Labour authority (DIRECCTE) decides on work permit applications and verify if employers comply with labour and immigration regulations;
French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII) is in charge of communicating work permit approvals to French consulates abroad in charge of processing corresponding visa applications;
Consulates process visa applications;
Prefectures issues residence permits for Foreign nationals and take care of changes of status and extensions of immigration status.
Type of visas
Unless the applicant is covered by a visa waiver programme (i.e: US/Canadian nationals), residence in France requires a visa issued by the French consulate of the applicant's place of residence abroad.
The duration and purposes of residence determine the category of visa:
• Short-stay visa (the Schengen visa) issued for up to 90 days over any period of 180 consecutive days.The circulation visa is a type of Schengen visa issued for a total of 1 to 5 years. A Schengen visa does not allow any activities requiring a work permit or other activities that are subject to specific authorisation.
• Long-stay visa issued for more than 90 days)
A talent passport can be issued for up to 4 years (and is renewable) for the following unsponsored business :
Independent business people (self-employed individuals or director of a company);
Business investors: the investment can't be just purely financial;
Business visitors: for punctual business meetings, discussions and negotiations, seminars and conferences, etc...
A short-term temporary work permit is required in addition to a Schengen visa for Foreign employees staying in France for more than 3 months. An exemption applies for specific salaried paid activities in different fields.
When a company wishes to send or receive a foreign employee in France for an assignment exceeding 90 days, a longstay visa and appropriate long-term work permit are required.