Long stay visa to work in France

Applications cannot be processed more than 3 months ahead of time.

1. Long stay visa and residence permit in France

• From the 1st of June 2009, long stay visa holders will be allowed to reside in France for up to 12 months according to the validity of their visa and purpose of stay. They will no longer be required to obtain a residence permit ("carte de séjour") from the French local authorities ("Préfecture") as long as their visa is valid.

• However, long stay visa holders will have to register to the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII) during the first three months of their stay in France. For further information please check the residence permit page.

Please note that the new regulations applicable from the 1st of June 2009 will require a longer processing time to issue long stay visas that will serve as first residence permits.

2. Do I need a visa ?

Yes except if you are a citizen of Switzerland, Andorra, Vatican, San Marino, Monaco or of the European Economic Area :

Austria Belgium Bulgaria Cyprus
Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland
Germany Great-Britain Greece Hungary
Iceland Ireland Italy Latvia
Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Malta
The Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal
Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain

Also special rules apply for family members of an European Union citizen.

3. How to obtain a long stay visa to work in France ?

  • Any foreigner wishing to work in France must first find a job on his/her own.
  • Then the employer in France must draw up a work contract and send it to the local Employment Office (Direction Départementale du Travail et de l’Emploi, in other words, French Ministry of Labour). This contract, if approved, will then be sent for final approval to :

Office Francais de l’Immigration et de l’Integration (OFII)
44, rue Bargue
75732 Paris Cedex 15

  • Once endorsed by this office, the contract is directly transmitted to the appropriate French Consulate, where the visa is issued.
  • Note that if the worker wishes to move to France with a spouse and/or children, it is imperative that the procedure of "accompanying family member" be started by the employer through the OFII along with the employee’s file.
  • Once the file has been transfered, the Consulate will send a letter to the home address of the applicant, requiring each passport holder to come in person - except for children under 12 - to apply for the long stay visa.
  • Then the applicant will have to take an appointment according to his/her own availability.

4. Processing time

  • 2 months for citizens from :
Afghanistan Algeria Bahrain
Burma Burundi Colombia
Congo DRC Egypt Indonesia
Iraq Iran Jordan
North Korea Kuwait Lebanon
Libya Oman Pakistan
Palestinians Philippines Qatar
US Re-entry permit US Refugee travel document Rwanda
Saudi Arabia Sudan Suriname
Syria Yemen United Arab Emirates

-* It may take about 21 days for all other nationalities.
Applications cannot be processed more than 3 months ahead of time.

5. Requirements

Please provide us with the original + 1 COPY of each document. The visa section does not make any copies. You must bring your documents and the required copies. You are also invited to sort your documents in the same order they are listed below in order to facilitate the work of the visa officer that will review your application.

1. Original passport or travel document (+ ONE COPY of the identity pages). Your passport must have been issued less than 10 years ago, be valid for at least three months after your return to the US and have at least 2 blank visas pages left.

2. One application form (English version) filled out completely and signed by the applicant.

3. Processing fees

4. One ID picture glued/stapled onto the application form

5. One residence form duly filled out (upper part only):

PDF - 177.9 kb
Residence Form
(PDF - 177.9 kb)

6. Copy of your last diploma.

7. A self-addressed prepaid envelope with a tracking number from USPS OR FEDEX ONLY. You may use one envelope per family. You don’t have to provide an envelope if you prefer to pick up your passport when it is ready. For FedEx, you must choose the option “BILL RECIPIENT”, not “BILL SENDER”.
Please keep copy of your tracking number (as we are not going to do so), stick the mailing label on the envelope and fill out like this:

88 Kearny Street #600

Your full name
Your address

6. Important information

• The consular admi nistration has full authority to evaluate and request more documents than those submitted by the applicant.

• Please be aware that submitting the aforementioned documents does not guarantee the approval of the visa.

• Please note that holders of visas are still subject to immigration control upon first entry into France. The visa itself does not grant the right to enter France.

Last modified on 22/08/2017

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