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European resident: how to look for work in France?

Verified 05 January 2023 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Yes. If you European resident or resident in Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, you are authorised to come to France to look for work as a job applicant. You must apply to Pôle emploi and can receive unemployment benefits, subject to conditions. Your situation differs depending on the country you come from, and whether or not you receive benefits from that country.

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You are a French national

You can stay and look for a job freely in France. You must have a valid passport or national identity card.

You are a citizen of another EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland

You can settle and search for a job freely in France. You do not have to hold a residence permit. However, if you so request, the prefecture may issue you a residence permit "European Union citizen".

You must submit your card application to your home prefecture or sub-prefecture within 2 months of the end date of your VLS-TS. Find out more on your prefecture's website.

Who shall I contact

If your file is complete, you will receive a revived pending the prefecture's response.

You are a third-country national who has worked in the United Kingdom or in an EU country other than Denmark

You need to request residence permit in the prefecture of your place of residence within 3 months of your arrival in France.

You must submit your card application to your home prefecture or sub-prefecture within 2 months of the end date of your VLS-TS. Find out more on your prefecture's website.

Who shall I contact

If your file is complete, you will receive a revived pending the prefecture's response.

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You receive unemployment benefits from your previous country of residence

You can come to France to look for a job for a period of 3 months, renewable 1 times, under conditions.

If you wish to stay for more than 3 months in France, you must apply for an extension of the authorisation to the national employment service of the country in which you lost your job. Your request must be made as soon as possible, before the end of the 1re period of 3 months. The authorisation may be extended from 3 to 6 months.

You must:

  • Provide evidence of the steps you have taken during the first 3 months to get a job in France (e.g. job search or job interview answers, proof of spontaneous applications or participation in job companies...)
  • Demonstrate that you have a better chance of finding a job if you extend your stay in France (e.g. benefit from Pôle emploi support, respond to job offers from local newspapers or specialised sites, participate in capacity-building training in France...)
  • Provide information about your job opportunities in a short time (for example, if you have a sought-after job qualification or a promise of hiring)

It is the unemployment institution of the country you just left that continues to pay you your benefits. Pôle emploi keeps track of your job search in France.

Hand in the mobile document U2 to Pôle emploi, which has been previously issued by the unemployment institution of the country you have just left.

This document certifies the precise duration of the maintenance of your entitlement to unemployment benefits (3 months, within the limits of acquired rights, this period may be extended up to 6 months, upon a decision of the Member States).

If you do not comply with the job search control, Pôle emploi may be asked to give you a U3 portable document

This document lists certain facts that may affect your entitlement to unemployment benefits (e.g., refusal to respond to a job offer).

These facts, if they are found, are passed on to the institution that pays your allowances (that of the country you have just left), which can give possible follow-up (for example, the suspension of the payment of the allowance).

You do not receive unemployment benefits from your previous country of residence

You must request the U1 portable document from the competent institution of your former European employment status.

This form summarises the periods of insurance or employment completed in the territory of a Member State of the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland.

It allows these periods to be taken into account in order to assert your unemployment rights in France. Pôle emploi takes into account the periods of work done abroad indicated on this form, if you find but lose a new job in France.

The amount of your allowance paid by Pôle emploi is based on the only remuneration received during your period of employment in France.

Remuneration received in respect of an activity carried out in your European country of origin is therefore not taken into account when calculating the amount of the allowance in France.

To enter and search for a job in France, you must also inform yourself, before you leave, about the maintenance of your health insurance rights in France. If your rights are maintained, you will obtain a certificate of entitlement to health insurance benefits from your previous membership (European Health Insurance Card or the certificate in lieu or portable document S1).

If you do not have a period of maintenance of your rights provided for by your previous country of affiliation, contact the primary health insurance fund of your place of residence in France. It will examine your rights to the Universal Health Insurance Protection (PUMA), based on the criteria of stable and regular residence in France.

Warning  

If you are inactive, the benefit of the Puma is not automatic. It will depend on your situation regarding the right to stay.

Please note

the rules are different for frontier workers.

Upon your arrival in France, you must register as a job applicant.

You can enjoy the same rights as European citizens:

  • Access to employment
  • Employment services
  • Financial assistance to help you find work

Sign up for Pôle emploi

Warning  

if you are a non-European citizen, you cannot register with Pôle emploi only with your residence permit issued by France.

You can view job offers on the Pôle emploi website:

Search for a job offer on Pôle emploi

You can also consult the database of job offers on the Eures website:

Looking for a job in Europe

If you received unemployment benefits in another European country, you can continue to benefit in France.

Before you leave for France, you must however meet the following 2 conditions:

  • Be registered for at least 4 weeks as a jobseeker with the Employment Service of the country in which you lost your job (exceptions are possible)
  • Requesting a U2 portable document (maintenance of unemployment benefits) with the organisation paying your unemployment benefits.

With this document, you will be able to register as a job seeker with the Pôle emploi agency on which your home in France depends.

You have to do it within 7 days that follow the date of your termination as a jobseeker in the country you left.

Your allowances may be maintained for 3 months (extension to a maximum of 6 months), subject to the limits of the rights open to you in the European country concerned.

To do this, you must meet the following 2 conditions:

  • Be completely unemployed (not partial or intermittent)
  • Be entitled to unemployment benefits in the country where you lost your job.

Warning  

in order to retain your unemployment benefit rights in France, you must renew your rights, before they end. You must apply to the national employment service in the country where you lost your job. Find out before you leave for France.

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