Authorisation to work

Citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA - including Switzerland and Croatia) are free to work in most capacities in France, with the exception of certain public sector jobs. After more than 5 years in France, you can obtain a permanent residence permit.

Foreign nationals from outside the EEA who wish to work in France must obtain a work permit (visa or residence permit) and a statement of comparability of their diplomas, which can be obtained from the ENIC-NARIC centre, by telephone (33-1 45 07 63 21) or by email.

How to get a visa

Social Security

Anyone who lives and works in France must join a social security scheme. There are several schemes: general scheme for employees, agricultural scheme, self-employed scheme, etc. You may also want to take out supplementary insurance. You can download the forms for joining the general scheme here.

Find out more about Health

Learning French

It's important to speak the language to be able to make friends and find work. There are several organisations that teach French as a foreign language in Nantes and Saint-Nazaire. Some classes are fee-based and some are free, taught by local non-profit associations. The classes are tailored to the learners' level.
All the information you need is available on the website of the City of Nantes.
Associations like the Avalix community centre also provide free French classes in Saint-Nazaire. There are also many private organisations and schools offering language courses.

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