Passport Talent France: Requirements and Application For Canadians

Canadian professionals may be eligible to work in France under one of the Temporary Passport residential permissions which is valid for 4 years. Candidates will need to show evidence of qualifications, an employment opportunity, and adequate salary, among others.

If you are planning to hire a Canadian employee or wish to come to France to start a business and would like support with the application process you can call us today at +1 844 290 6312. Our team of immigration specialists will be happy to support you at any step of your journey.

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    Understanding the French Talent Passport

    The French Talent Passport is an immigration programme designed to boost the French economy. It is available to highly skilled workers or those who can make a positive contribution to the French market by either providing services, innovation or creating employment opportunities and in exchange offers the right to live in the country and to benefit from services such as the healthcare system.

    It is a multi-year residence permit (‘titre de séjour pluriannuelle’), meaning that it is valid for 4 years at a time. If the worker continues to meet the eligibility requirements after that, a Talent Passport residence permit is usually renewable and can offer a path toward permanent residence in France.

    While there are different requirements for the various sub-categories of this permission, eligible candidates will usually need to show evidence of higher-level education at Master’s degree level or relevant professional experience, as well as details of a suitable employment opportunity which meets minimum income requirements.

    One of the appeals of this permission is that immediate family members of a primary Talent Passport holder may be eligible to apply for a family-based visa accompanying Talent Passport which will permit them to join the worker in France. Additionally, employers of individuals who have been granted a Talent Passport will not need to apply for a special work authorization.

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    Available Talent Passports

    There are several different Talent Passports that cater to various professional circumstances and involve different eligibility requirements.

    Talent Passports might be offered to:

    • Qualified employees
    • Highly skilled workers
    • Recruits of an innovative company
    • Employees on assignment
    • Researchers
    • Company founders
    • Innovative Start-up founders
    • Investors
    • Social agents
    • Artists and those with cultural professions
    • People of international renown

    Talent Passport for Qualified Employees

    The Talent Passport for Qualified Employees is available to workers who have earned a Master’s level or another diploma with a comparable level at an institution of higher education. Also recognized are a professional license or a specialized Master’s or a Master of Science.

    A qualified employee must have a fixed-term or permanent employment contract in France with a minimum duration of 3 months. Additionally, there must be proof that their annual salary in this position is at least double the annual minimum wage (SMIC), which means €41,933 (May 2023).

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      Talent Passport for Highly Skilled Workers

      The Talent Passport for highly skilled workers is also called the ‘carte bleue européenne’ or EU Blue Card. It is available to foreign employees who have a diploma with at least 3 years in higher education. Alternatively, 5 years of relevant professional experience might also be accepted.

      When applying for this permission, employees must hold an employment contract of at least 1 year with a gross annual salary of €53,836.50 or higher.

      Notably, this permission is also available to individuals who have spent 18 months or more in another part of the European economic area on a European Blue Card. In this case, applications must be filed within one month of arrival in France.

      Talent Passport for Recruits of an Innovative Company

      Employees who have been recruited by an innovative economic project or start-up company in France may apply for this Talent Passport. The recruiting company must be recognized by the Ministry of Economy and offer a meaningful contribution to the market in terms of innovation.

      The position for which the employee has been recruited must have a direct impact or connection to the research and development of the start-up to be eligible for this permission.

      Additionally, the employment contract must guarantee a salary of at least €41,933 per year.

      Talent Passport for Employees on Assignment

      Employees of an established foreign company may come to France under this permission to undertake a set assignment. This must fall under a mobility agreement between overseas branches of the same company or intra-group mobility, meaning that the assignment is carried out between companies belonging to the same group.

      Candidates must have been with their company for at least 3 months to qualify and will need an employment contract with the French company where they are due to carry out their assignment. Additionally, this assignment must pay at least €37,739.52 per year.

      Talent Passport for Researchers

      Researchers who have a hosting agreement to come to France for research or a higher education mission may be eligible for this permission. Applicants will need to hold a signed hosting agreement with a recognized public body or private organization that states the intended purpose and duration of their time in France.

      Eligible candidates must hold a higher education degree of at least Master’s level or equivalent.

      Should the hosting agreement be part of a wider effort including other EU countries, this will need to be added to the residence card application, granting a Talent Passport for researchers on a mobility programme.

      Talent Passport for New Businesses Founders

      If you are applying as a company founder who wishes to come to France to pursue a business creation project, this Talent Passport is the best option (providing that the proposed business does not qualify as an innovative start-up).

