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A Guide to France Immigration Law

By March 13, 2017March 12th, 2023No Comments
A Guide to France Immigration Law

Doing business in Europe is the primary preference for nearly 40% of US business owners who move overseas, which makes France immigration a hot topic. Moving your business into France opens up opportunities for growth in regards to increased market exposure and high-quality talent.


The country has a relatively high ease of doing business rating, as well, ranking in the top 30 countries worldwide. Plus, when it comes to working with employment contracts, France ranks in the top 20, which is important when managing working relationships overseas.

As for expanding operations into France, there are a few important factors to consider related to France immigration. Working with overseas employees is a venture that is best won with a trusted, in-country partner by your side.

Let’s look at a few of the areas to plan for before entering the market.

France Immigration Law Basics

Overall, it’s relatively easy to visit the country. When it comes to staying for business and hiring employees, France has updated its immigration policy to prevent the over saturation of unskilled workers and persons who would become a burden on the French State. For legitimate businesses and skilled employees, obtaining a work permit should not be an issue.

Velocity Global is excited to announce that we are now offering Immigration Consulting Services that can help you navigate this employment market.

Obtaining a Visa in France

For stays under 90 days, long stay visas are not required. If you’re looking to hire skilled labor in the form of a foreign national or expat from your US headquarters, for example, they will need to obtain a work permit, or a long stay visa. The foreign national must go through a French Consular authority and be approved to enter the country if they’re planning a stay of more than 90 days.

Foreign nationals from the EU/EEA or Switzerland are free to work in France without a work permit. Other team members need to obtain a work permit before entering the country for more than 90 days. As the employer, it’s your responsibility to offer them an official letter of sponsorship along with a job offer so they can begin the application process. Work permits must be obtained before a long stay visa is issued.

You can always simplify the work permit process by using an employer of record (EOR) service like International PEO. As the hiring officer for your foreign business, this partner helps you obtain work permits for your foreign nationals and expats.

Other Important Factors for France Immigration

In addition to obtaining work permits and visas, you’ll also run into regulations specific to the country when you hire team members in France. Let’s cover some of the basics.

Intellectual Property

Unlike the US, IP is not automatically protected in your jurisdiction in France. As a business, you’ll only have protection for your intangible assets in countries where they are granted or registered. There is not a single European patent. To register your information and IP in France, you can contact the L’Institut Nationale de Propriété Industrielle.

This is especially important when working with independent contractors, who are complicated to control due to the nature of the business relationship.

Human Rights in France

As a founding member of the Council of Europe, France has a strong focus on protecting equality across genders and race. For example, discrimination is not tolerated in regards to employment. Make sure to review the scope of laws regarding human rights to make sure that you’re staying compliant.


In France, employers are required to pay income tax and entitlements to full-time employees. For social security alone, businesses are responsible for a share of about 43% of their employees’ gross salaries. There are also paid time off requirements, which must be met by employers.

As for healthcare, France follows a universal health care methodology and is largely funded by the government.

Planning a move into France? If you need an expert to guide you through the immigration and hiring process, get in touch with our team. We have experience working with companies like yours. We help get operations up and running in all of Europe and we’d love to help!