Do you want a special visa for Talents and come to work in France?

As a Talent you may meet the requirements to get the European Blue Card. It has been specifically tailored for high potentials.

The European Blue Card is one of the Passport-Talent residence permits in France. The EU Blue Card has been implemented following the EU regulations to attract foreign talents to the European job market. So one of its great advantages is to facilitate the intra-European mobility for its cardholders.

Passeport-Talent « European Union Blue Card »: residence permit focus

The different Passport-talent permit types

In 2016 [1], the multi-year “Passeport-Talent” residence permits were created to attract more skilled-foreigners. The French government has simplified the process to obtain certain working permits for non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens, and the EU Blue Card is one of them. The passport-talent permits are the following:

  • Skilled recent graduates
  • Champions of an innovative economic project
  • Artist/performers
  • Employees of an innovative company
  • Highly-skilled workers (European Union Blue cardholders)
  • Researchers/Scientists
  • Person internationally or nationally renowned in science, literature, arts, education, sports,…
  • Economic or financial investors
  • Employees on assignment (‘mission’) with a French work contract
  • Company representatives

Who is the Passeport-Talent permit type for?

In short, if you are an independent professional, employee or an executive, who, according to the French authorities, has the potential to make a ‘significant contribution’ to the French economy, you can apply for one of the passport-talent permits.

European Blue Card
Photo by PhotoshopTofs

What are the Talent-Passport European Blue Card criteria? [1]

  • Hold a higher education degree (minimum 3 years) OR five years of professional experience in a specific area
  • Have a 12 months work contract minimum or permanent contract
  • Earn a minimum of 1,5 the average gross reference salary (published every year by the Ministry of Interior), therefore an annual gross salary of €53,836.50 in 2020 or above.

If you meet the three above criteria, the European Blue Card applies to you!

Foreigners not meeting the requirements for a Passport Talent – European Union Blue Card may still request another temporary residence permit. However, the employment situation may be ground to granting the work permit.

Also, if you are coming to France for less than 12 months you will be provided with a VLS-TS – Passeport-Talent Carte Bleue Européenne. VLS-TS stands for a long stay visa standing as a residence permit called in French Visa Long Séjour valant Titre de Séjour.

The 3 advantages of the “Passeport-Talent” permits

  • Passport-Talent family members may be issued a multi-year residence permit entitled “Passeport-Talent – Famille” which avoids the family reunification procedure. This permit also grants the right to work in France with no restriction for family members!
  • No need to apply for a work permit from the Regional Directorate for Enterprises, Competition, Consumption, Labour and Employment – DIRECCTE) as it is the case for other permits.
  • The renewal process doesn’t apply. Considering it is a multi-year card up to 4 years duration and matches your work contract duration, the annual renewal procedure at the Prefecture required for other status is not needed.
Globe
Photo by Kyle Glenn

The European Blue Card process

The European Union Blue Card visa request

To obtain your visa before coming to France, you should first contact the nearest French consulate of your current country of residence to submit your Passeport-Talent visa application. It is not necessarily your home country, but the country where you currently have the right to reside with the relevant residence permit.

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The list of documents may vary from one consulate to another. They also may request extra documents if they feel necessary. The consulate is, therefore, the best source to prepare your file correctly.

Once you have received your visa, you are ready to pack your bags! Unfortunately, the French red tape is not over… get ready for some culture shock! You may already know that the French administration can be difficult but I’m here to explain to you the process step-by-step!

Shortly following your arrival you will have to request your residence permit to stay legally in France.

The residence permit request on arrival

You have arrived in France with your Passport-Talent “Carte Bleue Européenne” long-stay visa (visa D) and depending on the reason for your stay, the visa may hold the following mention:

  • “Passeport-Talent – Carte Bleue Européenne” visa: for highly qualified employees with a work contract.
  • “Passeport-Talent-Famille” visa [2]: for the spouse and underage children of a “Passeport-Talent” visa holder.

Within the first two months following your arrival in France, you should request your residence permit to legally stay in the country.

For that, you must make an appointment online on your local Prefecture website to submit your residence permit application. Appointments are not given over the phone or by email. Make sure you make the appointment with anticipation, as the waiting time can be about 6 to 7 weeks depending on the Prefecture. The appointment must take place within the first 2 months.

During this appointment, and subject to your application being complete, you will be provided with a temporary residence permit called an Autorisation Provisoire de Séjour (APS). You can legally reside and work in France, and also travel outside France, with the APS while waiting for your residence permit card.

You will receive a text message to let you know when you can collect your residence permit (about two months after the request). You should pay a tax of €225  in revenue stamps when collecting your permit. The amount will be confirmed in the text message.