      Eligible candidates must show a certification that their business plan has been deemed to be of a real and serious nature that is economically viable. This may be applied for online on the ‘démarches-simplifiées’ (simplified procedures) website.

      Alternatively, candidates may also qualify after investing in an existing business at a level that results in a take-over and a virtually new company

      Finally, evidence of a higher education degree at Master’s level or equivalent professional experience is also required.

      Talent Passport for Innovative Business Founders

      This permission, also called ‘Passeport talent: Porteur de projet innovant’ is available to individuals who plan to start an innovative development project or start-up in France. To qualify, the business plan will need to have been recognized by a suitable French public-sector body, authorizing its innovative status. This might include those involved in the French Tech sector.

      Beyond approved business plans and recognition, candidates will also need to prove access to financial means equal to or over the annual minimum wage (SMIC) of €20,966.40 (May 2023).

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        Talent Passport for Economic Investment

        Investment is another opportunity to become involved with the French economy. It requires direct economic investment of tangible or intangible assets equating to a minimum of €300,000. The investor is to make this investment through a company either personally run or owned by at least 30% of capital.

        There is an expectation for investors to boost the French economy and to save or create eligible full-time work opportunities in the country within 4 years of coming to France under this scheme.

        Talent Passports for Corporate Representatives

        The Tallent Passport for Corporate Representatives, sometimes translated to social agents, is available to legal representatives of a French business.

        Candidates must have been employees, associates, or representatives in a partnered business for at least 3 months before filing this application.

        Additionally, this position must guarantee a gross annual salary of €62,899.20 or more.

        Talent Passport for Artists and Cultural Professions

        Artists, performers, authors, or professionals in other cultural sectors may apply for this Talent Passport to come to France and carry out their profession on an employed or self-employed basis.

        Employed

        Artists and performers who are applying for this permission under structured employment will need to provide evidence thereof during their application.

        This includes providing proof of income where at least 51% come from this employment and amounts to at least €1,223.04 per month on a full-time basis covering the duration of their stay in France.

        Additionally, applicants must file CERFA Form 15617 which has to be completed by the employer and provide evidence that the employment involves a total duration of at least 3 months over a 12-month period.

        Self-Employed

        Self-employed persons who are artists, performers, or cultural professionals will need to meet the same income requirements as employed individuals, amounting to at least €1,223.04 per month, of which 51% or more must come from the artistic venture.

        Instead of proof of employment, self-employed artists will instead need to show proof of intellectual property and ownership or authorship of the literary or artistic work.

        Additionally, they will need to provide documentation detailing the purpose of their stay in France, including the intended duration.

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          Talent Passport for Internationally Renowned Individuals

          Individuals who have established a national or international reputation may be eligible to apply for this Talent Passport if they are planning to come to France to practice an activity in any of the following fields:

          • Art
          • Literature
          • Science
          • Education or other intellectual activities
          • Athletics

          When applying, renowned individuals will need to provide proof of their reputation. While this might look very different depending on their field of expertise, it might include prices, accreditations, or diplomas, notices of recognition by peers, or participation in festivals and events.

          Additionally, candidates will need to show proof of sufficient financial means equal to or above the national minimum wage (SMIC) of €20,966.40 (May 2023).

          Applications will also need to establish the details, purpose, and duration of the planned activities in France.

          Supporting Documents

          Applicants will need to provide personal information and relevant documents when applying for a Talent Passport. The purpose is to show that the candidate meets all eligible requirements and has a right to apply for the selected permission.

          While the exact list of required evidence may vary depending on the professional’s situation and application path, the following documents are generally required:

          • Valid Passport or accepted alternative form of identification including a photograph
          • Details of current residential status (long-stay ‘talent passport’ visa, VLS-TS, or current residence permit)
          • 3 passport-style photos (may be submitted digitally via e-photo code)
          • Proof of address (must be dated within last 3 months)
          • Receipt for tax stamps (paid fees)
          • Evidence of relevant qualifications or experience
          • Employer attestation and employment details (if applicable)
          • Certified business plan and accompanying documentation (if applicable)
          • Any other documents supporting the applicant’s circumstances

          It is important to remember that documents that aren’t originally in French might need to be accompanied by certified translations.

          Application Fees

          Overview

          If you are employing a worker who needs to apply for residential permission in France, you may elect to cover the costs for their residence card or visa.

          The different French Talent Passports usually require the same fee of €225 to be paid to the French Office for Emigration and Integration (OFII), which includes €200 in tax as well as the €25 stamp duty fee.

