France launches French Tech Visa / lures tech talent

France wants you to pack your bags and say “Bonjour” to doing your tech business startup in France. If selected, you will get a 4 year work visa and can bring your spouse with you to live and work in one of the 41 French incubators. Visa could also be renewed on 4 year term basis. La French Tech is an initiative by the French Government to support the French Startup Ecosystem. Please note that citizen from European Economic Area and Switzerland do not need such a visa . 

However France and EU are not without their problems. France with its high taxes, and low entrepreneurship rates is trying to reinvent itself by luring fresh tech minds from other countries with French Tech Visa. The country where even French businessmen went out into the streets not so long ago, shouting “enough is enough” into megaphones — an expression of their frustration with the layers of regulations and government’s anti-business stance.

By creating this program, France is moving in the right direction, but at the end of day Europe and France in particular needs to become more competitive in global markets. That can be achieved only by various policy changes, such as keeping top tax rates at sensible levels and regulatory reforms that would give companies more freedom to manage their businesses as they see fit, including, when necessary, closing plants and reducing head counts. That is the only viable path to sustainable growth and, ultimately, more jobs.

Whatever you do however, keep in mind no after-work e-mails are allowed as the French government has recently ordered to ignore the boss’s emails after 6pm.  Also do not forget that in France the work week is 35 hours a week. Time to be more efficient.

La French Tech was created by French Ministry for the Economy and Finance, in partnership with the Direction Générale des Entreprises, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, the Commissariat général à l’Investissment, Bpifrance, Business France, and Caisse des Dêpôts et Consigation.

The way the visa works is described below: 

  • Validity: Four years, on a renewable basis.
  • Family: “Talent Passport – Family” residence permit granted to spouse of the main applicant, guaranteeing identical family treatment and automatic labor market access (as an employee, business founder, etc.).
  • No work permit is required for any work performed as an employee.
  • Upon certain conditions, a fast-track procedure will be provided.

How do you get this visa?

Apply to the French Tech Ticket Program*

The French Tech Ticket is a 12-month seed accelerator program designed for international entrepreneurs willing to create their startup in France. More than just a startup visa, this 12-month program offers end to end support on the journey of 70 international startups, from early stage start-up to successful business – from financial support and training to first customer acquisition. *winners will benefit from a fast-track procedure

Apply to Start-Up Accelerators & Competitions* La French Tech will soon be partnering with French Accelerators and Start-Up Competitions. This partnership will provide accelerator and competition participants exclusive support to the French Tech Visa application process. *winners will benefit from a fast-track procedure

Apply to the French Tech Visa for Founders

Contact your local French Consulate or the local “Prefecture” (if you already reside in France) and follow the general procedure to apply for a “Passeport Talent”.

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