Working after graduation
Students from member countries of the European Union may work in France without restriction after they graduate. Here are the options open to students from other parts of the world.
International students holding a master’s degree or the equivalent
Students who have earned at least a master’s degree or the equivalent may apply for a one-time (nonrenewable) temporary residency authorization (APS, autorisation provisoire de séjour) valid for 6 months beyond the date of expiration of the student’s residency permit. The authorization enables the student to work at any job up to the limit of 60% of the official work week (that is, just over half-time employment).
Students who obtain a job related to their academic program at a rate of compensation equal to at least 1.5 times the national minimum wage may enter full-time employment by filing a request for change of status (from student to employee) at their prefecture.
Other students may also accept employment under certain circumstances. They must obtain a change of status (from student to employee) and follow a special procedure.
In response to the high rate of unemployment in France, employment is limited to the following 14 occupations (decree of August 11, 2011):
- Audit and financial control manager
- Furniture and wood products manufacturing equipment operator
- Mechanical product planner / designer
- Quality conformity inspector
- Building and public works draftsman
- Information systems production and operation engineer
- Glass manufacturing equipment operator
- Remote service and sales agent
- Operator of basic mechanical production unit
- Electrical and electronic products designer
- Manufacturing processes intervention technician
- Chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment operator
- Furniture and wood product processes intervention technician
Applicants for employment authorization must submit an employment contract or offer of employment from a French firm. In adjudicating the application, the authorities will take several criteria into account, including the firm’s motives, the applicant’s background, and the amount of time the applicant has spent in French higher education.
The "Compétence et talent" permit
The purpose of the "skills and talents" permit (3 years, renewable) is to facilitate the entry into France of foreigners who are likely to contribute in a significant and sustained way to the economic development or intellectual, scientific, cultural, humanitarian, or athletic advancement of France or their country of origin.
The permit is granted in view of the content, nature, and interest of the applicant's plans. Holders of the permit may engage in any form of professional activity that is consistent with the plans stated in the application.