Find all the useful informations related the residence permits required to work in France as a researcher : how to apply for this status, how long does your residence permit last...
Who is eligible for researcher status?
Any foreign"researcher", teacher, professor, lecturer, engineer, doctoral or post-doctoral student enrolled in a French university and holding an employment contract or a doctoral contract from a French research organization.
Caution! Doctoral students enrolled in a French university but who do not hold an employment contract or a hosting agreement in the host research centre must request the status of "student."
How can I obtain researcher status?
Research status must be requested through the French Consulate of your home country before arriving in France.
What is a hosting agreement?
If a foreign student is enrolled in a doctoral contract, the hosting agreement includes his/her employee status.
The hosting agreement is an administrative document that specifies the nature and duration of the work entrusted to the applicant. Designed to enable the procuration of a long-stay ‘researcher’ visa, it is certified by the prefectural authorities and sent to the researcher by the host organization in advance of the application filing. It is then certified by the consulate.
The hosting agreement is the only document proving the purpose of stay, resources, housing and medical coverage of the researcher. This procedure applies to doctoral students, when they are employed to conduct their research, and whatever the nature of the employment contract: doctoral contract, industrial agreement of research training (CIFRE) or other.
What is the “visa long séjour valant titre de séjour - VLS-TS - scientifique-chercheur” (research long-stay visa)?
The VLS-TS is for holders of a Master’s degree (or equivalent) coming to France in order to conduct research or to teach in a public or private research and/or higher education institution. It is valid for 1 year and exempts the holder from applying for a “titre de séjour scientifique-chercheur” (temporary research residence permit). However, the VLS-TS has to be validated by OFII.
What is the “titre de séjour scientifique-chercheur” (temporary research residence permit)?
The “titre de séjour scientifique-chercheur” (temporary research residence permit) research is given by the Prefecture when the “visa long séjour scientifique-chercheur” (research long-stay visa) expires at the end of the first year in France. It allows its holder to practice their research and teaching activities in France in the context of the hosting agreement. This permit is valid for between 1 and 4 years. The Prefecture rarely renews beyond 4 years. The renewal must be requested 2 months before the expiration of the researcher visa.
How can I renew the research residence permit?
Foreign researchers can obtain the renewal of their residence permit for a period exceeding 1 year but not more than 4 years. This renewal takes into consideration the expected duration or expected work mentioned in the hosting agreement. The request must imperatively be made to the local Prefecture by the host laboratory. It cannot be done elsewhere.
What rights do family members of the researcher have?
Husband, wife and under age children of holders of a researcher residence permit are fully entitled to a residence permit marked ‘vie privée et familiale’ (personal life and family). This card allows to stay and work in France.