Are visitors allowed to volunteer for charity work in France?

Some charities publish calls for volunteers for specific missions

man with food parcel
Volunteering periods can be from one hour a month to over a year

Reader question: Can I undertake charity volunteering in France during my 90 day visa-free stays, or does this require a working visa?

There is nothing to stop non-residents, including non-EU citizens, volunteering in France.

This was confirmed to us by the Tous Bénévoles association, which has an online platform to help people find volunteering opportunities.

"However, in the large majority of cases, they must have decent French, and the duties are long term: a few months to one year or more," they said.

The Croix-Rouge also said there is nothing preventing foreign citizens from volunteering with it, even if they are in France illegally.

The charity has a principle of unconditional welcome "which prevails over people's administrative situations", said Jean-Daniel Balme who oversees the volunteers.

It does not verify people's status, he added, except for certain projects that might require checks of a person's driving licence or criminal record.

While most people volunteer regularly, the Croix-Rouge publishes calls for volunteers for specific missions, some of which are more short term, as do other charities.

"Les Restos du Cœur are used to having volunteers come once or twice without staying for a long time," Mr Balme said.

You can find volunteering opportunities at,, or

For those without much spare time, meanwhile, is for people wanting to volunteer for one hour a month.

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