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Will quitting my job affect my residency in France?

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected]
Will quitting my job affect my residency in France?
An interview with a job seeker at France's pole emploi near Dijon (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD / AFP)

If you are considering quitting your job - or switching jobs - as a foreigner living in France, then it could affect your residency status.

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We've all had days when we consider telling our boss exactly what we think about them and just walking out - but on top of worrying about how to pay the bills, foreigners in France have another thing to think about; whether quitting will affect your visa or residency card.

The answer to this question depends on your current residency status - ie the type of visa or residency card you currently have.

If you are in France with a short-term residency permit or visa specifically related to your work, then your situation will be very different than someone with a permit that is based on their family connections or education.

The gist is that you are allowed to do what your residency permit or visa authorises - so if you hold a 'family and private life' card, then you have the full right to work in France as it is included as part of this permit. This means that switching jobs would not create any residency issues, because your permit is not tied to your employment.

READ MORE: Can I stay in France if I get divorced?

Similarly, Brits who are beneficiaries of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, receive a residency permit that allows them to work. As such, switching or quitting your job would not create any residency issues.

However, if your titre de séjour is tied to your employment - perhaps you hold a salarié or travailleur temporaire card - then you could have residency related issues when quitting your job.

However, that does not mean you will be forced to leave the country immediately.

Generally, any change of status does not affect your residency until the expiration of the card. The Local previously spoke with immigration attorney, Haywood Wise, on the topic of status changes.

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He said: "First of all, a titre de séjour is a residency permit, irrespective of the type of mention. So you will maintain your residency even if you experience a change of status, as long as the card is valid.

"Let's say, for example, you have a multi-year card as a spouse of a French citizen, but you are just divorcing and there are another two years left on your card. That would not annul or put in jeopardy your current residency permit," the attorney explained.

READ MORE: Reader Question: My status changed, do I need to change my French residency permit?

When it comes to working in France, the rules are similar - you have the legal right to be in the country until the end of your current residency permit.

For most people, there would therefore only be an issue when the time comes to renew the card. 

For example, if you quit your job five months before the expiration of your current residency permit, then shortly before the expiration you would need to apply (and qualify) for a new permit or a different one. Keep in mind there is a possibility you may be eligible for a different residency permit that offers the right to work but is not directly tied to employment (eg. the family and private life status).

If you cannot qualify for a renewal of your existing card or a change of status to a new one, then you may have to leave France at the expiration of the permit.

Can I work a different job after quitting my current position?

This also depends on the type of residency card you hold. If you hold a card that is tied to your employment, then you will still need to meet the qualifications for the card.

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There are several different residency cards that are tied to employment, each with their own separate requirements. These include: salarié (employee), travailleur temporaire (short-term contact employee), travailleur saisonnier (seasonal worker), jeune au pair (young au pair), and various 'talent passport' statuses. 

READ MORE: Talent passport: The little-known French visa that could make moving to France a lot easier

Most of the work-related residency statuses require an additional work authorisation document, which must be requested by the employer and included in the application for the residency card.

In the case of the au pair residency card, you must show a signed host agreement with both parties' signatures.  

Wise explained that when switching jobs, you might need a new work permit: "If you change employers while under a carte de sejour salarié, then you would need a new work authorisation for the new employer.

"If you came over on a travailleur temporaire status or on a travailleur saisonniere status, then you would need a new work authorisation to change jobs". 

READ MORE: Three things to know about work permits in France

As for those who fall into the 'talent passport' category, things are more flexible. People in the various talent passport categories typically do not need work permits, but "if you are switching jobs to something that falls outside the initial requirements of your talent passport, you might need a work permit to be issued".

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While you do not need to go to the préfecture to change your titre de séjour while it is still active, if your new job does not fit the conditions of your passeport talent, then you may need to switch onto a different work-related residency card, which may require the company to request a work authorisation on your behalf.

Keep in mind that several types of the 'talent passport' cards have a salary requirements. If your new job does not meet this requirement, then you may find yourself needing to seek a different employment-based card.

READ MORE: Is there a minimum salary for a French work permit?

Similarly, if you find a job that would qualify you for a 'talent passport', then you would not need to have the company request a work permit on your behalf.

What if I lost my job?

The picture is very different if you lost your job - for those whose status has changed from 'employed to unemployed' and they were previously on a residency permit tied to their work status, then "the préfecture will be bound to renew your status as long as you have rights to chômage [unemployment]", Maître Wise clarified. 

Offering another hypothetical scenario, Wise said: "Let's say you have a carte salarié and you have been let go. If you still have unemployment rights for one more year, but your status is about to expire, then the préfecture will renew your permit for that one more year that you have access to unemployment in France".

READ MORE: Reader question: How long can I stay in France after losing my job?

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