Last update : October 2019

You are not allowed to work during the first months of your asylum application in France.
If, after 6 months after the submission of your application, Ofpra has not made its decision on your asylum application, you can apply for an authorisation to work as an employee.

As long as the CNDA has not ruled on an asylum application, it is still pending. But French law only allows access to salaried employment during the Ofpra procedure.
Case n° 1 - your application was rejected by Ofpra before 6 months, you have appealed to the CNDA and the Court has not yet ruled: you cannot apply for a work permit.
Case n° 2 - your asylum application has been registered for 6 months and your file is still under investigation at Ofpra. If you file an application for a work permit, the administration will examine it even if it is rejected and you file an appeal before the CNDA.

Steps to be taken to obtain a work permit

Find an employer

Beforehand, it is necessary to find an employer, and get him to fill out a file including :

  • an employment contract (it must be for a period longer than 3 months) drawn up on a special form (notice);
  • several documents concerning the company.

    Going to the prefecture

    It must be presented to the prefecture of the department in which you reside with this file.
    The prefecture can grant or refuse the work permit (for example if there are many unemployed people in France who can take up the job). In case of refusal, you can protest before a court: to do so, go to an association for the defence of foreigners or a lawyer.
    Note: The prefecture has two months to respond to a request for a work permit. In case of no response within these two months, it will be an implicit agreement (the authorization is deemed to be acquired).
    Once you have obtained the work permit, you can start working with that employer.
    Be careful! You should not change companies; the work permit is only valid for the work contract that you have presented to the prefecture.
    At the end of your contract (fixed-term contract, temporary work) or in the event of involuntary loss of your work (dismissal), you are entitled to :

  • to register with Pôle emploi ;

  • to benefit, if necessary, from vocational training (see with Pôle emploi).

[Translated with (free version)]