European Blue Card
Photo by Jakob Braun

List of documents to bring for the appointment with Prefecture (originals + copies)

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Prefecture may request additional documents. I recommend you to contact the Prefecture to check the list applying to your situation.

  • Your current valid passport with copy of all pages with writings and stamps, and the passport talent visa.
  • Cerfa form n°15615-01 completed and signed by your employer + documents applying to you stated on page 2 of the Cerfa form
  • Proof of residence (less than 6 months old):
    • If you are a tenant:
      – an energy bill such as electricity, gas, water, and landline phone, Internet in your name. CAREFUL: the mobile-phone bill is usually not accepted.
      – Lease or rental contract (less than 3 months old), successive rental payment receipts,
    • If you are staying at a hotel or a residence: proof of residence + receipt for the previous month rent.
    • If you are being hosted: a hand-written certificate of residence signed by your host + your host last energy bill + a copy of your host’s proof of identity
  • 3 ID photos respecting the Prefecture requirements
  • If you are married: a marriage certificate (original documents + French translations by a sworn translator by a French court of Appeal)
  • Your higher education diploma (minimum 3 years), translated by a sworn translator by a French court of Appeal (if applicable)
  • Any documents justifying 5 years of professional experience (if applicable)
  • Your employment contract
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Extra documents to prepare

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Prefecture may request additional documents in line with the Decree of October 28, 2016, especially if you are requesting a change of status or complementary documents from your employer. You could also prepare the following documents to be safe:

  • Social Security attestation (Attestation de droits à l’Assurance Maladie) – if already affiliated
  • OR Sworn declaration of application for affiliation with the French Social Security
  • Employer attestation explaining your duties and the purpose of your assignment
  • An up-to-date certificate of the commercial register of your employer (Extrait K-Bis)
  • Confirmation of payment of social security contributions from the employer (attestation de versement de cotisation et contributions sociales)
  • Documents proving the employee’s skills and experience in line with the position in question.

Keep in mind that your Passeport-Talent EU Blue Card allows you:

  • To work on the mission mentioned in your visa application for the first 2 years [3]. From the beginning of the third year, under the same residence permit, you may work for another employer.
  • To travel within the Schengen Area during the validity of your permit (including the first three months) under 90 days.

If you are coming with your family they should undertake this same process and validate their visa as a residence permit.

accompanying family
Photo by Sai de Silva

List of documents for Passeport-TalentEU Blue Card visa holder accompanying spouse and underage children

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Prefecture may request additional documents. I recommend you to contact the Prefecture to check the list applying to your situation.

  • Current valid passports with a copy of all pages with writings and stamps, and the passport talent visa.
  • Proof of civil status (original documents + French translations by a sworn translator by a French court of Appeal):
    • Marriage certificate and
    • Children’s birth certificates (mentioning parents) if applicable
  • Proof of residence (less than 6 months old) stating the spouse name:
    • If you are a tenant:
      an energy bill such as electricity, gas, water, and landline phone, Internet in your name. CAREFUL: the mobile-phone bill is usually not accepted.
      Lease or rental contract, successive rental payment receipts,
    • If you are staying at a hotel or a residence: proof of residence + receipt for the previous month rent.
    • If you are being hosted: a hand-written certificate of residence signed by your host + your host last energy bill + a copy of your host’s proof of identity
  • 3 ID photos respecting the Prefecture requirements
  • The Passeport-Talent European Blue Card visa holder documents (originals and copies):
    • Passport
    • Residence permit or visa
  • The revenue tax proof of payment (225€ same as for the Passeport-Talent Carte Bleue Européenne visa holder)

The Passeport-Talent EU Blue Card visa holder is required to be present for his/her spouse Prefecture appointment.

Residence permit renewal

The renewal process

When your Carte Bleue Européenne expires and depending on your situation, you can apply to stay in France. There are two options:

  1. You are looking for a job: Renewal of your passport talent permit based on involuntary loss of employment [4]
  2. You have a job meeting the Carte Bleue Européenne requirements: Apply for a renewal with the same documents listed below 2 months before the expiry of the previous permit.

Option 1: Renewal of your passport talent permit based on involuntary loss of employment

You can apply for the renewal of your “Passeport-talent” residence permit if you no longer have employment for reasons beyond your control (the end of your work contract, dismissal).

You can, therefore with the APS (Autorisation Provisoire de Séjour), look for a new job and to benefit from the unemployment benefits acquired during your previous position. The APS also gives the right to work.

As it is the case for standard renewal, you must make an appointment with the Prefecture within two months before the expiration of your current residence permit or visa.

