A decree creating the French Tech Visa for Employees officially came into effect on March 1 2019. From now on, all start-ups who qualify for this visa scheme can hire anyone they want, from anywhere in the world through this special fast-tracked process.
The French tech ecosystem is experiencing massive growth. More start-ups are raising larger sums of money at an accelerated pace. To keep this momentum going, French start-ups will have to hire thousands of employees over the coming years to innovate and flourish. With the race for talent getting even more competitive, the likes of Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft — in France and elsewhere – are raising salaries, making it even harder for start-ups to compete.
In order to help start-ups to attract the brightest talent, barriers and bureaucracy have to be broken down.
By collaborating with the French Directorate for Companies – Ministry of Economic Affairs (DGE) and the Ministry of Interior Affairs, La French Tech has spearheaded one of the most ‘open’ start-up employee visas in Europe. While many other countries offer start-up visas, this is the first of its kind, taking into consideration the time it takes to truly scale a start-up and covering all of the below requirements:
- The visa is diploma agnostic. No degree is needed to apply
- It automatically extends to family members
- It is valid for four years. In that time, entrepreneurs do not need to be tied to a single employer and after four years, can become eligible for citizenship
- It’s free
- The application process is identical regardless of which country someone is applying from
Companies that can benefit from hiring new talent from the French Tech Visa for Employees scheme need to be registered in France and have a SIRET number (a 14 digit number referring to the business location). Then, if the company checks one of the following conditions, they qualify to use the French Tech Visa for Employees:
- Has the ‘Young Innovative Enterprise (JEI)’ status, a package of tax credits and social contribution exemptions offered to R&D start-ups
- Received specific state funding for innovation within the last five years
- Backed by a French VC
- Part of a cohort of a partner Accelerator/Incubator
The current estimates put the number of start-ups that qualify at over 10,000.
Kat Borlongan, Director of La French Tech, commented: “It has never been a more exciting time to work in technology in France. From FinTech, to AI, to data privacy to wellness tech – we are leading the agenda globally. Today’s simplification of the visa scheme demonstrates our strong belief that our booming tech sector can only continue to thrive if we attract the brightest and best talent from all over the world. All are welcome here to work in a flourishing and innovative global community.”
Gaetan Rougevin-Baville, COO of French start-up, Meero, commented: “We are scaling so quickly that our key current priority is hiring new employees in all our offices: we plan on welcoming 550 more staff members by the end of the year. This streamlined employee visa helps us hire the most highly skilled workers across all our markets, supporting us and many other start-ups to put France on the map for tech innovation.”