The passeport-talent permit

 

In 2016, the multiple-year Passeport-Talent permit was 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 Passeport-Talent researcher permit is one of them. This passeport-talent permit includes the following categories:

  • Skilled recent graduates
  • Champions of an innovative economic project
  • Artist/performers
  • Employees of an innovative company
  • Highly-skilled workers (European 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 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 the passeport-talent permit.

If you are a researcher and you want to come to France? Your laboratory has a project with a French laboratory or you have been invited by a French laboratory or University to conduct research and/or teach? You are a PhD student and have a French work contract to finance your studies? And in all these cases you have been provided with THE door opener to come as a researcher to France: the hosting agreement (Convention d’accueil in French)! The hosting agreement is an official document signed by the French university, the French laboratory hosting you. This document will allow you to request the Passport-Talent visa and will also be your authorization to work in France.

The Passeport-Talent researcher applies to you!

Passport talent researcher
Photo by Luiza Gianoli

Benefits of the Passeport-Talent researcher permit

  • Passeport-Talent family members can be given a multiple-year permit with the mention Passeport-Talent Famille. This will prevent the family from reunification lengthy process. This permit also authorises to work in France with no restrictions.
  • No need to request a work authorisation from the DIRECCTE, the public administration providing the work permits based on the French job market, as it is the case for other permits.
  • Being a multiple-year card, the annual renewal process at the Prefecture required for other status is not applicable here.

The process for a Passeport-Talent researcher visa holder

The Passeport-Talent researcher visa

To obtain your visa, you should first contact the nearest French consulate of your current country of residence to submit your Passeport-Talent researcher 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.

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 and live your French experience! Unfortunately, the French red tape is not over… get ready for some cultural shock on that subject as French red tape and administration service 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.

Once arrived in France with your Passeport-Talent researcher long-stay visa (visa D)

Depending on the reason for your stay, your “long-stay D visa” may hold the following mention:

  • Passeport-Talent visa: for people with a hosting agreement.
  • Scientifique-Chercheur visa: for Algerian scientists with a hosting agreement.
  • Passeport-Talent Famille visa: for the spouse and underage children of a scientist or PhD student with a Passeport-Talent visa.
  • Conjoint de scientifique visa: for the Algerian spouse and underage children of an Algerian scientist or PhD student with a Scientifique-Chercheur visa

 

 

At your arrival

 

If you are relocating to France for less than 12 months or you are holding a VLS TS

It holds the mention R 311 – 3 9° L 313 – 20 4° “PASSEPORT-TALENT”. VLS TS stands for a long stay visa with the value of a residence permit called in French Visa Long Séjour valant Titre de Séjour.

You should confirm your VLS TS on the Ministry of Interior online portal within the first 3 months. The platform is available in English, Mandarin and French.

You will have to pay a 200€ tax online to confirm the visa and give the right to reside in France.

arrival in France
Photo by Daniel Schludi

 

If you are relocating to France for more than 12 months

If your visa holds the mention L 313-20 4° “Passeport-Talent – carte de séjour à solliciter” 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 should 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, you will receive a temporary residence permit called an Autorisation Provisoire de Séjour (APS), and this only if your file is accurate and complete. With the APS, you can remain and work in France, and also exit and re-enter the country, until you receive the actual residence permit card.

About two months after submitting your residence permit request, you will receive a text message informing you that your permit can be collected. A €225 tax should be paid in tax stamps when collecting your residence permit. The tax amount will be confirmed in the text message.

List of documents to bring for the appointment with Prefecture

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Prefecture may request additional documents, it is always recommended 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 passeport-talent researcher visa.
  • 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, 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
  • Your hosting convention fully completed and signed
  • For PhD students registered in France for their thesis: their contract of employment.

Keep in mind that your hosting agreement and your Passeport-Talent researcher visa allow you:

  • To work on the mission mentioned in your hosting agreement ONLY, from your arrival in France, even if your visa is not validated yet.
  • To travel within the Schengen Area during the validity of your visa (including the first three months).

If you are relocating with your family they should also undertake this same process and confirm their visa to convert it into a residence permit.

accompanying family
Photo by Loly Galina

List of documents for scientist researcher accompanying spouse and underage children

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Prefecture may request additional documents, it is always recommended 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 passeport talent researcher 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
  • The scientist documents (originals and copies):
    • Hosting agreement
    • Passport
    • Residence permit or APS (if received)

The scientist is required to be present for his/her spouse Prefecture appointment.

Residence permits renewal process

 

When your hosting convention expires and depending on your situation, you can apply to stay in France to look for another position. There are three options:

 

  1. Renewal of your passeport-talent permit based on involuntary loss of employment
  2. Get another hosting convention from a French university to extend your current passeport-talent permit
  3. Request the Recherche d’emploi/création d’entreprise permit

 

 

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

 

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

You can, therefore, look for a new job in the academic field and to benefit from the entitlements acquired during your stay.

