Finding A Job in France: French Tech Visa For Global Talent

Immigrating to France as a skilled person: the steps and opportunities.

Finding a job and securing a work permit in France is not as difficult as it might seem – with careful planning and research, you can very soon live and work in France, or start your own company there, and even bring your family with you.

This is how to find a job in France and secure your residency

In June 2017 France launched a technology visa programme – Tech Visa – which aims to attract global talent.

As the country is ambitiously tackling skill shortages, especially in the technology sphere, the launched programme promises to relax complex regulations and make it easier for foreign talent to work in France. 

Skilled expats are always interested in new opportunities, and this one is not to be missed. France can be a perfect destination for you to advance your career as the country ranks quite high on the list of the best countries to work in the world to make money.

French Tech Visa is the way in

The French Tech Visa is a simplified, fast-track procedure for international tech talent to obtain a residence permit known as the “Passeport Talent” (“Talent Passport”)

The French Tech Visa is open to three categories of tech talent – startup founders, employees, and investors – and allows them to live and work in France.

  • It is valid for four years, on a renewable basis.
  • You can bring your immediate family members with you: spouses also receive residence permits allowing them to live and work in France. Dependent children are allowed to live in France as well. 
  • No additional work permit is required.

In this article, we will speak about getting a job in France as an employee of an eligible French company or founding your own startup in France.

Getting a job with a French company

Not every French company can freely hire from outside the EEA area. There is a list of eligible companies selected for “Pass French Tech” programme that can employ non-EEA residents. 

The list of the sectors that are employing is pretty impressive:  IT, IOT, AI, Health Tech, Clean Tech, Ed Tech, Marketing, Automation, Big Data, Energy, Retail, – you name it.

However, they all have one thing in common: they are desperate for people with knowledge and interest in technology. That’s exactly what they are all developing – technology and its various applications in different industry sectors.

Consequently, to get a desired job with one of the companies on the list, you have to be qualified and experienced enough to get them interested in you. 

If you manage to get a company to hire you, the rest is really easy.

To be eligible for the French Tech Visa as an employee, you must have:

  • a graduate degree (master’s degree or higher),
  • a work contract with a minimum duration of 3 months with a French company eligible to recruit via the French Tech Visa,
  • a gross annual salary of at least twice the French minimum wage (€35,963.20 as of January 1st, 2018).

French Tech Visa: how to apply

Step 1:

Get employed by a French company eligible to recruit via the French Tech Visa. 

Our tips on how to get hired by a company in Britain can pretty much help you with your job hunting in France. Countries are different, but the main strategies for securing a job are the same.

Step 2: 

Sign your work contract. Ensure that the company that’s hiring you signed and stamped it as well. They will also need to provide you with an official letter attesting that the company is eligible to recruit via the French Tech Visa.

Step 3:

Apply for your long-stay visa and residence permit. 

If you are outside of France, you should apply for a long-stay visa and residence permit marked “Passeport Talent” (“Talent Passport”) at the French Consulate in your usual place of residence no earlier than 3 months before the date of your arrival in France.

The long-stay visa lets you enter France as an employee working in an innovative new company. The residence permit (which you will receive after your arrival) allows you to stay in France as an employee for 4 years.

Once in France, you will present your long-stay visa at your local Préfecture (French government administrative office) which will then issue your residence permit allowing you to stay and work in France.  

If you are already in France, you will need to apply at your local Prefecture for a change of status. You must apply two months before the previous residence permit expires. 

You must meet the same criteria for the “Passeport Talent” (Talent Passport) as employees applying from outside France.

Can’t get employed or not interested in employment?

Your other option is to start an innovative company in France.

Since the French Tech Visa became available for global startups, it is attracting more and more attention from innovators all over the world. 

So far, the majority of applications for the Tech Visa programme have come from Americans, followed by applicants from Russia, China, India, and Ukraine. 

All you need for this is at least five years of related professional experience, or a Master’s degree, financial resources at least equal to the French annual minimum wage, €17,982 (at the time of writing); an economically innovative startup project that you plan to develop in France; approval by a French public organisation called the Direccte.

If founding a startup on your own sounds a bit too daunting, you can apply for one of the specially developed programmes for international startups in France such as the French Tech Ticket Programme.

Applicants who are selected for this programme will work with one of 41 partner incubators for 12 months, which will provide mentorship and funding to the recipients. The Tech Ticket comes with 45,000 euros ($48,330) to cover the costs of relocation.

Also recently Facebook said that it would launch its first-ever startup incubator in Paris this spring. The tech giant’s flagship program, called “Startup Garage,” will accept 10 to 15 data-driven startups every six months, giving them the opportunity to learn from Facebook engineers.

So opportunities are there; grab them, apply for a job or for a startup programme and make your relocation to France happen.

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