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Before leaving for your assignment

 
Congratulations! You are about to leave for your assignment as an International Intern.
What formalities do you have to complete?
 

For a V.I.E. (company intern):
 
The company will submit an assignment dossier to Business France (the French agency for international business development) indicating the assignment country, the purpose of the assignment and the duration of the internship.
 
Following the first request, the company must also obtain approval (valid for five years) from the Ad Hoc Committee, which includes the DGTrésor and Business France. It will only receive this approval if it meets all the criteria defined by the Direction Générale du Trésor (French general directorate of the treasury) notably conditions related to supervision, training, life and the intern’s duties.
 
Once this approval has been granted, the company can take on as many International Interns as it wishes. Formalities can take up to two months but in some countries departures are often delayed due to the formalities required to issue visas being delayed. So, you may have to be patient.
 
For a V.I.A. (administration intern):
 
The MAEDI or DGTrésor, depending on the case, will take care of the formalities (recruitment, getting started, administrative follow-up, etc.) or will help you if you are going on an assignment in the capacity as a scientist-researcher or on behalf of a quasi-public organisation. However, for the majority of countries, a passport will suffice. In certain cases, you may be issued with a service passport, which means you do not need to apply for a visa.
In all cases, as soon as your application has been accepted, you will receive an appointment letter from your managing organisation (i.e. Business France, MAEDI or DGTrésor) as well as detailed information about the formalities you must complete prior to your departure e.g. medical check-up, vaccinations, information meeting (Business France or DGTrésor), interview (MAEDI), etc.
 
 
Accommodation
Generally, it is up to you to find somewhere to live.
 
 
For V.I.E.s:
 
Some companies do provide accommodation in the form of sharing housing. In certain countries (Angola, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Haïti, Hong Kong, Liberia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and United Arab Emirates) the provision of accommodation is compulsory. Shared accommodation is also highly recommended in certain cities (e.g. London). A reduction of 20% is applied to the geographic allowance for interns provided with accommodation.
 
 
For V.I.A.s:
 
The embassy or host organisation is not required to provide accommodation. However, you may receive assistance from chancelleries and support services for French nationals residing overseas (accommodation lists, letting agencies, ex pat associations, etc.).
 
 
Miscellaneous formalities
Unemployment benefits:
 
Remember to complete any formalities if you were in employment prior to being accepted as an intern. This will be useful should you need to claim any benefits when you return. Reminder: being an international intern does not entitle you to claim unemployment benefits.
 
 
TAX:
 
V.I.E.s and V.I.A.s are not paid a salary as such but receive a tax free allowance. However, before leaving France, make sure that you put your tax affairs in order (income tax for the year N-1 and any local taxes, etc.). Contact your local tax office for more information or read about tax information in the V.I. section or read our FAQs. 
 
 
BANK:
 
Your allowance will be paid into a French bank account. Opening an account in your host country is not compulsory but can be useful. In all cases, we recommend that you inform your bank of your change of situation. Where possible, the bank may suggest opening an account more suited to your current situation. Certain banks even offer “”Special V.I.” packages.
 
 
VISA:
 
If your mission is outside the European Economic Area (E.E.A.), you will require a visa. The consulate or the embassy of the concerned country will be able to provide you with information about applying for a visa. Once you have obtained your visa, don’t forget to send a copy to Business France.
 
Visa costs are covered by your company. The costs will be covered either directly i.e. the company will pay the costs when they become due or indirectly i.e. the costs will be reimbursed by the company and paid into your bank account.
 
 
HEATH/SOCIAL WELFARE:
 
Social welfare is provided for you and your dependants through the International Internship Programme. Before departure, the intern must undergo medical check-ups carried out by doctors accredited by the A.R.S. (regional health agency). During the check-up, the doctor will administer any compulsory vaccinations. 
 
“From the moment the interns leave on assignment, they no longer benefit from the French social welfare system,” explains Estelle Valentin, manager at Business France. The intern is covered by private health insurance for the duration of his/her assignment. This means that the health insurance provider will reimburse any medical expenses.
 
There is no need to contact the insurance provider before departure: “Once you have been registered as an intern, Business France will take out the insurance on your behalf. It will also send any documents required to validate your dossier,” she explains. If you are being accompanied by your partner or children, they will also benefit from the same rights. The intern’s dependants receive the same level of social welfare as the intern with the exception of pensions rights and certain medical expenses notably dental expenses.
 
 
TRAVEL & LUGGAGE:
 
Is your assignment on the other side of the world? Don’t panic! Shipping costs are covered by your company. Return tickets and shipping costs (personal belongings) up to 150 kg per journey i.e. between your residence and your assignment location. Remember to keep all your receipts as these will be required by your company to reimburse you.
 
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