Working in New Caledonia - Process for approval
1. Foreigner gets a work contract (contrat de travail from an entity in New Caledonia). The contract in English must be signed by the employer and the employee, and a copy in French must be attached.
2. Foreigner contacts the French diplomatic representation abroad (French immigration authorities) to establish what (if any) visa requirements might need to be satisfied. The French representation will also advise whether a work permit is required and will subsequently liaise with the Foreigners' Bureau at the French High Commission in New Caledonia (Bureau des Etrangers) as this office is the entry point for all queries regarding stays in New Caledonia. The Foreigners' Bureau advises the Work Bureau of New Caledonia (Direction du Travail) if an application linked to a work permit has been lodged.
NB: Foreigner can e-mail the Foreigners' Bureau (contact details provided below) to advise an application has been lodged with the French representation abroad.
3. Once the application is received by the Foreigner's Bureau, this office passes it to the Service de la Coordination Administrative et des Institutions (SCAI) which acts as the liaison office between the French authorities and the New Caledonian Government.
4. SCAI liaises with New Caledonia's Work Bureau who considers whether the work could be undertaken by a local worker or not.
5. SCAI sends the application and the advice of New Caledonia's Work Bureau for consideration by the Government of New Caledonia at its weekly meeting (each Thursday). If the position can be filled locally, the New Caledonian Government will likely refuse the application. The Foreigner’s Bureau will also seek the view of the New Caledonian Government on long stay visas not linked to a request for a work permit.
NB: Consideration of a long-stay visa with permission to work (visa de long séjour avec autorisation de travail) by the Foreigner’s Bureau in Noumea can take up to a month.
6. The decision of the Government of New Caledonia is conveyed to the Foreigners' Bureau.
7. The Foreigners' Bureau then advises the French representation abroad of the final decision so that the French immigration office can issue the relevant visa. Should the Government of New Caledonia refuse a work permit, the Foreigners' Bureau is unlikely to grant a visa for consistency in decision making.
French Immigration Authorities
Please refer to the following website of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade:
In New Caledonia:
Mrs Sandra Wamo
Chef du Bureau des Etrangers
Direction de la Réglementation et de l'Administration Générale (DIRAG)
Haut-Commissariat de la République en Nouvelle-Calédonie
98844 NOUMEA CEDEX
Tél: +687 23 03 17
For further information (in French):
Pre-requisite: The validity of the travel document (passport) must exceed that of the visa granted by three (3) months. For short stays (less than three months), a visa is not required.
1. Long stay visa requests with work permit
The application is to be lodged at the French diplomatic representation abroad or at the French Prefecture (if the applicant is already living in metropolitan France). The application must include:
♦ a form to fill out (with ID photographs);
♦ a work contract in English, and a copy in French, signed by the employer and the employee, indicating the nature of the employment, the salary, the number of hours to be worked per week, the location of employment and the employer's references;
♦ a medical certificate attesting to the applicant’s ability to work, issued by a doctor registered before the French representation abroad;
♦ an extract of the police record issued by the relevant authority in the country of origin.
In the event a favourable decision is made on the application, a repatriation bond will be required (either a return ticket to the country of origin or a payment to the Treasury in Noumea of the equivalent amount of money).
2. Long stay visa requests without work permit
This application needs to be lodged before the French representation closest to where the applicant lives. The application must include:
♦ documents proving identity and family situation (example: valid passport);
♦ documents proving sufficient savings to remain in New Caledonia without having to work (applicant's earnings, bank statement and statement by the person providing accommodation);
♦ documents proving living address in New Caledonia;
♦ documents proving health cover of the applicant;
♦ an extract of the police record issued by the relevant authority in the country of origin;
a medical certificate issued by a doctor registered before the French diplomatic representation stating the applicant is not suffering from a disease mentioned in international regulations.
New Caledonian Government Work Bureau
Mr Pierre Garcia
Direction du Travail
Immeuble Gallieni II, 3ème étage
Mr Jean-Christophe Cardeilhac
Mr François Barthelmé
12 rue de Verdun
Immeuble Galliéni 2
98800 NOUMEA CEDEX
Tél: +687 27 55 72
Fax: +687 27 04 94
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who should apply for a work permit in New Caledonia and how?
Any foreign national who does not have French citizenship and wants to work in New Caledonia (this includes citizens of member countries of the European Union).
2. How is the work permit issued?
The work permit is issued by the Government of New Caledonia who makes its decision after consulting with the Director of the Work Bureau and taking into account the salary and employment conditions offered by the local employer to the foreign national as these conditions need to be the same as those applicable to local employees.
The work permit takes the form of the word "salarié" (employee) written on the residency permit (carte de séjour) and a notation of the type of employment authorised. A work permit card is also issued.
3. Can a work permit be renewed?
A foreign employee, holding a permit due to expire, can ask for the permit to be renewed. The application for renewal must be made before the Foreigner’s Bureau in the same way as for an initial application, three months’ prior to the expiry date of the work permit.
4. What is the validity of a work permit?
Regardless of whether the work contract is open-ended, a foreign national taking a job with a local employer is granted a temporary work permit requiring renewal. The validity of the work permit cannot exceed six months and can be renewed for the same duration.
5. What happens if a local employer hires a foreign national without a work permit?
It is forbidden for anyone to employ a foreign national not holding a work permit. It is also forbidden for a local employer to employ or hire the services of a foreign national in a professional category or for a position other than the one indicated on the work permit. Any offence noted by the work inspection office or by judiciary police officers can lead to penalties.