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I'm currently on a working holiday visa in France and employed, and I have been offered a CDI (permanent contract) along with visa sponsorship. But I wanted to know how I go about processing this.

I know I cannot extend the Working Holiday Visa, but all the information I can find on standard working visas indicate I'll need to go back to Australia to hand in my passport/file the paperwork.

Can I not just apply to have the paperwork done here, and activate the new visa the next time I hop over to the UK and back?

Basically, if I am Australian and have been offered a CDI in France along with visa sponsorship, can I make the visa applications in Europe somewhere?

migrated from travel.stackexchange.com Oct 22 '15 at 17:48

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You cannot obtain a regular long-stay visa from within France but you don't necessarily need to go back to Australia to transition to a long-term status. There are at least two solutions you could explore:

  • Applying for a French visa from another European country. Channel hopping at the end of the procedure is not enough, you need to be a resident/have some sort of long-term status and proof of address where you apply. But you could try something like a working holiday visa in the Netherlands to save you the trip back to Australia and discover another European country. Be aware that the application can take several months.

  • Applying for a carte de séjour directly. The rules are complex, students can do it under certain conditions for example (see https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F15898) and it's also possible for a vie privée et familiale permit (partners of French citizens) no matter your current status. I am not sure whether it's allowed in this particular case but you do have a long-stay visa already so it might be worth a try.

It's important to try to switch status before the expiration of your current visa. Once it's expired and even if you are staying perfectly legally on the visa-free Schengen allowance, you won't be allowed to apply for a carte de séjour as worker.

If the problem is that returning to Australia is inconvenient right now, do note that, as an Australian citizen, you may stay in France for 90 days at the end of the visa, under the regular Schengen short-stay regulations. However, you cannot work during this time. See this question on the travel website for more on this.

Finally, a bit of bad news: even if you do return to Australia to apply for the visa, it's important to realize that having a sponsor does not guarantee that you will get it. The authorities can rule that enough local candidates (EU/French citizens or residents) are available to do the job. So your prospective employer should be careful to describe it in a way that suggests that you are especially qualified to do it.

  • Thanks for the help - It looks like both those options are outside of my abilities right now, but I noticed here: ambafrance-au.org/Working-in-France-for-more-than-90 it talks about a temporary visa in Step 3: 3.The application is forwarded to the local Direction régionale des entreprises, de la concurrence, de la consommation du travail et de l’emploi (Direccte: Regional Department of Work and Employment), to obtain an approval or a Temporary Work Permit (APT: Autorisation Provisoire de Travail). Can I use that to delay returning to Aus until a better time? (my visa ends Dec 24) – Chris Le Petit Oct 26 '15 at 13:06
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    @ChrisLePetit No, this APT is required to get a visa but does not replace it and applying for it has no impact on the legality of your stay in France. Incidentally, you can stay for 90 days in France at the end of your visa (but without working), I added a note on that. – Gala Oct 26 '15 at 13:24
  • Thanks! Though I believe since I am on the under 31 years old Working Holiday Visa I need to leave and re-enter to activate the 90 days, don't I? – Chris Le Petit Oct 26 '15 at 13:28
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    @ChrisLePetit No, see travel.stackexchange.com/questions/10504/… – Gala Oct 26 '15 at 13:44
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    @ChrisLePetit Thinking about it, I am not sure whether you can apply for a carte de séjour or not in your situation. It might be worth a try. – Gala Oct 26 '15 at 13:55

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