Non-EU/EEA citizens can join the French investment programs and benefit from a wide range of advantages in matters of business. The legislation related to investments provides the same rules and regulations to all citizens interested in starting a business in France, except the cases in which an investor visa is needed.
In the case of foreign investors and the necessary visas, legal advice and assistance can be offered by one of our immigration lawyers in France. They can give proper advice and offers tailored to the needs of clients.
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What is the Talent Passport Scheme?
The “passeport talent” residence permit is designed for foreign investors who come to France as self-employed individuals, for the purpose of starting a business.
The residence permit is designed for investors, along with other categories of professionals, and the main goal is to encourage foreign talent to enter the country.
The “passeport talent” scheme is designed for those who will remain in the country for more than three months.
Family members can also join the residence permit holder, and their individual residence permits will also be multi-year ones. The family members (spouse and children who are 18 years of age) will also be able to work in France.
The “passeport talent” residence permit applies to the following categories of foreign nationals:
- Qualified or highly qualified paid employees: those who work for a company recognized as a new innovative enterprise, those who work for a company that is part of an international group of companies as the applicant’s current employer, those working for public or private research/higher education institutions, and those who are highly qualified for their position;
- Self-employed individuals or those in liberal professions: entrepreneurs who wish to create a new company in France or those who make a direct economic investment; you can read more about the French startup visa below;
- Artistic or literary performers: those who work as employed or self-employed performed or those who have created literary or artistic work;
- International reputation: individuals who will engage in an activity in France that is specifically linked to their national or international reputation.
Entrepreneurs who wish to apply for a business visa in France will apply for the “passeport talent” residence permit for the category designed for their activity (creating a new business or taking control over an existing one).
Investors who move to France for business purposes will not only need to understand the requirements that apply to them concerning residency, but also the commercial and business requirements. Upon request, our partner lawyers can provide investors with information about the director’s liabilities, and details on several tax implications for foreign nationals.
The investor visa can be one of the routes that allow a foreign national to obtain residency in France. However, it is important to note that direct residency is not an option, and the applicant will still be required to comply with the ongoing requirements for a long-term and lawful stay in the country before he or she can be awarded a residence card. The proper renewal of the visa is also needed during this time.
What are the conditions for creating a company under a business visa in France?
The following conditions apply to investors who wish to apply for a visa that allows them to create a new business or take control of an existing one:
- invest at least EUR 30,000 in the business, for those who are self-employed or engage in a liberal profession;
- provide a comprehensive business project; in some cases, certain types of acquisitions can be regarded as business creation projects;
- create a commercial, industrial or artisanal company; observe the rules that apply to these types of business under French law;
- have a relevant degree (master’s degree or at least five years of professional experience to a comparable level to the master’s degree).
The visa-specific documents will include those related to the nature of the business, the business plan, proof of sufficient investment, as well as personal documents that attest to the individual’s qualifications.
The French startup visa will mention the fact that it was issued for a business creator.
The visa holder will need to apply for the multi-year residence permit within two months of his or her arrival in France.
It is recommended to apply in time for a French startup visa and join the specific programs if you are a citizen from non-EU countries.
Some visa solicitations might prolong for a couple of months, so besides applying in time, you should also request legal advice from a French immigration lawyer. We can also provide details about the general residence permit in France.
Investors who apply for a business visa in France intended not for incorporation purposes but for making a direct economic investment are subject to the following requirements:
- the investment will allow for a lasting interest in the receiving company in the form of investment in social capital, reinvested earnings, or inter-affiliate loans;
- the visa will mention the fact that it was issued for an investor (investisseur économique);
- if the holder will remain in France for less than 12 months, he will only receive a visa that will include the information passeport talent (and no other additional information)
- the applicant will need to provide documentation for the investment and details about the lasting interest in the beneficiary companies.
Apart from creating a new business or investing in an existing one, foreign entrepreneurs can also engage in an innovative project recognized by a public body.
Do I need to relocate to France when applying for a France Investor Visa?
Yes, one of the important conditions that refer to foreign citizens and investments in France is to relocate to this country.
The business visa in France is quite successful among foreign entrepreneurs who can also invest in already registered startups in France. In matters of residence, the permanent one is normally gained after 5 years of living in France. More than that, foreign investors have the possibility of investing the profits in other companies and diversifying the portfolio.
What are the advantages of the French Talent Passport?
There are many benefits that come with a French investor visa and among these, the possibility of joining the investment alongside the family members, free access to the healthcare system and education, free movement to French overseas territories, no restrictions for traveling to the Schengen countries, and the possibility of gaining permanent residence and French citizenship after living for at least 5 years in France.
One of our French immigration attorneys will explain to you more about the France investor visa and the conditions involved.
Other relevant eligibility criteria for French startup visa
Besides investing EUR 30,000 in an already registered company or creating a new one, a solid business plan is required, plus the obligation of holding at least 10% shares in the company.
We remind that the French authorities have the right to verify the criminal record of foreign investors and also the source of funds meant for investments in France. In addition to these, the entrepreneur will have to create new jobs for French citizens in no more than 4 years. All the details involved can be explained by our French immigration lawyers.
Entrepreneurs who already have a qualifying business in France and wish to remain in the country can contact us for details on the French citizenship application and the conditions.
How long does it take to obtain a French investor visa?
The processing time for an investor visa usually does not exceed 45 days, and in most cases will depend on the documents provided.
The visa application process starts with the French Embassy or Consulate of the city and country you live in, with the complete support of our team of immigration lawyers in France. As for the validity of the investor visa, this is issued for 4 years, with the possibility of renewing it before it expires.
The visa application process is not complex, but it is best to ask for legal advice and assistance in this matter. You can also read the following facts and figures about the French business and economy, to understand why numerous foreign investors choose France for development and profits:
- Most foreign companies are found in the Paris region.
- Approximately USD 825,000 million was the total FDI registered in France in 2018.
- The World Bank ranks France 32rd out of 190 economies in the world, as revealed by the 2020 Doing Business report.
- 698 was the number of greenfield investments registered in 2018 in France.
Foreign entrepreneurs interested in French investor visas can contact our team of immigration lawyers in France and solicit legal advice.
We can also provide details for those who do not qualify for this particular scheme and are still interested in obtaining a residence permit in France.