Prepare for one’s settlement in French territory to work there


The law firm HEAUME AVOCAT assists all foreigners, regardless of their nationality and place of residence, in order to enable them to carry out their project of settling in French territory, with the aim of working there as an employee or establishing their business in French territory.

The procedure, particularly related to work authorization, can be quite lengthy, and it is advisable to anticipate it in order to be able to realize one’s project within the envisaged deadlines.

In this context, the law firm HEAUME AVOCAT supports its clients in achieving their goals of pursuing a professional career in France.

A remote consultation service is set up by the HEAUME law firm, allowing them to assist foreigners wishing to prepare their visa application from abroad.

Renew one’s residence permit to continue one’s professional activity in France


The law firm HEAUME AVOCAT assists its clients who are regularly present in French territory and need to renew their residence permit in order to continue their professional activity in the country.

In this matter, the situation in which the foreigner finds themselves can be delicate, especially due to disruptions in their professional situation such as resignation or termination of employment.

These events can impact the foreigner’s right to stay, and it is therefore advisable, in many situations, for them to be accompanied in order to secure the renewal process of their residence permit.

Prepare for a change in status with the aim of redefining one’s professional project


The law firm HEAUME AVOCAT assists foreigners working in France who wish to change their status in order to advance their professional career.

Indeed, for a foreigner wishing to redefine their career path and especially for those aspiring to start their own business, it is sometimes necessary for them to apply for a change in status to be authorized.

For instance, a residence permit with the mention “employee” may not allow the individual to engage in entrepreneurial activities, such as serving as the director of a company.

In this context, HEAUME AVOCAT helps its clients obtain a residence permit that aligns with their professional aspirations.




How does professional immigration work in France ?

Professional immigration refers to any immigration procedure carried out to engage in professional activity in France.

For foreign nationals in France, the practice of any professional activity is subject to regular residency – the foreigner must hold a residence permit that authorizes them to do so.

The nature of the required residence permit, the conditions to be met, and the steps to follow to obtain this title vary depending on the status of the foreigner: employees, temporary workers, artists, scientists, traders, and self-employed professionals are all subject to different regimes.

Certain bilateral agreements related to professional immigration provide specific regimes for nationals of the concerned countries, especially Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and some Sub-Saharan African states.

France has also concluded bilateral agreements with certain countries, setting an exchange threshold for young professionals. The concerned countries include Canada, India, New Zealand, the United States, Argentina, Morocco, Tunisia, and Senegal.

Every employer planning to hire a foreigner must ensure the individual has the right to engage in professional activity in France.


  • Regarding long-stay visas (VLS):
  • In principle, any foreigner wishing to stay in France for more than 90 days must hold a long-stay visa, which can last between 3 and 12 months. Thus, the granting of any residence permit allowing employment is conditional upon obtaining a long-stay visa.
  • However, some long-stay visas acting as residence permits (VLS-TS) exempt foreigners from the obligation to apply for a residence permit. To this end, the foreigner must validate their visa within 3 months of arriving in France. They will have to pay a visa fee of €200.
  • Regarding temporary residence cards:
  • Article L.313-10 of the CESEDA lists the various residence cards allowing professional activity in France. Issuing any residence card is subject to the condition that the foreigner’s presence does not pose a threat to French public order.
  • a) How to obtain the “employee” residence card?
  • To hire a foreign employee, the employer must apply for a work permit from the DREETS (formerly DIRECCTE), upon which the issuance of the employee residence card is dependent.
  • The foreigner must have an indefinite-term employment contract. A foreigner holding a long-stay visa acting as a residence permit (VLS-TS) is exempted from the obligation to hold a residence card for the duration of the visa’s validity. They must pay a residence fee, totaling €225. This title is valid for one year and is renewable.  Its renewal can lead to the granting of a multi-year residence card.
  • b) Who is the “entrepreneur/professional” residence card for?
  • A foreigner practicing any non-salaried activity and having the status of a merchant, artisan, independent worker, or self-entrepreneur can apply for an “entrepreneur/ professional” residence card. To be granted this residence card, the applicant’s activity must be “economically viable,” allowing them to have “sufficient means of subsistence.”
  • The foreigner must pay a residence fee, totaling €225.

This title is valid for one year and is renewable. Its renewal may lead to the granting of a multi-year residence card.

  • c) The existence of other particular statuses :
  • Other types of residence cards are intended for trainees and au pairs.

III. Who is eligible for the talent passport?

To facilitate professional mobility of foreigners in France, the talent passport allows foreigners to carry out a variety of professional activities for a duration of up to four renewable years.

