France has already enjoyed enormous success in its tech ecosystem, with a record foreign delegation at CES and more investments in 2016 than anywhere else in Europe. But until now those startups could find it tough to hire talent from outside the EU - a crucial means of staying competitive. And established entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and outside talent didn’t stand to gain too much.
However, following on the heels of 2015’s French Tech Ticket for startup founders, the country has now launched the French Tech Visa. This new scheme introduces a range of means by which foreign talent can be fast-tracked. The visa accommodates for the immediate family of the applicant, and best of all, it’s uncapped. This means no arbitrary limit on applications driven by immigration debates, as in neighbouring countries such as the United Kingdom.
The French government is currently compiling a list of the country’s top 100 tech startups. As part of the Tech Visa scheme, any non-EU resident employed by one of these will be automatically fast tracked.
VC investors working for a French company are also eligible, as are investors from companies who open an office in France. Other investors as well as those “with exceptional technical, artistic or scientific abilities” may also apply for a “Talent Passport’, another recent introduction.
Introduced by Minister of State for Digital Affairs Axelle Lemaire, these policies continue the legacy of former Finance Minister Emmanuel Macron, who repeatedly trumpeted the French tech sector.
Macron left the post to pursue the Presidential candidacy last year, and is now a frontrunner. Should he succeed, the future for French tech would seem to be in good hands.
For more information on how to open a company in France or how tech startups and SMEs can benefit from this new visa scheme and other financial support, feel free to download our free guide below or contact us and we'll be happy to help.