What Is The Entrepreneur Visa France And Who Is It For?
The Entrepreneur visa is commonly used by non- EU nationals wishing to set up a business in France. It allows self-employed individuals or entrepreneurs to establish themselves in the French market.
If you have a business project which you wish to bring to France, this may be the right route for you.
The visa acts as a temporary residence permit. The permit generally allows the holder to remain in France for up to 12 months, although an extension may be possible once the residence permit expires.
In order to extend the visa, the visa holder must demonstrate that they continue to satisfy the visa’s eligibility conditions, for example that the company continues to be economically viable and continues to meet French safety standards.
- What Is The Entrepreneur Visa France And Who Is It For?
- French Entrepreneur Visa Requirements & Eligibility Criteria
- France Entrepreneur Visa Application Process
- What Documents Will I Require?
- How Much Does The Application Cost?
- Processing Time: How Long Will The Application Take?
- Renewing The Visa
- Bringing Family
- How Our Team Can Help You
- Frequently Asked Questions
French Entrepreneur Visa Requirements & Eligibility Criteria
In order to be eligible for the Entrepreneur visa, applicants must satisfy a number of conditions. These are as follows:
- The applicant must demonstrate the economic viability of their company. They will also need to demonstrate that they have the professional experience to realise their plans for the company
- If they are joining an existing company, they must demonstrate that they are able to pay themselves an income which is at least equal to the French minimum wage, which is around €20,000 as of 2023
- The applicant must demonstrate that the business meets the French standards of public safety and health and order
France Entrepreneur Visa Application Process
The application process for the Entrepreneur visa differs depending on whether or not the applicant already lives in France.
If the applicant does not yet live in France, they will need to apply for a long – stay visa (VLS -TS) which is marked ‘Entrepreneur/Independent professional’.
This visa type acts as the equivalent to a residence permit and allows the holder to lawfully live and work in France. When applying for this visa type, the applicant will need to apply to the French consulate or embassy in their country of residence.
If the application is successful, the applicant will then be granted a visa and will be able to legally enter France. Upon arriving in France, the visa will then need to be validated online, using the website ‘administration etrangers en france’. The visa should be validated within 3 months of arrival in France.
During the first year of their stay, they will not need to apply for a separate residence permit; the visa acts as both, assuming that it is approved by the Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration (OFII).
After their arrival, the visa holder will also be expected to attend a medical examination and/or a welcome visit.
For applicants who already live in France on a pre-existing residence permit, they must apply to the Prefecture (the local representative for the French government) for a change of status.
If their change of status application is successful, they will be given an ‘Entrepreneur/independent professional’ residence permit.
For applicants who do not already reside in France, the application process should be started within 3 months of the intended arrival date. For those who do currently reside in France, their application should be submitted within 2 months of their current residence permit’s expiry date.
What Documents Will I Require?
In order to apply for the French Entrepreneur visa, the following documents are required:
- Cerfa form (long – stay visa application form)
- A passport which will be valid for a least 3 months after the visa’s expiry date
- 3 passport photos which meet the French specifications
- A record of the applicant’s criminal history
- Evidence that the applicant has the ability to carry out the proposed business activity
If the applicant is starting a new business, they will also be expected to provide the following:
- Written presentation of the project
- A business plan
- An estimated budget which is multi – year in nature
- Evidence of the letter of guarantee from a French credit institution or insurance company, or proof of a credit account held by the applicant at a French credit institution
If the applicant is already in France and is applying for a change of status, they will need to provide the following:
- Either a long-stay visa which has the label ‘Talent passport’ or a residence permit which is currently valid
- Proof of address from within the last 6 months. This could include a bill, a recent tenancy agreement, or a hotel invoice, for example
- 3 passport photos which meet the French specifications
- Proof of payment of the residence permit tax and the stamp duty
- Medical certificate from the OFII
How Much Does The Application Cost?
There are a number of costs associated with this particular visa route.
The applicant will need to pay €200 in tax when they validate their visa online. This is paid to the OFII. There is also a €25 stamp duty fee for residence permits.
The cost of the long-stay visa itself is €99.
Applicants may also wish to pay for legal assistance in order to aid their application. Contact Total Law on +1 844 290 6312 to find out how we can help you make your own application as smooth as possible.
Processing Time: How Long Will The Application Take?
The processing time for the Entrepreneur visa generally takes from 1-2 months. Applicants should make sure to apply for the visa within 3 months of the date on which they intend to enter France.
Note that applications may take longer to process during periods when there is a higher number of applicants than usual, or where there is an issue with the application, such as if any of the supporting documents are missing. Applicants should make sure that they have all of the required documents and that they meet the eligibility criteria in order to maximise the speed of their application.
Renewing The Visa
It is sometimes also possible to renew the Entrepreneur visa. In order to renew the visa, the application should be submitted in the 2 months before the document expires.
The applicant will need to provide evidence that they still meet the conditions of the visa.
They will also need to demonstrate that the business is still economically viable and that their annual remuneration is still equivalent to French minimum wage.
When the permit holder has legally resided in France for 5 years, they may be able to apply for a residence card. A residence card allows the holder to live and work in France for any profession for which they are qualified. The card is valid for 10 years and can be renewed once the 10 years have passed.
This particular visa type does not allow for a fast-track family reunification, but the main applicant’s family members can apply independently for their own residence permits.
Alternatively, once the main applicant has lived in France for at least 18 months, they can apply for their spouse and children to join them via family reunification.
How Our Team Can Help You
The French Entrepreneur visa is a popular choice for individuals looking to set up businesses in France. Whether you are moving to France for the first time or are currently in France on a different residence permit, the Entrepreneur visa could be a good fit for you.
However, the application process is often complicated and involves numerous types of evidence. As such, many applicants choose to seek legal assistance with their application. At Total Law, our immigration experts can provide you with bespoke advice on your application. We offer a range of services, including helping you gather the necessary documents and to understand the eligibility criteria.
Contact Total Law today on +1 844 290 6312 to learn more about how our legal experts can help you with your own legal journey.
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If you are in France on a residence permit, it is possible to apply to the Prefecture for a change of status. However, you will need to prove that you satisfy the eligibility conditions for the new residence permit.
You should make sure to submit your change of status application within 2 – 3 months of your current residence permit’s expiry. This is to ensure that you leave sufficient time in which for your new permit to be processed.
Under the Entrepreneur visa, there is not a fast track route to family reunification. However, the immediate family members of the main applicant can apply for residence permits in their own right, or can join the main applicant via family reunification once the main applicant has lived in France for at least 18 months.
In this respect, the Entrepreneur visa differs from the Talent Passport residence permit, under which the applicant’s spouse and minor dependent children can join them immediately. However, under the Talent Passport route, all joining family members will still have to apply for their own visas and residence permits. There is a €99 fee for each additional visa.
If you intend to work in France as a freelancer, you will need to apply for a long-stay visa. This will be valid for up to 12 months and can be extended if you continue to meet the terms of the visa.
For foreign nationals looking to pursue freelance work in France, this option is a common choice.
For many foreign nationals looking to pursue business opportunities abroad, France is a common choice. The country offers a thriving economy and a diverse market. It has a rich culture, numerous areas of natural beauty, and a fascinating history.
Working in France allows foreign nationals to stay for longer than would otherwise be possible and to experience living in France as a local.
The ease with which you can obtain a French work visa will depend upon how well you can provide the supporting documents and whether or not you meet the eligibility criteria.
To make the process as smooth as possible, it is important to make sure you have all the necessary documents at the time of application.