Paris Visas & Permits

As a foreign resident, what is my status in your country?
Nationals of EU countries plus Andorra, Canada, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Iceland,
Japan, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, the Slovak Republic, South Korea,
Switzerland and the USA can stay in France for up to three (3) months without a visa. A long-stay visa must be obtained in order to remain in France for work or study.
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What kinds of visas are available?
Work permits and resident permits are necessary to live and work in France. The two permits are linked and have to be obtained from the Labor Department and the Préfecture (Police Department), respectively. The non-working spouse also needs a resident permit, the granting of which is based on the work permit and financial support of the working spouse. EU nationals do not need a work permit, except Romanians and Bulgarians.
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What is required to obtain these visas?
The work permit application is submitted by the hiring company in France. Following
1. Approval by the French Labor Department, the applicant's file is transferred to the French Embassy or Consulate in the employee's country of residence. A long-stay visa is then issued by that embassy or consulate.
2. The expatriate has a mandatory medical check-up, on arrival in France.
3. If the previous steps are completed successfully, the residency permit is granted by the Préfecture (Police Department).
As a general rule, any official application in France must be supported by official proofs of resources and residence in the country, such as the following:

  • A valid passport clearly stating first name and last name
  • Four photos (in standard French passport size, which is a bit smaller than the American)
  • Birth certificate indicating names of both parents
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Employment contract
  • Recent salary slips
  • Apartment/house lease or latest electricity bill or phone bill (Note: One can sign a lease if in possession of a solid work contract, even if his/her resident permit has not yet been officially issued.)

All mandatory documents must be in French and need to be translated from their original language prior to starting any procedure. A list of official translators is available in each mairie (town hall), or contact Crown Paris for referral to a quick, well-priced and reliable translation agency. In addition, originals and photocopies must be readily available.
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Are spouses permitted and/or likely to find work?
Spouses are not allowed to work without an official hiring contract, as the Labor Department thoroughly screens all work permits granted to foreigners. The Pole Emploi works to ensure that priority is given to French nationals to fill available positions in France. In their intent to hire a foreign national, employers must attest to that person's particular qualifications. Under particular assignees' work permits, a spouse can work. For further info, contact Crown Paris.
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What are the main forms of identification and how does a newcomer obtain them?
The main forms of identification are:
1. A valid passport with the proper (long-stay) visa
2. A resident permit (Carte de Séjour ) issued by the prefecture, or a stamp validating your long-term visa
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Are there any other important permits I must obtain, or places where I must register right away?
Once a resident permit has been obtained, you have one year to convert your original driver's license to a French one. In the meantime, it is possible to drive with a valid foreign license.
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What items should I avoid bringing into the country?
No illegal substances or firearms.
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Is there anything else I should know about entering and remaining in the country legally?
Please contact Crown Paris for any specific questions.
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Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.