Going to France to complete an internship

internship in France

Is an internship included in your learning or training program? To gain international work experience, you have decided to complete an internship in France. Your internship hunt has been successful: you are about to sign an agreement! If you aren’t an EU citizen, you will generally need to go through a visa application process. To find out which procedures apply to you, two elements must be taken into consideration: the duration of you internship and your nationality. A how-to guide to doing an internship in France.

Your internship will last less than three months

Did you just land a two-month internship? Unless you are from a visa-exempt country, you must request a Schengen visa (or short-stay visa). You will generally be able to directly submit your visa application at the nearest French consulate. Nevertheless, in some countries (in Tunisia for instance), you will need to undergo Campus France registration procedures first.

Getting a Schengen visa: required supporting documents

The list of requested documents can vary from one country and consulate to another. You will always need to submit at least the following documents:

  • visa application form,
  • passport valid for at least 3 months after the period of your intended stay in France,
  • 2 ID pictures,
  • health and repatriation insurance certificate valid for the duration of the stay,
  • internship agreement, signed by you, your employer in France and your school or institution,
  • proof of accommodation (temporary resident’s certificate, hotel booking confirmation…),
  • financial guarantee,
  • visa fee payment.

In some cases, one or several of the following documents might be requested: round trip tickets, school or university certificate of enrollment, Campus France registration and interview certificate, cover letter, letter proving intent to return to home country… Make sure you get the right information before you apply!

Your internship will last more than three months

Is your training program or internship in France going to last over than three months? Unless you are a national of a European Economic Area (EEA) member country, you will in this case need to request a long stay visa (VLS-TS) for internship. Many times, undergoing Campus France procedures before applying for a visa is compulsory. In some countries, especially in those where no Campus France agency is established, you will be able to apply at the consulate directly.

For instance
Are you a Moroccan, Tunisian, Brazilian or US citizen? Before you apply for a long stay visa, you must undergo the Campus France procedures.
Are you a citizen of Australia of New-Zealand? Gather the requested documents and directly submit your application to the nearest French consulate.

Getting a long stay visa for internship: required supporting documents

The list of requested documents can vary from one country to another. You will always need to hand in the following documents:

  • visa application form,
  • passport valid for at least 3 months after the period of your intended stay in France and containing at least 2 blank pages,
  • 2 ID pictures,
  • internship agreement, signed by you, your employer in France and your school or institution and stamped by the French Labour Department (DIRRECTE),
  • proof of accommodation for the duration of the internship (hotel booking confirmation, accommodation provided by the host company, rental agreement…),
  • financial guarantee (€615 per month if your internship is part of your study course or monthly equivalent of French minimum wage if you are enrolled in a professional training program),
  • visa fee payment.

Consulates also frequently ask for other documents: Campus France registration and interview certificate, school or university certificate of enrollment, copies of degree certificates, residence certificate…

Step by step guide to coming to France

Making your way through the paperwork maze sometimes is tricky… If you don’t complete the right administrative procedure in the right order, you will be wasting time. Follow the steps below.

  1. Do the internship hunting.
  2. Your application is successful! The host company in France sends the internship agreement to the Labour Department at least two months before the beginning of the internship.
  3. If the request is approved by the Labour Department, you will receive your stamped internship agreement.
  4. Depending on your nationality: register through Campus France, prepare your application and attend the interview.
  5. Submit your long stay visa application for internship to the consulate.
  6. Your visa is approved! You can begin your internship in France. Upon arrival, validate your visa at the local immigration office (OFFI).

To find out more about coming to France to complete an internship:

Explore Campus France and take a look at the promotion of economic migration website.

Date of publication Dec 18 2013

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