France is one of Europe’s most favorable countries for business and investment. According to surveys organized by government news channels, 87% of managers consider the state reliable and promising for investment, and 82% of foreign companies based in France, noted a consistently positive balance from the activities. France has maintained second place in the ranking of planned investment targets, not only because of its strong and resilient economy, but also because of the special reforms encouraging foreigners to invest more and more.
For example, even in the economically difficult year of 2020, French startups attracted an amount of 5.4 billion euros through the La French Tech program. The Tech Visa focuses on engaging foreign talent and investors to build a successful ecosystem of high-tech businesses. The program is aimed at citizens and residents of non-EU countries, including the UAE. Talented entrepreneurs get the opportunity to create and develop a new business in an economically stable European community while being granted residence in the country.
French Tech Visa in details
The French Tech Visa is for entrepreneurs and investors from countries that do not belong to the European Union. Applicants from the UAE get the opportunity to become residents in the territory of the state under a simplified procedure. The program is based on the Passeport Talent residence permit, the provisions for which in the law “On Foreigners” came into force after 2016. This residence permit aims to make relocation for IT professionals easier and clearer, to attract foreign talents (whether entrepreneurs, employees or investors) to France, and to facilitate their assimilation in the ecosystem of modern technology startups.
When participating in the program, it is important to know the current requirements of French law. The French Tech Visa and residence permit process involves going through several steps, each of which can result in a negative response from government services. International World’s experienced lawyers can help minimize the risk of rejection and make the immigration process easy. Immigration specialists take into account all the nuances when compiling the package of documents, advise and accompany the applicant throughout the process.
Who the program is suitable for:
- Founders of technology companies in France with funds starting from 19,237 EUR as of January 1, 2022;
- Employees of companies who have a work permit under the French Tech Visa (the salary of the applicant must be double or more than the minimum French salary (38,475 EUR per year as of January 1, 2022);
- investors who have invested EUR 300,000 or more in tangible or intangible assets.
The fulfillment of the conditions for the French Tech Visa becomes the basis for obtaining the French Talent Passport for 4 years, renewable.
To take advantage of the fast-track procedure for acquiring residence, you must be approved by Mission French Tech. The requirements for this are outlined in the table below for each category of applicant.
|The founder:||The employee:||The investor:|
The company must be registered in France and have a SIRET code (a 14-digit code assigned to all French firms).
In order to open a technical visa for employees, the institution is required to meet one of the conditions:
- the status of a Young Innovative Enterprise (in this case, the state provides tax benefits);
- targeted state financing;
- support of French or foreign venture capital.
The advantages of French Tech Visa
The French technical visa has the following advantages for residents of the UAE and other non-EU states:
Immigration with family
The applicant’s relatives – spouse, minor dependent children – are eligible for the simplified residence acquisition scheme together with the applicant. Relatives of the applicant, who together with him acquired a residence permit, can be officially employed in France (upon reaching the age of majority), and children – to receive public education.
Duration of stay
With a residence permit obtained on the basis of a technical visa, you can stay in the country for up to 4 years, with the right to extend it after its expiry.
Minimum requirements for applicant
For example, investors who have deposited an amount of EUR 300,0000 or more do not need to have or present a diploma.
The services of French and European banks
Ability to quickly open accounts, the right to loans and mortgages on an equal footing with locals.
French residence entitles you to travel freely to all EU and Schengen countries.
Opportunities to promote business in a favorable European environment and access to foreign markets – France has agreements with other jurisdictions for simplified taxation.
Medical care access
Getting insurance and receiving medical services under the same conditions as French citizens.
The prospect after 5 years of residency to obtain permanent residency, which will be the basis for the subsequent acquisition of citizenship.
Are there risks of rejection
The program is focused as much as possible on attracting valuable qualified personnel and competent investors to the technological sector of the economy. There are a number of requirements that must be met in order to obtain a positive result. Reasons for refusal of a French Tech Visa may include:
- mismatch with the terms of the program for the founder, company employee, or investor;
- insufficient level of financial resources;
- inaccurate or false information in documents.
