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by fragomen.com

New Options and Procedures for Employees on Assignment

France has implemented several changes to the employee-on-assignment (salarié en mission) permit -- the combined work and residence permit category that is used by foreign nationals working temporarily for a French entity as intracompany transferees. The employee-on-assignment permit is now available for short-term stays and there is a new pilot application process in some municipalities. There are also new procedures for the family members of employees on assignment. These changes took effect on December 1, 2010 by government circular.

Permits for Short-Term Assignments; Extensions

Foreign nationals can now obtain employee-on-assignment permits for work assignments of less than three months. In addition, foreign nationals who make regular short-term work visits can now apply for a new 12-month employee-on-assignment permit that allows multiple short-term work stays over the course of a year without the need to obtain separate authorization for each short-term assignment.

The French government has reaffirmed that employee-on-assignment permits are extendible in principle, as long as the foreign national continues to maintain his or her eligibility. However, these permits do not allow for permanent residence and are not extendable indefinitely.

Centralized Application Pilot Program

A centralized application program for employee-on-assignment permits is being tested in Paris, Hauts-de-Seine and Rhone through June 30, 2011. During this time, applications for these jurisdictions are submitted directly to the relevant migration office (Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration) which coordinates with labor authorities and the appropriate French consular post to adjudicate the application. Normally, the employer and foreign national must submit separate migration, work authorization and visa applications to obtain the permit.

Application Procedures, Employment Authorization for Accompanying Family Members

Simplified application procedures are no longer available for family members accompanying or joining employee-on-assignment permit holders. Accompanying family members must now submit their own residence permit applications jointly with the principal’s employee on assignment application. Previously, the principal could simply name accompanying family members in his or her application.

The French government has reaffirmed that spouses of employee-on-assignment permit holders on assignments of six months or more are authorized to work in France incident to their status. If the principal’s stay is less than six months, accompanying spouses are not authorized to work.

In preparing this alert, Fragomen worked closely with Cabinet D’Avocats - Karl Waheed (Paris). The content is provided for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen Global, or send an email to emea@fragomen.com.


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