How to request an APS or a RECE card?


APS and The Job Search – Business Creation ‘Recherche d’emploi ou création d’entreprise (RECE)” Card allows you, under certain conditions, to stay in France after the completion of your studies and look for your first job in a field corresponding to your training or start your own business. So how you can request an APS or a RECE card?

What is the difference between an APS and a RECE?

Depending on your nationality, you can obtain The Temporary Residence Permit (Attestation Provisoire de Séjour’APS’) in the form of a receipt ‘récépissé or the Job Search – Business Creation permit (Recherche d’emploi ou création d’entreprise ‘RECE’) in the form of a residence card (1 year non-renewable).

  • APS: It is for students originating from countries that have signed bilateral agreements with France (Gabon, Benin, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Tunisia, Mauritius, Cape Verde, Burkina Faso, and India). The duration and conditions for renewal depend on the agreement concluded between France and their country of origin. Check this. Foreign graduates with an APS are permitted to work under the same conditions as if they were students meaning up to 964 hours a year, or roughly 20 hours per week until a work contract has been signed, either for a fixed period of time (CDD) or indefinite (CDI).

  • The Job Search – Business Creation Card: The other nationalities (Except Algerians). With this card, you will be able to work with no hour limitation and your employee won’t need to ask for work authorization contrary to the case when you had a student residence permit (Articles L 422-10 and L 422-14 du CESEDA; R.5221-2,13 du code de travail).


Algerians are not allowed to benefit from the Job Search – Business Creation permit card or APS.

Nationals of the European Union and the European Economic Area have free access to the job market in France.

Once you have applied for an APS or a Job Search – Business Creation permit card, it will not be possible to switch back to a student residence permit

What are the conditions to be eligible for the two options?

To be eligible for the Job Search – Business Creation Card or APS:

  • You must have obtained a professional bachelor, a specialized master’s degree, a Master of Science (accredited by the Conference of Grandes Écoles), or another diploma at least equivalent to a master’s degree: DEA, DESS, engineering degree, a degree from an Institute of Political Studies, Higher Diploma in Accounting and Management, Chartered Accountant degree, State diplomas of veterinary doctor, medical doctor, dental surgery, pharmacy, etc.

  • Your student residence permit must be valid at the time of the application 

  • You have up to one year after obtaining your degree to apply for this residence permit

  • If you have not yet received your diploma, you can be eligible for this residence permit under the proof of a definitive attestation of success ‘Attestation de réussite”

When to apply?

You have just obtained your degree in France but you didn’t find a job before the expiration of your student residence permit. 

You need to apply a minimum of 15 days before the expiration of your student residence permit.

How to apply?

Depending on your prefecture of residence, you can either apply online or by sending your file by Post. To know which case concerns you, you need to contact the prefecture of your place of residency.

If you depend on Paris Prefecture, the application is done online through this link.

What are the documents requested?

  • Passport (pages related to civil status, validity dates, entry stamps, and visas) OR consular attestation with a photo OR identity card with a photo OR consular card with a photo OR certificate of nationality less than 6 months old with a photo

  • Proof of residence dated less than 6 months ago

  • 3 photos

  • If the application is made online: indicate the e-photo code

  • Valid student residence permit (or mobility program student) or long-stay visa serving as a residence permit validated online

  • Diploma at least equivalent to a master’s degree or professional bachelor’s degree obtained in the year (or a final diploma success certificate if presented later)

  • Proof of health insurance

  • Proof of a business creation project in a field corresponding to your training (if this is your objective)

This list will slightly differ if:

  • You are applying for APS

  • You are applying online or with a file sent by post

  • You are applying for a Job research OR Business creation Card

When you contact the prefecture of your place of residency, it will provide you with the exact list of documents that you need to send them by post or provide you with the link where you can apply directly online.

What is the cost?

You must pay a tax and stamp duty of €75 per fiscal stamp.

What is the delay to receive the Card or Récépissé?

After applying, the prefecture can either send you a ‘récépissé’ which will extend the validity of your student residence permit, or send you an email in order to book an appointment and go take your RECE card if they already processed your file.

Expect between 3 weeks to 3 months to hear back from the prefecture depending on where you live by email or a letter.

The card is issued to you by the prefecture (or sub-prefecture) where you submitted your request.

What is the validity period?

RECE: is valid for 1 year. It is not renewable.

APS: it differs depending on the bilateral agreements your country signed with France. 

  • 6 months renewable once: Benin, Burkina Faso, Mauritius

  • 6 months renewable twice: Tunisia

  • 9 months (non-renewable): Cape Verde, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville)

  • 9 months renewable once: Gabon

  • 12 months (non-renewable): Montenegro, Serbia, Georgia, Bosnia-Herzegovina

  • 12 months renewable once: India.

Which card to apply for next?

During the validity of your RECE Card or APS, if you have found a job, can provide evidence of a job offer, or have started a business, you can apply for a professional residence permit which means that you don’t need to wait for your temporary resident permit to expire before you request a change of status. Do it as soon as your situation changes.

Table – Residence permit to apply for based on salary (and other conditions)

Starting from €2,620.80 gross monthly salary and job-related to your degree 1. Temporary residence permit for an employee or temporary worker (employment situation not opposed to you)
2. or multi-year residence permit for talent passport – researcher
3. or multi-year residence permit for talent passport – artistic and cultural profession.
From 41,933 euros gross annual salary1. Multiple-year residency permit talent passport – qualified employee
2. or multiple-year residency permit talent passport – an innovative company
Starting from €53,836.50 gross annual salaryMultiple-year residence permit “Talent Passport – EU Blue Card”

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