The French Tech Visa: Costs & Procedures

Entrepreneur, qualified employee, or investor in the field of tech? And what if it was in France where you bring your knowledge and luggage?

The technological ecosystem there is in full expansion. Many companies have already chosen to open internationally. Starting out by operating in English, they now surround themselves with cosmopolitan employees.

In addition, the French government has chosen to value this market. It therefore supports and facilitates innovative initiatives. The country ranks 11th in the 2021 Global Innovation Index. Finally, according to data still collected during this same period, France has 26 unicorns.

What is a French Tech Visa?

Introduced in 2017, the French Tech Visa is a residence and work permit for tech professionals. That is for employees, as well as start-up founders, or even investors.

It is open exclusively to people coming from outside the EU, the EEA, and the Schengen area. Its validity is 4 years and it is possible to renew it.

Eligibility for the French Tech Visa

The eligibility criteria for this visa differ according to the category of professional.

Regarding employees, for example, it requires a professional sponsor. That is to say that the candidate must present an employment contract of at least 3 months with a French company, eligible to recruit under the French Tech Visa.

In addition, the pre-established salary must be at least 38,475€ – gross. This corresponds to twice the annual minimum wage in France.

On the other hand, for the start-up founders, it is a question of presenting an innovative project to be developed in France. The project in question must be validated. This can be done by different actors in the field such as:

  • one of the 13 French Tech Capitals,
  • a French Tech Visa partner incubator,
  • a research organization or laboratory,
  • a company.

In addition to this support, the candidate must have sufficient annual financial means, i.e. €19,237 on 1 January 2022 (corresponding to the national legal minimum wage).

Finally, we speak of investors people who, in their own name, in the name of a company that they manage or that they own at least 30% of the shares, decided to concentrate their efforts on France. This can be through investment (minimum €300,000), or by committing to creating/protecting jobs within four years of making the investment.

Reinvested earnings, equity capital investments, or inter-affiliate loans are eligible.  Purely financial investments are not considered eligible under this program.

How to apply for a French Tech Visa?

Depending on whether the request is made from France or from the previous country of residence, the procedure differs. Note, however, that the request is generally made from the previous country of residence.

For this, applicants must first prove the category in which they are. An employee must therefore have a contract with an innovative company. An entrepreneur must have his project approved. Following this, the FDI DRIEETS issues an official letter that recognizes the innovative nature of the project. Finally, an investor sees his profile examined, in particular the history of his investments, by the French Tech mission.

Through the French Tech platform, candidates can apply and follow the progress of their requests.

Once you arrive in France, you need to finalize the application for a residence permit via the dedicated platform.

Documents required if you are applying from abroad

Please note that this list of required documents is provided for information only. Be sure to contact the authorities for a detailed list of required documents.

  • The long-stay visa application form (CERFA n°14571*05) is fully completed and signed,
  • The visa receipt for France,
  • Your passport – issued within the last 10 years and valid for at least three months after the expiry of the visa,
  • Proof of civil status,
  • Three recent photos.

The main supporting documents for employees

  • The Cerfa form which indicates your salary and the position held in the company,
  • The social security certificate of temporary employment abroad or the declaration on the honor of application for registration with the French social security system,
  • A letter indicating your duties in the company,
  • An up-to-date extract from the employer’s trade register, if it is a legal person, or a K extract or a craft license if the employer is an individual,
  • Proof of payment of social security contributions (if your employer is subject to this obligation),
  • Documents proving your skills and experience corresponding to the position to be filled,
  • Cerfa forms no. 15614*04, specifying the conditions of the employment contract,
  • A permanent employment contract or a fixed-term employment contract of at least three months with an employer established in France, showing a gross annual remuneration at least equal to twice the average gross annual salary of €38,475 as of January 1, 2022,
  • A copy of a diploma equivalent to a master’s degree.

Key supporting documents for start-up founders

  • A letter attesting that you have been selected by the French Tech Visa partner incubators and accelerators
  • An official letter from the public body certifying the innovative nature of your project
  • Proof of your financial means: €19,237 on 1 January 2022 (corresponding to the national legal minimum wage).
  • Main supporting documents for investors
  • Proof of your role in your own business (you run a business or hold a stake of at least 30%)
  • Your investment plan and a letter of commitment to creating jobs in France

The validity of the French Tech visa

The maximum duration of a French Tech visa is four years, with the possibility of renewal. However, this may change depending on the nature of the investment/company/project.


The long-stay visa that authorizes entry into France costs €99. You must also pay a tax of €200 to the French Office for Immigration and Citizenship. A €25 stamp duty must also be paid.

Family Inclusion

The French Tech visa scheme allows you to include your spouse and dependent children under the “accompanying family status”. The fees below apply:

  • €225 for your spouse’s residence permit
  • €99 per visa issued to each member

In Conclusion

This concludes the introduction to how the French Tech Visa works and how to apply for it. This is a great opportunity for international talent, business investors, and start-up founders. In addition to rising as a pole in the tech market, France is an attractive country where the quality of life is high. Come and discover this country rich in culture and history, and who knows, maybe you will settle there for your professional activity!

Want to know more? Check out our other articles on the best tax jurisdictions to adopt!


Sharon Hughes

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