Settling in France: Practical Advice for Talent Passport Visa Applicants

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No, a Passport Talent is not a visa!

I receive so many emails asking me questions like, I have a Passport Talent visa,… can I be both a salaried employee and self-employed, what is the minimum salary needed for a Passport Talent visa holder or how many years will the multi-year permit be, and so on…

And my first response is always the same: Which Passport Talent visa do you have?

The answer to most questions will vary a lot depending on the type of Talent Passport visa we are referring to.

Passport Talent is a programme, not a visa, to attract top talents from outside the EU to contribute to France’s economy, competitiveness, and innovation.

Therefore, as the top talent that you are, you need to know what I’ll explain in this video. However, each visa in the Talent Passport programme has very different eligibility criteria!

Don’t get me wrong, the French administration does a terrible job at explaining the differences between the French visas.

So in this article, we’ll uncover:

  • The specificities of the Talent Passport programme
  • We’ll detail the 11+1 different Talent-Passport visas (and I’ll tell you my 3 favourite ones and why, by the end of this video)
  • I’ll explain the eligibility criteria
  • The application process
  • And what you need to do once you arrive in France.

What is Talent Passport?

Talent Passport is a mobility programme created in 2016 that includes 11 visas leading to multi-year residence permits. It replaced the residence permit known as “Skills and Talents”. 

The permit duration goes up to 4 years and is renewable.

Certain foreign nationals may be excluded from the talent passport programme since their situation is governed by specific bilateral agreements with France. This is the case for Algerians or other Maghreb or African countries mostly former French colonies.

So, if you are not from one of these countries and meet the requirements that I’ll detail later in the video, you can request one of the 11 Talent Passport visas and then request a multi-year residence permit. But first, let’s see the specificities of the talent passport visas compared to the other long-stay visas that could also allow you to reside and work in France.

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The specificities of the Talent Passport visas compared to the other long-stay visas for France

Dependent visa for Family members

Three main specificities that make the Talent Passport programme attractive are:

First, family members of foreign nationals who have a “talent passport” will also be admitted to stay in France. Accompanying family members include minor children and the married spouse. So this means that your adult children (above the age of 18) and unmarried spouses will not be granted a depend visa if you are a Talent Passport visa holder.

The married spouse and the minor children of one of the 11 Talent Passport visas will be issued a “talent passport (family)” visa for the same period as the residence permit of the foreign national who has obtained the main talent passport visa. This is a major advantage, as the challenging family reunification procedure will not have to be carried out.

The Talent Passport Familly visa is the +1 visa that I mentioned earlier. This is even a better visa than the main Talent Passport visa for the main holder since the Talent Passport Familly visa authorises the spouse to Also, you should know that the Talent Passport Familly visa will authorise your spouse to work in France which is not the case for other potential dependant visas, and this authorisation is given without any restriction.

Work authorisation exemption

The second major advantage is that you will not need to apply for a work authorisation from the French Ministry of Labour as is the case for other work visas.

So, in the case you are requesting this visa as a salaried employee, this means that your employer will not need to prove that they cannot recruit a French or EU citizen for the job that you will have in France as a Talent Passport visa holder. This is a huge advantage, I can tell you!

Lighter bureaucracy

Then the third main advantage is that there is less bureaucracy compared to other long-stay visas, considering that you will receive a multi-year residence permit card for up to 4 years from the moment you arrive in France. This means that you will avoid multiple renewals compared to other long-stay visas.

Don’t get me wrong, you won’t escape the French bureaucracy, but let’s say that there is an intent to make it a bit easier for Talents coming into France.

Now CAUTION – There is a big misunderstanding about the Talent passport visas in France and the possibility of requesting a French passport.

The possibility to submit a naturalisation request file still requires five years of residency in France, the same as for other statuses. It may be different in other EU countries such as Germany, but in France, you still need to prove 5 years of continuous residency to be able to submit a naturalisation request file.

Before we dive into the application process let me detail the 11 different Talent Passport visas so that you can figure out if one of these is a match for you!

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Talent Passport Categories

The French administration divides the Talent Passport visas into 4 categories:

#1: You are a qualified or highly qualified paid employee. 

There are 5 Talent Passport visas under this category :

Employees of an innovative company (“passeport talent entreprise innovante“). 

The criteria to meet to be able to request this visa are:

  • Your French employment contract is for more than three months and your job must be directly linked to the company’s research and development project;
  • Your salary must be at least equal to twice the minimum legal wage in France for a full-time worker.
  • You must be employed by a company considered a new innovative company by the French Ministry of Economy. The easiest would be for you to confirm with the potential employer if they are formally considered as a new innovative company “jeune entreprise innovante”. But FYI, here are the main criteria that your employer must meet so that you can request this visa:
    • The company must employ fewer than 250 people in all establishments;
    • it must have a turnover of less than €50 million for the financial year, 
    • a company can qualify as a new innovative company if it has been in existence for less than 11 years. 
    • the company has incurred research expenditures representing at least 15% of the tax-deductible expenses for that financial year, excluding those incurred with other young innovative companies carrying out research and development projects;
    • at least 50% of its share capital must be held continuously by individuals or certain legal entities listed in the French General Tax Code;
    • it must not have been created as part of a merger, restructuring, extension or takeover of pre-existing activities.

