Human Resources

Immigration law: what changes for employers?

Publié le 13 février 2024 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The so-called immigration law came into force on January 28, 2024. presents the changes relating to the “work” component of this legislation.

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Image 1Crédits: sebra -

Regularization in tension looms

It is now possible to regularize, on a regular basis exceptional and temporarily, foreigner workers in occupations with recruitment difficulties. This provision shall apply until 31 december 2026.

This new regularization procedure does not involve any mandatory involvement of the employer. As a reminder, up to now, any procedure for regularizing a foreigner worker has directly involved the employer who himself made the application for a work permit. This obligation belongs here to the worker.

To be issued with a temporary residence card ‘temporary worker’ or ‘employee’ of a one-year duration, the foreigner worker must fulfill the following conditions:

  • have pursued an employed activity included in the list of occupations in tension for at least 12 consecutive or non-consecutive months during the last 24 months;
  • hold a job in the list of occupations in tension at the time of application;
  • proof of an uninterrupted period of residence of at least 3 years in France.

The prefect who issues this residence permit takes into account other elements such as:

  • the social and family integration of the foreigner worker;
  • respect for public order;
  • its integration into the French businesses;
  • its adherence to the ways of life and the values of business and the principles of the French Republic.

The issue of the temporary residence card ‘temporary worker’ or ‘employee’ entails the issue of the work authorization, which is evidenced by a secure document.

Please note

Any conviction, incapacity or disqualification mentioned in Bulletin No. 2 of the criminal record will prevent the worker from obtaining the temporary residence permit.

New administrative fine for employers in case of absence of a work permit for a foreigner worker

The scope

The law introduces a new administrative fine replacing the special and flat-rate contribution paid to the French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII).

This fine will apply in the following cases:

  • employment or retention of a foreigner worker who does not hold a work permit entitling him to pursue an activity as an employed person in France;
  • employment or retention in his service of a foreigner worker in a professional category, occupation or geographical area other than those mentioned on his work permit;
  • use of the services of an employer of a foreigner worker not entitled to work.
The amount of the fine

The administrative fine is a maximum of €20,750 per foreigner worker. It may be increased in the case of repetition. In this case, the maximum amount is set at € 62 250.

This fine is imposed by the Minister responsible for immigration, who takes into account in determining its amount:

  • the financial capacity of the infringer;
  • the degree of intentionality;
  • the seriousness of the negligence;
  • the costs of removal from France of the foreigners national who is in an irregular situation.

Please note

An Order in Council must specify the conditions for the application of this new fine.

Increase in the criminal fine

Previously set at €15,000, the criminal fine for an employer who hires or retains a foreigner worker is now €30,000 per foreigner worker.

When the offense is committed in an organized group, the fine is increased to €200,000 (from €100,000 previously).

In addition, the law extends the application of this criminal fine to cases where the employer hires or retains a foreigner worker in a professional category, occupation or geographical area other than those mentioned in his residence permit.

Need for a residence permit to exercise the status of sole trader

Since the law of 26 January 2024, foreigners who are not nationals of the European Union must hold a residence permit in order to exercise the status of sole trader.

This new provision aims to make individual entrepreneurs in the professions subject to the obligation to prove a residence permit, which was not the case before.