The mysteries of corporate immigration

Sometimes the reality is stranger than the theory

Corporate immigration in France has a reputation of being complex.  Ask any International Mobility Manager from a multi-national with installations on 5 continents, if their global strategy has had to be adapted where France is concerned? But be assured, our beautiful country is not alone in this domain.

In France, we have to deal with a number of different standards, sometimes contradictory: labour and social security laws, international agreements, circulars and internal texts (some of which remain unpublished), telegrams etc.

Sometimes the reality is stranger than the theory. Prior to determining the best strategies, it is essential to carry out an in-depth study of each case while both respecting the regulations and at the same time satisfying the companies’ imperatives (“our employee and his family were meant to arrive yesterday, how can we speed-up the process?”).

Each work permit is covered by a specific regulation 

The very nature of certain procedures can influence the choice of one or another. Is it not easier (and legitimate)to directly for a residence and work permit in France with the indication “spouse of EU national”, for an American citizen married to a British national, instead of applying for a work permit ahead of arrival. The same question may be asked for a parent of a French child. The geographic location of the company and the future address of the couple in France may also weigh in favour of a “classic” work permit application, in terms of delay, the local authority’s standpoint or even the “treatment” reserved for foreigners wishing to apply for residency.

Several persons are concerned by the choice of work permit. Firstly, the employer’s concerns are for sure important: “is this permit easy to obtain and does it authorize my employee to work for the competition in France, will his business trips be restricted during the procedure, etc.?”


Secondly, the needs of the employee and those of his family must also be considered: “should my spouse put their career “on hold”, would we be able to settle in France, what of our children, as they grow-up in France, etc.?”

We never lose sight of the fact that even though our job is primarily to analyse the factual and legal elements of a given situation, there is also a large part of human relations involved. Wherever possible, the convergence of interests remains our priority, as it sustains and promotes confidence.