Emerald Technology Oct 19, 2022 11:36:29 AM 8 min read

How to hire foreign nationals in France

Hiring foreign nationals in France

It can be very tempting to hire foreign nationals when you’re setting up a business in France. If you want to successfully employ foreign nationals in France, you need to understand how the legal system works and what sort of benefits there are for hiring workers from other countries.

Company setup in France

You will need to set up a company in France, with all the legal formalities that entails. You’ll also need to open a French bank account and register your hiring activities with the French tax authorities. If you are hiring more than one foreign national, make sure that each individual is registered as an employee for their own protection and for your company’s accounting purposes.


What you need to know about hiring employees in France

Before you begin the process of hiring foreign nationals in France, it’s important to know that France has a very strict employment law. As such, you need to be aware of all the rules of the game before you start.

Because employees have a lot of rights in France, you must be very careful when preparing an employment contract in France.

The hiring process can be a little bit tricky, but it’s not as bad as you might think. This section will help you understand what you need to do to ensure everything is compliant.


How to employ foreign nationals in France

It’s important to note that foreign nationals need a visa or work permit before they can start their job in France. The visa or work permit must be renewed at regular intervals and may be cancelled if the employee does not fulfil their contractual obligations.

Before hiring an employee, you should first consider whether they need a work permit. If so, you will also have to obtain a certificate of residence from the mayor’s office (mairie). You then submit your application for employment authorisation with both documents attached to complete it. In addition, all employers must pay social security contributions on behalf of their employees regardless of nationality.


Work permits for France

Your first step will be to apply for a work permit with the French Ministry of Labour, as it is the responsibility of the employer to submit the application. The organisation must submit the application at least three months before the employee’s start date.

Please note, before submitted the application the hiring company must prove their attempt to hire a French national with aid from Government hiring agencies.

To apply, you’ll need all of the following:

  • A letter stating that there is a job opening
  • Description of the position, including salary and benefits
  • Copies of any documents proving that the company has been working in France legally.
  • Copy of employee’s passport or national identity document
  • Copy of employee’s CV/resume for evidence of skills and experience

You can submit your application online on a dedicated portal. Once you’ve submitted it, you’ll receive an acknowledgement email that the application has been received. Following this, if accepted the employer and employee will receive the permit via email. The employee must provide this when completing their visa and/or residence permit application.


Residence and work visas for foreign nationals in France

If you want to hire foreign nationals in France, you must first apply for a visa and work permit. You will need to sponsor them yourself if they are not currently employed in your company. The following requirements must be met:

  • A work contract signed by both parties (you and the employee) that outlines their duties and responsibilities, as well as their salary and benefits packages.
  • Proof of health insurance coverage for all workers hired through your company.
  • A social security number issued by French authorities; this applies only to residents who are residents of another European Union country but are working in France under an EU directive or treaty.


You need to understand a fair bit about employment law and the migration process in France.

In order to hire foreign nationals in France, the first thing that you should know is that there are several different types of visas and permits that can be used by foreign nationals who want to work in France.

To legally work in France, you need to obtain a work permit or visa. There are different types of visas for France and each one will be based on your unique situation. You should consult with the French consulate in order to find out which type of visa is right for your situation and how long it will take you to obtain one. The process may vary depending on whether or not there’s an open position waiting for you at the company where you want to work. The cost also varies depending on what type of visa is it.


The most common visas:

  • A short stay visa(visa de court sejour, or VCS).

    This is a type of temporary residence permit that allows people from outside of Europe to come into France for up to three months. It is typically used by students, tourists and business travellers who will be staying in Pairs for less than six months at a time. You need an invite letter from your company if you want one of these visas, otherwise you will have trouble getting one approved by French authorities. If your company has an address registered with their local Chamber of Commerce then it should not prove difficult getting such an invitation letter issued right away after contacting them directly via phone call which makes things much easier when applying through email as well. If the employee is from EU/EEA or Switzerland, they are not required to apply for a work permit.
  • A long term visa/ Residence permit.

    This allows you to stay in France for an unlimited amount of time. You can apply for this visa if you plan on working there or conducting business. It will allow you to travel freely in Europe and live there without any restrictions. You can also apply for citizenship after ten years of residency.


So, to sum it up: it can be a good idea to hire foreign nationals in France if you know what you’re doing and have the time and resources. If you don’t know much about employment law or migration processes in France, we recommend that you start with an experience global partner who can help guide you through the process.

Emerald Technology FAQs

What locations do Emerald search, hire and payroll in?

We offer a limitless solution. We source, onboard and payroll employees in every region worldwide (except sanctioned countries.)


Who are Emerald’s customers?

We support Pre-IPO, VC or PE backed technology start-ups. We are a trusted partner to some of the most innovative and globally recognised technology companies since 2000.


How quickly can Emerald onboard employees?

We can compliantly onboard employees on average of just 24-72 hours.


What is the difference between Emerald’s Employer of Record solution and Automated Payroll Platforms?

Both support organisations in payrolling employees globally. However, an Employer of Record provides a risk-free bespoke approach, with a high level of experience and knowledge unlike an Automated platform. An Employer of Record provides end-to-end support including worker onboarding and any HR administration, which a Payroll Platform lacks.