France is one of the most beautiful destinations globally thanks to its incredible cuisine, endless gardens and parks, and a general joie de vivre. Many individuals share the desire to move to France and explore its enormous opportunities, even without a job offer.
It’s possible to move to France without a job. The ease of this process depends on your nationality. If you are an EEU or EEA citizen, you can travel to France and look for a job. However, if you are a non-EU citizen, you need to apply for a French visa in your country before your move.
In this guide, we look into how you can move to France without a job, the process of getting a visa if you need one, and your opportunities when you get there.
Are you looking for a job in France but don’t speak French? Read our guide on getting a job as an English speaker in France and this article on the best French cities for English speakers.
Your opportunities for moving to France without a job
France is a very sociological and geographically diverse country with all kinds of opportunities that you can engage in, especially as a foreigner. Some of the most common ones include:
As a freelancer in France, you’ll be working for different companies rather than being permanently employed. The type of work you carry out may range from online research to IT roles and data entry.
One fantastic thing about freelancing is that you can work from any part of the world, as long as you have an internet connection.
To become a successful freelancer in France, follow the tips below:
- Establish a demand for the services you want to offer and ensure that you can meet them remotely.
- Identify your Unique Selling Points (your USPs). These are the reasons why a customer would pick you over your competitor.
- Come up with a simple logo, business name, and a tagline or slogan.
- Get yourself online through a website.
2. Teaching English
Armed with good grammar and an email address, you can teach English from the comfort of your home. However, you’ll need to do a lot of advertising on the internet, university notice boards, and English bookshops; native-English speakers seem to get a lot of inquiries.
If you are a non-EU citizen with a visa that entitles you to work, you can look for an English teaching job in an international school, training agency, or private language school.
To find out how you can become a foreign language assistant in French state schools, visit the CIEP or British Council website. However, mostly TEFL or a university degree in any field usually is adequate.
As a foreigner in France, going to a language school is one of the easiest and quickest ways of getting a job. There are many benefits to it, but the main ones are:
- It exempts you from paying into the social safety net
- It’s a perfect way to develop a network
- The school can be your employer after the course
3. Start a business
Over 11.6% of the workers in France are self-employed, and the field is open to foreigners with the necessary permit or French residency.
There are two ways to go about self-employment in France. You can become a sole trader where you treat your finances and business the same, or you can have a separate company with a unique legal entity.
If you settle on starting a business in France, you must demonstrate its economic viability. Additionally, you must meet the educational requirements of a master’s degree or prove a minimum of five years of professional work experience.
Moreover, you need to make a 30,000 EUR investment in the new business.
4. Find a job
France is one of the best places in Europe for eager foreign employees; the country offers job opportunities for everyone despite their experience or background.
With over 212,000 job vacancies in France as of June 2020, finding a job there is not so challenging.
Below is a graph showing the number of job vacancies in France from April 2021 to January 2022.
According to the last census, there are six million workers in the Paris metropolitan area alone, with many international employees working for global companies based in the city.
Some typical jobs among foreigners in France are:
- Medical professional
- Stem professional (science, technology, engineering, and math)
- Construction worker
- ICT professional
What salary can you expect in France? Learn in this article!
How to increase your chances of getting a job
As a foreigner in France, do the following to increase your chances of getting a job:
Though you don’t have to be bilingual, it helps to take steps towards being conversational in French. Jobs in specific fields might be perfect for native English speakers, but you’ll need an intermediate level of French most of the time.
Therefore, before sending applications, take a language course if your French is non-existent or rusty.
Ensure that your CV and résumé fit local customs
CVs and résumés (resumes) don’t have a length limit in other countries; they are primarily between one and ten pages. However, unlike the CV, you should try to keep a resume as short as possible.
In France, resumes should not be longer than one page for junior job applications and two pages for senior ones.
Employers expect you to only list the most relevant things, use the correct grammar and avoid buzzwords. In France, it’s also common to include a professional picture of yourself at the top of your resume document to give the employer an idea of how you look.
Have your visas in order
If you’re from an EEU or EEA country, you don’t require a residence permit or work visa to start working in France, but you’ll need both if you’re a citizen outside those regions.
An employer requires to see these documents and may offer to sponsor you in the process of changing from one visa to another.
Do an online search
As a foreigner, landing a job in France may be challenging at times, but searching for openings online increases your chances. Numerous websites help foreigners find positions in the French city, and you can easily find them by doing a Google search.
