Update on France Investor's Program

Nov 21,2016
Update on France Investors’ Program:
1 additional year granted to investors

On March 7, 2016, the new law “Droit de Séjour des Etrangers” was enacted and created the “Passport Talent”. The new law sets out new conditions for foreign investors to obtain a resident card to settle down with their family in France.

The new law took effect on November 3rd with the publication of the Decree n°2016-1456 dated October 28, 2016

As a reminder, the former French Skills & Talents Program – or French Economic Residence Card – was created more than 10 years ago (Law No. 2006-911 dated 24th July 2006) in order to improve the attractiveness of the French territory.

Under the former law, a foreign investor, along with his dependents, were eligible to be granted a 3-year residency card subject to the following conditions, notably:
Submitting a solid Business Plan/ Market Survey including full description of the project’s funding;
Investing EUR 300,000.00 in an approved industrial/ commercial business;
Setting up a company in France as vehicle for the Project’s development;
Having a clear Police Clearance and satisfy Health requirements.

The project’s scope of business was not restricted and the applicant was able to choose either a tailored business or to invest in an “off the shelf” field.

Against such investment, a family was entitled to several benefits apart from the right to stay, notably: Right to work in France:
Free Education and access to Healthcare system;
Free travel within Schengen area (3 months every 6-month period);
Free travel to French overseas territories without limitation;
Possibility to apply for French citizenship after a period of 5 years.

Under the new law, the minimum investment remains at EUR 300,000 but the investor must set up a legal entity in France or take over a 30% ownership in a French company in which he will invest the required amount.

Further, the investor must commit to create/maintain jobs for local workforce.

New incentives:
The investor and his/her family will be granted with a 4-year residency card (instead of 3 years) giving the investor a 4 years’ period of time to actually pay his/her investment.
More importantly, Vietnamese and all ex-French colonies citizens no longer have to commit to leave the French territory after 6 years.

As a result of the above, France is gaining in attractiveness in terms of investment mobility. The former fast track processing time shall remain unchanged and in some cases applications being processed have a 4 weeks’ turnaround period to obtain the “visa in hand”.

Please do not hesitate to contact HLG Managing Partner Mr. Bastien Trelcat or HLG Lawyer Mr. Guillaume Matz, for any questions you may have regarding the benefits of French “Passport Talent”.

Bastien Trelcat
Managing Partner

Guillaume Matz