For multinational businesses that rely on employees moving between locations on short-term assignments, having to obtain full authorisation each time can be a real administrative burden. The French regulations have been modified and now provide for the exemption of work authorizations for short stays.
What has changed?
The new rule applies to foreigners coming to France for a stay of less than 90 days to perform any of the following assignments:
- sports, scientific, artistic, or cultural events;
- conferences, seminars or trade shows;
- film, audio-visual, recording or performing directly related to production or distribution;
- modelling or photo shoots;
- Providing services to individuals during the stay in France of the employing individuals;
- audits and IT expertise (assessment mission, investigation, audit or control), accounting management, finance, insurance, architectural and engineering work conducted by employees seconded to France by a foreign company; and
- lectures given occasionally by visiting professors.
This assignment could be carried out:
- for an employer located abroad and under its legal subordination, in the scope of an agreement signed between the foreign employer and the company located in France; or
- for a French company of the same group as the company abroad.
If the foreign employee is exempted from having to obtain a visa for a short stay in France (a US citizen, for example), the employee must still have a passport which is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their assignment. When they arrive in France, the employee has to prove the subject of their assignment, their financial means and their lodging in France.
If the foreign employee is not exempted from possessing a visa for a short stay in France, they must file a visa application with the French Consulate abroad.
What does this mean for employers?
The new regime should ease the burden for multinationals sending staff to France on short-term assignments, but employers still need to ensure they have completed all of the necessary formalities. It is the employer that must provide the employee with all of the documents proving the exemption of the work authorisation during their assignment in France.