French Tech Visa for Founders

Come launch your startup in France!

Are you eligible?

To be eligible for the French Tech Visa as a startup founder, you must have:

  • financial resources at least equal to the French annual minimum wage, €17,763.20 as of January 1st, 2017,
  • an economically innovative startup project that you plan to develop in France, 
  • approval by a French public organization called the Direccte (see below).

How to Apply

Step 1: 

Apply to one (or several) of the French Tech Visa partner incubators and accelerators.

Step 2:

If your startup is accepted by a partner incubator, your application will automatically be sent to the Direccte for certification as an innovative project.

Step 3:

Your incubator will send you an official letter from the Direccte attesting to the innovative nature of your startup. (Keep it in a safe place; you will need it for your long-stay visa application!)

Step 4:

Apply for your long-stay visa and residence permit. The procedure depends on whether or not you already live in France (see below).

If you live outside France:

  • In your home country
    You should apply for a long-stay visa and residence permit marked "Passeport Talent" ("Talent Passport") at the French Consulate in your usual place of residence no earlier than 3 months before the date of your arrival in France.
    The long-stay visa is attached to your passport authorizes you to enter France as a company director. The residence permit (which you will receive after your arrival) allows you to stay in France as a company director for 4 years.
    Find the relevant diplomatic or consular authority
    in your usual place of residence.

    You will need to provide several documents as part of your application. See below for information about these required documents.

If you already live in France:

If you already live in France under a different type of residence permit, you will need to apply at the Préfecture in your place of residence for a change of status. This procedure will convert your previous residence permit into a "Passeport Talent" residence permit, allowing you to stay in France as a company director for 4 years.

You must apply for the change of status two months before the previous residence permit expires.

You will need to provide several documents as part of your application. See below for information about the documents required.

You must meet the same eligibility criteria for the "passeport talent" (talent passport) as founders applying from outside France.

Further information can be found on Préfecture websites.



Required Documents

When you apply for your long-stay visa at the French Consulate (if you live outside of France) or a the Prefecture (if you already live in France), you will need to provide various documents to complete your application.

In addition to the required documents for a "passeport talent" (talent passport), you will need to provide the official letter sent to you by your incubator.

You can obtain a list of exactly which other documents are required for your application from French Consulate nearest you.

To give you an idea of the type of documents you will need, you can download this list of documents that must be submitted with an application for a ‘Talent Passport’ residence permit for a company director. This list is provided for indicative purposes only. Make sure you contact the consular, diplomatic or prefectural authority that will be handling your application to obtain a list of required documents appropriate to your personal circumstances.

Cost

The long-stay visa authorizing you to enter France costs €99 (payable at the French Consulate prior to your arrival in France).

Once you are in France, you must pay a tax of €250 to the French Immigration and Citizenship Office (Office français de l'immigration et de l'intégration – OFII). In addition to this tax, there is a stamp duty of €19. These payments are to be made when you pick up your residence permit at your Prefecture in France.


Total cost for the long-stay visa plus the residence permit: €368

Bringing Your Family to France?

There is simplified "accompanying family" procedure open to your spouse and dependent minor children.

  • Your spouse will be automatically granted the "Talent Passport – Family" residence permit, giving him/her the same authorization to live and work in France as you.
  • Dependent children under the age of 18 do NOT need a residence permit. However, an underage child travel document (‘document de circulation pour étranger mineur’ – DCEM) must be obtained at your local Prefecture after your arrival in France.
  • Children who enter France under the age of 18, but who turn 18 during their stay must apply for a "Talent Passport – Family" residence permit in the year they turn 18.

About

La French Tech is an initiative by the French Government to support the French startup Ecosystem both in France and internationally.

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