In general, it is not difficult to obtain a residence permit through the French Tech Visa. The main thing is to carefully study the requirements for each category of applicants available to the program, comply with them and correctly fill out the documents, collect the dossier according to established standards. In order not to take risks, it is better to rely on experts in these matters.
The procedure is as easy as possible
The process of acquiring residence status in France through a technical visa is simplified compared to other ways of moving and legalization. It should be started 3 months before the desired time of arrival in the country. The main stage concerns obtaining approval from La French Tech, which is essentially a guarantee of subsequent successful residency.
Steps in the process of obtaining a residence permit in France through the French Tech Visa:
1. Submitting a request to La French Tech
The applicant registers on the association’s official platform and fills out an application form. It is important to submit as complete, truthful information as possible on the application form. False data in the declaration can be a reason for rejection. Processing of the application takes 2 to 5 days.
2. Getting a visa
After a positive response from La French Tech, the applicant submits a request for a visa permit to enter France. The applicant will need to provide the consulate, embassy or visa center with an invitation from the startup association, a completed application form, a passport, two photos, and proof of financial security. You must pay a fee of 99 EUR at the time of application.
3. Registration of residence permit
After arriving in France, the applicant must go to the prefecture of residence and apply for a residence permit Talent Passport. A residence permit is a plastic card with a validity period of up to 4 years. For its registration is necessary to pay 200 EUR, as well as 25 EUR stamp duty. Extension of the residence permit requires proof of maintaining the conditions that were necessary for its opening, and providing documents of professional activity over the past 12 months.
Documents for a Temporary Resident Card:
- visa with the Talent Passport identification;
- valid passport;
- three 3,5×4,5 cm photos;
- proof of accommodation in the country (hotel reservation, rental agreement or title);
- receipt of payment of state fee;
- marriage certificate if the applicant is in a registered union;
- a letter of approval from La French Tech and other documents confirming the investment.
If the applicant already resides in France on another basis, but wants to invest and obtain a legal status under Talent Passport, they have to apply to the prefecture for a change of status. If all the criteria are met, the UAE resident will be able to obtain a Talent Passport residence card to replace the existing one. Note: the application must be registered before the expiry of the current residence permit, otherwise you will have to leave France and start all over again with the issuance of the visa.
The options for the applicant’s family
The family members of Passport Talent holder (spouses and minor children) can obtain a similar residence permit thanks to the status of accompanying relatives. It is possible to apply for a French residence permit at the same time as the principal applicant-investor or later, after the applicant has acquired residence.
The duration of the residence card of the relative will be equal to the duration of the residence permit of the spouse or parent. Family members of the Passport Talent holder are entitled to official employment in France. It is noteworthy that children under 18 years old do not need a card, enough travel document for minors (document de traffic pour étranger mineur). If the child turns 18 during their stay in France, it is necessary to apply for a residence permit during that year.
The procedure is similar to that of the investor themselves. While abroad, family members must obtain a long-term visa marked “Talent Passport” to enter and, upon arrival in France, obtain a temporary resident’s card from the prefecture. If family members are already living in the French State under another residence permit, a change of status can be requested at the same authority.
The costs for obtaining a residence permit include a visa with a fee of 99 EUR and a temporary residence card with a fee of 225 EUR for each accompanying family member.
Perspectives for permanent residence
Living in France on a residence permit “Passeport Talent” for 5 years allows the foreign applicant to obtain permanent residency status, which is the last step before acquiring citizenship. In order to acquire the Permanent Residence Permit, the applicant must maintain the conditions that served as the basis for the temporary residence permit. It is also necessary to prepare a statement of respect for the French State, a B1 language certificate, proof of residency, stable income, family status, no criminal record and no tax debts. If these requirements are met, a resident of the UAE, who founded a business in France, can get permanent residency and after 5 years to apply for citizenship.
In order to be eligible for permanent residence it is important to adhere to the rules of stay in the country – for 5 years, the applicant should not leave the country for more than 10 months in total.
French Tech Visa is an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs from the UAE in a simplified mode to obtain residency in France with the prospect of citizenship. In addition, the program provides favorable conditions for business development and profitable financial investments with a high return on investment.
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