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How to get a job in France without speaking French?

France is a very appealing country to move to: the good food and wine, nature, the romanticism or the nice weather can be hooked for many of you. You may imagine yourself in a nice French bistro, eating onion soup and having a glass of red wine while you hear the romantic sounds of the French language around you… But as romantic as it may sound, we know French can be a handful to learn! So, if you are planning to move to France to get a job, let us tell you, first of all, how you can enter the country for work and, then, how you can get by without knowing so much French.

how to get a job in France without speaking French
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Work permits and visas for immigrants and international students in France

Immigrants
If you’re from the EU or Switzerland, you are free to work in France without a work permit and you certainly don’t need a visa to get in the country. In the case you come from a non-EU country you should apply for a short-stay (up to 90 days) or long-stay visa at the French embassy in your country, submitting all the necessary documents, like a relevant visa application form, a work permit application form, passport or national identity document, a letter explaining your role or the reasons for your recruitment and detailing the duties you will be performing at the company you will be working, etc. More on the requirements and processes, you can find here.

The short-stay visa will allow you to engage in paid employment, subject to certain conditions. It will cost from €35 to €60 depending on your nationality.

The long-stay visa can be given for several different situations and types of employment that include people like:

  • foreign nationals recruited by companies located in France, for a period of one year or more.
  • employees who are allowed to work in France for between 3 and 12 months.
  • foreigners undertaking research work or teaching at the university level.
  • students
  • intra-company transferees and their families for stays of less than 12 months.
  • exceptional talents, like for example, skilled recent graduates, employees of an innovative company, economic or financial investors or internationally or nationally renowned in their field people.

The best way to obtain a long-term visa will be to find employment before you apply. The cost might be around €270, depending on the type of visa.

Students
If you are a student in France, you probably already have a student visa (there are different types of visas, depending on the course you’ll be taking). As a student you can take on part-time paid work during your course for a maximum of 964 hours a year.

how to get a job in France without speaking French
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Jobs you can do in France without speaking French

If you live in France and have the right to work, we have a few ideas for you! You could become a bartender: not much French is needed. Just make sure you learn the names of some popular cocktails! A smile and your broken French will do the rest of the work. You could try teaching English which may not pay too much, but still, some money is better than nothing – especially if you are a native speaker you will have many job opportunities. You could also become a ski instructor – many tourists from around the world visit France and English is the main language to use at ski resorts.

Other types of work that you can find on Appjobs are babysitting or nanny jobs, tour guiding, remote freelance jobs, delivery jobs, cleaning jobs, pet sitting jobs or you could start charging electric scooters!

These are the jobs you can find on Appjobs and not necessarily require French language skills.

Babysitting

Many French families seek out nannies, au pairs or babysitters that can speak English, so their children can practice a bit their English skills. For these families it is like hiring a tutor and caregiver at the same time. So, if you enjoy the company of children, go ahead and explore your possibilities with Yoopies, YoopiJob, Nounou-Top, WeKids, Aide Au Top or KidyGo.

Cleaning

Cleaning and housekeeping is always an option when you don’t know how to speak the local language. You could take up cleaning jobs and take care of offices, homes or yachts at the French Riviera. Your language skills will not matter at all for this kind of job, as you only need some basic instructions on how and when to clean. Check out StarOfService, Dweho, Helpling, Frizbiz and more!

Pet sitting

How fun will it be to walk adorable dogs, take care of fluffy cats and other cute pets! And you don’t even have to speak French with them – you know what a woof and a meow mean, right? Pet sitting for French pet owners can win you good money with no special language or other kinds of skills. Try it out with Gudog, PetBacker, Pawshake and more.

Scooter charger

The latest trend in city transportation are electric scooters! They are convenient for going around big cities when in a hurry and they are super good for the environment. They can be super good for you, too. You can pick up the ones that need charging and get paid for it! Check out Bird!

Delivery jobs

Delivering food or parcels for other people can also be a good option when not speaking French so well. You just need the basics to communicate about the arrangements of the deliveries, and then it is driving from point A to point B. All you need is a GPS to guide you through the city you live and your driving license and insurance, of course! Try out PiggyBee, Frichti, PiggyBee or Jwebi.

Tour guiding

France is swarmed by tourists every year. Paris with its extraordinary museums and historic buildings, the countryside with beautiful vineyards and the south of France with its beaches attract many travellers from around the world. If you, therefore speak other languages than French, you will have more chances to get tour guiding jobs! Check out ToursByLocals, Cariboo, GuruWalk, Gladtrotter, TripUniq, Triple and more.

Remote freelance jobs

What you might not have thought yet is that you can work remotely for clients around the world, using your native or English language skills, and live in France. You can work with IT, marketing, writing, translations, web development, coding and many more! Check out TheONE, Hubstaff Talent, Fiverr or Upwork.

how to get a job in France without speaking French
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Paulina Bajorowicz joined Appjobs in November 2018 and she is now the Content Marketing Specialist. She manages Appjobs blog and social media channels, coordinates outreach activities and cooperates with journalists and content creators around the gig economy.