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WORK PERMITS

Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in France

French bureaucracy is well-known for being complicated for foreigners to navigate but there are certain official government websites that are designed to help you if you are working or hiring in France.

Six official websites to know if you're planning to work in France
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

When it comes to working in France, there are a whole host of things to think about…visas, work permits, different types of employment contracts.

Now, “Welcome to France,” the French government website dedicated to helping foreign workers ‘settle in,’ has updated its interface to answer pretty much all of your questions.

But if it does not suffice, here are the other five websites you need to know for being (or hiring) foreign workers in France:

WelcomeToFrance.com

Screenshot of the website for Welcome to France
 

First things first, when you open this website, you’ll notice that you can click to change the settings to English (found in the upper-right hand corner) – a very useful tool that not every French government website offers.

Next, you’ll be offered several links to learn about the various French regions, how the country is “one of the world’s fastest growing start-up hubs,’ key Covid information, and informational videos. But the most useful link is perhaps the “My Procedures” tab which allows you to fill out a quick survey about your situation – your country of origin, how long you plan to be in France, and what you’ll be doing in France (working, starting a business, research, etc). Based on your responses, you’ll be provided with a comprehensive, step-by-step guide for what to do six months before moving, at the time of moving, and in the immediate year after moving, even including guides for exchanging your driver’s license and filing your taxes. 

 
 
The “Our Rubrics” side of the website will offer you with five sub-themes: Visas, Employment Regulations, Social Protection, Taxation, and Day-to-Day Life. As the aforementioned survey might apply more to those planning a move to France rather than those already here (though, the information is still useful for any foreign worker in France), these “rubrics” are particularly geared toward current workers or business owners in France. For instance, if you click the “Employment Regulations” tab, you’ll be offered a range of documents regarding different types of work contracts, regulations for dismissal or resignation, the extensive rules companies must abide by for recruiting new employees. Beware that sometimes the links to certain rules or explanations will take you to other government websites that are exclusively in French, however.
 
While on this website, you might notice some links taking you to the Business France website, which is more so geared toward those who are recruiting foreign hires or aiming to start a business in France.
 
In many ways, the website gears itself toward tech or ‘talent’ employees, as it is part of Business France’s goal to attract more investment into the country. However, if this status does not apply to you, fear not – the foreigner oriented rubrics are useful to everyone (take for example: “Opening a Personal Bank Account“).
 

France-visas.gouv.fr/en/web/france-visas/

This is the French government’s visa portal website. It is also mostly available in English, and allows you to follow the “Visa Wizard” survey to determine if you need a visa. You can also start, submit, and track your visa application on this website. On this website, you can find explanations of the different types of visas and residency permits, as well as the list of all the supporting documents you will need for your application.  

The “visa wizard” segment of the France-visas website

Service-public.fr/

This website is primarily in French, because it is not geared specifically to foreigners. It is the overarching ‘public services’ website in France, with plenty of information specific French nationals, like how to obtain a passport. It can also be very useful for foreign workers because, like the Welcome to France site, it has a dedicated category to work (including information about contracts, retirement, and job trial periods). The section “Étranger” is meant for foreigners living in France. This is where you will find information for residence permits, travel documents, and applying for French nationality. You should note that this website differs from France-visas.gouv.fr because it focuses more so on cartes de séjour residency permits rather than visas.

Ofii.fr/en

This is the website for the French Office for Immigration and Integration. You can find a lot of similar information to what has been outlined above on this site, like what to do if you are looking to recruit a young foreign worker, or how to bring your immediate family members to France if you are living and working here. Ultimately, this website is most useful for information regarding completing your mandatory medical visit as long-stay visa holder. However, if you switch onto a “vie privée et familiale” permit, you may need to take integration steps, such as signing the “Republican Integration Contract,” along with language and civics trainings. 

Administration-etrangers-en-france.interieur.gouv.fr/

Finally, this is the website you must use to validate your visa or carte de séjour. In its latest update, you can also update your address here, if you have recently moved. You can even start your citizenship process on this website.

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For members

LIVING IN FRANCE

Overstaying, working without a permit and polygamy – what can get you deported from France?

From committing a crime to overstaying your 90-day limit and even having multiple wives - here is a look at all the things that can get foreigners deported from France, and how likely this is in reality.

Overstaying, working without a permit and polygamy - what can get you deported from France?

If you’re living in France and you’re not a French citizen, there are certain scenarios in which you can be expelled from the country, and although this isn’t an everyday occurrence there are quite a wide range of offences that can see you kicked out of France. 

