France Tech Visa For Canadians

Canadian businesses and employers who wish to start or invest in the French tech space can apply for a French tech visa, if they meet the eligibility requirements. It aims to attract innovative businesses and tech talent into the French tech ecosystem – and here, we explain how to apply.

Total Law are immigration specialists who work with businesses and entrepreneurs all over the world who wish to attract the top tech talent to the industry in France to support growth and development. Contact Total Law on +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online to discuss your needs.

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    What Is The French Tech Visa & Who Is It For

    The French Tech Visa is a simplified procedure designed to attract international talent in the tech sector to settle and work in France. Launched in 2017, it aims to boost France’s startup ecosystem so they can compete with other countries vying for skilled tech professionals.

    While attracting international talent benefits both the employer and France, there are costs for employers to consider. These can include the administrative fees that an innovative company may incur when they hire foreign talent and their new employee’s salaries.

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    The Types Of French Tech Visas

    There are currently three types of Tech Visas, these include:

    • French Tech Visa for Employees: This visa is available to those with an employment contract from a French start-up business recognised by the state as innovative
    • French Tech Visa for Founders: This visa is available to those who have founded or in the process of founding a French start-up business. They must be selected by partner incubators or accelerators and recognized by the French government
    • French Tech Visa for Investors: This visa is available for investors or those managing investment funds dedicated to the French tech sector who wish to open an office

    For each visa, successful applicants receive a 4-year renewable residence permit called the French Talent Passport. It offers benefits such as family inclusion and access to social security.

    For detailed information, please visit the official French government website for Canadians or connect with an immigration law firm like Total Law. Call our team at +1 844 290 6312 or message us online so we can help you secure a French visa and residence permit.

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      French Tech Visa Application Requirements For Employers

      In order to be able to hire tech talent from Canada and obtain a French Tech Visa for their new employees, the employer must fit specific eligibility criteria.

      The criteria for founders and investors differ slightly:

      Requirements for Founders

      If your business wants to set up a new branch in France, here are the documents you must submit to prove that your business is eligible for the tech visa:

      • Visa application form, obtained from the website of the Ministry of Interior
      • Visa fee payment receipt. Without the receipt of payment will not be processed
      • Canadian passport issued in the last 10 years and valid 3 months after your visa expires
      • 3 passport photographs and not be older than 3 months
      • Letter from an incubator or accelerator to prove that your business idea is viable
      • Letter from the French tech capital to prove your project is innovative
      • Bank statement showing you have at least €21,511.36 to start the project in France
      • If you want to move with your family, birth and marriage certificates are necessary

      Requirements for Investors

      You will need the following documents to prove your business is eligible:

      • Visa application form, obtained from the website of the Ministry of Interior
      • Visa fee payment receipt. Without the receipt of payment will not be processed
      • Canadian passport issued in the last 10 years and valid 3 months after your visa expires
      • 3 passport photographs and not be older than 3 months
      • Proof of business ownership that proves that you own at least 30%
      • Investment plan showing you intend to create tech jobs, and within 4-years
      • Evidence of investment or intentions of investing at least €300,000 in France
      • If you want to move with your family, birth and marriage certificates are necessary

      The French Tech Visa Application Requirements For Employees

      In order to get a French Tech Visa to work for an innovative company in the tech industry, the Canadian employee must meet the eligibility requirements. These include having a signed employment contract in place and valid for at least three months.

      They also include:

      • Having a role offered that includes an active participation in an R&D project or wider business development project for the company, including any active link with the economic, social, international and environmental contacts of the business
      • Having a role offered with a gross annual pay of at least twice the French statutory national minimum wage. As of January 2024, it is €42,406
      • Having private health insurance is recommended for an employee moving to France, especially during the first few months. It can take up to 6-months before they become eligible for public healthcare under the French social security system
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      Applying For A France Tech Visa

      Here are the steps to get a Tech visa in France:

      After confirming you meet the criteria, you’ll need to gather the required documents. These are required to apply for both the visa and the residence permit when you get to France.

