Work Status as a Student
by David Applefield
American and other foreign students in France can, under certain conditions, obtain a temporary work permit (autorisation provisoire de travail) for part-time (mi-temps) work during the summer vacation months or during the regular school year. Students at the Sorbonne´s "Cours de Civilisation Française," the Alliance Française and the Institut Catholique and at any other school which does not provide French social security medical care coverage of students are not eligible for temporary work permits.
Part-time work during the school year is limited to a maximum of 20 hours per week, and during the summer vacation, a maximum of 39 hours per week. Each year, the French Government issues instructions during the last trimester of the academic year governing part-time employment from June 1 of the current year through May 31 of the following year.?Au pair is a popular alternative that also helps with housing.
The following categories of foreign students can be considered for summer employment if they have completed one year of study in France.
Students pursuing higher (university) studies, including établissements d´enseignements supérieurs, facultés, grandes écoles and écoles de préparation aux grandes écoles.
Students, 16 years and older, in secondary and technical schools (collges and lycées).
Students aged 14 and 15 (light work only).
Summer work cannot exceed three months and must fall within the time frame of June 1 to October 31, except for a maximum of 15 days each for the Christmas and Easter holidays. The work period for students aged 14 and 15 is limited to one-half of their school vacation time.
Part-time employment during the academic year is restricted to foreign students attending French universities and other institutions of higher learning. A student must submit his or her current card (carte d´étudiant) in order to be eligible. Secondary and technical school students are not eligible.
Temporary work permits are usually given to students who do not have sufficient private resources to pursue their studies. Thus, recipients of grants and those who have sufficient means are not authorized to have temporary work permits. Students wishing to work part-time during the school year must, in addition to the usual documents (see below), submit a letter justifying the need to work as a student.
The part-time work must fall within the academic year. The temporary work permit is valid for three months and may be renewed upon presentation of evidence of continuing studies.
Ministre du Travail - Service de la Main d´Oeuvre Etrangre 80, rue de la Croix Nivert, 75015 PARIS (Métro: Commerce) Tel: 01.45.31.10.03 / 01.40.56.60.00 Hours: 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.- 4:30 p.m.
Aside from a list of documents including a letter from an employer stating the following:
name and address of applicant
position of job description
number of hours to be worked
place of work
length of employment
secondary school students may be asked for a certificat de scolarité in lieu of a carte d´étudiant.
You will probably also be required to prove that you are not a French boursier (French State Scholarship Recipient) by picking up a waiver form at: CNOUS (6 rue Jean Calvin, 5e, Métro Censier. Open 13h30-16h) This might seem silly but it´s necessary while being simple to obtain.
Otherwise, three-month work permits are issued to students at: CIEE (1, Place de l´Odéon 75006 PARIS) for the fee of 950 FF. In that regulations and fees are subject to change, it is wise to always verify latest information.
Although being an au pair in France seems like an informal working arrangement, it actually is a highly formal work contract, regulated by French law. Au pairs usually are pursuing their studies at the same time as their work contract with a family. Responsibilities vary, but always include looking after children, some housework, bringing kids to school and fetching them after school, and some baby-sitting. Au pairs work 30 hours per week, receive room and board, a Carte Orange métro pass, and 1600 FF per month on average. (More about Au Pair positions)