What Is the Researcher-Talent Passport?
The France researcher-talent passport, also called “passeport talent chercheur” or scientist visa, permits you to study for a PhD and work on the assignment specified in your hosting agreement.
As a holder of this visa, you can conduct research or teach at any French university. It will let you stay in France for a maximum of four years, beginning on your first arrival in France.
This visa promotes higher education, cultural interchange and foreign job prospects for doctoral students, benefiting foreign researchers and the employers hiring them.
- What Is the Researcher-Talent Passport?
- Benefits of the Researcher-Talent Passport
- Required Qualifications for the Researchers and Scientists
- The Hosting Agreement for Researcher-Talent Passport
- The Application Process for the France Scientist Visa
- The Validity Period of the Scientist Visa France
- Renewing the Long-Stay Visa
- Employer’s Considerations and Roles When Hiring a Researcher
- How Total Law Can Help You?
- Frequently Asked Questions
For an Employer
You can benefit from foreign employees by obtaining access to experts and passionate researchers from the UK eager to contribute fresh thoughts and ideas to the office.
French universities that accept UK and other foreign nationals to study for their PhD also benefit from the students. Recent research has shown that international students help the French economy by contributing up to 5 billion euros.
The advantage of UK employers sending their researchers to France is that it will add value to their research and development project.
For a Researcher
Studying in France helps you learn the language and acquire cultural insight. The experience will give you an advantage when applying for foreign jobs and improve your CV.
Your dependents are welcome to join you and will be granted a ‘family talent passport’ with the same validity as yours. This permission allows your spouse and children over 18 to work.
You can travel freely inside the Schengen region for the first three months after entering France if you have a multi-entry “researcher-talent passport” VLS-TS valid for one year.
Some specific criteria and qualifications will make you a qualified employee. These criteria are:
- Your highest certificate should equal a master’s degree earned in France. A French higher education diploma is deemed equivalent to the standard of a British master’s degree.
- You should have a hosting agreement with an approved higher education or research institution in France.
- You should have evidence of a permanent or fixed-term employment contract with a French employer. The French employment contract should be over three months to a maximum of four years.
- Proof that your purpose of coming to France is to conduct research or to teach at a French university.
- Your position must closely relate to the company’s research and development initiative.
- Proof that you will be paid at least double the minimum legal wage for a full-time French worker. The French minimum wage is €41,933 as of May 1, 2023.
A qualified employee should have the following supporting documents during the application:
- Your UK passport within the last ten years for you and your dependents. The passport should have at least two blank pages and a validity period longer than the visa’s expiry date.
- Your identification photograph should be in line with France-visas specifications.
- Proof that you are a UK citizen.
- Your educational certificates.
- A hosting agreement.
- Birth certificates for yourself and any dependents who may accompany you.
- Your Marriage certificate is necessary even if you go without your spouse.
- Proof of French address, such as a lease agreement or utility bill (if asking for a residence permit.
A hosting agreement is an administrative contract that describes the type and duration of the research or doctoral students enrolled and their activities. It also specifies the beneficiary and host establishment, housing arrangements, and medical health insurance coverage.
If you benefit from a research scholarship with a total net monthly stipend greater than €1415, you can also request a hosting agreement.
Suppose you are a doctoral student in France working on a thesis (PhD programme or international joint thesis programme). Benefiting from a hosting agreement is possible if you work in France as part of your research (PhD contract, teaching assistantship)
Benefits of Hosting Agreement to the Researcher
The hosting agreement allows researchers to receive the following benefits:
- Prove your status as a scientist-researcher in France
- Authorise you to exercise higher education or research activities there
- Enables you to be eligible for the Passeport Talent Chercheur
- Details the duration of your stay, which is essential to obtaining a multi-year residency permit
As a French higher education establishment, you may only give a hosting agreement if the foreign researcher or PhD student has proof of sufficient income and an employment contract. The host institute can download it from the France-visas website.
Step 1:Receiving the Hosting Agreement
The first step is to apply for a hosting agreement with your host institute. When you receive it, sign it, and you must have it stamped by the French embassy in the UK at the time of visa application.
Step 2: Complete the Visa Application Form
Suppose you are a prospective PhD student or researcher from the UK. In that case, you must satisfy all the requirements of the French embassy and submit all official or supporting documents as requested.
You must establish a personal account with your email address at the France-visas site. Following this step, you will be given a list of needed documents and the option to schedule an appointment at the French visa application centre in the UK.
