• Lawmakers Propose “Talent Passport” and Elimination of Permit Requirements for Short-Term Assignments
  • September 29, 2014
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • French lawmakers have proposed a new work visa called the Talent Passport, the elimination of the temporary work permit for assignments of up to three months, and a new residence permit valid for up to four years.

    The proposal is expected to be scheduled for parliamentary debate in the next few months.

    Talent Passport

    The Talent Passport would merge existing work visa categories and create nine new work visa types, each with a validity period of up to four years. The categories are:

    • Foreign Graduate of French University, a new category;
    • Highly Qualified Worker, which would absorb the European Blue Card category without substantial changes;
    • Intercompany Transferee, which would replace the previous ICT category;
    • Artist, which would have no substantial changes from the present Artist category; and
    • Foreigner of Outstanding Ability in the area of science, literature, intellectual, education or sports, a present category to which undetermined changes would be made upon implementation.

    The above categories would not require a separate work permit, and in case of involuntary termination, the foreign national would be allowed one year to look for a new job.

    The other proposed categories are:

    • Scientist, which would have no substantial changes from the present Scientist category;
    • Entrepreneur, a new category which would require a Master’s Degree and five years of experience and would require the foreign national to create a business based on a to-be-determined government decree;
    • Investor, which would have a €500,000 investment minimum amount, instead of the present €1,000,000, and would only require ten new jobs to be created, instead of the present 50; and
    • Executive Officer, which is presently covered under the Competence and Talent category.

    Dependents of Talent Passport holders would be issued a four-year residence permit, which would confer automatic work authorization for dependents at least age 18.

    Multi-Year Residence Permit

    Another proposal of the draft law provides for the issuance of an initial one-year permit, followed by a four-year residence permit, if the foreign national demonstrates his or her willingness to adhere to French cultural values by undergoing language and civic knowledge testing. This would eliminate the requirement for foreign nationals to present documents in person to renew their residence permits every year. Further details on this proposal will be outlined in the implementation provisions. Certain categories, such as trainees, self-employed professionals, and visitors, would not be eligible for this permit.

    Elimination of Work Permit Requirement for Short-Term Assignments

    The draft law proposes the elimination of the temporary work permit (APT), which is currently required for assignments of three months or less. This change was prompted by a government study that concluded the APT is unnecessary given that short assignments must be registered with French labor authorities. This change is controversial since it may be viewed as disadvantageous to French job seekers.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    If the draft law is passed, employers would be able to onboard foreign national employees more efficiently since most categories of the new Talent Passport would not require a separate work permit, and because of the elimination of the temporary work permit. Foreign nationals would benefit from the creation of the long-validity residence permit, which would eliminate previous documentation and appearance requirements.