Process

In France, there are a few different deportation procedures for foreigners.

Expulsion – The first, which you may have heard about before, is “expulsion”, which means you must leave the country immediately.

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin recently made headlines after calling for the expulsion of an Imam for making anti-Semitic, homophobic and sexist comments, as well as speeches that were “contrary to the values of the Republic.” 

For the average person, being expelled from France is very unlikely.

Under president Nicolas Sarkozy, a 2003 law was passed allowing for three possibilities to expel foreigners who are already “integrated” into France – if they have engaged in “behaviours likely to undermine the fundamental interests of the State; that are linked to activities of a terrorist nature; or constitute acts of incitement toward discrimination, hatred or violence because of the origin or religion of persons.”  

In most cases though, “expulsion” only occurs if a person is living in France illegally (ie without a residency permit or visa) and they represent a “serious threat to public order.” 

Notice to quit – The more likely scenario for the deportation of a foreigner living in France is an OQTF (Obligation de quitter le territoire français) – an obligation to leave France.

The decision is made by your préfecture. You will be formally notified, in a document which outlines which country you are to return to, as well as the time limit for when you must leave France. 

This can occur following a prison sentence, or if your residency permit has been withdrawn (again, the most common scenario is following a criminal conviction) or if your application to renew a residency permit has been denied.

You can challenge an OQTF. In most cases, the administrative court responsible for handling appeals should offer a response within six weeks.

Barred from returning – if you have committed an immigration offence such as overstaying your visa or overstaying your 90-day limit, this is often only flagged up at the border as you leave France. In this circumstance, you are liable to a fine and can also be banned from returning to France. Bans depend on your circumstance and how long you have overstayed, but can range from 90 days to 10 years.

In practice, being barred from returning is the most common scenario for people who have overstayed their visa or 90-day limit, but have not been working or claiming benefits in France.  

You can be ordered to leave France within 30 days if you are in one of the following situations:

  • You entered France (or the Schengen area) illegally and you do not have a residency permit or visa. You can be immediately ordered to leave France under specific scenarios such as representing a threat to public order or being a “risk of fleeing.”
  • You have entered France legally, but you have overstayed your visa or overstayed your 90-day limit. If you stay more than 90 days in every 180 in the Schengen area without a valid residency permit, then you can receive an OQTF, although in practice this is not the most common response.

READ MORE: What happens if you overstay your 90-day limit in France?

  • Your residency permit application or your temporary residence permit has not been renewed or has been withdrawn.
  • Your residence permit has been withdrawn, refused or not renewed or you no longer have the right to stay in France (more on this below). 
  • You failed to apply to renew your residency permit, and stayed after the expiration of your previous permit. Keep in mind that once your permit expires, you can stay an additional 90 days in France if your home-country does not require a 90-day visa. However, in order to do this you must exit the Schengen zone and come back in to re-start the clock. 
  • You are working without a work permit and have resided in France for less than 3 months. A scenario where this might apply would be coming to France for under 90-days as a tourist (ie without a visa) and take a seasonal job. If you are found to have done this, you can receive an OQTF.
  • Other scenarios include being an asylum seeker whose application for protection was definitively rejected, or being categorised as a threat to public order (for those who have resided in France for less than 3 months).

Why might my residency permit be withdrawn or refused?

For those with a valid temporary or multi-annual residency permit, you might have your titre de séjour withdrawn in any of the following scenarios: 

If you no longer meet one of the necessary conditions for obtaining the permit in the first place. Keep in mind that if you have a salarié residency permit or a passeport talent, these cannot be withdrawn if you become “involuntarily unemployed” (meaning – you do not need to worry about potentially being deported if you lose your job). The best advice for this would be to request a change of status as needed rather than staying on a permit that no longer applies to you.

If you did not fulfil all the criteria for renewing your permit – this could involve failing to appear for an appointment you have been summoned to by the préfecture. 

If your permit was issued on the basis of family reunification, you could lose your titre if you have broken off your relationship with your spouse during the 3 years following the issuance of the permit. This does not apply in the case of death or spousal abuse, and there are exceptions for couples who have children settled in France. 

Other reasons might include:

  • Living in a state of polygamy in France
  • Serious criminal conviction (drug trafficking, slavery, human trafficking, murder etc.)
  • Illegally employing a foreign worker
  • Having been deported or banned from French territory previously
  • Being a threat to public order (usually terrorism related)

If you have a residency card, you can also lose your right to residency if you are out of France for a period of between 10 months and two years – depending on the type of card you have.

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