The visa requirements, forms, and documents to enter, live, and work in France and varied and complicated. Contact IBN Solutions and we’ll assign a specialist in French visas, permits, and immigration to oversee your application.
We look at some of the requirements for specific visas below.
Talent Passport EU Blue Card
You can apply for one of these French visas if you have an employment offer or work contract with a French company for at least 12 months.
It can be a fixed term or a permanent employment contract.
You must earn a minimum gross annual salary of €53,836.50 (2022) or the minimum gross annual salary equivalent to the company’s collective bargaining agreement for the position and your experience (whichever is the higher amount).
You must have a three-year degree or five years of relevant professional experience.
Talent Passport Directors/CEO
You can apply for this French permit if you are already employed within the same company group and have at least three months’ service as an employee or company director.
You must receive a gross annual salary of at least € 57,712.20 (2022).
There are two types of ICT permits/visas
- Talent Passport Employee on Assignment (Passeport Talent Salarié en Mission) for intra-group transfers
You are transferred as an intra-corporate transfer to the affiliate in France. You are transferred to a local French employment contract, French payroll, and French social security.
You have at least three months’ employment within the group before applying.
The gross annual salary is a minimum of 34 627,32 € (2022) which must also meet the French entity’s collective bargaining agreement for the position and the employee’s years of experience, whichever is the highest of the two.
- ICT Detachment (Détachement ICT) for intra-group transfers on detachment/secondment
You are transferred on detachment/secondment to France. You remain on your home country’s employment contract. Whether French social security is required depends on whether there is a bilateral social security agreement.
You have at least six months’ employment within the group before applying.
The gross annual salary must meet the French entity’s collective bargaining agreement for the position and the employee’s years of experience.
Your employer must obtain a work permit on your behalf.
The following factors will be considered as part of the work permit application: Employment shortages in the profession and region in question. How well your skills and qualifications match the requirement of the proposed job. Your employer’s compliance with legislation governing employment and social protection and regulatory conditions governing the position in question. The conditions of employment and pay offered must be comparable to those granted to other company employees (or occupational sectors) in similar roles. You must receive at least the statutory national minimum wage (SMIC) (€19,237 for 2022).
French Tech Investor Investors must invest at least €300,000 and create or protect jobs within four years of the investment. Start-up founders must prove financial resources for the year (approximately €18,500), and the project must be recognised as innovative through the French Tech Visa partner incubator or accelerator selection process.
Employees employed by a company recognised for its innovative nature and earning a minimum annual salary of €36,946 may apply for the French Tech Visa. A company can apply for this recognition online if it fulfils one of the characteristics to determine the innovation level of a company.
Once the company is recognised as innovative, employees can apply for the French Tech Visa.
Long-Stay Visitor/Retiree Visa
You must submit a commitment not to work in France physically. Remote work is possible, provided it’s not linked to France or the European Union.
You have proof of available funds of a minimum of €15,000 – €18,000 per year (per person).
This income can come from a pension, annuities, dividends, rental income, savings, or remote working.
You have recognised health insurance covering the stay in France and the entire Schengen area.
You can prove you have accommodation in France.
Family and Partner Visas
Private and Family Life Visa – Vie privée et familiale (VPF)
Qualifying relationship terms and conditions Authorised to work in any capacity The duration of the residency permits is one year, then two years, then a 10-year residency permit. After four years of marriage, you can file for naturalisation par declaration. Immigration status will be based on a relationship. If married to a French national, the French administration will expect the application to be filed for an immigration status based on the marriage and not on a different status, such as employment. Should the relationship end, the person would have to change status.
Spouse of an EU National (Conjoint d’un citoyen européen)
Qualifying relationship terms and conditions Authorised to work in any capacity The duration of the residency permit is five years, with an option to renew. After five years in France, the partner can qualify for naturalisation or the 10-year card. Immigration status will be based on the relationship with an EU national. French administration will expect the application to be filed for an immigration status based on the marriage or PACS and not on a different status, such as employment. Should the relationship end, the spouse must change the status. Because the filing for this residency permit happens in France, there is likely a period between filing and receiving the immigration status. The applicant doesn’t have the right to travel abroad until the residency permit is obtained.
The student visa has the following conditions: Must have received a letter of enrollment at a French academic programme, including French language schools, if the course issues a diploma Must have first registered on the Campus France website, which is the means through which all French student visas are processed
Note: The visa length is determined by the length of the university/school programme.
