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Residence permit in France

Residence permit in France (La carte de séjour temporaire) is a document that allows legal staying in the territory of France. It is issued on the basis of long-term visa (visa long séjour), which allows staying in the country from 3 to 12 months. 

An alien has the right for residence permit for 1-year period with possible extensions upon registration with French Office of Immigration and Integration under the following conditions:
Residence permit visiteurs – visitor

This type of visa is issued to foreign nationals who confirmed their financial autonomy (have income in other states) and do not claim for French citizen’s job positions. If a foreigner is going to be engaged in work activities on the territory of France without material remuneration, this should be indicated in the visa. Residence permit is issued for 1-year period with possible extensions. In 5 years a foreigner has the right to apply for permanent residence.

Residence permit sientifique – scientific

Foreigners with completed higher education, who arrived to France with an aim of scientific or teaching activities and signed the contract with French scientific organization or higher educational institution, have the right for 1-year residence permit with possible extension to 4 years.  

Foreign nationals, who engage in cultural activities (theater and cinema artists, people of art) under contract with arts organizations, have the right for1-year residence permit with possible extensions.

Residence permit travailleur temporaire – temporary workers

Foreign national, who wishes to be employed in France, need to find an employer firstly and sign a contract with him.

After all the required procedures and arrival in France a foreigner is obliged to be registered with French Office of Immigration and Integration. Residence permit is required if the job lasts for more than 3 months. Signing of the CAI contract (special language courses) is also a prerequisite.

  • Temporary and permanent workers.

Employment procedure is quite standard. Employer must submit to local authorities documents that French and EU citizens do not apply for the corresponding position. It is also required to prove that foreign national is an expert in his own field. 

According to these requirements a foreigner must be highly skilled professional with university diploma and work experience.

  • The holders of Blue Card EU

Highly skilled foreign nationals with Blue Card EU, university degree and 5 years of work experience have the right for being employed. 

Such kind of employee can be hired under the following conditions:

  1. Employment contract for more than 1 year period;
  2. Fixed salary more than €4500;
  3. Work with the same employer for 2 years.

Labor shortage

In case of skilled labor shortage in the department of France, French authorities are eligible to hire foreign specialists. These are mainly technical specialists.

Short-term employment.

A short-term visa is issued for a period of 3 to 12 months with the right of extension up to 6 months a year. Usually such visa holders are engaged in agricultural work.

Au pair.

The program is designed for young foreigners aged from 17 to 30 years. The main activity is the work of a nanny, care for the elderly, help around the house, etc.

Attending a language courses for at least 10 hours per week is a main requirement for this type of visa.

Residence permit etudiant - student

Residence permit is issued to foreign students or applicants of French universities if the training period lasts more than 3 months.

In order to enter the university it is required:

  1. Provide a certificate of secondary education or a diploma of higher education;
  2. Fill in the autobiography application form and write a motivation letter;
  3. Pass the French language test TCF-DAP, TCF-TP or other exam recognized by the French university;
  4. Possess funds for living in France in amount of at least 70% of the monthly scholarship.

Residence permit for businesspersons / investors

There are several programs to get a residence permit for businessmen and investors:

  1. Get the Carte de Commercant – Entrepreneur Card.

It is issued on the basis of alien’s intention to start and develop his business in France.

Requirements for an applicant:

  1. Have experience in business operating;
  2. Provide a promising business plan;
  3. Clean criminal record and absence of criminal past.

Residence permit is issued for 1 year with the right for extension for further 3 years. Period for consideration is from 6 to 8 months.

  1. Skill and Talents.

The program is designed for talented entrepreneurs whose business will be innovative.

Requirements for the foreigner:

  1. University degree and business experience from 1 year;
  2. Business plan with development prospects;
  3. Funds availability;
  4. Creation of minimum number of 2 job positions for French nationals.


The program will match for foreigners who are willing to invest in the economy of France. The advantages of this type of immigration are that the residence permit is issued to a foreigner immediately for a period of 10 years.

Conditions for obtaining a residence permit:

  1. French economy investments for a minimum amount of 1 million euros.
  2. Create of preserve not less than 50 job positions for French nationals.

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