French Tech Visa for Employees

Date of update

 

La French Tech is dedicated to enabling successful start-ups to emerge, through initiatives from members of its ecosystem. French Tech runs numerous initiatives to attract foreign talent. The most recent of these is the French Tech Visa.

 

The French Tech Visa is a simplified procedure, dedicated to the Tech ecosystem, for three types of international tech talent for the obtention of a multi-year residence permit, known as the “Passeport Talent” (“Talent Passport”):

  • the French Tech Visa for Founders, dedicated to founders of international start-ups, selected by partner incubators and accelerators;
  • the French Tech Visa for Employees, dedicated to international talent recruited by companies based in France and recognised as innovative by the Ministry of the Economy and Finance;
  • the French Tech Visa for Investors, dedicated to international investors establishing themselves in France.

 

 

Do you want to work for more than three months for a French company?

 

You must apply for a residence permit if you are a national of a non-Member State of the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland. British citizens must now also apply for a residence permit as provided below for any arrival after January 1, 2021. Specific requirements apply to Algerian citizens.

 

Various categories of employees holding an employment contract with an employer established in France may be eligible for a multi-year Talent Passport residence permit.

 

This applies in particular to employees in highly qualified positions who are eligible for the “Talent Passport – ‘Employee of an innovative company” residence permit.

Recognition for the company’s innovative nature

 

To be recognised as innovative, the company must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Criterion 1: be or have been a beneficiary in the last 5 years of public support for innovation; the list of the relevant support mechanisms can be found here.
  • Criterion 2: have its capital held, wholly or partly, by an investment entity whose main purpose is to finance or invest in innovative companies ;
  • Criterion 3: be or have been supported over the last 5 years by a support structure dedicated to innovative companies.

Any innovative company wishing to recruit foreign talent may benefit from this system and request a certificate recognising its innovative nature so as to more easily recruit candidates who are citizens of countries outside the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland.

This application is filed online via the dedicated platform: démarches-simplifiées.fr

This certificate, valid for 3 years, must be attached to the visa and/or residence permit applications for foreign employees in addition to the other supporting documents.

Eligibility

 

To be eligible for the ‘Talent Passport Employee of an innovative company’ employees of a company recognised as innovative by the Ministry of Economy must show evidence of:

  • Gross annual pay of at least twice the statutory national minimum wage (SMIC), i.e. €37,309.92 as of January 1, 2021.
  • A permanent employment contract or a fixed-term employment contract for at least three months with an employer established in France.
  • An an active participation in the R&D project and development of the company or any active link with the economic, social, international and environmental development of the project.

 

The multi-year Talent Passport residence permit is equivalent to a work permit.

Length of stay

 

The maximum duration is four years on a renewable basis.

 

Helpful tip: If the planned length of stay is less than a year, foreign investors can apply for a long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (‘VLS-TS’) marked Passeport Talent (‘Talent Passport’).

This is valid for up to 12 months. If foreign nationals wish to stay in France beyond this period, they may apply for a four-year Talent Passport residence permit.

Validate your VLS-TS !

Procedure

 

Key Steps

Step 1 

The employer requests online a letter certifying the innovative nature of the company via the platform. A number of supporting documents must be provided with the application to prove that one of the criteria is met

Step 2

Employees apply for their long-stay visa and/or residence permit, attaching the certificate and other supporting documents. The procedure differs when the applicant is already residing in France.

 

 

Where to apply

 

You live outside France

Applicants living outside France should apply to the French consular authorities in their usual place of residence.

The application for a “Talent Passport” long-stay visa authorising entry into French territory for the foreign employee is initiated on the official France-visas website.

France-visas

Once in France, the foreign talent must apply upon arrival for the relevant Talent passport on the dedicated platform in order to finalize the application for the residence permit. 

 

Once the application is validated by the Prefecture via the platform, the foreign talent will receive a certificate of approval which will be equivalent to a residence permit until the talent goes to the appointment at the Prefecture to get the definitive residence permit. 

 

Between the application and the delivery of the residence permit, the foreign talent can check the status of his or her application on his or her online accountanswer to any request to complete his or her file, and check the decisions made. 

You are already living in France

If applicants are already living in France under a different type of residence permit, they will have to apply for a change of status on the dedicated websiteThey will be asked to prove their eligibility for the residence permit requested. 

Between the application and the delivery of the residence permit, the foreign talent can check the status of his or her application on his or her online accountanswer to any request to complete his or her file, and check the decisions made. 

 

When should I begin the procedure?

The procedure should be initiated no earlier than three months before the date of arrival in France.

If the applicant is already living in France, the procedure should be initiated three months before the previous residence permit expires.

Documents required

Applicants can obtain a list of exactly which documents are required from the authority responsible for handling the application and on France-visas.gouv.fr

As an indication, you can download a list of documents that must be submitted with an application for a Talent Passport – Employees of a company recognised as innovative by the Ministry of Economy

List of documents

Cost of the residence permit

Applicants must pay a tax of €200 to the French Immigration and Citizenship Office (Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration – OFII) when the permit is issued. In addition to this tax, stamp duty of €25 is also charged on residence permits.

In addition to this administrative cost of €225, the long-stay visa authorizing entry into France costs €99.

Extending your stay

 

Renewal

Renewal applications must be submitted in the two months before the residence permit expires on the dedicated website.

Applicants must produce documents showing that they continue to meet the conditions of issuance of their permit as well as a certificate of activity from their employer or a certificate of professional activity for the last 12 months uploaded by the employee to the website mesdroitssociaux.gouv.fr.

Administrative cost: €225

 

Change of status

In the event of a change in the professional situation of the talent, a change of status may be considered 3 months before the expiration of the residence permit in the case of an application for a Talent Passport on the dedicated platform or two months for any other type of residence permits at the Prefecture of his or her place of residence. It will be necessary to meet the eligibility requirements of the new residence permit requested.

 

Residence card

At the end of 5 years of legal and uninterrupted residence in France, workers in this category may apply for the resident card entitling the bearer to reside on French soil and engage in any professional activity (provide they hold the necessary diplomas, if working in a regulated professions).

Residence cards are issued for 10 years we have a renewable basis.

Is your family coming with you?

 

The spouse and dependent children of the holder of a Talent Passport have accompanying family status.

The spouse should apply, and will be issued with a ‘Talent Passport – Family’ residence permit. This permit authorizes the family to stay and undertake any paid employment in France as long as the foreign employee’s residence permit is valid.

Administrative cost: €225 for the spouse’s residence permit and €99 per visa issued to each member of the accompanying family.