You first came to France to study and you are dreaming to stay in France and make a living here. If you have graduated with a French diploma, your dream may come true! I’ll tell you how you can stay in France after studies with a specific visa granting you the right to work for one year ever before you find your first job to sponsor your permit!

The “recherche d’emploi/création d’entreprise” temporary residence permit

What is it?

Unless you have been offered a job before your current Student permit expires, the “recherche d’emploi / création d’entreprise” temporary permit1 is the residence permit you need to stay in France after studies or completion of research work. This permit has been created specifically for people who graduated with a French higher education diploma.

It came into effect on the 1st of March 2019. It implements the 10th of September 2018 law2 modifies the conditions of stay of foreign students wishing to remain in France after graduating a French higher studies diploma. Prior to this permit, these students could previously request an APS (Autorisation Provisoire de Séjour “Jeune diplomé”). The APS was given under the format of a recepissé and prove to have a high risk of counterfeiting.

The “recherche d’emploi / création d’entreprise” temporary permit is the application of European law3 into French French law. It has many similarities with APS but this permit also has its specificities.

Who does it apply to?

Students who resided in France under a student permit

The “recherche d’emploi/création d’entreprise” temporary permit applies to you if you are currently residing in France (or have lived in France in the past 5 years) with a student permit (or VLS-TS) and you have graduated from one of the following French higher degrees4:

If you meet these 2 requirements you will be able to stay in France after studies for another 12 months. This permit is not renewable.

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Researchers who resided in France under a Passport Talent “Researcher” permit

This permit is also granted to foreign researchers after their Passeport-Talent researcher permit expires if they have completed their research work and if they haven’t accumulated rights to unemployment benefits with Pôle Emploi. This 12 months permit will give time to either to get another Hosting convention and continue working in the academic research field or to find a job in the private sector and apply to the relevant working visa.

Exceptions

The “recherche d’emploi / création d’entreprise” temporary permit does not apply to everyone due to specific bilateral agreements or EU laws:

◦  European students (citizens of the European Union, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland).

◦  Algerian students and researchers. The specific bilateral agreement between France and Algeria on migration doesn’t an APS or “recherche d’emploi/création d’entreprise” temporary permit.

◦  Students from the 12 countries that have signed specific migration bilateral agreements with France should continue to request the temporary authorisation to remain (Aurorisation Provisoire de Séjour – APS): Benin, Burkina Faso, Maurice, Tunisia, Cape Verde, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Gabon, Montenegro, Serbia, Georgia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and India.

Particularities of the “recherche d’emploi / création d’entreprise” temporary residence permit

If you were familiar with the APS, here are the main differences ⁵ of the “recherche d’emploi ou création d’entreprise” permit compared to the Autorisation Provisoire de Séjour:

  1. Health insurance is now required to apply for this permit.
  2. Its request can be postponed up to 4 years
  3. It allows family reunification if all the criteria are met, as it is an actual residence permit (opposed to an APS)
  4. It is taken into account in the 5 years required to be able to request a longue tem residence permit (carte de résidence longue durée-UE).
  5. It gives the authorization to work in any field without time limitations (opposed to 964 hours with the APS)
study in France
Photo by: Robin Benzrihem

How to apply for this permit and stay in France after studies?

You now know if you can apply to this permits that will give you 12 months to either find a job in France that will allow you to request a work permit or you want to take the plunge and create your own company in France!

You have 2 possibilities to apply for the “recherche d’emploi / création d’entreprise” temporary permit:

  1. Apply in France: This is the most recommended option. You can apply for this permit at your local French Prefecture before the expiry of your student or talent passport researcher permit (or VLS-TS). If you haven’t received a notification from the Prefecture within 4 months after submitting the permit request, this means that your request has been rejected, unfortunately.
  2. Apply abroad for a VLS-TS “recherche d’emploi / création d’entreprise” at the French consulate. You can apply for this visa within 4 years following your graduation. However, the consulate can reject the visa, as a matter of fact, there have been many cases, especially after a few years. For this reason, when possible, I recommend going for the first option. It is the safest one!
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Documents required to apply

For students residing in France wanting to stay in France after studies

If you are currently living in France and recently graduated from one of the above stated higher education diploma, you can apply to the “recherche d’emploi / création d’entreprise” non-renewable 12 months permit with the following documents6:

  • Your passport
  • Your birth certificate
  • 3 photos ID
  • Your valid student permit (or VLS-TS) or valid “étudiant ” – programme de mobilité permit
  • Your diploma or the attestation of completion
  • A health insurance certificate
  • Your company creation presentation file (if applicable) in a field linked to your studies
  • Proof of address less than 3 months
  • Duty stamp of 75 euros
French consulate
Photo Credit: Egor Myznik

