Job and Work Permit

Finding a Job


There is no miracle cure for finding a job in France. The job market is difficult. The best way is to know someone who knows someone who can put you at the top of the stack - the principle known as piston in France.

You can be almost certain that speaking French is a requirement. Hence, I have left the list of the job sectors expected to employ most in 2008 in French without translation. If you cannot decrypt it in French, your chances of being employed are virtually zero.

Should you find a job, be aware that strict respect for hierarchy is expected, unless you are told otherwise. Cutting across reporting lines is not well seen.

Status and diplomas are more important than experience.

Permanent jobs are know as CDI

Contrat à Durée Indéterminée and are very difficult for the employer to end. A breach of such a job contract could be very expensive for the employer if the employee goes to the employment court le conseil des prud'hommes and wins. Because of the draconian job protection measures, many employers don't want to hire anyone on a CDI. If they should hire some lazy chap and he or she only shows it after the end of the trial period, it can be a true nightmare to get rid of that employee. Holiday entitlement is 5 weeks per year.

Fixed term contracts are called CDD

Contrat à Durée Déterminée. The employer is only allowed to use them in very particular cases, such as replacement for someone on leave or temporary extra workload, and it can only be renewed once. The total duration cannot exceed 18 months. Again, the penalty for breaching one of the many rules can be expensive for the employer, so they hesitate too with this type of contract. You are entitled to 10% compensation at the end of the CDD to compensate for being out of a job and 10% for holiday compensation if you have not had paid holiday.

Seasonal contracts are allowed in job sectors where this is needed, typically tourism. This may well be the type of contract you end up with.

There is an ocean of various other schemes and types of employment, mostly intended to encourage employment, but the result is that it's a big mess that not many understand, so for fear of getting it wrong and being penalised, or because many employers don't have weeks to study employment law and hundreds of exceptions, many of these schemes are not sufficiently used.

The social security charges weigh heavily on the employment budget. As a rule of thumb, your employment costs at least twice as much for the employer in direct charges as what you are paid, not including the cost of your workspace and other overhead.

These are some of the odds you're up against when searching a job in France. The whole system is gridlocked because those already in CDI jobs refuse to give up their privileges so that more can get jobs. Be patient when you look for jobs.

Source and more information on.....[]

Work Permit

The information here is only indicative and needs to be verified with the Local prefecture and the DDTEFP.

For students willing to work part time in France
You have to apply at the DDTEFP for the authorization to work part time. You can get the forms at the DDTEFP office. As of 2008 we have seen students being given the authorization to work part time, directly mentioned on their Carte de Séjour. This saves you the administrative hassles. 
For those wishing to work Full time in France, you might need a work permit.

Only EU-nationals do not need a work permit - with some exceptions. All non-EU/EAA nationals need both a work and a residency permit. These are applied for at the same time, as they are interdependent. The permit type required depends on the planned activity and whether you ask for a temporary or long-term work permit.

In order to hire a non-EEA citizen, especially long-term, a company must demonstrate that there is not a suitably qualified EEA candidate interested in the position. It is not impossible to satisfy these conditions, specially for well qualified students with a professional qualification (ex: Masters degree), but some smaller firms are simply not willing to make the effort as the approval process itself can take 3-4 months.

The company wishing to employ you should first publish the position at ANPE (Agence nationale pour l'emploi), the national agency for employment. If no suitably qualified French residents apply, the application dossier (including your candidature and company's undertaking to employ you) will be submitted to the DDTEFP (Direction départementale du travail, de l'emploi et de la formation professionnelle), the Department Directorate of Work, Employment and Training.

The application forms are available at the prefecture or the DDTEFP office. The documents (TBC) to be submitted to the DDTEFP typically include:
·       Your Motivation Letter
·       Your degree certificates.

·       Work contract signed by yourself and the company. (There is a form at the DDTEFP)

·       Letter from the ANPE regarding the post published and your selection

·       Your residence status with the area and type of residence (Hotel or apartement where you maybe residing)

·       The details of the enterprise, like registration number of the company, number of employees and their status etc.

To make a decision, the DDTEFP will examine the application, taking into account your qualification, your experience and the employment situation in France. If the decision is positive, the DDTEFP will inform your company as well as the prefecture and OMI (Office des migrations internationals). At this point the process of your 'introduction' to France will start. This includes a medical examination either in your country or France, the issue of the relevant visa (if applicable) and the issue of a temporary residency permit. If the decision is negative, the DDTEFP will inform your company about the decision and its reasons. For some professions this process is much easier, such as for scientific or information technology experts!
If you have a temporary resident permit

That does not give you the right to work (visitors, students etc), you can apply for a change of status. This is usually easier than starting from scratch. Apply directly at your local prefecture. The process is quite the same as above. The prefecture will forward your application to the DDTEFP, which will examine the regularity and conditions of your stay in France and your profile and employmeny situation in the sector you have qualification for.
Work permits (Autorisation de travail) have various forms. They may be issued as residency permits, giving the right to work in France or issued as a specific work permit (in this case accompanied by your passport and/or visa).
If you hold a permanent resident permit (carte de résident, CR) in France, you have the right to work in France.
The temporary resident permits with the status 'private or family purposes' (vie privée et familiale) gives, in most cases, the right to work everywhere in France without limitations (there are some exceptions, such as for nationals of Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco), while the status 'visitor' (visiteur) does not give the right to work and you have to make a separate application for a work permit.
Click here to see the contact information for the various DDTEFP offices in Midi Pyrenees. The details of the office in Toulouse is:
DDTEFP de la Haute-Garonne
Cité Administrative
Boulevard Duportal
Tel. :
Fax :

Horaires d'ouverture au public :
sauf le mardi après -midi

All the Work related information including different types of contracts possible:


The types of Carte de Sejour that are given to workers are identified here

Subpages (1): Chômage (Unemployment)