The Law on Foreigners in France was recently published on March 15, 2016 and is scheduled to come into effect from November 1, 2016. The law has introduced a number of changes in the French Immigration Law. 

To summarize, the law has introduced a Talent Passport residence permit category for highly skilled workers and also will waive work permit requirements for these individuals. The law has also overhauled several intra-company transfer (ICT) routes for greater mobility within the EU. Additionally, employment of up to three months in designated industries will not require work permits. More details about these changes will be announced by way of a decree at a later date.  

The changes in the law were proposed in early February and is likely to impact most foreign nationals such as highly-skilled employees, intra-company transferees and their dependents. 

'Talent Passport' is a residence permit valid for four years and incorporates several categories including EU Blue Cards, ICTs (on local contract), investors, scientists, artists, young graduate students and others. Those individuals who are eligible to apply for a Talent Passport visa will not be required to apply for work permits. Further, their dependents will be authorized to work.

Residence permits for ICT transferees on the foreign payroll will be classified into three categories: (i) Seconded ICT Employee (maximum three years); (ii) for managers, ICT Trainee (maximum one year); and (iii) for intra-company interns, and ICT Mobile Employee or Trainee for non-EEA nationals coming to France as ICTs from another EU state. Family members of these residence permit holders will also qualify for residence permits.

Other residence permits will fall into three categories: (i) Salaried Employees on unlimited contracts (one year, renewable), (ii) Temporary Workers on fixed duration contracts (up to one year), and (iii) Entrepreneur for self-employed individuals.

The new law appears to exclude work permit requirements thereby simplifying procedures for highly skilled workers under the Talent Passport visa category as well as for foreign nationals who will be assigned for short-term work in designated industries in France. These changes when implemented will also benefit corporates employing foreign national highly skilled staff or seconding ICT assignees.

More Information on the above will be made available once the implementing decree is released.

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