Last updated
October 3rd 2014

Foreign scientists may come to work in France as researchers or university-level teachers. The regulation accounts for the specificity of their activity, in particular the time required for obtaining results from their work, or the necessity of staying in other European countries.


Foreign nationals of third countries.

Algerian nationals governed by the Franco-Algerian agreement dated December 27, 1968.

Holders of higher education degrees, at least equivalent to a master's degree, wishing to enter France to conduct research or teach at the university level, under anapproved hosting agreement signed in advance with a public or private institution having a research or teaching mission.

Foreign scientists admitted to carry out research work in other member States of the European Union wishing to conduct part of their work in France based on a hosting agreement signed in the other European country for a duration of less than or equal to 3 months (subject to providing evidence that they have sufficient resources) or for a duration longer than 3 months (by signing a hosting agreement with an accredited French institution).

Categories not affected

Nationals of the European Union or of the other member States of the EEAEuropean Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway).

Nationals of the Swiss Confederation.


Conditions for issue


  • the employment situation is not applicable.
  • Hosting agreement signed in advance between the scientist and an accredited public or private institution whose mission is research or higher education (see the ordersdated December 24, 2007, and June 5, 2008). An exhaustive list of approved institutions is available on the website of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research: This agreementmust describe the interested party's research or teaching qualifications and describe his or her research project and its duration.
  • The host organization agrees that the scientist has the resources necessary to cover the expenses of his or her stay and return home. It provides health insurance coverage and insurance against accidents related to the research work.

The scientist will have the right to intra-European mobility. If the hosting agreement was signed in another European country or an assimilated country, the scientist must provide:


  • the residence permit issued for a scientist by another member State of the European Union, by a state party to the European Economic Area, or by the Swiss Confederation,
  • the hosting agreement that was signed in this country.

In principle, holders of a residence permit for "scientists" do not need to exercise paid employment other than that of researcher or teacher for which they obtained the permit. They may only exercise this activity in service to the signatory institution in the hosting agreement. Any other paid employment supposes a status change from "scientist" to "worker", and may be penalised by the revocation of the "scientist" permit.


In the case of doctoral students and temporary teaching and research attaches (ATER)

Note: only holders of a hosting agreement may qualify as “scientists”


presentation of an employment contract or a contract under public law for research of the same nature as that described in the hosting agreement including:




Conditions for issue

Spouses of holders of the CSTTemporary residence permit for "scientists" may obtain a CSTTemporary residence permit for "partners and families".

The entry of a scientist’s partner and children into France may take place at the same time as that of the scientist, covered by the required visa if they are not EUEuropean Union nationals or assimilated, or at a later date.

The family may benefit, under certain conditions, from the accompanying family procedure (for more information see Arrival of your family).

Permit issued to the worker

Long-stay Visa with residence permit exemption (VLS-TSLong Stay Visa equivalent to a Residence Permit) marked "scientist-researcher" for the first year (see file VLS-TS). The duration of the VLS-TSLong Stay Visa equivalent to a Residence Permit is limited to the duration of the hosting agreement. Temporary residence permit, marked "scientist-researcher" on renewal of a maximum duration of 4 years given the duration of the research work.


Signature of a CAIReception and integration contract for a CDIOpen-ended contract (to find out more, visit the OFII web-site).


Multi-year residence card with duration from one to four years, given the expected duration of the work on renewal.

Permit issued to the family

The spouse benefits automatically from a temporary residence permit marked "private and family life". This card authorizes the holder to work. Upon expiry of the first "private and family life" residence permit, the spouse of the holder of the temporary residence permit marked "scientist-research" will receive a "private and family life" residence permit of the same duration as the residence card of the scientist-researcher.


Exemption from the CAIReception and integration contract (Reception and Integration Contract) for a spouse staying less than one year. Signature of the CAIReception and integration contract for a stay greater than or equal to one year (for more information see the OFII website).

Procedure to follow

  • First issue

    Application elements

    • application for a long stay visa,
    • hosting agreement signed with an accredited institution
    • diploma attesting to a level at least equivalent to a Masters Degree.

    For scientists already in the European Union or assimilated countries:

    • residence permit issued for a scientist by the country in question,
    • hosting agreement signed in this country.

    Potential additional documents

    When applying for a temporary residence permit, scientists who are also completing a doctoral thesis must provide a contract signed with a research or teaching body.

    Application submission

    Consulate of France for the country of origin for the long stay visa application.

    Prefecture of the place of residence for the temporary residence permit.
    Each Prefecture must designate a representative for foreign researchers. The application for a residence permit may be made on behalf of the scientist by a representative of the host institution designated as such to the Prefecture's representative.

    Application evaluation

    Consular authorities, who will make the necessary confirmations:

    • public order,
    • resources,
    • university and/or professional qualifications.

    Once a long stay visa has been obtained, the scientist may enter French territory and go to the Prefecture of his or her place of residence to apply for a temporary residence permit for "scientists".

    Medical examination

    Waiver of OFIIFrench Office of Immigration and Integration medical examination for scientists-researchers and their families (spouses and children under 18).

    Issuance of the residence permit

    Consulate for the VLS-TSLong Stay Visa equivalent to a Residence Permit.

    Préfecture. Each prefecture designates a point of contact for foreign researchers. The residence permit application may be made ​​on behalf of the scientist by a representative of the host agency designated as such with the Prefecture's point of contact.

  • Renewal

    Application elements

    Applications are submitted to the prefecture of the scientist’s place of residence two months before the expiry of his/her residence permit; 

    • valid passport 
    • hosting agreement 
    • certificate from the host institution stating that the foreign scientist continues to perform the same research
    • amendment to the employment contract if any.


    Potential additional documents


    Application submission

     Prefecture of their place of residence, 2 months before the expiration of the existing permit.

    Application evaluation


    Issuance of the residence permit


Taxes to pay

  • Taxes due by the employer

    Public sector employers of scientists are exempt.

    For private sector employers:

    Agreements of a  duration of longer than 3 months and less than 12 months:

    €74 for salaries less than or equal to the SMICMinimum growth wage,

    €210 for salaries greater than the SMICMinimum growth wage and less than or equal to 1.5 times the SMICMinimum growth wage,

    €300 for salaries greater than 1.5 times the SMICMinimum growth wage,

    Agreements of a duration of 12 months or longer:

    55% of the gross monthly salary up to 2.5 times the SMICMinimum growth wage.

  • Taxes due by the foreign national for issuance


  • Taxes due by the foreign national for renewal

    €87 if permit is for one year
    €181 if permit > 1 year

  • Taxes due by family member


Reference documents



The Official Journal (JORF), CESEDA may be consulted at the web-site