Highly skilled employees: “Talent Passport – European Union Blue Card”
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 – European Union Blue Card” residence permit.
Foreign employees can obtain a multi-year Talent Passport residence permit if they meet the eligibility criteria specific to the reason for their stay in France.
To be eligible, foreign employees must have evidence of the following:
- A permanent employment contract or a fixed-term employment contract for at least 12 months with an employer established in France.
- A qualification awarded on completion of at least 3 years’ higher education or documents providing evidence of 5 years’ commensurate professional experience.
- Gross annual pay of at least 1.5 times the average annual gross salary set by decree, i.e. €53,836.50 as of January 1, 2021.
Holders of a European Union Blue Card granted by another EU Member State, provided they lived there for at least 18 months, may be issued with this type of residence permit if they apply within one month of entering France.
The multi-year Talent Passport residence permit is equivalent to a work permit.
During the first and second years for which their residence permit is valid, the holder must perform the professional role for which their residence permit was issued. At the end of the second year, this residence permit allows them to enter into any employment of their choice.
Authorised length of stay
The maximum duration is 4 years, on a renewable basis.
Helpful tip: If the planned length of stay is less than a year, foreign employees 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.
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.
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.gouv.fr.
As an indication, you can download a list of documents that must be submitted with an application for a ‘Talent Passport – European Union Blue Card’
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 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 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, on a renewable basis.
Is your family coming with you?
The spouse and dependent minor 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.