Talent Passsport Qualified employee visa (Passeport Talent Salarié Qualifié)

You can get that visa if you meet the following 2 conditions:

  • You have obtained in France a diploma of Specialized Master’s Degree / Master of Science (labelled by the conference of the colleges in France) or at least equivalent to the master’s. So this does not apply to non-French diploma holders.
  • You have an employment contract of more than 3 months with annual gross earnings of at least twice the annual French minimum wage which results in about 43K€ in 2024.

In the case of the 2 visas that we’ve just seen, you will get a visa with the written mention “passeport talent” “salarié qualifié/entreprise innovante”

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Talent Passport Highly-skilled workers visa also called (European Union Blue card)

You must meet the following 3 conditions to be able to request an EU Blue Card:

  • First, you must hold a diploma of at least 3 years of higher education or 5 years of professional experience of comparable level. Here it can be a non-French diploma as opposed to the previous visa.
  • Then you must have an employment contract of at least 1 year, and
  • Receive a gross annual salary (before bonuses) of a minimum of 1,5 times the referential average gross reference salary: which has been just under 54K€ since 2016 (€53,836.50).

Please note

This card is also granted if you have stayed at least 18 months in another EU country with a European Blue Card. You must apply for the French version of the EU Blue Card within the month of entering France.

Talent Passport Researchers visa (“Passeport Talent Chercheur ou Chercheur Mobilité“)

You can obtain a residence card talent passport – researcher – if you are employed to conduct research work in France and you should meet all of the following conditions:

  • You have a degree at least equivalent to the master’s
  • You come to France to conduct research or provide university-level education
  • You have a hosting agreement signed with an approved public or private organization with a research or higher education mission. The agreement must indicate that you are a researcher and the purpose and duration of your stay in France. If you plan to travel to another EU country for your research, the agreement must specify your membership in a mobility program. In this case, you can ask for a residence card “talent passport – researcher – mobility programme”.

Employee on assignment visa (“passeport talent” “salarié en mission”)

This visa has been created for employees already employed by a company abroad who wish to be transferred to France for a limited duration (up to 4 years). In that case, you should 

  • Have an executive role or bring specific expertise
  • Hold a work contract with the French entity 
  • Have more than 3 months of seniority in the company before the transfer to France.
  • Receive a gross annual salary (before bonuses) of a minimum of 1,8 times the French minimum salary (about € 38 200 in 2024).

If you don’t have a French work contract and are transferred to the French entity of your current employer, the seconded – Intra Company Transfer visa which is not a Talent Passport visa, may match your situation.

#2: You are a self-employed person or engage in a liberal profession

The first visa in this category will be the 

Talent Passport Business Creator (passeport talent créateur d’entreprise“)

This visa allows you to carry out a commercial activity if you meet the following 2 conditions:

  • You have a degree at least equivalent to the master’s or 5 years of professional experience of comparable level
  • You justify a real and serious company creation project in France. This means that you’ll need to submit a thorough business plan to a specific entity before your visa request so that your business project is vetted
  • And you should invest at least 30,000 euros into the business

If you do not meet the criteria for this entrepreneurial visa, the Entrepreneur Liberale Profession visa – which is not part of the Talent Passport Programme – might be a good option for you.

These 2 visas: the Talent Passport Business Creator and the Entrepreneur Profession liberale visa and also the Talent Passport Artistic Profession that I’ll explain later in the video are fully detailed in the France Formula Online course. This is a step-by-step course to help you organise a successful, simplified, and stress-free move to France for adventurers moving sponsor-free to France (no French language skills needed!). If you want more information and join the waiting list, click on the link in the description below.

Talent Passport Economic or financial investors visa  (passeport talent investisseur économique)

This visa allows you to carry out all commercial activities related to the project concerned.

Two types of investment are accepted:

1- Investment via a company and in that case, you must:

  • Run this company personally or at least own 30% of the capital
  • You plan to create or keep the job within 4 years of the investment in France
  • The investment in tangible or intangible assets must represent at least €300,000

2- the second type of investment will be a personal investment and in that case, you must: 

  • personally invest in a company in which you acquire a lasting interest of at least 10% of the capital
  • You plan to create or keep the job within 4 years of the investment in France
  • The investment in tangible or intangible assets must represent at least €300,000

Innovative economic project (passeport talent “projet économique innovant”)

This Talent Passport visa is the third that has been created for the Tech ecosystem. We have just seen the visa for investors and for employees of the Tech Ecosystem and the 3rd one is for the company founder.

