Staying in France after your studies – the new titre de séjour “recherche d’emploi / création d’entreprise”

Updated on 9 May 2019
IN 2018, THE GOVERNMENT PASSED A NEW LAW WHICH CHANGED THE THE APS (OR AUTORISATION PROVISOIRE DE SEJOUR), AND TRANSFORMED IT INTO A FULL-FLEDGED “TITRE DE SEJOUR” FOR JOB HUNTING. THE IMPLEMENTING RULES WERE PUBLISHED END OF FEBRUARY 2019. THIS NEW PAGE DESCRIBES THE NEW PROCEDURE AND REQUIREMENTS, WHICH ARE QUITE SIMILAR TO THE APS (BUT OBVIOUSLY, MY POST CONTAINS ONLY CONTENT BASED ON THE LAW AND WHAT I HEARD FROM OTHER STUDENTS, AND NOT ON PERSONAL EXPERIENCES).

All of the information below (for either the titre de séjour or the visa) is new and still quite “theoretical.” Feedback from students are trickling in and I will try to include them in future iterations of this page.


The titre de séjour “recherche d’emploi / création d’entreprise” (which replaced the Autorisation provisoire de Séjour or APS) is a one-year residence permit (with exceptions) that is granted to foreign (non-EU / Swiss) students who have recently graduated (or about to graduate) with a masters degree from a recognized French higher education institution.

It allows you to stay in France and look for a job that is linked to your studies, work on the side, and at the same time also allows you to create a business if you so desire.

For more information on transitioning from a student/recherche d’emploi permit to a work permit, read this page.

CONDITIONS: 

  1. Be in possession of a valid student residence permit  (titre de séjour étudiant) or researcher residence permit (titre de séjour scientifique / chercheur)
  2. A recognized diploma equivalent to at least a masters degree obtained within the year of the application for the residence permit.
    1. The diplomas equivalent to a masters degree or enumerated on a list that is published by decree, which can be found here.
      Check with your school to make sure that your diploma is recognized.

A MAJOR CHANGE:

One major change in this new law is that it also gives the possibility for students who have graduated (with a recognized diploma – see above) and have left France to apply for a job hunting visa or visa recherche d’emploi / création d’entreprise (instead of a job hunting titre de séjour) up to four years after graduation.

As mentioned above, this is really new and it seems that some Embassies/Consulates are not issuing these yet.

PROCEDURE:

TC the cat!

TC says:
If the préfecture requires you to send the request via mail/post, make sure you send it via registered mail (called lettre recommandée avec accusé de réception in French) so that you have proof that you sent in the application before your student titre de séjour expires.

Based on the new law, you would have to apply for the job hunting permit the year you get your diploma. (e.g. you finish your program in 2019, you would have to apply for the permit in 2019).

You would need the following documents (with photocopies, of course):

  1. Passport
  2. Three (3) passport pictures
  3. Your current student ID
  4. Your diploma
    –> Note that you most likely will not have this yet BEFORE your visa expires. You can submit to the préfécture an attestation de réussite (a certificate of completion) and usually this suffices.
    –> You most likely will be required to go back with their actual diplomas. So double check.
  5. Proof of French national health insurance coverage.
  6. Some would request for a proof of accommodation (justificatif de domicile.
  7. If you are applying because you want to create a business, have a business plan that is in line with your studies.
  8. Possible additional requirement (not on the official list):
    a “cover letter” of sorts, in French, that states why you would like to stay in France.
    1. This document is not in the official list but has been requested from many students. It need not be detailed but they ask it from you even though it has been removed from the requirements last year.

The permit is supposed to be granted for a one-year period.
Some prefectures used to give out the APS valid for 6 months, and you can renew. I do not know if this will be the case for the new permit.

The delay before the prefecture makes it decision is supposed to be 3 months max. Some prefectures grant it quicker than others (some take two weeks, some take longer). No response after 4 months is an implicit denial.

This new permit costs 49 EUR that you would have to pay with fiscal stamps (excise tax – timbres fiscaux in French).

RIGHT TO WORK:

  • The job hunting permit, like the APS, gives you a right to search for a job and work for the entire duration of its validity, and is valid for ALL employers.
  • In much the same way as you would as a student: 20 hours a week (part-time) for one year. The alternative is 35 hours a week (full-time) for 6 months).
  • If you find a job that is related to your diploma, you can work full time, but it should be at least 1.5 times the minimum wage.
    • As of this writing, minimum wage is EUR 10,03/hour gross or EUR 1525.47/month gross.
    • Thus, your salary has to be at least EUR 15.05/hour gross or EUR 2281.82/month.
  • With this permit you can start working right away once you have signed the contract (if you do not have the job hunting permit, you cannot do this).
  • Afterwards, you have to make a request to change your permit to a work permit. The process is the same as changing status from student to work permit. 

CHANGING STATUS:

Once you have signed a contract and depending on your salary, you can get the following titres de séjour upon changing status:

At least 1.5 times the SMIC
Or around EUR 2281.82 gross a month.
titre de séjour temporaire salarié ou travailleur temporaire 
(the situation of the job market – the unemployment rate – cannot be held against you) OR
titre de séjour pluriannuelle passeport talent – chercheur OR
titre de séjour pluriannuelle passeport talent – profession artistique et culturelle
At least EUR 36 509.20 annual gross salarytitre de séjour pluriannuelle passeport talent – salarié qualifié
– titre de séjour pluriannuelle passeport talent – entreprise innovante
At least EUR 53 836,50 annual gross salaryThe European Blue Card
titre de séjour pluriannuelle passeport talent – carte bleue européenne
TC the cat!

TC says:
Bring as many documents as you can when applying . The more, the merrier! You never know what they will ask.

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