Talent Passport : new business
Do you have a business creation project in France and would like to settle there?
To engage in a commercial, craft or industrial activity on French soil, you must hold a residence permit that entitles you to do so.
Foreign company founders who are nationals of the EU, EEA or Switzerland are automatically entitled to pursue their activity in the same way as a French national. Algerian citizens are subject to the stipulations of the French-Algerian Agreement (refer to our fact sheet on the topic).
For foreign company founders from outside the EU, the EEA or Switzerland who wish to set up a company in France, there exists a specific residence permit: the “Talent Passport for Company founders” residence permit.
An investment in a French company can be seen as a creation project if it results in the takeover of the company, taking into account the specific features of the project. Other plans to participate in an existing company are covered by the temporary residence permit for “Entrepreneurs/Self-Employed”.
To be eligible, the company founder must provide evidence of:
- A qualification corresponding to a master’s degree or equivalent, or at least five years’ commensurate professional experience.
- Existence of a real and serious plan to form an economically viable business in France.
- An investment of at least €30,000 in the planned business.
- Sufficient annual financial means corresponding to the statutory national minimum wage (SMIC), i.e. €18,473 as of January 1, 2020.
The « Talent Passport ‘new business’ residence permit authorises the exercise of the commercial activity in connection with the project presented.
Authorised length of stay
The maximum duration is four years on a renewable basis.
The validity period of this permit depends on the nature, characteristics and duration of the proposed project.
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 – New business“
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.
For the renewal of a “Talent Passport Company director” residence permit, the applicant must be able prove continued fulfilment of the conditions set out for permit eligibility, at the time of the application for renewal with the Prefecture.
Company director must also provide proof of the Company’s continued activity and proof of an annual pay equivalent to three times the SMIC, i.e. € 55 419,00 as of 1 January 2020.
Administrative cost: 225 €
Change of status
In the event of a change in the bearer’s professional circumstances, a change of status may be considered by the Prefecture two months before the expiry of the residence permit. Applicants will need to fill the eligibility conditions for the new residence permit sought.
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.