If you have left France after graduating

If you have left France after the expiry of your student permit, you will need to request a VLS-TS “recherche d’emploi / création d’entreprise” at the French consulate within 4 years after your graduation. The list of documents may vary from one consulate to another, so it is advised to reach out to them. The most common documents required are:

  • Your passport
  • Your birth certificate
  • Your diploma
  • Proof that you were under a student permit or “étudiant ” – programme de mobilité at the time of graduation
  • 3 photos ID
  • Your valid student permit (or VLS-TS) or valid “étudiant ” – programme de mobilité permit
  • A health insurance certificate
  • Proof of sufficient income to reside in France
  • Your company creation presentation file (if applicable) in a field linked to your studies
  • Proof of address less than 3 months

For Talent-Passport “Researcher” permit holders

You have completed your research project in your French laboratory/university and you wish to continue residing in France the time to find a new position or create your own business. Therefore, you will need to provide the following documents at your local Prefecture to request the “recherche d’emploi / création d’entreprise” permit:

  • Your passport
  • Your birth certificate
  • 3 photos ID
  • Your valid Passport-Talent researcher permit (or VLS-TS)
  • An attestation of completion of your researcher work from your entity employing you
  • A health insurance certificate
  • Your company creation presentation file (if applicable) in a field linked to your research
  • Proof of address less than 3 months
  • Duty stamp of 75 euros
live in France
Photo credit: Isaiah Bekkers

What to do when your permit expires?

Congratulations! You have found a job in the area of your studies! You can now apply for the corresponding residence permit and work authorisation (if applicable). There is no need to wait for the end of validity of your “recherche d’emploi / création d’entreprise” permit to submit your new permit request at the local Prefecture.

If you haven’t found a job after the “recherche d’emploi / création d’entreprise” permit, you will need to leave France unless your personal situation changed and this change allows you to request a change of status. For instance, you could request the Vie Privée et Familale permit if you got married to your French partner.

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The position you have found must be in the same field as your diploma7 and depending on the position you have found, the following permits may apply:

  • Employee” permitsCarte de séjour temporaire “salarié” (CDI) or “travailleur temporaire” (CDD): if you have a permanent contract (CDI) ou a temporary contract (CDD) with a minimum monthly gross salary of 1,5 times the minimum salary: 27 709,56€ (in 2020). An authorisation to work should be requested to the DIRECCTE (DIrection Régionale des Entreprises, de la Concurrence, de la Consommation, du Travail et de l’Emploi) for these permit holders. However, being graduated in France, the French employment situation for your job position cannot be effective against8, as it is the case for other “Employee” permit request without a French diploma.
  • Talent Passport Qualified employed or Entreprise Innovante permitPasseport Talent salarié qualifié: If you have a work contract for more than 3 months and an annual gross salary equal or superior of 36 946,00 € (in 2020)
  • EU Blue Card – Passeport-Talent Carte Bleue Européenne: If you have a work contract for more than one year and an annual gross salary equal or superior of 53 836,50 € (in 2020)
  • Entrepreneur / profession libérale permit or the Passeport-Talent – création d’entreprise: If you have created your company in France
  • Talent-Passport researcher: If you are doing research in France and have been provided with a Hosting convention from the public laboratory/University employing you.

To keep in mind

The evident main advantage of the “recherche d’emploi / création d’entreprise” is to be able to stay in France after studies, with the main objective to integrate the French job market in your area of studies past this one year permit. This opportunity gives the student permit holders a higher chance to remain in France and valorizes the diploma received. To have all the chances on your side, start searching for a job before graduating and follow some tips to find a job in France as a non-French speaker.

[1] Article L. 318-8 of the CESEDA.

[2] Law n°2018-778 of 10 September 2018 pour une immigration maîtrisée, un droit d’asile effectif et une intégration réussie ;

[3] Article 25 of the UE directive 2016/801 of 11 May 2016.

[4] Decree n°2016-1463 of 28 Oct. 2016 – art. 1 ; decree n°2019-151 du 28 February 2019 – art. 3. ; Decree n°2019-141 of 27 February 2019

[5] Articles L. 313-8, R. 313-11-1 et R. 313-11-3 CESEDA.

[6] Article R. 313-11-3 du CESEDA.

[7] Article L.311-11 and L. 313-8 CESEDA.

[8] Article L. 313-10 CESEDA ; article R. 5221-21 of the Labor Code

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3 thoughts on “How to stay in France after studies (and research work)?

    • 3 November 2020 at 16 h 22 min
      Permalink

      Thank you, Lara! I’m glad you find it useful.

      Reply
    • 10 November 2020 at 14 h 40 min
      Permalink

      Thank you, Lara, for your nice feedback!
      Finding its first junior position after graduating is a challenge and this specific resident permit gives a chance to all the international talent that chose France as their new home!

      Reply

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