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Working in Nice

Nice has a thriving economy that only seems to be growing stronger. As an expat, though, are you wondering what working in Nice will be like for you? Read our guide on Nice and discover how to navigate the tricky territory of work permits, social security, and the tourism industry.
Nice's excellent location ensures strong business links.

Working in Nice will obviously be more difficult if you are not sent there by your current employer. However, there are means to finding employment in Nice that might lead to some worthwhile results. First and foremost, make sure that you learn the language. Speaking French is an absolute necessity if you wish to make a good first impression on any French company. Being unable to speak the language is interpreted as a sign of disrespect, and will make you highly unfavorable to future employers.

First Things First: Getting a Work Permit

The first thing you must tackle when working in Nice is the issue of a work permit. If you are from the EU, this should be relatively straightforward. With the exceptions of workers and employees from Bulgaria, Croatia, and Romania, applicants from EU/EEA member states, plus Switzerland, do not need a work permit. However, as life in Nice is fairly expensive, you should probably have a job lined up before you move to the city.

If you are not an EU national, then obtaining a work permit is a must. Usually, your employer will handle this procedure. To get this permit for you would involve, among other things, that proving that no French or EU national can fulfill your capabilities. Therefore, you must really convince a potential employer in Nice that hiring you is worth the extra bureaucratic effort.

Instead, you can also try to find another route to working in Nice. For many, this route often takes the form of self-employment, as this does not necessarily require having a work permit. You can apply as a travailleur indépendent from outside France, but you’ll still need financial resources and have to show that you won’t compete on the local job market with French nationals.

If you want to start working in Nice in a self-employed capacity, then you should consult the website of the Union de Recouvrement des Cotisations de Sécurité Sociale et d'Allocations Familiales (URSSAF). URSSAF is responsible for registering those who are self-employed and enrolling them for social security benefits in France.

For more information on the different means of working in Nice, please see our working in France pages.

Shared Social Security Costs

The French welfare state has been recognized as one of the most comprehensive systems in the world, and working in Nice will let you take advantage of their Sécurité Sociale (social security) program. Expats on assignments lasting for up to 12–24 months may be able to opt out of this, in favor of paying social security contributions in their own country.

Within France, most social security contributions are paid by both employer and employee. The Sécurité Sociale website illustrates the different plans for people in different jobs. If you are an expat working in Nice and need more information, this link will take you to the English part of the site.

The Best Health Insurance

Although public health insurance covers a percentage of the costs arising from necessary medical treatments, most people working in Nice and around France also opt for private complementary health insurance. This can be eligible for financial support from the employer.

EU and EEA nationals who continue to pay social security contributions in their home country are also covered by the French health insurance system, as long as they register with their local caisse d’assurance maladie (health insurance fund). All other non-residents, whether working in Nice temporarily on a business trip or just visiting, are only eligible for emergency treatment. New self-employed French residents should register with a caisse mutuelle régionale (regional mutual benefit fund) to obtain further information.

If you are working in Nice and encounter a medical emergency, the number to dial is 15. If you require a 24-hour emergency hospital, the Hôpital Saint-Roch always has a door open at 5, Rue Pierre Devoluy.


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