Trust us when we say that french bureaucracy can get confusing: we have gone through it ourselves. Not only when we decided to move to France, but also each time we had to deal with our clients’ different cases. What seems black on white and crystal clear in your head (or online), is just not so straight forward in practice. You could see it as the other side of being fascinated by French culture!
Being flexible and understanding that the journey to get your visa will be bumpy and can change route in-the-making is important. That’s why we are offering our help, as your co-pilots, in this adventure!
So, if you are planning on moving to France to start your own business, (and your business is not a “startup” – because that’s a whole different matter), you will come across two types of business creation visas. However, you might not get what is so different about them, or which procedures you should follow in order to have the visa that best suits your situation.
You could either be looking at a visa “entrepreneur/profession libérale” or a “passeport talent création d’entreprise”. In this section we will give you our expert advice on all pros and cons of these two visas and give you a detailed comparison between the two.
Entrepreneur/Profession libérale or Passeport Talent Creation d’entreprise
If you are planning to carry out a commercial, industrial, artisanal or other self- employed activities in France, you must have a temporary residence permit which will allow you to exercise a professional activity. The two different visas you can apply for in order to create or take over a business in France are:
Carte de séjour temporaire Entrepreneur/Profession libérale and Carte de séjour pluriannuelle : Passeport talent Création d’entreprise
The first visa is tailored to single entrepreneurs and freelance professionals while the second visa is more tailored to someone looking to start a larger business with employees and thus has different features.
There are pros and cons to both types of visas, and our experts have taken the time to make a comparison and highlight which are the most important features of both visas:
1) Authorized length of stay
You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of length of stay when talking about french visas. You may be thinking- but can’t I just renew my visa over and over? Sure- up to certain point. But trust use when we say- going through the process let’s say- once a year- is an absolute nightmare. So you might want to look at your options carefully with an expert. Most simply, a carte de séjour temporaire entrepreneur lasts one year, while a passeport talent is a carte de séjour pluriannuelle, or pluriannual, and is valid for up to 4 years.
The conditions to satisfy in order to be eligible for one or the other visa are multiple. However, as we said before, you shouldn’t underestimate the nuances of french bureaucracy.
What we can tell you for sure, is that the greatest difference in order to have a passeport talent, is that you have to prove you will invest at least 30 thousand euros in the “entreprise” project in France. To do this, you will have to go through different steps which can prove challenging, especially when you are moving from something which is not always so straightforward to do. For example, you might have to open a French bank account prior to your arrival to France. The passeport talent eligibility criteria also include that you can prove:
1. That the activity is compatible with safety, health and public peace,
2. That your project is real and economically viable (with a certificate for proof)
3. That you have €20,147.40 in resources for yourself on top of what is need for the project
4. That you have a degree corresponding to at least Master’s level or equivalent, or at least 5 years’ commensurate professional experience, typically in the field that you want to start your business in .
5. Prove an investment of at least €30,000 in the business project
The Entrepreneur/Profession libérale eligibility criteria include that you can prove :
1. The existence of a real and serious project to create an economically viable business
2.That the activity is compatible with safety, health and public peace
3. That you have €20,147.40 in resources for your project and sufficient remuneration
To be fair, a certificate of proof that your project is real and economically feasible may also be necessary for the visa of profession libèrale. Since passeport talent is a visa for commercial activity, you definitely need this certificate. You could however be doing a passeport talent for profession libérale, however, it gets complicated. To obtain the certificate, you will have to get approval from the Interior Ministry of the French Government.
3) Cost For the Passeport Talent and Carte d’Entreprise the visa costs are exactly the same:
Applicants must pay a tax of €200 to the French Immigration and Citizenship Office (Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration – OFII) when the permit is issued.
In addition to this tax, stamp duty of €25 is also charged on residence permits. In addition to this administrative cost of €225 which is paid in France, the long-stay visa authorizing entry into France costs €99, which is paid in your home country.
Keep in mind that you may also have costs for when you will have your visa appointment in your home country such as in countries using the services of VFS.
TL;DR, Pros and Cons of the passeport talent visa
The main pros of the Passeport Talent visa over the Entrepreneur/Profession Libérale:
1.One application counts for the whole family. If you are applying for a passeport talent, your spouse can automatically work thanks to your visa – by the way – same sex marriages are 100% recognised in France. Your children will be able to apply for residency up to 21 years old. After 21, you will have to analyse your specific case and see if they are still covered by your own visa.
In contrast the Entrepreneur/Profession Libérale will only support one person, unless the spouse is also going to be a part of the business. Otherwise the spouse and any kids will have to come on a visitor’s visa and not be eligible to work.
2.The passeport talent is a multi-year visa. You will probably (but not always) start having a Visa de Long Sèjour Valent Titre de Sèjour (or VLS-TS) for the first year, and then you can obtain a 4 year carte de sèjour (residency card). However, there are exceptions.
As mentioned before the Entrepreneur/Profession Libérale will generally require yearly trips to the immigration office to apply for a residency card after your first year, then to renew said card every year. This is itself may be worth 30k!
The main con of the passeport talent is:
1. You are going to go through a complicated process to prove you will invest 30 thousand euros in France for your business project. Just having this money sitting in a bank account in your name and in your home country is not enough. There are some precise details to follow to be sure that the money is in the right account and in the right country.
We hope this Article has helped you understand these options better, and get a little first impression of the different conditions of visas in France. For more information or if you need a hand, feel free to contact us or schedule a free 30 min. call with one of our relocation experts and find out how we can help you:
Check our other blogs about immigration: