Expat Essentials

Molli Sébrier in Paris: Applying for France’s Passeport Talent Visa … three scenarios

(Editor’s note: This post on how to obtain the Passeport Talent Visa first appeared on The American in Paris website. It’s reposted here with permission.)

For non-Europeans looking to come to France to live, your best bet has long been the student visa. Even for those who thought their student days were long behind them, traveling to France for some continued education is by far the easiest way. And, continued education doesn’t mean that you need to sign up to do another undergrad or Master’s degree. You can obtain a student visa if you take French classes or attend a cooking school, among other options.

But then 2020 arrived and our lives changed. Traveling wasn’t as easy as before (if it was even allowed) and moving to a foreign country became a distant memory of something that you may have considered. Even college students had to put their study abroad semesters on hold, and if you did manage to get a student visa for yourself, your spouse or children weren’t necessarily able to apply for their own visas through yours. 

But there’s always another way, if you look hard enough. If you’re feeling frustrated and aren’t sure what to do, I’m glad you found this post.

Here’s how to apply for a different type of visa for France, the Passeport Talent. 

What is it?

Passeport Talent is a fancy French way of saying that if you’ve got talent, come and share your skills in France! It is a multi-year residence permit that was created to bring talented foreigners to France in order to develop the county’s “attractiveness.” As if France wasn’t attractive enough, right? Well, if you’ve got a special skill that you want to bring over to the français, you can, thanks to the passeport talent

Who can apply?

You can apply if you’re planning on working and living in France for more than three months. You’ll remember that people from many non-European countries are allowed to visit and live in Europe without a visa for 90 days. The passeport talent ensures that you’re allowed to stay for much, much longer. This long-term visa (otherwise known as a residence permit) is issued for up to four years and is renewable.

In order to apply, you must be from a non-European country. 

How to do it

If you’re still in your home country, you’re required to apply at the nearest French consulate. IF you’re already in France and are interested in changing your visa status, you’ll need to go to the closest prefecture. To start, you’ll have to provide these documents:

  • Your passport
  • Your birth certificate (translated in French by an officially licensed translator)
  • Your wedding certificate, if you are married (translated)
  • Your children’s birth certificate, if you have any (translated)
  • Proof of address
  • Three ID photos
  • Application (different according to your activity)
  • Official documents related to your activity.

It will cost you 269 euros to get the final card.

So, who can receive the passeport talent? There are 11 different scenarios in which you could potentially get one, but for the sake of this article, I will briefly examine three of them. I encourage you to visit the official French website for this type of visa if you don’t see an option below that works for you. 

You want to create a business in France, or are taking control of one

(This is ideal if you have some money set aside for yourself and is essentially a more financially muscular Profession Liberale Visa.)

  • You’ll apply for “passeport talent – création d’entreprise.
  • You must prove that you have a serious plan to open a business in France. 
  • You’re required to invest at least 30,000 euros in your project, have a degree that is equivalent to a Master’s degree (or are able to prove that you have five years of professional experience in your field)
  • You are also able to apply for the passeport talent – création d’entreprise if you are slated to take control of a French business.
  • You’ll need to show proof of the plans for your new business as well as proof of your investment, your diploma, that you’ll be earning at least the French minimum wage (roughly 1,500 euros gross per month), and you must fill out this application.

You are an artist, a writer, or a performer

(This is perfect if you were already planning to come as a writer on a Prof Lib visa.)

  • You’ll apply for “passeport talent – profession artistique et culturelle.
  • If you’re a singer, performer, author, or simply an artist, you must prove that you earn at least 1,064.85 euros gross per month.
  • You’ll need to provide documents that prove that you are a professional artist, and if you are employed by a French company, you’ll need proof of that too. That being said, you can apply for this visa even if you are self-employed. You must fill out this application as well.

You are making a direct economic investment in France

(If you have dreams of opening a B&B or some other larger traditional business, this is a good route for you.  Simply buying a property is insufficient in and of itself. The investment must create/save jobs.)

  • You’ll apply for “passeport talent – investissement économique – toutes activités commerciales.
  • You must prove that you are investing at least 300,000€ in a French company that you own or through a company in which you hold at least a 30% share of the capital.
  • You must also prove that you will create or save jobs and you must have proof of your plans for your investment, and you must also be earning at least the French minimum wage (roughly 1,500 euros gross per month). 

These are just three of the possible situations which would allow you to apply for the passport talent. Like all things in the French administration, the application process is long and very involved. I have done significant research on the subject, and I also know quite a few people who have managed to get this visa. If you’re interested, feel free to contact me for private consultations and help along the way. 

About the author:

Molli Sébrier has lived in Paris since 2014 when she decided to leave her American life behind and pursue her dream of becoming a writer. Since living abroad, Molli has earned her master’s degree in English Studies with a concentration in literature and is now working towards making that becoming a writer thing happen. If you’re interested in following your own dreams of moving to France, she also offers consulting. 

You can follow her journey on Instagram @mollim, and if you like to read, Molli runs a female-focused book review website called The Mistress of Books. You can also follow her website on Instagram @themistressofbooks.

See more about French visas here in Dispatches Europe archives.

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