How To Hire Expats In France

As a base of operations, France is an appealing place to do business, though many people aren’t taking advantage. To add some perspective, France:

  • Has access both to a market of 65 million consumers and the greater EU market of 500 million consumers.
  • Is far less expensive to operate from compared to the U.S. or U.K.
  • Has several measures favorable to business, like the research tax credit.

With this in mind, hiring an expatriate in France allows you to get the best of both worlds. You have a favorable business environment, combined with the exact staff you want working at your company. Here’s how to make this happen.

Issues With Expat Hiring

In many cases, companies want to bring on expats for their specialized expertise, ability to work in a global economy, and to not have to compete with larger local companies. However, there are also several difficulties associated with bringing on an expatriate employee, even if they are from your business’s country of origin and coming over while you expand to France. Here are some of the major issues involved.

Visas: A person looking to work in France will need a long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit, should they plan on working in the country longer than 3 months. As an employer, you need to work with the French government to provide essential documentation like:

  • The application form itself.
  • Proof of insurance.
  • A guarantee of repatriation.
  • Evidence for the reasons and conditions of the stay.
  • A criminal check and medical evaluation upon arriving in France, in some situations.

Another alternative here is the EU Blue Card Visa. This is a EU-wide work permit that allows highly skilled non-EU citizens to work in France and other countries, expats included. However, there’s a set of very stringent requirements, including:

  • Valid certification of university-level education.
  • Proof of experience in professional practice.
  • At least one-year work contract.
  • Evidence of monthly salary sum of more than 1.5 that of the average French annual salary (around EUR 56,900).

This process can be quite time-consuming, and application does not guarantee you will be able to get a visa. To put things in perspective, any employer or organization in France looking to hire an expat needs to request authorisation from the French authorities. They need to apply for work permits two months before the expat’s due data at minimum. In addition, they also need to submit proof of having attempted to find local candidates through local agencies. This is one of the biggest roadblocks to getting foreign worker permits approved.

In 2015, France tried to streamline the process with its “Talent Passport” program, providing a renewable 4-year visa/residence permit. However, these are generally limited to internationally known individuals, performers, and highly qualified employees.

Your Expat Hiring Solutions

As you can see, all of these issues can pose major hurdles for a company trying to bring on the top professionals possible. One way that some of these companies try to avoid the problem is by setting up their own entity in France. While this is effective, it’s also rather complicated. You need to choose a business structure and tax setup to start, the same as you would in the U.S. However, you also need to file an application, and possibly even take a business administration course before you can start operations. Many businesses don’t have the time or resources to go through this.

The alternative here is using a Global Employer of Record (GEOR). This provides an alternative to the bureaucracy of opening up a French subsidiary of your company just to bring on the employees you want. The way this works is that the GEOR serves as the registered legal employer for the worker. As a result, the GEOR takes the responsibility of:

  • Immigration requirements
  • Payroll
  • Maintaining foreign employment

Your company, on the other hand, gets to manage:

  • Compensation
  • Performance
  • Assigned Duties
  • Termination

If you’re looking for a Global Employer of Record solution, Acumen International is the strongest option available. Whether you are looking for a long-term solution to keep your expat hires in compliance with French law, or just looking for an interim solution while establishing an entity in France, we have you covered. Spend less time navigating work permits and other issues and more time on running your business.

Using our experience and expertise, you can efficiently onboard expat professionals as quick as 72 hours after submitting your request. This means:

  • Lower employment risk
  • Able to start projects faster to beat out the competition
  • Having an emergency option for time-critical situations

Reach out to us today for more information.

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