French Tech Visa for Investor

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.

 

You’re looking to invest in France and settle in ? 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.

 

Invest in French startups!

 

Foreign investors eligible to Talent Passport marked ‘Business investor’ involved in the French Tech sector might benefit from the French Tech Visa for Investors dedicated procedure.

The French Tech Visa for Investors procedure is designed for international investors wanting to settle in France (venture capitalists and business angels investing in startups.)

Key steps

Step 1:

Your application will be handled on a privileged one-to-one basis. Please initiate the process on the dedicated online platform to initiate the process.

Step 2:

Upon analysis of your profile and investment history, the French Tech Mission will send you an official acceptance letter stating that you are qualified for the French Tech Visa for Investors.

Step 3:

Apply for your long-stay visa and/ or residence permit and provide the acceptance letter along with other supporting documents. The procedure depends on whether or not you already live in France.

Eligibility

Foreign investors wishing to settle in France to undertake a planned investment can apply for a Talent Passport marked ‘Business investor’ if they proceed to a direct investment either:

  • Personnally; or
  • Via a company they control; or
  • Via a company in which they have at least a 30% shareholding.

They also need to meet the following cumulative criteria:

  • They are creating or protecting, or committing to create or protect, jobs within the four years following the investment;
  • They are investing, or committing to invest, at least €300,000 in fixed tangible or intangible assets.

Direct investments include share capital investments, reinvested earnings or ‘loans between affiliated companies’. Exclusively financial investments are therefore outside the scope of the scheme.

Length of stay

 

The maximum duration is four years on a renewable basis.

The validity period of this permit is variable and depends on the nature, characteristics and duration of the planned investment in France.

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 

Apply to the official acceptance letter stating that you are qualified for the French Tech Visa for Investors

Step 2

Apply for your long-stay visa and/ or residence permit and provide the acceptance letter along with other supporting documents. The procedure depends on whether or not you already live in France.

 

 

Where to apply

 

You live outside France

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

The application for a “Talent Passport Business investor” long-stay visa authorising entry into French territory for the foreign investor 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 account, answer 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 website They will be asked to prove their eligibility for the desired 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 account, answer to any request to complete his or her file, and check the decisions made.

 

When should I begin the procedure?

If the applicant is living abroad, 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’ residence permit for a business investor.

List of documents to provide

Cost of the residence permit

Foreign investors 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

The Talent Passport residence permit is renewable.

Renewal applications must be submitted in the three months before the residence permit expires on the dedicated platform.

Foreign investors must produce documents showing that they continue to meet the conditions of issuance of their permit.

There are two distinct situations:

  • investors continuing their investment must provide any documented proof of the said continuation, the amounts already disbursed (initial or additional) with job maintenance or creation;
  • if the investment project can be considered complete, any document substantiating a new investment project on French soil.

 

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

After five years regular and uninterrupted residence in France, an application may be made for a residence card authorizing the holder to stay and undertake any paid employment in France (subject to having the required qualifications for regulated professions).

Residence cards are issued for 10 years on 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 investor’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.