Just in time before the 2017 presidential election in France, the current French government wanted to announce one last thing to foster French startups. The French Tech Visa is a new program for foreign tech talent. It’s an easier way to get a four-year visa for you and your family.
France’s Minister of State for Digital Affairs Axelle Lemaire teased some information about this new programme on the TechCrunch stage at CES earlier this month:
Back in 2015, the French government launched the French Tech Ticket, a package with a visa, a small grant and some help when it comes to administrative task. So far, two batches of startups have chosen to spend some time in France, and this programme seems to be going well.
But what if you’re a kick-ass engineer or designer, a VC or you’re a late stage entrepreneur? The French Tech Visa goes further than the French Tech Ticket.
If you live in the European Union, you don’t need a visa. If you’re a foreigner coming from the rest of the world, you can apply and you might get fast-track processing. Your family is also eligible, and there’s no quota as far as I know.
For entrepreneurs, in addition to the French Tech Ticket, there will be partnerships with accelerators and startup competitions. If you manage to participate in one of those, you may get a visa.
For employees, the government is going to make a list of “100+ leading French startups.” The list isn’t done yet. If you get hired by one of these companies, you get a visa. This seems like a sweet deal for engineers, designers, marketers and more. You don’t have to stay at the company for the duration of the visa.
For other tech companies, you can apply for a “Passeport Talent”, which is quite new as well. It reminds me of the O-1 visa in the U.S., and it lets anyone with exceptional technical, artistic or scientific abilities get a visa.