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France has the most protected labour market in Europe. There are many beurocratic obstacles in a way to a Work Permit for a foreign worker.
The employer applies for a work permit on behalf of the candidate. A Work Permit comes with a Work Visa; the Work Permit allows the company to emply the non-EEA national, the Work Visa allow the candidate to live and work in the country. The Work Visa come with the Work Permit.
There are two types of Work Permits in France:
Because in France the local employment offices (Direction Departmentale du Travail, de L'Emploi et de la Formation Professionale - DDTEFP) are responsible for processing Work Permits, the time it takes to process the application varies from town to town. Usually it takes from 4 to 10 weeks.
First, the application has to be submitted to a local branch of DDTEFP. If the DDTEFP approves the application, it will be returned to the employer. The candidate takes the approved application to the French consulate in their home country and the embassy issues the Long Stay Visa for the candidate - this allows the candidate to travel to France. After the candidate arrives to the country, they must take a medical test and afterwards they are issued the Residence Permit from the French police.