Changes to French Immigration Policy

At present, students in France who have earned at least a master”s degree or the equivalent can apply for a one-time (non-renewable) temporary residency authorisation (APS – authorisation  provisoire de séjour) for up to 6 months beyond the date of expiration of the student”s current residency permit.

This  authorisation enables the student to work full-time on an un-restricted basis in any job up to the hourly limit of 60% of the official work week (that is, just over part time employment).

Then, after the APS is expired, it is not possible to stay in France. However, within 15 days following the expiry of the APS residence permit, 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.

However, following a recent update, by the end of 2013 the following changes will now apply to APS Residence Permits –

a)      The duration of the temporary residence permit will be increased from 6 to 12 months. Pending the implementation, a transitional measure is provided. The APS will be issued valid for 6 months automatically renewable once for the same period.

b)      The requirement that the migrant has prospects of returning to their home country and that they will participate to the economic development of France, has now been removed. It will no longer be necessary to provide a letter stating that the proposed experience contributes to the economic development of France and the country of the applicant. Additionally, there is no longer the obligation to indicate that the work experience is conducive to the migrant”s prospects of returning to their country of origin.

Changes to the extended-stay student visa, with residency permit (VLS-TS)

The VLS-TS visa is issued to all international students wishing to enrol in a French institution of higher education. The VLS-TS visa is normally valid for a period of one year, which must be renewed annually.

However, from now  students and researchers granted a VLS-TS visa will be automatically issued with permission to stay covering the whole remaining period of the course or research.

Changes to removal policy for holders of the “scientifique-chercheur” residence permit

The ‘scientifique-chercheur’  residence permit (titre de séjour) allows the holder to work in France as a scientific researcher or university-level teacher for one year, renewable for up to 4 years.

Now, following a recent update, if a candidate involuntarily loses their job  and are entitled to welfare benefits, then the residence permit may now be renewed on this basis. However, this does not apply if the employment was given up voluntarily.

If you are interested in working in France, please contact us for more information.

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