The French government has said it will issue visas to the spouses of foreign workers seeking jobs in the country, following complaints about the lack of information and support for applicants.
According to the government, the spouses will be required to submit an online application to the Ministry of Labour (MOL) within 30 days.
Applicants will have to pay a fee of €600 ($700) and a two-week wait time, according to the French Ministry of Labor.
The minister said the move would allow workers from overseas to stay in France.
A French Government spokesperson said the Ministry is working with the employers to ensure that visas are issued to the right candidates.
The ministry has said there is a need for more qualified and experienced workers, as well as for a new recruitment system.
A spokesman for the French Council of State for Foreign Workers said it is important that workers from outside the EU are given the same rights as those in the EU, which includes a right to a visa.
“For example, they have to be registered and have their details available in the online system,” he said.
The spokesperson added that it is very important that French nationals who have worked in a foreign country for longer than one year can obtain a job.
“They must not be exploited by the employers or other applicants, as there must be an opportunity for them to gain employment in France,” he added.
The French Government has been under pressure from the EU to increase the number of foreign nationals working in the sector.
Last week, it announced it would increase the minimum salary for foreign nationals from €6,500 to €9,500 per year.