French citizenship can be acquired by foreigners who obtain and maintain a valid residence permit and remain in the country for at least 5 years. One of our French immigration lawyers can give full support and legal advice to those interested in this program and also to citizens who want to enter France with a visa.
|Nationalities accepted (EU/Non-EU)||
EU and non-EU
Business investment option
Real estate investment option
|Other investment options (if available)||
– engage in an innovative economic project recognized by a public body,
– engage in an activity in France based on international reputation
|Residence or direct citizenship option||
– residence for 4 years; it can be renewed,
– citizenship can be applied for after living in the country for 5 continous years
|Direct immigration with family members||
|Family members allowed to join the program||
|Timeframe for obtaining citizenship/residency by investment||
The application for the Passeport Talent Visa is processed in approximately 15 days
|Dual citizenship permitted||
|Reasons to choose France||
– one of the most developed economies in Europe,
– access to multiple investment possbilities,
– a good quality of living
|Visa free travel to other countries (approx. number of countries)||
188 visa-free destinations around the world
A set of rules and regulations should be carefully followed by foreigners interested in making investments in the country for the purpose of gaining residency followed by citizenship.
While a scheme that grants French citizenship by investment is not directly available for non-EU nationals as it would in other countries, foreign investors and highly qualified employees do have the option to apply for the Talent Passport, allowing them to enter and remain in the country for renewable periods.
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Can you gain French citizenship by investment?
While there is no direct route to permanent residency by investment in France, foreign nationals have access to a special program, the International Talents scheme also called the Talen Passport, which grants them entry into the country and allows them to remain here for periods of 1 year or more.
Residency in France for business or investment purposes is available to foreign nationals who can meet certain, well-defined criteria. These have to do with their own educational background in some cases (proof of their qualifications for the business), as well as the type of commercial activity they will be engaging in France. After several years of residency, one can also apply for citizenship.
French citizenship by investment is not simply awarded if making a substantial contribution to the country’s economy. While such as scheme was in place, it was replaced by the Talen Passport Scheme to allow more categories of entrepreneurs and talented foreign nationals to remain in France for relocation purposes.
Can I invest in the real estate sector in order to obtain French citizenship by investment?
No, there is no real estate investment program in France, therefore, buying a property in France will not be considered an investment that eases the path to obtaining citizenship.
Under the Talent Passport scheme, foreign investors can choose to create a company or invest in an already existing one. Our team briefly describes this program below.
If you would like to know more about how to acquire French citizenship, you are invited to talk to one of our immigration lawyers in France. We also invite you to watch a video about this topic:
What is the Talent Passport Scheme?
The Talent Passport Scheme replaced the Economic Residence Permit program in 2016, in order to encourage specific categories of citizens and entrepreneurs interested in relocating to France.
This program addresses company creators, highly qualified workers, investors with innovative projects, and graduates in France and it is meant to simplify as much as possible the entire immigration process and focus on a wide range of encouragements in this area.
An investment of at least EUR 300,000 in intangible or tangible fixed assets and the creation of jobs for French citizens are two important conditions linked to the Talent Passport Scheme.
The conditions of investments can be clearly explained by one of our French immigration lawyers. The legal advice and support for France citizenship by investment should be considered from the beginning because the legislation might not be deeply understood by foreigners.
The multi-year residence permit, the talent passport, is awarded to foreign nationals who intend to remain in France for more than 3 months, for the following purposes:
- as qualified employees: individuals with a Specialized Master’s Degree or Master of science; the gross annual remuneration for the position is at least €40,295;
- as employees in an innovative company: for a foreign national recruited to work in an innovative company, recognized as such by the Ministry of Economy; the same gross annual remuneration as above applies;
- for intra-company mobility: for the employee of a company abroad who will relocate to France for intra-company mobility purposes; the applicant needs to have a gross annual remuneration of at least €36,265;
- as highly skilled employees: for those with a degree attesting at least 3 years of higher education or 5 years of professional experience; they will need to have a minimum gross annual salary of €53,836;
- company creation: for investors with relevant degrees or equivalent professional experience able to incorporate a business in France (commercial, craft, or industrial);
- investor: for those able to make an investment via a company or via a personal investment (please see below for more details).
Other separate categories are in place for the talent passport residence permit. They include categories for corporate agents, persons engages in an innovative project recognized by a public body in the country, individuals activating in the arts and culture fields, or internationally renowned persons.
The following conditions apply for the investment talent passport via a company:
- the applicant needs to personally manage the business or hold 30% of the company’s capital;
- the company must be able to create or save jobs within 4 years of investment in the country;
- the applicant’s investment in company assets (tangible or intangible) needs to be at least €300,000.
For the investment talent passport via personal investment, the following apply:
- the applicant personally invests at least 10% of the capital of a company in which he or she will have a long-term interest;
- the company will create or save jobs within 4 years of investment;
- the same criteria for investment in tangible or intangible assets apply (€300,000).
While it does not directly grant French citizenship by investment, the investor talent passport scheme allows the holder to receive a residence permit with a maximum validity of 4 years, which can be renewed.
Please keep in mind that the conditions for the Talent Passport (Passeport Talent) scheme are only briefly listed above. In practice, the authorities analyze each individual application and may require additional documents.
The application steps differ from one application to another, as the highly skilled employee is asked to provide different documents, compared to the investor or the entrepreneur who will create a company in France.
Investors who move to France for the purpose of starting a business will be subject to different conditions concerning their right to remain in the country depending on their nationality. Our team offers complete assistance to EU and non-EU nationals who wish to relocate to business in France, and offers counsel to the latter, as they are subject to more comprehensive requirements.
Those who do not comply with this scheme can find out more about the general residence permit in France from our lawyers.
We also provide separate information for those interested in obtaining work permits for general employment in France or student resident permits.
What are the conditions for obtaining French citizenship?
French citizenship by naturalization is awarded to an individual who::
- has been living in France for 5 years or more and is not a minor;
- has taken up France as his or her main place or residence and has a valid residence permit at the time of the application;
- he or she has integrated into the French community (adheres to the principles and values of the Republic and has sufficient knowledge of French culture, history, and business);
- has sufficient knowledge of the French language;
- the applicant is professionally integrated (has a job or has been running a business); he or she also has suitable and sufficient income;
- the foreign national applying for French citizenship has good morals and has not been convicted in France of a crime or offense.
Our team of French immigration experts can give you more details about these conditions and the application process for citizenship by naturalization.
Relocating to France
France is a popular destination that provides a great business climate plus excellent standards of living and a carefree lifestyle.
Numerous foreigners choose to relocate to the country using a residence permit in France because of business purposes or for the wide range of possibilities in the employment field where the relaxed labor laws are appreciated on an international level.
The well-developed infrastructure, the appealing tax system, and the stable economy represent important reasons to believe that France is a good place for relocation. Here are some facts and numbers that explain the economic situation of France:
- the total FDI stock for France in 2018 was around USD 825,000 million.
- France ranks 32nd out of 190 economies in the world, according to the 2020 Doing Business report issued by the World Bank.
- most of the foreign investments come from the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the UK.
- around 33,000 foreign citizens were granted the French work visa in 2018.
The route to French citizenship by investment can be explained by our team of immigration lawyers in France, so please feel free to contact us at any time.