Grenoble at a Glance
Working in Grenoble
While throughout the 19th century Grenoble was synonymous with glove making, today only a few companies remain, although they still product extremely high quality gloves for the high-end market. Now the city's economy is very much driven by industry and the high-tech industry to be more precise. Grenoble is one of the centers of biotechnology and nanotechnology, with the likes of Hewlett Packard and STMicroelectronics basing their headquarters in the city.
As a result of this strong global business presence, Grenoble has the second largest population of English speakers in France behind Paris, and so for many expats, the stress of moving to Grenoble is severely reduced by the fact that they can speak English.
Job Hunting in Grenoble
Expats working in Grenoble will, more often than not, have engineering qualifications, as this is by far Grenoble's most notable sector. Websites such as EuroEngineerJobs, glassdoor, and RhoneAlpsJobs (website in French) are good examples of the resources available to expatriates before they arrive in Grenoble.
Those whose country is part of the EU can enter Grenoble without a visa and without a job. In this case, local newspapers can also provide a good source of job postings. With many Grenoble-based companies boasting a global presence, many staff from foreign countries can use the websites of said companies to apply for jobs before arriving in the country. Of these worldwide enterprises, Hewlett Packard is the fourth largest employer in Grenoble, while STMicroelectronics employs around 6,000 people, Schneider Electric over 5,000, and Caterpillar France around 2,000.
Those wanting temporary work in Grenoble can use a number of local agencies such as Adecco and Manpower. These types of jobs include au pair, waiter/bartender and English teacher.
Work permits for Grenoble
Working in Grenoble is fairly simple provided you are an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen. Anyone from an EU or EEA country can enter France for three months. Long term and extended stay visas/permits are also possible for citizens of these member countries, provided that the person has a pre-arranged job with at least a year-long contract, or a contract of between three months and a year if the person is a temporary worker.
Anyone who is not from an EU or EEA member country or from Switzerland, Monaco, Algeria, Andorra, San Marino or Vatican City, must apply for a permit at the French consulate in his/her country before entering France. Work permits for family members can also be applied for once the initial permit has been granted to the person who is set to work in Grenoble. In short, the best way to secure a work permit for Grenoble is to have your employer apply for it on your behalf.