Article L.313-20 of the CESEDA lists various situations in which a “talent passport” residence card may be granted, notably for:

  • Graduates with a master’s level degree;
  • Employees hired in a young innovative company;
  • Foreigners holding a highly qualified job;
  • Foreigners undertaking a mission between establishments of the same company;
  • Foreign researchers;
  • Foreign company founders;
  • Foreigners with an innovative economic project recognized by a public organization;
  • Foreign investors;
  • Foreign legal representatives;
  • Foreign performing artists.
  • Foreigners must pay a residence fee totaling €225.
  • What is regularization through work?
  • A foreigner conducting his professional activity without a residence permit authorizing it may regularize his stay through his activity. Exceptional admission to stay allows the prefectural authorities, who have broad discretionary powers, to grant temporary residence permits to undocumented individuals.
  • For any foreigner applying for a residence permit after entering or having stayed in France without authorization, a regularization visa fee is required. This admission is open to all professions without being limited to professions in tension.
  • The foreigner must provide evidence of a work contract or a promise of employment and must meet certain conditions relating in particular to seniority in work, length of stay, and proficiency in the French language.

Some bilateral agreements, which provide specific provisions related to regularization through work, establish a system distinct from that provided by common law. Such agreements have been concluded between France and include countries such as Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Congo, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, and Tunisia.

The procedure for obtaining a professional residence permit:

  • Conditions concerning individuals:
  • a) Absence of quotas in professional immigration:
  • In principle, France does not set quotas regarding immigration. However, other criteria apply to the decision to grant residence permits for professional activities.
  • The concept of “jobs in tension” allows the administration to monitor the employment situation in the labor market. Lists of these jobs in tension are set at regional or national levels. When the employment situation can be used against a foreigner, the administration will check if, for the job and in the region in question, employers face a shortage of qualified candidates.
  • b) Employment criteria:
  • The employment must meet certain conditions.
  • The terms of employment must be comparable to those applicable to jobs of the same nature. The salary must be at least equivalent to the monthly minimum wage (SMIC) for full-time employment.
  • c) What steps must the employer take ?
  • Before initiating the hiring procedure for foreigners, the employer must conduct certain research – when studying their work authorization request, the competent authority will assess the reality and seriousness of these research efforts made to hire a candidate already present on French territory. The employer can only initiate a foreigner hiring procedure after exhausting all recruitment steps.
  • The employer is also subject to obligations related to the translation of the employment contract and the housing conditions of the foreigner in case of collective housing.
  • The employer must apply for a work permit from the DREETS (Regional Directorate for Enterprises, Employment and the Economy). The application file must include the CERFA form and the required supporting documents.
  • d) What steps must the foreigner take?

Firstly, the foreigner must apply for a visa from the consular authorities. This document will allow him to enter French territory.

Once in France, the foreigner must personally submit an application for a residence permit at the prefecture. The foreigner’s file must include the appropriate CERFA form, all the requested supporting documents, and the work permit application.

The conditions for issuing the residence permit are checked by the DREETS, the OFII, and the territorially competent prefecture.

For “talent passport” cards, a temporary residence permit may be issued while waiting for the issuance of the residence card.

Within three months after the issuance of the work permit, the foreigner must go to the OFII medical services for a medical check-up. If not, the authorization can be withdrawn.

The employer must ensure that the medical examination has taken place.

  • The status relating to entrepreneurs:
  • a) Steps to be taken by the foreigner:
  • The foreigner must apply for a long-stay visa from the competent consular authority.
  • This request is accompanied by the application for a temporary entrepreneur/ professional card.
  • If the foreigner already resides in France, he must submit his residence card application directly to the prefecture.
  • b) The substantive conditions regarding the foreigner’s activity:
  • The activity the foreigner plans to carry out must meet certain conditions to allow the issuance of a residence card. According to article L.313-10 of the Ceseda, the activity must be “economically viable,” and the foreigner must be able to derive “sufficient means of subsistence” from it.
  • The project must demonstrate sufficient economic viability. A circular dated October 29, 2007, sets out the procedures for examining this condition. To demonstrate this viability, the foreigner must provide supporting documents accompanied by the CERFA form “merchant, craftsman, industrialist.”
  • Regarding the means of subsistence that the foreigner can derive from this activity, he must present documents justifying the ability of this activity to generate income higher or equivalent to the minimum wage (SMIC).
  • c) The regime applicable to business creation:

In the case where a foreigner plans to start a new activity, the authority handling their residence card application will submit the project for the opinion of the DREETS. The latter will then forward its opinion to the competent authority to process the file. Making a status change to obtain a permit allowing professional activity:

A foreigner who already holds a residence permit that does not authorize them to engage in salaried or non-salaried activity can undergo a change in status to be granted a permit that does.

However, foreigners holding a short-stay visa do not have access to this process. They will have to make a new application for a residence permit.

The foreigner must submit their status change application at least 2 months before the expiration of their current permit. The file is submitted at the prefecture. Regarding the change of status to obtain the salaried status, the procedure to follow concerning the work authorization is identical to that applicable for the first application for a salaried residence permit. However, a foreigner who already holds a residence permit is exempt from the obligation to apply for a long-stay visa.