emploi and prove that the job has been open for a certain amount of time and/or that a French or EU citizen would not be able to do the job. Unless you're in a specialized field or have certain connections and/or circumstances (like an employee being transferred to his/her company's French office, which I believe may be subject to different rules), this is nigh-impossible, unfortunately. If you do succeed in finding a job, your employer will provide you with most of the paperwork you'll need in order to file your change of status from student to salarié(e) at the prefecture.

You're only allowed to work 60% of the full work year on a student visa, which averages out to about 20 hours per week. You won't be allowed to renew your student visa if you can't prove to the prefecture that you are still enrolled in school.
 

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It should be possible to renew your student visa if you are continuing your studies and wish to remain a student. You'll need to show that you are enrolled in a course and that you still have the means of supporting yourself. While you are allowed to work on a student visa, you are limited to a fixed number of hours which normally works out to working half time during the school term, or full time during most school holiday periods.

If you are doing a graduate degree, you can get a extension of your residence permit in order to take a job, however you have to have the job lined up when you go for renewal of your residence permit and the job must be something in the field in which you have gotten your degree or diploma.

For internships, you need to have a contract between yourself, the employer and the school as "internships" here in France ("stages") are generally a required part of the school coursework.

Basically, in order to renew your visa/titre de séjour you must demonstrate that your status is still the same as when you were granted your visa. If you wish to change status, you usually have to return back home and apply for a new visa altogether. The big exception is to change to the status of spouse of a French national (though you have to have married while still on your student visa).

The 10 year carte de séjour is called a carte de resident, but now is not automatically granted to people who have lived legally in France for a set period of time. This page from the Service Public may explain things a bit better: Étranger en France : carte de résident de 10 ans - Service-public.fr
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Your first problem is whether you'll be able to find a job. In order to hire a non-EU citizen, an employer has to get permission from Pôle Emploi and prove that the job has been open for a certain amount of time and/or that a French or EU citizen would not be able to do the job. Unless you're in a specialized field or have certain connections and/or circumstances (like an employee being transferred to his/her company's French office, which I believe may be subject to different rules), this is nigh-impossible, unfortunately. If you do succeed in finding a job, your employer will provide you with most of the paperwork you'll need in order to file your change of status from student to salarié(e) at the prefecture.

You're only allowed to work 60% of the full work year on a student visa, which averages out to about 20 hours per week. You won't be allowed to renew your student visa if you can't prove to the prefecture that you are still enrolled in school.
"If you do succeed in finding a job, your employer will provide you with most of the paperwork you'll need in order to file your change status from student to salarié(e) at the prefecture."

Does this mean that it is possible to find a job and have that job give me the necessary paperwork in order to change visa status smoothly in France?
 

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"If you do succeed in finding a job, your employer will provide you with most of the paperwork you'll need in order to file your change status from student to salarié(e) at the prefecture."

Does this mean that it is possible to find a job and have that job give me the necessary paperwork in order to change visa status smoothly in France?
Yes, it's always possible, but whether it's likely or not depends entirely on the field that you're going into. If you're in a STEM field, you have a chance, but anything else....not so much.

As Bev said, 4 months before your student visa is up for renewal, you can apply for an APS (autorisation provisoire de séjour), which gives you between 6 months and a year to find a job, with the same limitations on working as a student visa, but from my own research, the requirements vary wildly by prefecture (some require you to write a cover letter explaining how you working in France will benefit both France and your country of origin) and they do not seem to be guaranteed. Also, if you do manage to get one and find a job, it has to be in your field of study, or else your changement de status to salarié(e) won't be approved. (And I think that is the only way you can change your status within France, as opposed to having to go back to the US.)

Nothing bureaucratic ever really goes "smoothly" in France, at least by our Anglo-Saxon standards. :p

As for an internship, your employer and your university figure that out with DIRECCTE, I believe. As I have never done an internship in France, I don't know how it works in any detail.
 

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Thank you for your responses! Very good to know - even if there is no such thing as simplicity in bureaucratic affairs here in France (which isn't the first time I've heard that!).

My field is not STEM, it is Architecture/Design, so I'm not sure how much that will affect my job search/process in general for the next coming year(s), but I suppose I'll figure that out as I go along. I plan on talking to the director of my school (small arch int./comm vis school) to see what she has to say, and having done some research will surely help us figure out what to do with my (rather uncertain, but exciting!) future.

Thanks again,
Claire
 

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Thank you for your responses! Very good to know - even if there is no such thing as simplicity in bureaucratic affairs here in France (which isn't the first time I've heard that!).

My field is not STEM, it is Architecture/Design, so I'm not sure how much that will affect my job search/process in general for the next coming year(s), but I suppose I'll figure that out as I go along. I plan on talking to the director of my school (small arch int./comm vis school) to see what she has to say, and having done some research will surely help us figure out what to do with my (rather uncertain, but exciting!) future.

Thanks again,
Claire
That sounds like a good plan. On the job-search front, you are definitely in a better position than most (and me! I'm a wannabe English teacher/linguistics grad student and am getting married this coming summer because I am in precisely the same conundrum as you :p), as Architecture/Design is somewhat of a niche field. However, unemployment is high and things are grim for pretty much everyone. I wish you lots of luck!
 
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