Guide to Working in Strasbourg

Strasbourg is known as the “Capital of Europe”, although it is not actually a national capital. However, this UNESCO-listed capital of the French Bas-Rhin département is home to the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights, making it a renowned hub for international business and government.

Living in Strasbourg

The high number of students in Strasbourg provides a vibrant atmosphere in this characterful and cosmopolitan city. According to population statistics, 65% of Strasbourg’s population is under 44 years of age.
Expats living in Strasbourg will quickly appreciate this historic city as a hub for international transport of both people and goods. Straddling the Rhine, it is the second largest port on the river after Duisberg. The city is served by two TGV fast rail links: the TGV Est to Paris and the TGV Rhin-Rhône connecting Strasbourg with Lyon. The Gare de Strasbourg also has regular trains to Strasbourg Airport (SXB). With a futuristic six-line tramway and over 500km of bike paths, the city certainly keeps its population moving.

Strasbourg Culture

Living in Strasbourg opens the door to a wealth of world-class culture, from the Musée des Beaux-Arts and the University Museums to the many internationally renowned institutions of music and drama. Strasbourg is home to one of the oldest symphony orchestras in Western Europe, the Philharmonic, as well as the National Opera of the Rhine and the Strasbourg National Theatre.
With close links to Germany, both historically and geographically, living in Strasbourg inevitably means embracing both French and German language, cuisine and culture. Rather than dividing the city, this Franco-German relationship acts as a cultural bridge between two of the most influential countries in Europe today making it a sought-after city in which to live and work.

Job Opportunities in Strasbourg

Strasbourg’s charming timbered buildings, hearty cuisine and fine wines attract thousands of visitors but moving to Strasbourg for business has many benefits too. The city is one of the largest financial and business hubs in France outside Paris, providing a raft of employment opportunities in the tertiary sector. Alsace is also home to several international corporations such as Powerglide Motors (formerly General Motors), Kronenbourg and Mars, providing many jobs in the motor and agriculture/food sectors for nationals and expats.
Moving to France to work may require a work visa, depending upon your nationality. Those from the EU/EEA and Switzerland are currently free to work in France without a permit, although this may change for British citizens post-Brexit. In most other cases, a visa or residence permit is required. If you are moving to Strasbourg to take up a pre-arranged job, your employer will organise this on your behalf.
There are a large number of different visas for working in France, from a long-stay visa to the newly introduced Talent Passport Permit. This is primarily for executives and independent professionals who can offer a significant contribution to the French economy through intellectual, scientific, cultural or humanitarian means. Highly skilled workers may also be eligible for the EU Blue Card. After five years, you and your family would then be eligible to apply for a 10-year EC residence card. It’s important to get professional legal advice when moving to France to ensure you get the best visa for future work opportunities across the EU.