Can Brits still do a ski season in France?

Yes. But it’s not as easy as it used to be.

Supposedly there will be a reciprocal temporary worker agreement between the UK and France, but when? Who knows.. the rumour is that nothing will be changed until the Irish border situation is resolved…. so don’t hold your breath!

As a British passport holder you need to get a work permit, then a visa. This means that you need to find a company willing to support your application. And there are quite a few doing this even though it is quite costly and definitely time consuming for them.

The company: Before even thinking about taking on a Brit they need to advertise at the local job centre for at least 3 weeks. Once this is done they can apply for a work permit for ‘foreign workers.’ Once this is complete, they can then apply to the Interior Ministry for a work permit for you. They have to do this for each individual and the website is notoriously flakey and the ministry are really pernickety with everything you fill in. This process can take a week, or it can take a month…. it seems quite random.

You: Once you have found a company that’s willing to take you on, you have to be patient whilst the whole work permit application goes through. After you have this in your hands, you can then apply for your visa. You have to apply via a private company called TLS – they then in turn submit your application to the French embassy. The form filling part in advance is fairly straight forward, but you then need to present yourself in person in London, Manchester or Edinburgh…. appointments are like rocking horse doo doo. Although look out for cancellations… They then take your passport and if you are lucky, you’ll get it back with a visa two weeks later.

This whole process can take months… there are stories of it all being done super quick… but they are not the normal.

Once you get to France: You thought you were done?! Ha!

You can start work straight away, but pretty soon after your arrival…

Firstly your new employer will have to sign you onto the French welfare system. You then need to do two things; Get yourself a chest xray to check you don’t have tuberculosis (200+ euros) and then present yourself to the Prefecture (our nearest one is an hour away). You then have to apply for your Carte de Sejour. A few weeks later you have to return to the Prefecture to pick the card up!

And then you’re done. And the good thing is that your CDS (Carte de Sejour) is valid for 3 years, meaning next time all you need to do is the work permit part!

Clear as mud?!

Don’t give up, if you can find a company to support your application – ‘doing a ski season’ is an amazing thing to do and actually once you’re in the French system, as a worker, you are super well looked after, well paid and have all the rights under the sun.

Do it.

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