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How To Get A Work Visa In France

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​Hiring workers in France? If your project lasts longer than 90 days and your contractors aren’t based there full-time, you’ll need to submit an application for a work permit. And unfortunately, visas aren’t known for being straightforward.

So how can you start the process? And why choose France as a project location in the first place? Let’s dive in.

Why choose France?

Beyond location, France offers a number of extremely attractive benefits to potential candidates, for example:

  • Minimum wage is €1709.30/month

  • 13th month bonus

  • 35-hour working week

  • 5 weeks’ holiday

  • Sick pay offered through Social Security

  • Mandatory health/death insurance

Additionally, their taxation system is particularly appealing.

  • French income tax system: Very progressive, with high earners usually having to pay higher tax rates.

  • Annual wealth tax on real estate valuation: This only pertains to the combined property assets of a household where the assets surpass €1,300,000. There’s a tax-free €800,000 allowance, with anything beyond this being charged between a 0.5-1.5% rate.

  • French inheritance tax: This is charged to each beneficiary, though the rates and allowances vary depending on who the beneficiary is.

Which visa should you choose?

There are three main types of visas, each dependent on the specific working situation:

  1. Employee VLS-TS: This visa is valid for a year and suitable for employees who have a permanent contract, or one that lasts more than 12 months.

  2. Temporary VLS-TS: This visa is valid for one year and ideal for employees who have a fixed-term contract lasting 3-12 months.

  3. Talent Passport: This is a multi-year residence permit that’s valid for up to four years and suited to highly skilled workers who will enhance France’s economy. It also allows the worker to bring their spouse and young children with them.

What documents are required?

You’ll need to provide various paperwork as part of your work permit application. Namely:

  • A letter detailing the employee’s role, duties, and reasons for hiring them.

  • An up-to-date excerpt of the commercial register for legal entities and sole proprietors; a craft licence; a tax notice (for private individuals only).

  • Proof of the relationship between the company in France and the one abroad (only applicable for intra-company transfers).

  • A copy of the employee’s passport or national identity document – and if they’re already resident in France, a copy of the residence permit authorising them to stay.

  • The employee’s CV or other evidence that confirms their skills and experience.

  • A copy of any qualifications/certificates needed for the role (if applicable).

  • Substantiation that the worker meets specific regulatory conditions (if applicable).

  • Evidence of efforts made to find a suitable candidate in the French labour market (only in cases where employment levels may provide grounds for rejection).

If you as an employer are established outside France, then the application will also need to include:

  • A certificate of employment or initial employment contract, providing proof of at least three months’ service.

  • A sworn declaration of application for registration with the French social security system, as well as with the relevant paid leave scheme (if applicable).

  • A letter appointing an individual established in France to complete the necessary administrative formalities in the organisation’s name and on its behalf (if applicable).

Secure work visas with WRS

However you spin it, visas take time and significant effort to arrange – thankfully, we have an experienced team on hand to take care of the process from start to finish.

From tax services to managed payroll, we’re fully registered to operate in France – and you can trust us to work efficiently, already paying hundreds of contractors in a range of currencies, with an online portal that makes timesheet submission and approval easy.

Ready to mobilise your workforce? Speak to us today.