Can I work and study in France?

There are currently more than 400,000 international students in France. The country is among the top 5 study destinations alongside the US, the UK and Canada. And it’s a common practice for students in France to work and study at the same time, to support themselves financially and cover their living expenses, especially if they live in expensive cities such as Paris. For non-native speakers, it’s a great way to practice and improve their French. 

How many hours can international students work and study in France? What kinds of jobs are available? What is the process for international students to be able to work on a study visa? Is there any difference for European and non-European students? And what about post-study work options? Read on to get the answers to these questions.

How many hours can I work and study in France?

In France, every foreign student has legally the right to work during their studies. So if you have decided to pursue academics in France and find a job, your options vary depending on your country of origin and the type of visa you have. 

If you are a student from the EU and Switzerland, you are allowed to work without the need of a resident permit. On the other hand, non-European students who have a long stay student visa or a temporary resident card for study purpose, you can work as long as you don’t exceed the maximum limit of 964 hours per year. This is the equivalent of 60% of the maximum hours permitted in the country. 

Read here our article on the student visa in France.

Student work permit in France

You normally don’t need any additional permit to work as a student in France. However, once you find a student job in France, your employer needs to declare the hiring at the prefecture, before you start working. In case you have a long stay visa, the declaration should be done at the prefecture of your place of residence. On the other hand, it will be carried out at the prefecture who has issued your residence card. 

Your employer should do this at least 2 working days before the beginning of the job. The document should include crucial details such as: 

  • The company name
  • Information about you
  • Information about your employer
  • Copy of your residence permit or VLS-TS
  • The nature of the job you’re going to do
  • The start date of the contract and its duration

How much students can earn in France?

Anyone working in France, including students, earns a salary based on a minimum wage. It’s the SMIC, a statutory minimum wage guaranteed by the law, which is €11.27 per hour. To this salary, a compulsory contribution to social security, of around 20%, is deducted. 

Therefore, an international student who works the full 964 hours on a minimum wage will earn €8,691.42 that year, after deduction of the social security share. Moreover, this salary also varies depending on the type of job as well as the city where the student lives. 

In student cities such as Paris, or Lille or Reims, students can make between €300 and €900. And you’ll certainly get better pay if you land a job in sectors such as consulting firms or high-tech companies.

Learn also how much it will cost to study and live in France

Types of part-time jobs in France for international students

One good thing about student jobs in France is that it tends to be more flexible to accommodate the student’s schedule. This enables them to avoid work gets over study, even though most available positions are weekend and evening shifts. 

As for the types of job, students can do most part-time jobs, working in cafés, restaurants, in retail, in a museum or art gallery, babysit, offer translation services, teaching foreign languages among others. In this case, to put all the odds in your favor, don’t hesitate to highlight qualities such as a living experience in a foreign country or your knowledge of multiple languages. 

International students can also work at their host university where tasks involve tutoring, student support, administration, working at cultural or sport events, assisting in research etc.  

And lastly, there are seasonal jobs, during summer vacation, for example. This can take the form of a fixed-term contract that can be renewed each year at the same period. Most of these jobs are related to tourism and agriculture activities. And as a bonus, you’ll get to explore other cities, immerse in the French culture and meet new people!

Internships for international students in France

If you need to undergo an internship as part of your degree program, it won’t technically count as a job. Therefore, the hours spent to complete the internship are not deductible from the 964 hours limit. However, you must be in possession of a signed agreement between your host company and your university.

Moreover, if the internship lasts more than 2 months, the student must receive a compensation that is equivalent to the third of the SMIC (about €600). Furthermore, depending on the length of the internship, the student might need a temporary work permit. So make sure to inquire about it when you prepare the paperwork for your internship.

Work and study program in France: apprenticeship and professional training contracts

In France, students have two options of work and study programs. In both cases, the students receive a professional training in alternation with their studies and have to sign a work contract. They both have the status of an employee at the company they are working at. Moreover, students receive a salary that is obviously lesser than what they’d get with a common work contract. The remuneration is calculated on the basis of the SMIC.

Apprenticeship in France for international students 

Apprenticeship is a form of work and study program for students or holders of a visa who are holders of a visa and already living in France for more than a year. Therefore, students who are in their first year of undergraduate cannot take in an apprenticeship contract. In this case, students earn practical training on a job under the supervision of a journey person or an employer.

The apprenticeship contract is then an employment contract between one employee and a student. The student has the status of an apprentice and alternates between theoretical learning at school and practical experience at the company he is employed. Moreover, apprenticeship is reserved to students between 16 and 29 years old.

Professional training contract

In this form of work and study program, students have the status of an employee in training. In this case, they sign a professionalization contract, a fixed-term contract with a duration period of 1 to 3 years. 

The contract has then professionalization purpose since the student then follows a training course leading to a qualification related to the position they hold within the company. Moreover, the professionalization contract is open to students between the ages of 16 and 25 and to jobseekers aged 26 and over.

Work after study in France 

To pass from the student status to a worker status in France, you need to take the steps to transforming your student visa into a Worker Residence Card, a Temporary Work Permit, or a Temporary Residence Permit (APS). For that you have two options:

You already have a job in France

In this case you need to apply for a:

  • Worker resident card: in case of contract of 1 year or more
  • Temporary work permit, in case you have a contract of less than a year.

The requirements include that:

  • Your salary is at least 1.5 times more than the SMIC
  • The job position is related to your degree

These permits have 1-year validity and are renewable. Approbation depends on several factors including the amount of the remuneration and the relevancy of the job with your university qualification.

You are about to graduate and plan to stay in France for work

This is possible only for students who are holders of a master’s degree. In this case you can apply for a work resident card or a temporary work permit within two months before the expiration of your student resident permit. On the other hand, you can also apply for an APS, a temporary resident permit, that allows you to stay in France to find a job. Once you land a job or get a hiring promise, you can apply to change your status into a worker status.

Check also our guide on master’s degrees in France.

About Herilalao

A versatile freelance content creator and SEO specialist, I have a passion for writing and a knack for optimizing online visibility. I help businesses and individuals enhance their online presence through engaging and well-researched content. From writing informative articles to optimizing websites for search engines, I thrive in finding ways to create and manage content that not only resonates with readers but also boosts visibility and drives organic traffic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.