          Individuals who require an initial long-stay visa to enter France will need to pay €99.

          Renewal of a Talent Passport residential permission costs another €225, while a talent passport for an eligible family member also costs €225.

          How to Pay

          Payments in France are made through tax stamps (timbres fiscaux), which may either be purchased online or at selected tobacconist’s offices (bureaux de tabac).

          Online payments can be made via the dedicated form on the ‘timbres impots’ website. When paying for a Talent Passport, you will need to select the ‘Titre pour étrangers’ option and enter the required amount.

          Most valid debit or credit cards will be accepted, with the exception of American Express.

          After paying, the electronic stamp may be issued as a PDF with a scannable 2D code or as a SMS with your 16-digit stamp identification number. This will need to be provided when collecting the residence card.

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            Application Process

            Overview

            Applications for a Talent Passport residential permission must be filed with your local prefecture or sub-prefecture in France. You should keep in mind that while Canadian citizens are permitted to enter France and stay for a period of up to 90 days (3 months) without a visa, this might not apply to Canadian residents with a different nationality.

            In general, required individuals will need to file their visa application with their local French consular authorities. This visa is usually issued with a validity period of 12 months.

            Applying In France

            Once in France, the application for the Talent Passport can be filed by requesting a change of status from the relevant prefecture. This can be done online on the dedicated ‘foreigners in France’ administration website.

            Applicants will need to register an online account from which they will be able to follow the status of their application and provide any additional information, if required.

            Once the Talent Passport has been approved, the residential card can be collected from the local prefecture with which the application was filed. This is when evidence of the paid tax stamps will be required.

            Timeline

            For required individuals, applications for a long-stay visa will need to be filed 3 months before the planned arrival date in France.

            Applications for the Talent Passport must be filed within 2 months of entry into the country.

            When requesting a change of status, this must be done at least 2 months and up to 4 months before the previous status expires.

            Processing times for residential permissions vary but will usually take between 45 and 60 days. Failing to provide all the required documentation may result in significant delays.

            Renewal

            Residential Permissions with the Talent Passport denomination are usually issued with a validity period of 4 years after which they may be renewed.

            When renewing, the application must be filed between 4 and 2 months before the current permission expires. Failure to do so may incur an additional charge or refusal.

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              Talent Passport for Family Members

              Family members of individuals who have been granted a Talent Passport residential permission may apply for a family-based Talent Passport (‘famille accompagnante’). This includes spouses and dependent children.

              The family-based Talent Passport will be valid for as long as the primary permission holder’s Talent Passport is valid.

              Family members joining the primary permit holder this way will be able to seek education or paid employment.

              Important Considerations for Employers

              Employers of foreign nationals will need to make sure that their workers maintain the appropriate permissions to live and work in France. Failure to carry out the appropriate checks may incur a fine of up to €15,000 and further repercussions under French law.

              Additionally, employees who come to France under a Talent Passport should be signed up for public health insurance by their company once they have been in the country for 3 months.

              Alternative Options for Ineligible Employees

              If an employee is not eligible for a French Talent Passport residential permission may still be eligible to come and work in the country by applying for one of the available work visas.

              Options include the long-stay visa for employees (‘VLS-TS salarie’) for workers whose work contract exceeds one year, or the temporary worker visa (‘VLS-TS travailleur temporaire’) for workers whose work contract covers 3 months to a year. While only valid for 1 year at a time the VLS-TS may be renewable when the long-stay visa expires.

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                Total Law Can Help You

                Whether you are considering a Talent Passport for yourself or are planning to employ a foreign worker, it is important to understand the different eligibility requirements and application procedures to facilitate a smooth start to a professional life in France.

                Our experienced team at Total Law specializes in navigating French immigration law and will be happy to help you navigate the immigration process. You can call us at +1 844 290 6312 to receive immediate support.

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                          Related pages for your continued reading.

                          FAQ

                          Should the prefecture consider rejecting a residential permission application that otherwise meets eligibility requirements, it will go before the Residence Permit Commission. Applicants will be informed within 15 days of the hearing and have a right to represent themselves or seek support from a legal representative. You should keep in mind that the prefect may still decide to refuse your application, even if the council is in your favour.

                          While the initial Talent Passport is usually issued with a valid period of 4 years, it offers steps towards long-term and permanent residence in France. After 5 years of continuous residence in the country, individuals may be eligible to apply for a 10-year residence card after which permanent residence may be offered.