As a USA citizen, if you enter the country and establish residency with the visa status 'Employee on Assignment' (Salarié en Mission) what happens if you and the company that brought you into the country decide to part ways (such as you leave/quit, not fired). Are you then forced to depart France?

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    Slightly different status so not a duplicate but some of the info detailed in expatriates.stackexchange.com/questions/5691/… actually applies here as well.
    – Gala
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 15:54
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    There are many ways to end a work contract in France. If you just leave (démission), you have fewer rights. But it's sometimes possible to negotiate a rupture conventionnelle, which is not exactly like being fired but has many of the same advantages (in terms of unemployment benefits, etc.) That's important because if you are unemployed, the right to renew a residence permit is usually tied to unemployment benefits.
    – Gala
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 17:13

1 Answer 1


A general principle in France is that you are never forced to leave while your carte de séjour or long-stay visa is valid. There is none of the automatic loss of status or super-short grace period you see in other countries, the authorities must first take action before you have to leave.

In practice, the préfecture does have the power to cancel your visa prematurely, in which case you would be notified by mail (and probably receive an obligation de quitter le territoire français at the same time, at which point you have 30 days to leave before facing real trouble) but this would take some time and I don't think they do it as a matter of course when people lose their job.

Mainly, the choke point is when your current residence title expires and you need to get or renew a carte de séjour (or possibly when renewing an autorisation de travail). That's when many people end up receiving an OQTF and/or staying illegally (sans-papier). For a permit as salarié and provided you lost your job involuntarily, you can actually get at least one additional year to look for an alternate job, possibly more if you qualify for longer unemployment benefits. Unfortunately, what little information I could find online suggests that this is not the case for a salarié en mission.

Worse, depending on your exact situation (and specifically whether your employer is a French business or not), you might not even be eligible to register as "looking for a job" (demandeur d'emploi), which means no unemployment benefits and, presumably, no right to work for another employer without applying for a new permission from scratch. So you would not be forced to leave immediately but finding something to stay after the expiration date of your current visa or transitioning to another status might be somewhat difficult.

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    Extremely insightful. I'm willing to relocate my family from the US and work in France with the long-term goal of gaining citizenship for at minimum my child, but the risk of being unable to continue residency in-country if I part ways with my employer now sounds like a very large concern.
    – Craig
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 18:44
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    @Craig - FYI this (having to leave if you lose job within days) is exactly the situation of foreign ("alien") employees in USA on H1B visa. And there is NO CHANCE to apply for unemployment in USA, so France is much more liberal/understanding than USA is. Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 21:34
  • I can only agree with Peter. I am Swedish and I have lived in the U.S., Germany, Portugal and now France. As an EU citizen I don't have any problems moving around in the EU, but the U.S. immigration experience I had was nothing short but awful. All government work including my current unemployment has been super smooth in France and even as a non-EU resident the rights you have here compared with basically no rights at all in the U.S. (unemployment, long-term sick leave et cetera) is outstanding. If you can and for the sake of your children, go for it. What's the worst that can happen? Commented Nov 5, 2020 at 10:57

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