Work permit application: last april reform clarified

18 October 2021 | Immigration in France

An internal memo sent to the instructors in charge of work permits (WP) in July, provides information on the April 2021 reform (reform of the employment of foreign workers). Everything that you need to know about hiring a candidate with a student residence permit, work-study contracts, temporary work contract…

Employment situation is not applicable anymore for some applicants

Just graduated foreign students in France are the first concerned by the relaxing of work permit applications (April 2021 reform). If an applicant holds a student card or a “job search or business creation” card, the internal memo of July confirms that the employment situation will no longer be applicable in the application for a work permit.

To be eligible for this simplified procedure, the position offered to the foreign applicant must be within the scope of his or her diploma and be paid at least 1.5 times the minimum wage.

This is a real revolution for companies, which can now choose foreign candidates without the constraint of the employment situation. This makes it easier to hire the applicants – good news for them too!

As a reminder, it is still compulsory for applicants who do not meet the new criteria or whose job are not in the shortage of jobs’ list to apply. In this case, the company must prove to the authorities that a job offer has been published for a minimum of 3 weeks (previously 5 weeks), and that they could not find any French candidate.

Apprenticeship and professionalization contracts also concerned

In the case of an apprenticeship or professionalization contract for a foreign student already residing in France, even though work permits are automatically approved, companies still need to apply for them.

“The work permit is automatically granted to a foreigner authorized to reside in France for the conclusion of a fixed-term apprenticeship or professionalization contract.”

Article L5221-5 of the Labor Code

The contract signed and approved by the OPCO (OPérateur de COmpétences) gives the student the right to work, regardless of the number of hours.

If the foreign student is not yet in France at the time of application, they must apply for a student visa at the Consulate beforehand. Please note that the apprenticeship or professionalization contract is, in this case, one of the supporting documents required to obtain this visa.

At the end of the work-study contract, a work permit is always required if the company wants to keep the graduate.  The foreigner in question then changes from the status of student to that of temporary worker (CDD) or employee (CDI).

Work permit for temporary contract: What about less-than-three-months assignment ?

This reform also concerns temporary work contracts. For assignments which duration is less than three months, it is no longer necessary to apply for a work permit.

For ITAMA, these changes, highlighted by the July internal memo, are beneficial for both companies and foreign candidates already present in the country. These procedures are also easier since work permit application can now be made online.

For more information: Feedbacks about online immigration process

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