The main eligibility criteria for the Talent Passport – Innovative Business Project are:

  • Prove the innovative nature of the project and its recognition by one of the French Tech Visa Partner Incubators or Accelerators, via their regular process of selection
  • Justify a sufficient level of financial resources (which means at least the French minimum wage)

Talent Passport Company representative (“passeport talent mandataire social“)

You can obtain this visa if you meet all of the following conditions:

  • You are a legal representative in a business established in France
  • You have been working for at least 3 months as an employee or social agent in a business of the same group
  • Your annual gross earnings are greater than three times the annual gross French minimum wage which is about 64K€ in 2024.

There are 2 categories left and then I’ll detail the application process, what happens after the application and I’ll reveal which are my three favourite Talent Passport visas!

#3: You are a performer or have created a literary or artistic work (either employed or self-employed)

Talent Passport Artististic Profession (“Passeport Talent Profession artistique“)

This is a visa for performers and artists coming to France to pursue their artistic careers. 

The most important aspects of this visa request are how you will develop your art in France and integrate yourself into the local art network and community.

You need to prove that you are already an artist when requesting this visa. This means that you can prove that you are already making at least 70% of the French minimum wage.

You can request this visa either as a self-employed artist or a salaried artist.

#4: can prove their national or international reputation in the following fields science, literature, arts, education, sports,…

Talent Passport Internationally renowned personality

you should prove your national or international reputation by any possible means. 

Compared to the Artistic profession, you need to earn at least the French minimum wage. If you are an artist and hesitate with the Talent Passport Artistic Profession, I’d recommend requesting the previous visa. This avoids depending on the subjectivity of the French administration to evaluate how sufficient your reputation is to request this last visa.

What is the Application Process for a Talent Passport Visa

There are 5 steps that you need to follow.

1 – Your first step is to determine your eligibility based on the talent Passport categories.

2- Confirm the detailed application process corresponding to the type of Talent Passport visa you are requesting. Indeed, it will vary depending on the Talent Passport visa you are applying for. 

For example, you will need to submit your business file to a specific entity if required for the Talent Passport visa category, to receive an approval attestation to include in your visa request file. This is the case for example for the Talent Passport Business Creator and this very specific process is detailed in the France Formula course.

Most of the process is now done online and the visa request duration is aiming for around two months. So anticipation is always a good idea when it comes to international relocation.

3- You’ll need to gather supporting documents, including passport, personal documents, translated birth certificate, and marriage certificate, photos, proof of purpose of visit, documentation related to employment or self-employment in France, application form, insurance policy if applicable, proof of address, and category-specific requirements.

Some documents may need to be legalised or apostilled depending on the bilateral agreement between your country and France.

You will get the full list of documents on the France Visa website after completing the visa request form as a draft.

4- Schedule your appointment 

If you live outside of France, you should submit your French visa request from the French consulate in your country of residence with all the documents corresponding to the types of Talent Passport visa you are requesting. 

If you are already a resident in France under another long-stay visa or permit, you can apply for a talent passport permit and thus change your status at your local Prefecture. The Prefecture of your place of residence will be responsible for processing the application for a change of status. So there is no need to return home to request the relevant Talent Passport visa.

5- Submit the documents and pay for the visa/permit processing fee.

Which is a 99 euros visa fee + 275 euros fee for the permit. This fee should be paid in fiscal stamps.

How long should you wait for the Consulate’s decision on your visa application?

Several elements could impact the duration, such as the time to the year, and which consulate you are requesting it from. But the better your file was prepared, the faster you will receive a response. By law, you should receive a response up to 2 months from the date of submission.

If approved, get prepared for the immigration process on arrival in France.

Upon arrival in France, you must apply for a residence permit at the prefecture in your region within the first three months in France.

What happens next?

At the end of your multi-year permit, the talent passport can be renewed, but the renewal is subject to the same conditions as the initial request. This means that you will still have to meet the conditions required in terms of remuneration, employment etc as explained earlier in this article. 

If this is not the case, the Prefecture will refuse to renew the residence permit. 

I promised to tell you which of the Talent Passport visas were my favourites. Well, since it is less and less common for an employer to accept to be involved in the relocation process of their employees since they will incur cost and compliance responsibilities in terms of labour law, tax law, immigration, my favourite talent passport visas are self-employed ones. It will be:

  • The Talent Passport Business Creator
  • The Talent Passport Artistic Profession
  • And as I mentioned earlier in the video the Talent Passport Familly visa is the best of all since the spouse will not have restrictions to work. This means having the possibility to be self-employed or salaried and even both at the same time
  • These 3 visas are part of the France Formula online programme in addition to the Entrepreneur liberal profession visa, the French spouse visa, and the long-stay visitor visa.

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