New French Tech Visa: a smoother process to come to France

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The new French Tech visa makes it easier than ever to hire foreign people, whatever country they come from. This will help French startups to scale up and go global.

French tech is developing fast and getting increasing attention from international investors, but it comes at a cost: the hiring gap is increasing too, mostly in the engineering and go-to-market spaces. To better compete in the race for global talent, the government is extending its French Tech visa, a fast-track procedure to obtain a residence permit. The previous employee visa focused on hyper growth companies selected in the “Pass French Tech” program; the new one goes far beyond. It covers all companies that are deemed as innovative, which mean they either:

  • have achieved the Jeune Entreprise Innovante (JEI) status
  • have received state funding for innovation within the last 5 years,
  • are backed by a French VC
  • or are part of a cohort of a partner accelerator/incubator.

In short, the visa will make things easier for incoming foreign employees. “The good thing with this accelerated visa track is that it makes the visa process far less stressful”, estimates Christian Petroske, the American co-founder of software studio Plentyworks, who already benefited from the French Tech Visa “1.0”.
With the new version of the visa, there will be even less paperwork: it will take only a few weeks to get the official stamp. France’s message is clear: the country wants to open its doors to global talent.

We felt like ‘we were invited here by the French government’ - that’s pretty cool

Christian Petroske

Country-agnostic

This new visa is “diploma and country-agnostic, free of charge and valid for up to 4 years. It also extends to family members”, notes Kat Borlongan, the director of French Tech Mission. The four years are not tied to a single employer, which means that the visa holder can work for another French startup during that period. But that’s not all: after the four years, he or she becomes eligible for citizenship. “Allons enfants de la patrie…

Kat Borlongan, French Tech Mission Director

Our startups need us to go fast and make bolder moves. With Brexit and Trump’s conservative immigration making foreign tech talent feel less welcome, we want to be ready to help thousands in the tech industry choose France”, Kat Borlongan concludes. Message received loud and clear!