Below are some of the websites you can make use of and the kind of jobs they list:
|Site||Type of jobs|
|Emplois-Verts||Jobs within the environmental sector|
|Keljob||Jobs across all industries|
|L’Etudiant||Internships for graduates and students|
|Cadre Emploi||Jobs across all industries|
|The Local||English-language jobs|
French visas, and if you need one
If you’re a citizen of an EU, EEA, or Swiss national, you only need a valid EU passport to move to France. However, you need to be either self-employed, a student in France, employed, or a family member of an EU citizen.
An EU, EEA, or Swiss national citizen visiting France for leisure, should have proof of financial means. For instance, if you are under 65 years, single with no children, you should have 537 EUR per month, and 805 EUR if you are a couple with no children.
If you are over 65 and live alone, you need 805 EUR and 1,247 EUR if you are a couple.
If you are a non-EU, EEA, or Swiss resident, you need a visa and resident permit to move and find a job in France. It’s advisable to acquire this visa from your home country, but in some cases, you can apply and acquire it from another country.
Requirements for a French visa
Whenever you apply for any French visa, regardless of the purpose, you need to follow the following steps:
1. Book an appointment with the French Diplomatic Office
Booking an appointment generally shows the beginning of your visa application, and it’s done online. After this, you’ll have an appointment date where you go for a physical interview at the embassy.
2. Submit general required documents
You need to submit the following documents to the French Embassy:
- A filled application form
- Proof of the address
- A valid passport
- Two recently taken passport photos
- Evidence of a travel visa insurance of at least 30,000 EUR
- Covering letter stating the purpose of your visit
- Proof of a booked accommodation
- Proof of the civil status
3. Pay the visa application fee
This fee applies to every individual submitting a French visa application, and it varies depending on age and circumstances. Visit here to check the amount you are required to pay.
Types of French visa
There are numerous French visas for non-EU countries individuals who wish to stay in France for more than three months.
The table below shows various types of French visas and when they are issued:
|Type of visa||Occasions when it’s issued|
|Family visa||Issued to individuals who want to join their spouse who is a legal French citizen.|
|Talent visa||For applicants who want to stay in France for up to one year and engage in a competitive environment as global talent.|
|Professional visa||Issued to applicants who intend to stay in France for more than 90 days.|
|Religious orders visa||Issued to Catholics, members of the Christian confessions, or Protestants who want to enter France to carry out religious duties.|
|Study visa||For students who wish to study in France for more than three months.|
|Working holiday visa||Granted to the nationals of 13 countries engaged in the working holiday program with France.|
How to find a job in France as an American?
There are usually a lot of rumors regarding how hard it is for Americans to find jobs in France, but it’s pretty easy with hard work and perseverance.
Though you may successfully search for employment while already in France, it’s advisable to find it before buying a one-way plane ticket to the country.
Read this article on how to find a job in France without speaking French.
Here are a few ways how you can find a job in France as an American:
Unlike other countries in Europe, jobs in France aren’t advertised as much; therefore, it’s wise to network adequately. Ask your friends, cousins, neighbors, teachers, and anyone who might be of assistance for any job opening they may know.
You can also join social networking sites for professionals, such as Viadeo and LinkedIn.
Additionally, join a meet-up group to interact with like-minded individuals in a similar field. Another way of networking is joining networking groups like the (PWN), which has networks in major cities like Nice, Paris, Marseille, and Lyon.
Send speculative applications
Though there may be no job advert in a given company, it would help send speculative applications; they show that you are ambitious and are given priority during recruitment.
To find reputable companies in your sector, use the Pages Jaunes (Yellow Pages), or you can check out companies within your expertise on Monster, and Indeed.
Partner with a recruitment agencies
It’s wise to work with a recruitment agency as they can speculate job vacancies in companies and organizations before their advertisement. Find recruitment agencies’ details in France on the Pages Jaunes (Yellow Pages).
Before working with an agent, ensure that they are members of the recruitment agencies’ regulatory body in France to avoid being conned.
Check out foreign organizations and embassies
Check out opportunities at the embassies and foreign companies in France, especially if you have a high command of both English and French. They mostly hire Americans who can speak native English and are fluent in French.
Check out the American Library, which has a job board that regularly has these job advertisements.
Make use of the local newspapers
Both regional and national newspapers in France have job vacancies adverts; some leading newspapers are Le Point and Le Monde.
You can also check out the FUSAC, an English-language, Paris-focused, web-based magazine with numerous job adverts. This magazine is also the perfect medium for networking with others in the English-speaking community of France.
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