WHAT IS THE FRANCE START-UP VISA?
The France Start-up Visa Program is designed for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas who will spur economic growth and entails the consequent commitment from a designated organization. This program requires a financial commitment of at least EUR 195,000. Successful applicants are granted a renewable 4-year residency card.
Advantages of the France Start-Up Visa
- Renewable Residence Card valid for 4 years
- Dependents included:
- Children under 18
- Member EU/ Schengen
- Right to live, work, study in France
- Free access to high standard Public Education and Healthcare System
- Free mobility within Schengen Area (26 countries) for a period of up to 6 months per year
- No education and language requirement
- Having a France Start-up Visa is Pathway to obtaining Permanent Resident or Citizenship after 5 years of residence in France
- Incubation investment of EUR 195,000 for 4-year incubation
- The incubation investment must include EUR 30,000 dedicated to the startup idea’s Research & Development phase
- Comply with commitments set in the approved Startup Business Plan
- Provide evidences of financial resources equal to the French annual minimum wage
- Create an innovative startup project and incorporate a legal entity in France
- Be selected by a designated Incubator in France and be approved by the relevant Government Agency (DIRECCTE)
- Provide proof of the source of funds used for investment
- Eligibility assessment and selection by the incubator
- Secure the commitment letter from the designated incubator
- Secure the letter of acceptance from the Government Agency
- Submit the completed application forms and required documents
- The French Consulate of the applicant’s country of residence will grant successful applicant and dependents a 3-month Talent Passport visa (Link)
- Applicant and dependents shall enter France within such 3-month period
- Competent local Prefecture will issue in France the Passport Talent 4-year Residence Card
- Processing time: within 2 months, you can obtain the France Start-up visa
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM AMOUNT TO INVEST?
There are two options:
Option 1: Founders’ Category
Under this category, there is no minimum to invest. This category works like the Canada SUV Program: applicant must be accepted in a French Tech certified incubator. Of course, the higher the investment is, the higher are the chance to be accepted by the incubator and the French Authorities.
Most importantly, the project must clearly be innovative.
Option 1: Investors’ Category
A minimum of 300,000 EUR must be remitted into France by the applicant personally or his/her company. The most important condition is to show the French Authorities that this investment will create jobs for the French economy. While there is no minimum provided under French laws, we believe that at least 4 jobs should be created.
IS THERE ANY AGE RESTRICTION FOR THE APPLICATION?
The principal applicant must be 18 years old and above.
ARE THERE ANY MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE OR EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
IS THERE ANY PERSONAL NET WORTH/MINIMUM OF ASSETS REQUIREMENT?
The applicant must demonstrate that he/she has the financial strength to conduct the investment and live in France
WITH THE RESIDENT CARD, IN WHICH COUNTRIES CAN THE APPLICANT GO WITHOUT VISA?
Resident card holders will have access to the following areas:
- Schengen area;
- French overseas departments: Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion island, Mayotte;
- Saint Pierre et Miquelon.
DOES THE APPLICANT’S FAMILY ALSO BENEFIT FROM THE TALENT PASSPORT?
Yes, automatically (the spouse and children who are under 18 years old). This includes adopted children.
CAN THE APPLICANT INCLUDE HIS/HER PARENTS IN THEIR APPLICATION?
No, only spouse and children automatically get resident card under the accompanying family procedure.
WHAT IF A DEPENDENT CHILD IS BETWEEN 18-25 YEARS OLD AND STILL A FULL-TIME STUDENT? CAN THIS CHILD ACCOMPANY THE PRINCIPAL APPLICANT?
No, under this program, the child (children) needs to be under 18 years old.
ARE THERE ANY LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS?
No, Talent Passport program does not set any language requirement.
RESIDENT CARD VALID FOR UP TO 4 YEARS – WHAT HAPPENS AFTER?
The applicant has to renew his/her card which will be easily renewable as long as the applicant can prove that the investment has been spent and the job creation requirement has been met and the company’s activity is maintained.
DOES THE APPLICANT RECEIVE SUBSIDIZED HEALTHCARE AND EDUCATION BENEFITS AS A FRENCH RESIDENT? ANY OTHER SOCIAL BENEFITS?
Yes, a French resident benefit from the same benefits as citizens, such as social coverage, free medical access and free education system.
DOES THE GOVERNMENT NEED TO RECOGNIZE THE PROJECT FIRST?
For the founders’ category:
Yes, the incubator will send a sponsorship request to the ministry of finance attesting of the applicant’s acceptance in the incubator and the innovative aspect of the investment. acceptance from ministry of finance or ministry of labor is required to submit an application to the local consulate.
For the investor category:
The consulate will seek the opinion either from the ministry of finance or ministry of labor. This opinion does not bind the consulate.
DOES THE INVESTMENT NEED TO BE MADE DIRECTLY?
Under the founder’s category, the investment must be made directly in the business identified.
Under the investor category, the investment can be made either directly or via a company in which the applicant holds at least 30% shareholding.
DOES THE APPLICANT NEED TO INVEST INTO AN EXISTING BUSINESS, OR CAN THEY OPEN A NEW BUSINESS IN FRANCE?
Both options are possible.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO OBTAIN THE FRENCH CITIZENSHIP? IF YES, WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS?
It is possible to apply for citizenship after 5 years if:
- The applicant has made France is principal residence for 5 consecutive years. The principal residence is defined as the residence where the applicant usually lives;
- The applicant has a sufficient level of French for daily life conversation and is quite assimilated to the French community.
- The applicant does not have any criminal record.
- Citizenship is a fully discretionary decision from the French administration.
- The eligibility of the family members to apply for French citizenship is based on the same criteria.
The present document is intended for guidance and general information only and does not constitute or purport to provide you with legal advice. Such information is subject to changes without notice. Each case is unique and depends on the facts and circumstances of the individual and due consideration should be taken if applying the general information to your personal situation. For an evaluation of your personal circumstances one of our legal team would be happy to assist.