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How to apply for a work-study program for international students in France?

How international students gain access to work-study program depends on your nationality, the type of contract you have and your residence permit. Apprenticeship contracts, professionalisation contracts: Spiky tells you all about how to access a work-study program in France!

If you are a foreign student coming from Switzerland or a country in the EU/EEA.

👉You are entitled to benefit from the principle of free movement. You hence do not need to apply for a work permit in order to apply to a work-study program.

👉Once you have a work contract with a company established in France, your work-study program can begin, no matter the type of contract (whether it is a professionalisation or an apprenticeship contract).

👉The documents you need :

  • A valid identity document

  • A French social security number

  • French bank details

If you are a student from Algeria

👉You must have an algerian student certificate of residence, unless you have:

  • A scientific residence certificate

  • A certificate of residence for private and family-life

  • A 10-year residence certificate

👉You employer must file for a work permit before you can start off work.

If you are not a foreign student coming from Switzerland, Algeria or a country in the EU/EEA:

👉If you apply for a work-study program, you must:

  • Be able to prove that you have lived in France for a whole year already, unless you have been accepted in a state-approved master’s degree

  • Have a valid residence permit in order to legally live in France. For instance : « private life, family life », the long-term « Student » visa or the “Student” residence permit.

  • Have a valid ID

  • Have a French social security number

  • Have French bank details

👉You can file your application for apprenticeships on the platform Études en France (“Studies in France”), before you ask for your visa (the « je suis accepté » procedure, meaning “I am accepted”).

👉Formalities according to the type of contract:

  • Apprenticeship contract: the contract has to be approved by the opérateur de compétences (OPCO, skills operator) or the Dreets if it is an apprenticeship in the public sector.

  • Professionnalisation contract: in order to work more than 964 hours per year, your employer must file for a work permit before you can start off work.

If you are a refugee

👉A number of schemes have been set up for migrant students to help them enter French higher education. Campus France explains everything in this article.

👉You can also get in touch with associations such as :

  • Konexio offers free training in IT skills and tech professions to open up digital opportunities to everyone. They also offer apprenticeship programs.

  • Uni-R helps you with academic and professional integration and validation of prior learning through experience (VAE).


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