International students have rights to work in France if they have a student residency permit (carte de séjour d'étudiant) and are enrolled in a recognized institution (this includes practically all universities, most business schools and other higher education institutions). Many language schools are also recognized, but there are supplementary requirements, such as a minimum of 12 hours of courses per week.
An international student cannot work more than 884 hours/year. During term-time, part-time employment (i.e. maximum of 19.5 hours/week) is permitted. During holidays, you can work full-time.
All non EU/EEA students need an APT (Autorisation Provisoire de Travail), which authorizes temporary employment. You should apply personally at a DDTEFP ( Direction Départementale du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Formation Professionnelle) office - find a list here: www.emploi-solidarite.gouv.fr (in French).
You will need the following documents (original and a photocopy):
- passport with visa and residency permit
- student card for the current academic year
- attestation of the affiliation of your academic institution to the French social security system
- working contract, which should mention: nature of contract, qualification, renumeration, start and finish dates, work place and working hours
- self-addressed stamped enveloped
Changing student status
If you are student wishing to take up full-time work in France at the end of your studies, you need to change your status. This is possible and you have good chances if you successfully finish your studies and have a qualification that is in demand (such as in technology).
First find a company that wants to employ you. The job is then announced at the Pole Emploi and an application made with the DDTEFP. The DDTEFP will take into consideration the company's reasons, your profile and your studies and will make the final decision. If the decision is positive, the DDTEFP will inform your employer, local prefecture and OMI ( office des migrations internationals). You will have also to pass a medical examination in France to receive a temporary residency permit.
Special case: student internships
A student intership (stage d'études) is not classified as employment. It doesn't require a permit and you retain student status. An agreement (convention de stage) is signed by you, the company and your academic institution. It defines the type of work, training and conditions (hours, place of work, allowances).
Internships are in principle non-remunerated, but you can receive a monthly allowance (e.g. €150-300/month) and specific allowances such as for transport, accommodation and/or meals. The value of a stage is to get professional experience and start building a professional network. It is not uncommon for a successful internship to lead to full-time job offer.
Training vacancies can be found all year round, although more tend to be available during school holidays. Most universities provide information about available stages, so ask. There are also specialized agencies and websites.
Part-time jobs for students
Babysitting is a popular source of pocket money for students. Most jobs are got by word-of-mouth, so ask around if you are looking for work. There are agencies that act as intermediaries between parents and babysitters. Payment is usually €5-6/hour. If the house is not easily accessible, you may also think about asking for your transport to be paid for.
Other part-time jobs include: foreign language teaching, translations, telemarketing, telesurveys, software or videogame testing, etc.