      Step 1: Gather the documents

      The required documents include:

      • Employment contract
      • Salary proof
      • Company certificate
      • Diplomas, etc.

      Step 2: Complete an online application

      After gathering the key documents, go to the website of the French Ministry of Interior and complete the online long-stay visa application form.
      Once completed, you need to pay the application fee (around €99).

      3. Appointment at French Consulate

      The next step in the process is to schedule an appointment at your nearest French consulate or embassy in Canada.

      You will then be required to attend an appointment for your biometric data (fingerprints and photo).

      4. Decision and Visa Issuance

      French authorities typically issue a decision within 45 days.
      If approved, you’ll receive a long-stay visa (VLS-TS “Talent Passport”). Then after 5-years legal and uninterrupted residence in France you can apply for a permanent residence permit.

      Step 5: Apply for a Residence Permit

      Upon getting to France, you must register your residence permit at the website of the Ministry of Interior. Also, schedule your document submission at your prefecture or sub-prefecture in France.

      Failing to activate your residence permit in a timely manner may result in it becoming invalid. You could potentially face fines or worse, deportation from France.

      Step 6: Pay the Residence Permit Fee

      You’ll pay €200 to the Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration for residence permits. You’ll also need to pay €25 stamp duty.

      Processing Timeframes

      • Standard: Approximately 45 days
      • Fast-tracked option: 15 days

      Make the application process easier with the help of our specialist legal team. Contact Us

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        Extending / Renewing The French Tech Visa

        You can renew or extend the French tech visa. You must apply for an extension 3 months before your residence permit expires. You’ll need to show that you still meet the visa criteria.

        You’ll also need to show the prefecture how far you have gone with your start-up or investment in 4 years when trying to renew the visa.

        Renewals will still cost you €225.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        The expert immigration lawyers at Total Law can help you and your company navigate the intricate application process for the French Residence Permit Marked Talent Passport. It can be daunting, with many complex requirements and documents to supply.

        Working with the team at Total Law can help to streamline the process and give you the best chance of being approved for French visas and Residence Permits. We can assist you with:

        • Reviewing your business plans, and qualifications to determine eligibility
        • Advising one the ideal visa category (employee, founder, investor visa)
        • Compiling a strong visa application that highlights why you’re an innovative company
        • Ensuring all documents are properly prepared and translated, if necessary
        • Submitting your complete and accurate application on time
        • Providing updates on application status
        • Assisting with extending or renewing your tech visa

        We know the French Tech Visa application process inside-out and stay current on all French immigration regulations affecting applicants from Canada. Our specialized legal support gives you confidence at every step, while accelerating your visa approval.

        Contact Total Law today at +1 844 290 6312 for a free consultation to discuss your visa needs or message us online.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  For Canadians, it’s generally easier to get certain visas compared to other nationalities. Tourist and business visas are straightforward, while skilled worker and investment visas may require more documentation but they do offer smoother processing.

                  While permits such as the French Tech visa program is a slightly more complicated process. If you need help obtaining a visa like the Talent passport to enter France contact the experts at Total Law.

                  Yes, citizens of Canada have the privilege of traveling to France and many other European countries without needing a visa. They are allowed to stay in France for a period of 90 days within any 180 day timeframe. However, starting from the year 2025 Canadian citizens will need to register on their arrival in France using ETIAS.

                  Yes, Canadian citizens have the option to legally seek a 10 year Residence Permit in France once they have held a multi-year Residence Permit in France for a minimum of 4 years and as long as they continue to meet the requirements.

                  If you hold a valid Talent Passport Visa under “accompanying family” your spouse and any dependent unmarried children under 21 can join you in France. Spouses don’t need a separate visa, and can legally work in France. Their permit is valid as long as your permit remains valid.