How to get an entrepreneur visa in Europe

Working abroad can be a complicated process for foreign entrepreneurs. Making sure you have all the legal requirements to live and work in a country is a high priority, and visas are usually top of that list.

Luckily, France – usually seen as a bureaucrat’s dream - is actually making the process slightly easier by streamlining the system so an entrepreneur can see what boxes need to be ticked in order to obtain a visa.

Here’s a useful list of three visas that are available to foreign entrepreneurs and the requirements and documents needed to get your business and new life started in France.

 

1. Talent Passport Legal Representative (Passeport Talent mandataire social)

This visa is for a person who is a director or CEO of a non-EU company, where the foreign company is setting up a base in France, and the person would be the representative of that company (for example its general director or president). The conditions for this type of visa are as follows:

  • You are either a director or CEO, are on the board of the company or are a designated legal representative in a company which is based in France;
  • You have at least 3 months' seniority as an employee in a similar role (such as that of a director) or corporate officer in a company of the same group;
  • Your gross annual pay is greater than or equal to €55,419

The advantages of this type of visa are that a spouse or small children can apply for the Talent Passport Family visas which also allows spouses to work. The visa normally lasts four years and is renewable, and after five years of working and living in France a worker can either apply for the 10-year permit or become a French citizen.

2. Talent Passport Investor

For the Talent Passport Investor type of visa, there are three particular conditions:

  • The individual must invest directly, this may be personally, or through a French company which he/she directs or of which he/she holds at least 30% of the capital;
  • They must commit to create or safeguard employment within four years of investing in France;
  • The investment must be at least €300,000. The money must be transferred into a French bank account, opened in the name of the French company. The French consulate will conduct a full review of the investment and the companies involved. The processing time frame, from the date of filing at the French Consulate to the issuing of the visa, is normally estimated at around 6-12 weeks.

Related article: How to Open a Company in France in 8 Steps

As in the Talent Passport Legal Representative visa, the investor visa means that a spouse or small children can also apply for family visas which allows spouses to work. The visa normally lasts four years and is renewable, and after five years of working and living in France a worker can either apply for the 10-year permit or become a French citizen.

3. Talent Passport – Creation of a Company (Passeport Talent Création d’entreprise)

If you’re applying for the Creation of a Company Visa you will need to meet the following conditions:

  • You need to hold a diploma equivalent to at least a Master's Degree or 5 years of professional experience of a comparable level. The work done in France may only be work associated with this company (it cannot be used to work as an employee for a third party);
  • You have to be able to prove you have a real and serious business project for setting up a company or business in France, whether it be commercial, artisanal or industrial and the business plan must convince both the French Consulate and the Préfecture that the company project is viable. The processing time for this is between 6-12 weeks;
  • You have to be able to prove an investment of at least €30,000 in your business project which will need to be deposited into the company’s French bank current account.

Related article: How to open a French business bank account

The advantages to this visa are that it authorises the person to work in France for all activities associated with the company, including working on a client site under certain conditions. As with the other visas, the Creation of a Company visa allows the spouse or small children to apply for family visas which allows spouses to work. The visa normally lasts four years and is renewable, and after five years of working and living in France a worker can either apply for the 10-year permit or become a French citizen.

For more information on how to obtain these visas in a quick and efficient manner, or how to open your company with a registered business address, a business bank account and accountant advice, please download our free guide below and either call our team on 0033 (0)1 53 57 49 10 or email us from our contact page and we’ll be happy to help.

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