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Paris: Job Search and Work Permits

As an expat working in Paris, you will enjoy the advantages of working in France’s business hub and Europe’s largest urban economy: at least 25% of the national GDP is created by managers, employees, and workers in Paris. Our InterNations guide helps you with taxes, work permits, the job search, and more.
Securing a work permit is the first step towards your career in Paris.

Becoming Employed in Paris

Private recruiters and temping agencies play a major role in the Parisian job market. However, university graduates and employees in specialist or managerial positions should consult the Agence pour l’Emploi des Cadres first. This is a half-private, half-governmental agency specializing in the recruitment of highly skilled and qualified people.

As in most other countries, newspapers are still a popular source of information for job-seekers. Check out the print editions of big daily newspapers, such as Le MondeLe Figaro, or Françe Soir, or the weekly Les Echos. There are also newspapers specializing in business news and recruitment for different sectors:

People who’d like to take things into their own hands and send out speculative applications might find the guide of Entreprises qui recrutent useful, published annually by Emploi-Pro.

Work permits can be a complicated issue, but in most cases, it is the current or prospective employer who has to sort out all the paperwork with the Direction Départementale du Travail, de l’Émploi et de la Formation professionnelle, or the Agence Nationale de l’Accueil des Étrangers et des Migrations.

EU/EEA as well as Swiss nationals do not require a permit in order to work in France. For non-EU/EEA nationals, a quick overview of different work permits has been included below for informative purposes.

Salaried and Temporary Workers

The “Salaried” and “Temporary Worker” permits open access to specific professions in different parts of France. The carte travailleur temporaire is valid for up to one year, the carte salarié temporaire for at least one year.

In both cases, your future employer needs to prove that they have tried to find a candidate from France for the job and that they employ you under the same conditions as their French staff.

Employees on Assignment

The “Employee on Assignment” permit has been introduced for expats on intra-company or intra-group transfers. Applicants need to have worked for the company for at least three months prior to their transferal and fulfill certain minimum wage requirements.

The permit is valid for an initial period of three years. Dependent family members may apply to join you on a “Private and Family Life” permit.

Seasonal Workers

The “Seasonal Worker” permit is valid for three years but only allows its holder to work in France for a maximum of six months over a period of 12 consecutive months. The worker’s main residence must be outside of France, and family members are not permitted to join.

Please remember that your employer in France is responsible for your work permit application if you fall into any of the categories mentioned above.

Work Permits for Academics, Entrepreneurs, and Investors

There are two types of work permits which require the applicant to take things into his own hands:

  • The “Scientific” permit is for academics wishing to carry out research or teaching activities at an institution of higher education in France. The latter must issue the applicant with a hosting agreement, which then needs to be endorsed by the French Consulate in the applicant’s home country. The work permit itself is issued at the préfecture de police in Paris.
  • Entrepreneurs, investors, etc. who would like to carry out a specific project with the aim of furthering the economic development of France and/or their country of origin can apply for a “Skills and Talents” permit. The application procedure is slightly more  complicated than that for other permits, as it requires the submission of a project briefing paper to the French Consulate or to the préfecture de police in Paris. If the applicant is successful, family members will automatically receive a “Private and Family Life” permit.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

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