Work permits/work visas
If an assignee is a non-EEA national, one cannot perform a salaried activity or professional mission in France without an authorisation.
The appropriate authorisation will depend on the job position, level of salary, seniority within the group, reporting line, management functions, etc.
The immigration reforms of 7 March 2016 and 2 November 2016 instituted a short-term authorisation exemption, valid for stays of up to 90 days, consecutive or not, over a period of 180 days, from work authorisations for persons performing audit work or providing expertise in one of a number of areas, including architecture, computer sciences, engineering, insurance, management, and finance. This exemption is valid for both intra-group secondments and service-provider activity, and thus does not apply to work that would be considered as salaried activity for the host entity.
In 2007, the French legislature created a new category of work authorisation designed to facilitate temporary intra-group transfers of assignees, a category of authorisation named salarié en mission valid for stay of more than 90 days, consecutive or not. Since the reform of 7 March 2016 and 2 November 2016, the salarié en mission détaché (home employment contract only) category is now called salarié détaché (intra-corporate transfer or ICT), and the salarié en mission salarié (simultaneous home and host contract) category is now called passeport talent salarié en mission.
To qualify for this type of work authorisation, the assignee must:
- receive an amount of the salary indicated in the collective bargaining agreement for the ICT intra-group posted workers and EUR 2,886 for intra-group salaried workers
- have at least three months of seniority within the group for salaried workers and six months for ICT intra-group posted workers
- be performing a function for one's home employer within a French entity of the same group for a period of no less than three months and no longer than three years for ICT intra-group posted workers, and
- have either a certificate of coverage for social security purposes or an attestation that French social security affiliation will be requested in the visa application file.
The advantage is that these categories of admission above do not require establishing proof that no qualified candidate is available locally and also grant the candidate’s spouse the right to work in France when the stay in France is for more than six months.
It is also possible for a French employer to hire an individual who has no pre-existing employment relationship with another company of the same group in a salaried employee capacity. This latter category of work authorisation results in the assignee having salaried employment status under an employment contract with the French host entity. It should be noted that a request of this type of authorisation may be refused by the French labour authorities as the future employer should check the employment market to ascertain whether a local person could occupy the job that one proposes to one's candidate except if the position is shortlisted (the list is set by the Arrêté of 1 April 2021).
There are several other types of authorisations, notably those for corporate officers and highly skilled individuals (now called the Talent Passport – European Blue Card), and several smaller categories for specific professions.
‘Work’ in France will trigger French social security liability, unless a treaty exemption applies, and the application of French labour law to a degree that will depend on the structure of the work.
If the assignee is an EEA or a Swiss national, they are exempt from a French work permit as well as from a residence permit (see below).
A residence permit or a procedure of registration of stay is also required for non-EEA nationals who plan to stay in France for more than three months. This residence permit is issued by the police authorities depending on the home address of the applicant for one or several years depending on the immigration status of the assignee. An online platform is now available for most categories of residence permits.