Working in France

First things first, the most important thing you need to do is to take the time to learn the French language. Not being able to speak the native language might not prevent you from working in a pub, but it will probably ruin your chances everywhere else. There are many cost efficient ways of learning French including programs that you may purchase and utilize on your home computer, or you can find online courses such as those offered at Alliance Fran├žaise with a live instructor. It is important because you are in Europe and yu must adjust to the way things are done there and not vice versa. Most if not all documentation will be written in French.

The next important thing to prepare yourself for is that you will need to be flexible in your approach for finding work in France. That is just the nature of job searching in a different country unless you have a very specialized skillset. Furthermore, just like job searching at home, it is never a bad idea to secure the first job you can in order to provide for yourself while you continually job search on the side until you land your dream job (or close to it).

Jobs You Can Quickly Get

Working in a pub or teaching English are two jobs where you have an enormous advantage in this aspect. Most people would probably be inclined to think that you must utilize existing skills that you have been working so hard to forge in your life at home, but essentially what you are doing is that you are capitalizing on your most lucrative skill, a skill that the native speakers are largely lacking; English proficiency.

If you are a decent to strong writer put your skills up for sale and let people know in the area you're staying you can help with content assignments for their business or be their English person on-call for their clients who only speak English. While many younger French adults speak English nowadays, some may have a strong accent that will complicate business negotiations which is how you get your foot in the door and solve the situation.

It is also an excellent idea to do your homework about life, happenings, and the fairly complicated French employment and tax system. You should familiarize yourself with the differences between CDIs, which are permanent contracts, CDDs, which are temporary contracts, cadres, which are management positions, and non-cadres, which obviously are non-management positions.

You should also take the time to make contacts and check out your competition if you can. Signing up at agencies and applying to many positions is a good start, but the truth is that you still need to go out, socialize, meet people, and make solid contacts. A large amount of the jobs that are handed out to foreigners in Paris are often in turn handed out by foreigners themselves.

Another excellent idea is to find the area that you want to live in, compile a list of pubs that welcome ex-patriated (ex-pat) foreigners, and then organize your own list of potential pub jobs. Watch out for other ex-pat events in your local areas as well as they often provide a relaxed environment for making contacts.

Documents to Work

Get all of your paperwork in order and it will help you cut through the thick red cape that France enjoys. Be sure to remember to carry your paperwork file around containing photocopies of passports, old pay slips, your official health card (carte vitale), visas, working papers, your CV, and pretty much anything that you think could possibly help. A great place to begin your search for work is the American University of Paris. You can also look for advertisements in FUSAC magazine, which features tons of job offers. Other places to begin your search can be found here:

Are you between 18 and 28 years? Are you looking for a seasonal job at a campground, restaurant, leisure center or a festival to fund your education or your holidays? Find everything you need to know at

Working No More than 90 days?

A temporary work permit approved by the French Ministry of Labour will need to be provided by your company if you are planning to do a paid job in France for 90 days or under. This work authorization is then forwarded to the French consulate in your country of origin where you may fill out an application for a visa.

If you're a citizen from the European Union or Switzerland, you'll have to get a short-stay work visa to work in France. For people seeking to to work under 90 days and are from Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, Mauritius, Mexico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, USA or Venezuela, a visa is not necessary to for entry to France. Although, a valid work permit is still required by your employer prior to your trip. It is recommended to confirm he latest rules with the French consulate in your country of origin.

Planning to Work in Excess of 90 Days

An application for a long-stay visa, which conveniently also acts as your residence permit, is necessary for those who want to engage in paid work greater than 90 days. A work contract will have to be prepared by your company and get it delivered to the local French Ministry of Labour, the DIRECCTE (Direction regionale des enterprises, de la concurrence et de la consummation, du travail et de l'emploi). If you have family members accompanying you, then the employer should begin the "accompanying family member" procedure concurrently. The Office Francais de l'Immigration et de l'Integration (OFII) will receive the work contract if the DIRRECTE authorizes it.

Without having these official papers, it is extremely difficult to find a real job in France. And if you don't speak French, the job needs to require expertise and ability that can't be fulfilled by the local labor force such as English-language, advanced technical aptitude with high market demand which the local candidates lack.

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