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Working in the UK as a French Citizen

23 May 2024

Working in the UK as a French Citizen
Navigating the post-Brexit landscape can be challenging for French citizens looking to work in the UK.

Following the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU), the working regulations for EU nationals seeking employment in the UK have changed. Visa-free entry to the UK is now limited to six months and must not involve any paid work. 

If you’re a French professional looking to thrive in the competitive UK job market, our comprehensive guide delves into the intricacies of the current work visa requirements. This will allow you to ensure you remain compliant with immigration laws should you wish to move to the UK.

Please note that Bishop’s Move’s is a removals and storage company, and therefore, unable to help with visas and job search. With our 170 years in international removals, however, we can offer you a seamless transition.

Post-Brexit Changes Affecting French Citizens Moving to the UK 

In the post-Brexit era, it's imperative for all EU citizens, including French nationals, to understand their work options in the UK to ensure they’re not in breach of any immigration laws. These are some of the key employment takeaways affecting EU residents post-Brexit:

  • Citizens from the EU, EEA, and Switzerland can come to the UK for up to six months without a visa for leisure or business purposes. However, they should not undertake any paid work in the UK during this period, nor make it their primary residence without obtaining a visa.
  • EU nationals moving to the UK for more than six months must have a valid visa. For those on the Skilled Worker Visa, the British employer must have a sponsorship licence.
  • All prospective French nationals seeking employment in the UK must complete a right-to-work check to understand their work options and the immigration laws affecting them.
  • If you are working overseas remotely for a British employer, you do not need to complete a right-to-work check or obtain a visa.
  • British employers looking to hire EU workers remotely can do so using international contractors, partnering with an employer of record (EOR), or establishing a legal entity in their target market.

Wide-angle view of the London Eye and River Thames in London, England

Visas for French Nationals Working in the UK

Whether you’re an entrepreneur seeking permanent roles or a professional looking to explore work in the UK for a short term, you need to be aware of the immigration laws affecting you. Post-Brexit, French citizens will need to obtain a visa to work in the UK. Applying for the right visa will ensure you have a smooth transition and remain compliant with visa regulations.

The UK offers several work visas that French nationals can apply for if they’re looking to work here. The UK government’s website not only has all the details on eligibility criteria and application procedures for work visas, but can help you determine which visa is the right one for you.

EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

As a French citizen, if you (and your family) had lived in the UK before 1st January 2021, you can remain in the country without having to apply for an alternate visa under the EU Settlement Scheme. For French nationals meeting the eligibility criteria, EUSS is the best option for living and working in the UK as it does not involve any restrictions. 

Skilled Worker Visa (Tier 2 Work Permit)

The Skilled Worker Visa has a list of requirements that potential candidates need to meet in order to make a successful application. This involves being hired by a UK employer with a sponsorship licence, having a job that pays at least £38,700 annually, and demonstrating proficiency in English, amongst other things. Although the criteria can be challenging to meet, it allows you to work in the UK for up to five years, and apply for indefinite leave to remain after that.

Temporary Worker Visa

For French professionals seeking to try out working in the UK without a long-term commitment, the Temporary Visa is a good option. For individuals in the creative industries in particular, this could be a chance to explore the UK’s culture and way of life. It’s important to note, however, that not all industries are eligible for this visa.

Global Talent Visa

The Global Talent Visa is targeted towards high-performing individuals across the globe to support the UK’s economy with their skills and experience. Prominent individuals with expertise in fields such as digital technology, scientific research, arts, and culture are highly sought-after. The Global Talent Visa is valid for five years and counts towards indefinite leave to remain.

High Potential Individual Visa

This visa is similar to the Global Talent Visa; however, it does not involve a job offer or count towards indefinite leave to remain. Also issued for five years, applicants must have a degree from a top-ranking global institute and demonstrate English proficiency to qualify. 

Innovator Founder Visa

To encourage entrepreneurs to start or expand their businesses in the UK, the Home Office introduced the Innovator Founder Visa. To qualify, applicants must have an innovative business idea endorsed by a recognised UK body, demonstrate proficiency in English, and have adequate funds to cover their living costs. Although multiple innovators working on the same idea can apply for this visa, they must be endorsed separately by the UK body.


Sunset over central London

Moving from France to the UK for work is an unforgettable adventure. Although the post-Brexit landscape can be challenging to understand, by staying informed of visa regulations and taking proactive steps, French nationals working in the UK can thrive in their professional careers. 

As you prepare for this exciting new phase of your life, you can count on our professional international removals services to ensure a smooth transition. Bishop’s Move guarantees a seamless relocation from France to the UK so you can focus on the opportunities ahead.