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Unemployment rights


If you loose your job and become unemployed in France, you can apply for unemployement benefits called Aide au Retour à l'Emploi (ARE).

In order to register with Pôle emploi (the French unemployment agency) and to qualify for unemployment benefits, you must be involuntarily deprived of employment and justify at the end date of your employment contract that you have been employed for a minimum period of work known as durée d'affiliation.

  • If you are under the age of 53, 130 days (910 hours or 6 months) of work, in the last 24 months
  • If you are over the age of 53, 130 days (910 hours or 6 months) in the last 36 months.


To register with Pôle emploi, you must not be:
  • a full-time employee,
  • on paid leave,
  • in professional training,
  • on sick leave,
  • on maternity or paternity leave,
  • on a subsidised employment contract.
You must also meet the following conditions:
  • be actively job seeking
  • have not reached the legal retirement age
  • be physically fit for work
  • be a legal resident in France


Pre-registration with Pôle emploi is done over the internet on thePôle emploiwebsite. Once you have registered online, you will receive via email a confirmation of appointment for an interview at the Pôle emploi agency nearest to your home address.


You must bring the following documents to the appointment :

  • proof of identity: your passport and your residence permit,
  • your social security card (carte Vitale),
  • the work certificate issued by your last employer: Attestation de l'employeur destinée à Pôle emploi,
  • current bank details in your name (RIB),
  • an up-to-date CV with proof of qualifications.


Once you are registered as a jobseeker, you will be required to update your job seeking status every month on the Pôle emploi website.


Researchers who are foreign nationals must have a valid residence permit when they apply for unemployment benefits. Following the confirmation of your registration with Pôle emploi, you must contact the Prefecture of your place of residence to renew your residence permit. Your new permit will be valid until you are no longer entitled to unemployment benefits.


The duration of benefit payments depends on the jobseeker’s length of employment. The longer you have worked, the longer you will receive unemployment benefits. The minimum duration of benefit payment is 6 months and for jobseekers under the age of 53 it cannot exceed 24 months. An Online calculator is available to estimate the unemployment benefits you are entitled to receive.