Work permits in France are based on the type of work or workers and length of validity of the permits.
- Skills and Talent work permit or “TALENT-PASSPORT”:
If you are an executive, independent professional or employee who, in the eyes of the French authorities, has the potential to make a ‘significant contribution’ to the French economy, especially in intellectual, scientific, cultural, sporting or humanitarian fields, and you’ll be involved in a specific project, then you can apply for a 3 years – renewable – ‘Talent-Passport’ (“carte competences et talents”). The list also includes EU blue Card holders, Master graduates recruited in a company considered as innovating, foreign nationals with an economically innovating project recognised by a public organisation, amongst other categories.
This permit allows the spouse to work legally in France and you no longer need to apply at Direccte but you will apply at the French Consulate abroad.
- Employed’ or ‘salaried’ and temporary workers’ permit:
If you have been employed for 18 months on a long-stay work visa or temporary worker, then you spouse and minor children can apply for a 1 year visitor’s visa – this visa does NOT allow them to work in France.
- EU Blue Card for highly skilled/educated workers:
This is a 1 to 3 years residence/work permit for highly skilled workers. To be eligible, you must have a diploma/degree attesting to 3 years of higher education OR 5 years’ professional experience in a specific field AS WELL AS a work contract for at least 1 year AND earn a monthly salary of at least 1.5 times the French average gross annual salary (around EUR 2,105/month). You must work in the field for which you were admitted to the scheme for 2 years; afterwards you can take on any highly qualified work.
After 18 months in France, you can work in other EU countries. After 5 years, you’re eligible for the renewable, 10-year, long-term EC residence card. Family members can get a private and family life residence permit, allowing them to work and after 5 years, they too are eligible for the long-term EC resident card.
- Employees on assignment (or ‘expatriate employees’) or “ICT permit”:
If you have been working for at least 3 months in a company overseas and are seconded (transferred) to a branch or sister company in France, and will be earning 1.5 times the minimum wage (around EUR 2,105/month), then you are eligible to apply for this permit. It is the SA equivalent to the ICT permit and is valid for 3 years maximum.
The spouse can join you on this permit but is NOT allowed to work until he/she has been in France for 6 months and has been granted a vie privée et familiale permit. However, if the man applicant is a senior manager, then there is a version of the permit that allows for the spouse to work. ICT permits are now processed directly in the French Consulates abroad.
The ICT permit also covers the following categories:
- ICT intern: as part of an intra-group partnership agreement.
- Mobile ICT employee: possible for a foreign national living in another EU country with an “ICT posted employee” or “ICT intern” status.