Application for a work permit: about the decree of 1st April

27 May 2021 | Immigration in France

On April 1st, a new decree was published updating the current regulation relating to the issue of work permits.

These work permit applications are necessary to recruit a foreign worker, whether or not they currently live in France (applications for talent passports are not concerned). They are the first step before obtaining a residence permit or visa. The process has been simplified and is now done exclusively online.

A new online platform

Until now, work permit applications for foreign nationals were processed by the foreign labour services (MOE), which were part of the DIRECCTE (now known as DREETS). Since April 6th 2021, the interregional platforms of the Ministry of the Interior are in charge of processing these applications. Until now, only work permit applications for students were made online.
From now on, they can all be made online at the initiative of employers.

The authorities have indicated that this reform of professional immigration aims to:

  • Reduce the time needed to process applications;
  • Make the processing of these applications more uniform throughout the country;
  • Simplify procedures;
  • Better control and direct the flow of professional immigration towards occupations that are experiencing recruitment difficulties, based in particular on an updated list of occupations in tension.

These applications must now be made exclusively online on the following website:

They are processed by six interregional platforms. A seventh platform located in Avignon deals exclusively with applications for seasonal workers.

Update of the list of occupations in tension

This decree has also updated the list of sectors experiencing shortages (the last update was in 2008).  Sectors experiencing recruitment difficulties, are numerous and varied depending on the region. It is important to take a look at the new list to make sure you are up to date.

This list has also changed the way it lists the sectors and occupations. It is now possible to find all the FAPs (sectors). It unifies the ROME (every listed occupation) and the PCS (professions and socio-professional categories) nomenclature.

What are the conditions for obtaining a work permit? 

When an employer applies for a work permit for one or more of his employees, they deal with the general rule of priority for national employment, called “the enforceability of the employment situation”.

As a result, the application for a work permit may be refused if the unemployment rate for this occupation in the concerned region is too high.

Therefore, to anticipate a refusal, the employer must first conduct a search for workers in France and in their region. The administration will take into account this research as well as the statistical data collected by Pôle emploi concerning the profession and the geographical area concerned. It is Pôle emploi that evaluates the shortage rate per profession.

Finally, before the work permit application is accepted, the administration verifies that:

  • The foreign employee has the right education and training;
  • The experience of the foreign employee corresponds to the expectations of the position;
  • The salary is in line with the position and with those practiced in the company.

Any professional immigration project? We stand alongside you in order to facilitate the mobility of your employees to France or to any other country.