As for standard renewal, you should request the permit renewal within two months before the validity end date of your current residence permit or visa.

At the Prefecture, and only if your application is complete, you will receive a proof for your request (récépissé) for renewal of the Passeport-Talent researcher residence permit.

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)
  • Statement of your research institution certifying that your researcher work has been completed
  • If creating a business: any documents proving the business creation within your area of research or studies

About two months after submitting your residence permit request, you will receive a text message informing you that your permit can be collected. A €225 tax should be paid in tax stamps when collecting your residence permit. The tax amount will be confirmed in the text message.

job search

 

Option 2: Get another hosting convention

 

If you are being offered an extension of your initial hosting convention from a French University to extend your current passeport-talent researcher permit, you will need to request a standard Passeport-Talent researcher residence permit renewal.

If you wish to request a change of status to Passeport-Talent – Chercheur  (for example, from an “étudiant” residence permit) you should go through the same process as the renewal one.

Your Passeport-Talent – Chercheur residence permit renewal, as well as your spouse’s (if applicable), should be done at the Prefecture within two months before the validity end date of your current residence permit or visa.

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

During this appointment, and only if your application is complete, you will receive a proof for your renewal request (récépissé) of the Passeport-Talent researcher residence permit.

About two months after submitting your residence permit request, you will receive a text message informing you that your permit can be collected. A €225 tax should be paid in tax stamps when collecting your residence permit. The tax amount will be confirmed in the text message.

The process is identical for all renewals and should be initiated two months prior to your current permit validity end date.

List of documents to renew your Passeport-Talent researcher residence permit or change your status

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Prefecture may request additional documents, it is always recommended to contact the Prefecture to check the list applying to your situation

The same below documents are needed for a change of status to Passeport-Talent researcher, from the student visa for example.

  • Your current valid residence permit (former VLS TS & proof of its validation or residence permit)
  • Your current valid passport (with a copy of all pages with writings and stamps, and the passeport-talent visa)
  • 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. 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 following the Prefecture requirements
  • Your current hosting agreement & the new one
  • A letter from your host organization that the research work is ongoing
  • The new work contract (if applicable)
  • In case of change of status to Passeport Talent Chercheur: Your Masters’ diploma
  • For PhD students registered in France for their thesis: the work contract.

The list of documents for the accompanying spouse and underage children

All the above-listed documents for the researcher, 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

Same as for the initial request, the scientist is required to be present for his/her spouse Prefecture appointment.

Option 3: Request the “Recherche d’emploi/création d’entreprise” permit (job search or creating enterprise)

 

The “recherche d’emploi/création d’entreprise” temporary residence permit is for Passeport-Talent – Chercheur cardholders who have completed their research work and that do not meet the requirements for unemployment allowance with Pôle Emploi.

This permit is valid for one year and cannot be renewed. A €75 tax should be paid in tax stamps.

The appointment with the Prefecture should be done online to apply for this permit. You should apply as soon as possible due to appointment delays.

Once you are granted the permit, there are no restrictions in terms of areas you can work in.

Once the permit expires, you can apply for the relevant permit when you have started a business or got a job.

 

 

 A specific process for Algerian Scientists

Algerian scientists depend on a special bilateral agreement; therefore the rules stated above do not apply. You must obtain your residence permit through the Prefecture.

Algerian researcher
Photo by Jorono

The first application for a « Scientifique-chercheur » residence permit

Within two months after your arrival, you must make an appointment with your local Prefecture so you can submit your residence permit application.

At the Prefecture, and only if your file is complete, you will receive a proof of your residence permit application (récépissé). This receipt allows you to reside and work in France until you receive your residence permit.

IMPORTANT NOTE: the récépissé does not allow to travel after your visa expiry date. You must wait for your residence permit to be able to travel.

About two months after submitting your residence permit request, you will receive a text message informing you that your permit can be collected.

List of documents to bring for the appointment with Prefecture

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Prefecture may request additional documents, it is always recommended 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 long-stay visa.
  • 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, 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
  • Your hosting agreement fully completed and signed
  • For PhD students registered in France for their thesis: their contract of employment.

List of documents for Algerian scientist researcher accompanying spouse and underage children

The scientist is required to be present for his/her spouse Prefecture appointment with the original and a copy of their passport, visa or residence permit and their hosting agreement.

  • Your current valid passport with copy of all pages with writings and stamps, and the long-stay 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,
    • For nationals from a country recognizing polygamy, a sworn certificate stating that the individual does not have more than one spouse
  • 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 scientist documents (originals and copies):
    • Hosting agreement
    • Passport
    • Residence permit or APS (if received)

Depending on where you are relocating in France, there may be a specific welcome centre dedicated to international researchers. These centres are part of the EURAXESS network. They may be able to assist in different areas such as immigration, home finding, or even social integration in some cases.

I hope this step-by-step process clarifies for you what you need to do. If you have any questions, please let me know in the below comments.

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Passeport-talent researcher visa explained

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