If you’re hoping to work, start a business, or work as a freelancer in France, then the Talent Passport or ‘Passeport Talent’might be the visa for you. Valid for four years, it has a host of benefits, including the possibility to bring your family with you to France. Here’s what you need to know.
What is a ‘Talent Passport’?
France’s Talent Passport was introduced in 2016 with the aim to attract more foreign creators, innovators and entrepreneurs to move to France and make it easier for them to do so. The Talent Passport is a multi-year residence card that skips the step of a long-stay visa and allows recipients to live, work or set up a business in France, as well as to bring their family with them.
The passeport talent has a number of benefits, most notably:
- It’s valid for up to four years: after applying for the Talent Passport, successful applicants will receive a four-year residence card on arrival in France. This eliminates the hassle, cost, and paperwork of applying for a long-stay visa and carte de séjour, followed by annual renewals.
- It’s renewable: your four-year residence card is also renewable, making this one of the easiest paths to seeking permanent residency in France.
- It allows you to work or set up a business in France: the Talent Passport serves as a work permit enabling you to seek employment, work as a freelancer, or set up a business in a similar way to any French or EU citizen in France. In most instances, you do not need an employment contract or job waiting for you.
- It allows you to bring your family: the Talent Passport is one of few French visas that allow you to bring your spouse and children with you for the entire duration. Even more significant is that family members over 18 will also be granted a multi-year residence permit allowing them to seek employment during their stay in France.
Who Is Eligible for a Talent Passport in France?
The passeport talent programme is open to all non-EU citizens (excluding Algerian citizens and citizens of overseas territories French Polynesia, New Caledonia, and Wallis and Futuna) who demonstrate a high level of creative, academic, or business skills, or who have a proven reputation or expertise in their professional field,be that scientific, literary, artistic, intellectual, educational, or sporting.
Eligibility requirements vary depending on the nature of your skill or profession, and you may require a certain level of education (for example, a Master’s degree or above), proof of sufficient income (as an artist or freelancer), a business plan, or a job contract depending on the type of Talent Passport you are applying for.
Here’s a breakdown of who can apply:
Qualified or highly qualified paid employees
This option is for employees who have been hired by a French company to work or carry out research. This applies to:
- ‘Young innovative companies’ – see the definition (in French) of that here. You will need to prove an annual income of at least two times the French minimum legal wage for a full-time worker.
- A company belonging to the same international group as your current employer. You will need to prove an annual income of at least 1.8 times the French minimum legal wage for a full-time worker.
- A public or private research institute or higher education organisation. You will need to prove qualifications to a Master’s level or more.
- Highly qualified employers. You will need to prove an annual income of at least 1.5 times the French minimum legal wage for a full-time worker.
Self-Employed or ‘liberal profession’*
This option is for freelancers, investors, and entrepreneurs looking to start or run a business in France. This applies to those who plan to:
- Create a business or take one over. You must prove you have ‘a real and serious business creation project in France’, including a minimum investment of €30,000 and either a master’s degree or five years’ experience in the field.
- Make a direct economic investment. You must prove an equity investment of over 10% that provides you with a lasting interest in the recipient company.
- Engage in an innovative economic project recognised by a public body. You must justify an innovative economic project that you want to develop in France.
- Take up a corporate appointment at a French company. You will need to prove an annual income of at least three times the French minimum legal wage for a full-time worker.
*‘Liberal’ professions in France include a wide range of freelance professions, including writers, editors, physiotherapists, dieticians, lawyers, doctors, accountants, athletes, and many online professions – see the full list here.
Individuals with a national or international reputation
This option is for workers, freelancers, and entrepreneurs looking to engage in an activity in France in the domains of science, literature, the arts, academia, education or sports.
You must prove ‘Your reputation in your domain and your recognition in this professional environment’, as well as sufficient income or funds (the equivalent of the minimum legal wage in France for a full-time worker) to cover your stay.
Performer or creator of literary or artistic work
This option is for performers or creators that wish to carry out their activity in France on an employed or self-employed basis. You may need to show contracts or details of the project, and you will also need to prove sufficient funds based on 70% of the minimum legal wage in France for a full-time worker to cover your stay.
Read more about the different types of passeport talent available on the France Visas website here. You can also see breakdowns of some of the different requirements for businesses, graduates, and investors on the French government site here.
How to Apply for a French Talent Passport
You can start the application for a French Talent Passport online here, and the process is the same as for all other long-stay visa applications. Expect to be asked for a considerable amount of paperwork in addition to those required for a standard visa application. The exact documents required will depend upon the nature of your application, but you should be prepared to provide evidence of your qualifications, work contracts or experience, financial records, sufficient funds, and a solid and financially viable business plan.
What Other Options Do I Have Aside from the Talent Passport?
Moving to France?
From applying for your visa and opening a French bank account, to integrating in your new community – FrenchEntrée is here to help! Let our Essential Reading and Visa & Residency articles guide you through the whole process, then visit our Owning Property, French Tax, Healthcare, and Life in France zones for everything else you need to know.
Disclaimer: Our Essential Reading articles are designed to give an overview of the visa requirements and procedures for moving to France. We always check our information against the official government information made available to the public, however, please remember that all visa applications are considered on an individual basis and the exact requirements, fees, or application procedure may vary. Unless you are an EU citizen, obtaining a French visa is not a right, and we cannot guarantee that your visa will be approved.
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