French Tech Visa for Founders
France attracts start-uppers like you!
La French Tech aims to bring out successful start-ups by building on the initiatives of its members. Many French Tech initiatives have been taken by the French Tech to attract foreign talents. The latest of them being the French Tech Visa.
The French Tech Visa is a simplified procedure, dedicated to the Tech ecosystem, for three types of international tech talent to for the obtention of ain a multi-year residence permit, known as the “Passeport Talent” (“Talent Passport”):
- French Tech Visa for Founders: for international start-up founders selected by partner incubators and accelerators;
- French Tech Visa for Employees: for international talents recruited by French companies based in France recognised as innovative by the French Ministry of Economy ; and
- French Tech Visa for Investors: for international investors wanting to settle in France
You can turn your project into reality thanks to the French Tech Visa for Founders procedure, which will enable you to obtain the “Talent Passport” residence permit, and thus develop your start-up with all the peace of mind you need.
Startup founders may be granted a multiyear residence permit marked «Talent Passport innovative project » if they provide evidence of:
- An innovative business project they want to develop in France.
- Recognition of the project by a public-sector body ;
- Sufficient annual financial means corresponding to the statutory national minimum wage (SMIC), i.e. €18,654.96 as of January 1, 2021.
Authorised length of stay
The validity period of this permit depends on the nature, characteristics and duration of the proposed project.
The maximum duration is four years on a renewable basis.
Helpful tip: If the planned length of stay is less than a year, foreign nationals can apply for a long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (‘VLS-TS’) marked Passeport Talent (‘Talent Passport’). The VLS-TS is validated directly online upon arrival in France via the dedicated platform.
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.
French Tech Visa for Founders Procedure
International start-up founders can apply for a “Talent Passport – innovative business project” under the French Tech Visa for Founders Procedure.
Be selected by one (or several) of the French Tech Visa partner incubators and accelerators, through their regular process of selection, or from an incubator not labelized but supported by the French Tech Capital (letter of support with free-format, dated and signed)
The incubator recognises the innovative nature of the project.
Once the support and hosting agreement has been concluded with the incubator, the innovative nature of the project will be validated by DGE (firstname.lastname@example.org) based on the project information form addressed to it by the incubator demonstrating the innovative nature of the creative project supported.
The DGE will issue an official letter of acknowledgement which the applicant can show to the consular authorities of his or her country of origin.
Upon receipt, the incubator sends the letter of acknowledgement to the applicant.
The interested party should enclose this letter with his/her application for a long-stay visa entitled “Talent passport – innovative economic project” to be submitted to the French consulate in the country of residence and/or with his/her application for a residence permit.
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 company leader is initiated on the official France-visas website. Read on to find out all the details.
Upon arrival in France, you will be entitled to work immediately with this visa.
More information on France-visas.gouv.fr
Once in France, the residence permit is issued to the employee by the Prefect of their département of residence upon presentation of the long-stay visa and other supporting documents, previously provided to the Consulate.
Upon arrival, the foreign national must contact the Prefecture (office of the Prefect, the local representative of national government) of their place of residence to apply for the Talent Passport residence permit.
You are already living in France
If applicants are already living in France under a different type of residence permit, they will need to apply to the Préfecture (office of the Prefect, the local representative of national government) in their place of residence for a change of status. They will be asked to prove eligibility for the desired residence permit.
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 two months before the previous residence permit expires.
Applicants can obtain a list of exactly which documents are required for a residence permit application from the authority responsible for handling the application and on France-visas.
As an indication, you can download a list of documents that must be submitted with an application for a ‘Talent Passport – innovative business project’
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 applications must be submitted in the two months before the residence permit expires.
Applicants must produce documents showing that they continue to meet the conditions of issuance of their permit ainsi qu’une attestation d’activité émanant de son employeur ou une attestation d’activité professionnelle des 12 derniers mois téléchargée par le salarié sur le site mesdroitssociaux.gouv.fr.
Administrative cost: €225
Change of status
In the event of a change in the holder’s professional circumstances, a change of status may be considered at the Préfecture in the two months before the residence permit expires. They will be required to prove eligibility for the new residence permit requested.
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 permit 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.
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Source : La French Tech