Startups: tools for hiring the so-called foreign “talents” in France

21 February 2022 | Immigration in France, Uncategorized

Due to shortage of qualified candidates in France or globalization of the services, hiring overseas has become a necessary step for many startups. Hiring foreign employees can result in an ordeal but to facilitate such recruitments, France gives the opportunity to start-ups to resort to a very specific program.

The French Tech Visa Program and the “Passeport Talent”

The French Tech Visa program was launched in Spring 2017. Whether entrepreneurs, employees or investors, these measures aim at attracting international talents and to better welcome them in France. This program is based upon the many advantages of the “Passeport Talent” resident permits:

  • A simplified and expedited procedure: the working visa is issued within approximately 15 days by the French consulate of the applicant’s country of origin. Once in France, a resident permit valid for 4 years (renewable) is issued.
  • A procedure extended to family members: spouses have the right to work in France without any additional formalities. They also benefit from a 4-year resident permit.
  • An exemption from a request for a work permit from the DIRECCTE (the French Ministry of Labor).

To whom does the French Tech Visa program apply?

This program is geared towards founders, employees or investors in the start-up universe. According to the official website La French tech, start-ups are young businesses with global aspirations and looking for a business model which would ensure them a rapid and sustained economic growth, or businesses which have expanded with such business model. Start-ups speed up innovation in all sectors of activity. Their value lies in whole or in part on digital technology such as in health technology, green technologies, biotechnology, finance or industrial companies.

What are the conditions of access to the French Tech Visa?

3 profiles may be eligible: founders, employees or investors.

  • Founders of foreign start-ups and scale-ups:

Foreign start-ups or scale-ups must be accompanied by the so-called “incubators”, “accelerators” or a start-up competition. The latter must have been selected beforehand by the Mission French Tech. The company then receives the “French Tech Visa” label. Entrepreneurs must first be eligible for the “Passeport Talent mention projet innovant” (Skilled resident permit – Innovative economic project), that is to say, have an innovative economic project that they wish to develop on French territory, and sufficient means at least equivalent to the SMIC (French minimum wage).

  • Prospective foreign employees of such foreign start-ups or scale-ups:

“Talents” (or “qualified applicants) must be hired by one of the high-growth French companies which benefit from the “Pass French Tech”. Prospective employees must comply with the requirements of the “Passeport Talent – mention salarié qualifié” (Skilled resident permit – qualified employee”, that is to say: hold a diploma at the Master’s degree level or higher, get a permanent contract or a fixed-term contract of a least 3 months duration, and have a salary at least twice the SMIC.

  • Foreign investors :

Investors involved will have to be: either Venture Capital firms (société d’investissement en capital innovation) which would open offices in France, foreign investors hired by any Venture Capital firm based in France, or “angel investors” moving to France. These investors must meet the criteria of the “Passeport Talent mention Investisseur économique” (Skilled resident permit – Economic investor) that is to say: making an investment in tangible or intangible assets of 300,000 euros, a direct investment through a company in which they hold at least 30% of the share capital, holding at least 10% of the share capital of the beneficiary company, creating/safeguarding or commitment to create or safeguard employment within 4 years following the investment.

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