Advantages: Allows the student to work 964 hours (40 full days – 80 half-days) during 12 months, the validity of the visa/permit (which is 60% of full time) in France. The visa is renewable in France should the studies continue after the initial period. After completing a Master’s degree in France, students can receive a post-graduation 12-month non-renewable residency permit (“RECE” Recherche d’Emploi/Création d’Entreprise) which authorises the student to work, without the limit of 964 hours, as an employee or entrepreneur (set up a company) Upon completing two years of higher studies in France, the student is on the fast track to French naturalisation, which is reduced from a five-year to a two-year residence.
Disadvantages: It is considered a temporary status for a 10-year card application; but is not regarded as temporary for the five-year residence required for a naturalisation application. Changing the status from student to employee/entrepreneur is a long process. Students are not authorised to work independently, for example, as an auto-entrepreneur.
Residency Permit Recherche d’emploi et Création d’emploi (RECE) (formally known as APS)
The requirements: Applicants must currently have a student or researcher “Chercheur” valid residency permit at the time of filing. Applicants must have obtained a diploma or attestation for having graduated (attestation de réussite) issued by the relevant school.
Advantages: 12 months of work authorisation, with no limitation on the maximum hours The work during that time can be outside your studies and with multiple employers. At the end of the 12 months, if students have a job offer in line with their studies in France and a gross salary of above €27,709, there is no requirement for the employer to justify a candidate market search for the change of status application to the employee.
Disadvantages: The permit is for one year and isn’t renewable
Investor/Own Business/Entrepreneur Visas/Permits
- Investors must invest directly, this may be personally or through a company they direct or hold at least 30% of the capital
- They must commit to creating or safeguarding employment within four years of investing in France
- The investment must be at least €300,000, made up of tangible or intangible fixed assets.
Talent Passport Investor
Under this category, a spouse and minor children may apply for the Talent Passport Family visa. Spouses are authorised to work on this visa. The duration of this permit category is generally four years and is renewable.
After five of living in France, investors can file for naturalisation to become a French citizen or for a 10-year permit.
After three months of living in France, investors can file for a French social security number and medical card with the CPAM.
The initial €300,000 investment must be transferred into a French bank account opened in the name of the French company. This can take some time if applicants are starting a new company.
The timeframe for setting up a new company in France can be lengthy, and document requirements can be extensive and complex. The investor must have at least 10% of the controlling interest in the company.
The consulate will thoroughly review the investment and the companies involved, which can take time.
Note: Processing can take six to twelve weeks from the date of filing at the French Consulate.
Talent Passport Company Creation
To be eligible for the Talent Passport visa, applicants must have a tertiary education qualification equivalent to a Master’s degree or five years of professional experience of a comparable level.
Applicants must be able to justify setting up a genuine company or business in France, whether commercial, artisanal, or industrial. They can work on clients’ sites under certain conditions.
They must also prove they’ve invested at least €30,000 in the business project. Funds must be deposited in the company’s French bank account.
Under this category, a spouse and minor children may apply for the Talent Passport Family visa. An advantage of this visa is that spouses are allowed to gain employment.
The visa is valid for four years and is renewable.
After living in France for five years, applicants can file for naturalisation to become a French citizen or for a 10-year permit.
After living in France for three months, they can file for a French social security number and medical card with the CPAM.
Note: The work must be relevant to the company and can’t be for a third party.
The business plan must be comprehensive enough to convince the Consulate and the Préfecture that the company project is viable.
The processing timeframe, from the date of filing at the French Consulate to issuing the visa, is estimated at six to twelve weeks.
Talent Passport Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs set up a micro-enterprise (individual commercial registration) and offer their services, generally as external consultants.
Applicants must provide a viable business project that justifies the creation of the enterprise. This includes having more than one major client. If this requirement isn’t met, the Prefecture/Consulate will determine non-compliance under French labour law, and the unique client in France should “hire” the applicant.
They must demonstrate that the minimum income will be above the French minimum wage of €18,000 annually.
They must prove their experience and knowledge in the relevant.
The visa authorises the applicant to work independently in France.
The initial permit is valid for one year, but you can renew it for four years if the Prefecture sees the project is financially successful (above €20,000 to €30,000 € annually). It’s possible to file for a 10-year card or French nationality eventually.
Note: The Entrepreneur/Profession Libérale visa is a highly discretionary application that depends on how the Consulate and Préfecture interpret the application file. A detailed business plan must show that the enterprise is financially viable.
The work can only be work associated with the Entrepreneur’s commercial activity. It doesn’t cover work for a third party).
Unfortunately, there is no accompanying family permit. Spouses can only apply for long-stay visitor visas that don’t allow them to work. However, they can apply under a separate category.
The processing time can be one to two months at the French Consulate. If filed at the Prefecture, it can take three to seven months.