What is the VIE Program?

The Volunteer for International Experience (VIE) is a hassle-free HR package offered by the French government (and facilitated by the FACC).  This program allows French companies to offer high-profile young professionals from France and the European Economic Area, aged 18 to 28 years, an assignment abroad for a period of 6 to 12 months which can be renewed once.

The VIE Program is an important means for French companies to develop their business in new markets internationally, and thereby strengthen the French economic community across the globe. It is also an excellent opportunity for young people to gain solid professional experience internationally and develop their skills.

The opportunity to gain international experience has a strong appeal for young people. The HR solution of the VIE Program then becomes for you a real lever for promoting your business with this disputed audience.

It is entirely flexible and provides several financial advantages, aimed at making your cross-border HR needs more manageable.  The full cost of the VIE is charged to the French company, not the host company. In addition, the VIE Program is exempt from taxation in France. The company in France is also entitled to certain fiscal advantages (tax deductible for subsidies, tax credit for SMEs, etc.) as well as regional subsidies.

Since its inception in 2001:

  • 77,000 VIEs have been hosted by more than 7,400 companies worldwide.
  • 10,300 VIEs are currently on assignment for 2,000 companies in 130 countries.

The VIE program falls within the scope of the Exchange Visitor Program and the VIE candidate holds a J-1 Visa. According to his profile, the candidate has either an intern or a trainee status.

To be eligible for the VIE Program, candidates must be: 

  • over 18 and under 28 years old at the time they apply
  • of French or European nationality (i.e. be a national of a Member State of the European Economic Area, which includes the 27 Member States of the European Union including Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Monaco)

and have a degree or professional certificate from a post-secondary institution outside the U.S. AND at least one year of relevant full-time work experience outside the U.S.

Business France handles administrative procedures (payroll administration, contract, insurance and, upon request, travel and recruitment processes). The FACC works with the host company in the U.S. to approve and process  J-1 Visa applications for VIE candidates.

For more information on the VIE program, please visit: Business France and Civiweb.

To post an open VIE position, or to search VIE candidates, consult the Civiweb website

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