Can an asylum seeker work in France?

Asylum seekersYou can apply for a work permit if you meet the following two conditions: You have the asylum seeker application. Your request has been under review for more than 6 months by the Ofpra.

Asylum seekers are not prohibited from having access to employment. Their application for a work permit will be carefully examined and, in addition to the existence of a promise of employment, the administration will check the employment situation in the sector of activity concerned.


The conditions for the asylum seeker’s work permit

Before the entry into force of the law of 10 September 2018, an asylum seeker had to wait 9 months before being able to apply for a provisional work permit in order to exercise in France, a salaried activity.

This period has been reduced to 6 months by the asylum and immigration law.

Thus, if after 6 months of the procedure, the OFPRA has still not rendered a decision on the asylum application and this long delay is not attributable to the applicant, the latter may apply for a work permit.    

However, the issuance of such authorization is subject to strict conditions.

The steps must be taken either by the employer or by the applicant himself, depending on when the job offer comes in. 

Thus, if the foreign national finds an employer during the period of validity of the asylum application certificate, it is up to the employer to request the issuance of a work permit from the territorial unit of the Direccte.


Procedures for applying for a work permit for asylum seekers

If the applicant finds an employer when their asylum application certificate is about to expire, the application for a provisional work permit may be submitted directly to the prefecture, at the same time as the application for renewal of the asylum application certificate.

The work permit that will be issued to the applicant will have a validity period equivalent to that of his asylum application certificate, ie 9 months maximum.

It should be noted that if the asylum seeker did not apply for or did not obtain a work permit during the procedure before the OFPRA, in the event of rejection of his asylum application by the latter, he will no longer be able to request authorization to work during his procedure before the CNDA.

The DIRECCTE services have a two-month processing period from receipt of the work permit application. In the absence of notification within this period, the authorization is deemed granted. It is applicable for the duration of the asylum seeker’s right to continued residence.

Asylum seekers can also pursue studies or training.


Possible appeals against a decision of refusal

If the applicant received a work permit while his application was examined by the Office and after the latter’s negative decision, he appeals to the CNDA, his work permit may be renewed throughout the litigation process.

Asylum seekers do not benefit from any privileged access to employment, quite the contrary.

Their application for a work permit will be carefully examined and, in addition to the existence of a promise of employment, the administration will check the employment situation in the sector of activity concerned.

Consequently, requests to obtain a work permit from asylum seekers will most often be refused because of the high unemployment rate in the fields of activity to which the asylum seekers belong. positions offered.

Moreover, the situation of these applicants is all the more delicate as employers are very reluctant to hire for such short periods, which explains the low rate of applications for these authorizations.

It should be noted that the refusal of the provisional work permit may be the subject of an appeal before the administrative judge. 

If the applicant is granted his work permit, he can start working.

However, care should be taken, since this authorization is issued for a specific employer. The asylum seeker cannot therefore change employers without first applying for a new work permit.

If he begins to work, the asylum seeker must inform the OFII, which will stop paying the aid to the asylum seeker.

Finally, if the applicant is involuntarily deprived of his job or his contract ends without him having found a new job, the asylum seeker benefits from access to Pôle Emploi and may, under certain conditions, take advantage of training professionals offered.