Step 3: Submit Your Application at the Visa Application Centre.
TLScontact receives applicants for French visa applications from the UK. They have centres in Edinburgh, London and Manchester. Book a visa appointment on the TLScontact website.
Submit your application form and biometric information to the visa application centre. You will pay the visa application fees, including the service fees.
You must pay 99 euros (€) or about 85.94 pounds sterling for applicable visa costs and 55 EUR for service fees. The visa cost is specified in EUR but payable solely in GBP. However, currency fluctuations may cause changes.
Step 4: Issuing the Visa and Processing Time
The Consulate General of France in London receives your application from TLScontact and handles it. You will be contacted if the French consular authorities need additional information.
Permits are processed within 15 to 45 days when you request a French scientist visa. During the waiting time, you can track your visa.
TLScontact will notify you once the visa is ready. Return to the visa application centre to pick up your passport, or use the Express Courier Return service.
If you still need help with the application process, we can help you apply for this Visa. Contact Total Law at +44 0333 305 9375
Less Than 12 Months
A one-year “researcher-talent passport” (VLS-TS) will be granted if you intend to stay within a year. To remain in France, you must validate your visa within three months.
The long-stay visa also serves as an entry visa and a work permit. It will exempt you from getting a residency permit during your first year in France.
More Than 12 Months
You initially hold a three-month “researcher-talent passport” visa for a stay of 12 months or more. You must apply for your multi-year residence permit at the Prefecture within two months of your arrival in France.
A multi-year residence permit “researcher” may then be granted for a term of up to four years, depending on the duration of the research activities to be carried out as described in the hosting agreement.
If you intend to remain in France for an additional year, when your France long-term scientist visa elapses, you can apply for a multi-year residency permit to stay in France.
You are to submit your visa request at your Prefecture of Residence. If you obtain a residence permit, it will be valid for the period of the hosting arrangement, which is up to four years.
This renewal costs 225 Euros, which comprises a stamp duty fee of 25 euros and tax of 200 euros.
Family members may renew their family talent passports to get a multi-year residence permit under the same conditions.
To renew the spouse’s residence permit, visit the prefecture where you live. To benefit from the status of “spouse and researcher family”, all Visa applications should be submitted simultaneously.
Assuming you have unfinished business in France exceeding the validity dates stated on your hosting agreement, contact the prefecture in your residence to renew your residence permit.
Employer’s Role in the Renewal/Extension Process
Only official documents or any document requested by the prefecture can be provided, such as the last three pay slips and any new permanent employment contract or amendments to existing agreements.
Employer's Considerations and Roles When Hiring a Researcher
This long-stay Visa serving as a work permit can only be valid for four years. Employers should prepare for a maximum work tenure of four years for a valid passport for each individual because the visa may not be renewed.
As an employer, the least you can pay a researcher is double the minimum wage in France. Ensure that you can afford that before hiring one.
The first role of the host institute is to send the hosting agreement to the researcher, who will sign it.
The research organisation in France also alerts the Ministry of the Interior, which is in charge of immigration concerns, about the researcher’s endeavour.
How Total Law Can Help You?
The researcher-talent passport in France provides a residence permit that allows growth and development for UK professionals, researchers, and prospective doctorate students.
The intricacies of acquiring a French scientist permit might be challenging, especially when verifying compliance with the precise requirements and compiling the relevant evidence.
Total Law excels in this area. Total Law provides critical help, drawing on in-depth knowledge of immigration matters.
Total Law’s experience extends beyond processing papers to laying the route for your dreams to take flight in a country that rewards brilliance. We promise to give individualised immigration assistance suited to your specific situation.
Please take advantage of the potential to succeed in France by contacting Total Law immediately at +44 0333 305 9375 or via our online contact form. Begin your path towards obtaining your researcher-talent passport and entering a new chapter in your career.
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Decisions to refuse a visa must be justifiable according to French law. You may be eligible to file an appeal in French. If you are, you must do this within 30 days of the decision before the Commission for Appeals against Visa Refusal. If your visa has been refused, it is recommended that you contact immigration lawyers to review your options. Total Law can help you with this. Call us at +44 0333 305 9375 for immediate support today.
Yes. You can. However, your hosting agreements must identify your participation in a mobility scheme. In that situation, you can apply for a “passport talent” residence permit with the word “mobility programme”.
Several French universities welcome transfer students or PhD students from the United Kingdom. However, rules and methods for transferring differ between schools. Competency in French may be necessary for some programmes.