France – Volunteer

Are you a non-EU citizen wishing to be a volunteer in France? You can find information below on the conditions to fulfil and procedures to follow, as well as the rights you can enjoy during your stay.

To come to France to complete a volunteering mission, you must obtain a temporary authorisation to stay (“authorisation provisoire de séjour”, APS).

In order to be eligible, you must complete a mission with an accredited non-profit social or humanitarian organisation which you have signed a contract with before arriving in France and which has confirmed bearing the costs for your stay in France. You also need to sign a written undertaking to leave France after your mission is completed, and have a long-stay visa.

The mission you are joining must concern social or humanitarian issues, i.e. promote the autonomy and protection of people, strengthen social cohesion, prevent exclusion, or foster solidarity towards disadvantaged or disaster-stricken people in France.

The temporary authorisation to stay is issued for the duration of the mission.

Where and how to apply

You must apply for a long-stay visa at the French Embassy or Consulate in your country of originSearch for available translations of the preceding link.

Within a month of your arrival in France, you must go to the prefecture to apply for a temporary authorisation to stay.

Documents required

You must provide:

  • a copy of your long-stay visa issued for this volunteering mission;
  • a copy of your volunteering contract;
  • a copy of the accreditation received by the hosting organisation, allowing it to welcome volunteers;
  • a written undertaking to leave France at the end of your mission.

Duration of validity of permit

The temporary authorisation to stay is issued for the duration of your mission. Once your mission is completed, you must leave French territory.

The temporary authorisation to stay is not renewable: if you want to complete another mission after the first one or apply for a change of status, you need to go through the regular procedure.


You can appeal a refusal of a French entry visa to the Consulate in your country of origin. Within two months after being notified of the refusal to be issued a visa, you can send a letter to the Consulate detailing your motivations for applying for a visa, with the required documents and any documents that might support your application attached. You must also attach a copy of the refusal letter.

If the informal appeal is rejected, you can appeal to the Commission for Appeals Against Visa Application Refusals within two months of the date of notification of the decision.

If the Commission rejects the appeal, or if, despite the favourable opinion of the Commission, ministers confirm the visa refusal, you may, within two months, submit a request for annulment before the Administrative Court of Nantes, which is responsible in the first instance for litigation on visa refusal.

More on appeals against visa refusal decisions

A hierarchical appeal may also be submitted to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

More on administrative and hierarchical appeals

Family members 

You cannot be accompanied by family members during your volunteering in France. 

Change of status

It is not possible to apply for a change of status.

“Long-term EU resident” residence permit

It is not possible to apply for a long term EU residence permit.

Further information

More on coming to France as a volunteer

More on visa application to FranceSearch for available translations of the preceding link

More on settling in France

No information available