During this appointment, and only if your application is complete, a receipt for your request for renewal (récépissé) of the “Passeport-Talent” residence permit will be provided to you.

List of documents for a renewal based on involuntary loss of employment:

Same documents as for the initial request as listed above, plus:

  • Social Security attestation (Attestation de droits à l’Assurance Maladie)
  • Pôle Emploi attestation provided by your employer
  • Proof of the of work contract: dismissal letter from your employer…
  • Pôle Emploi attestation indicating your rights to unemployment benefits
  • If creating a business: any documents proving the business creation
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You will be notified by SMS when your residence permit is ready for collection (approximately 2 months after applying). A tax of €225 is payable in revenue stamps at this appointment.

Option 2: Apply for a renewal with the same documents listed above 2 months before the expiry of the previous permit

You are staying in France

If your work contract is extended or have a permanent contract, you will need to request a standard EU Blue Card residence permit renewal.

In the case of a change of status to “Passeport-Talent-Carte Bleue Européenne” (for example, from a Student residence permit) you must follow the same procedure as for renewal.

You can renew your “Passeport-Talent-Carte Bleue Européenne” residence permit (and your spouse’s if applicable) at the Prefecture within two months before the expiration of your current residence permit or visa.

You must make an appointment with your local Prefecture to submit your application for a residence permit.

During this appointment, and only if your application is complete, a receipt for your request for renewal (récépissé) of the “Passeport-Talent” residence permit will be provided to you.

You will be notified by SMS when your residence permit is available for collection (approximately two months after the request). A tax of €225 is payable in revenue stamps at this appointment.

The procedure is identical for all the following renewals. Two months before the expiration date of your residence permit you should request the renewal.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You can request French nationality after 5 consecutive years in France under an EU Blue Card. Absence of the French territory of 12 consecutive months is tolerated and up to a total of 18 months over the 5 years.

Keep in mind that even though you may meet all the requirements to get the nationality, it doesn’t guaranty to receive it. However, it allows submitting the request.

You are moving to another EU country

Congratulations! You found a job position in another EU country participating in the EU Blue Card programme (EU member states except for Denmark and Ireland). In that case, after 18 months working in France [5] under an EU Blue Card, you can move to another EU member state. You will need to notify the local authorities within one month after your arrival. You will be provided with the local version of the EU Blue Card.

List of documents to renew your Passeport-Talent – UE Blue Card residence permit or change your status

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Prefecture may request additional documents. I recommend you to contact the Prefecture to check the list applying to your situation.

  • The list of documents provided for the residence permit initial request stated above

And also:

  • An employer attestation certifying you are still employed in the company
  • The new work contract (if applicable)
  • In case of change of status to Passeport Talent – Carte Bleue Européenne: Your higher education diploma (minimum 3 years)
  • If there has been a change in your civil status, the relevant certificates (birth certificates, marriage certificate,…) translated by a sworn translator of a French court of Appeal

The list of documents for the accompanying spouse

All the above-listed documents for the UE Blue Cardholder, plus:

  • Proof of civil status (original documents + French translations by a sworn translator by a French court of Appeal):
    • Marriage certificate and
    • Children’s birth certificates (mentioning parents) if applicable
  • Proof of residence (less than 6 months old) stating the spouse name

The Carte Bleue Européenne permit holder is required to be present for his/her spouse Prefecture appointment.

I hope this step-by-step European Bleu Card process will help you to come to France! If you have any questions, please let me know in the below comments.

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European Blue Card

 References:

[1] law n° 2016-274 dating March 7, 2016, Art. L. 313-20.

[2] Article L313-21 of the CESEDA

[3] Article R. 5221-3 of the Labor Code

[4] Article R. 5221-33 of the Labor Code

[5] Decree n° 2016-1456 dating October 28, 2016, Article R. 313-49

How to get your EU Blue Card and work in France?
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3 thoughts on “How to get your EU Blue Card and work in France?

  • 16 July 2020 at 8 h 50 min
    Permalink

    Hi Guiga, I didn’t know about this process and I admit it is great. I was wondering if only specific countries were included or if anyone from any country can apply?

    Cheers 😀

    Reply
    • 16 July 2020 at 17 h 14 min
      Permalink

      Hi Lara,
      Yes, it is a great permit, it gives many possibilities to its holder!
      It applies to all nationalities except Algerian nationals that depend on a specific bilateral agreement between France and Algeria.
      All other countries fall under the CESEDA (Code de l’entrée et du séjour des étrangers et du droit d’asile) to which all the permits fall under except the ones specific to Algerians.
      Let me know if you have other questions.

      Reply

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