Typically, foreign individuals who wish to settle in France with their families need to go through two stages. First, the main applicant must qualify under a specific category and obtain a residence permit in France. Then, the family members must qualify for and obtain a family residence permit through a process known as family reunification, or "regroupement familial", which involves satisfying various requirements. It is important to note that simply holding an ordinary residence permit in France does not automatically allow the applicant to bring their family along.
However, individuals settling in France under the Talent Passport Program, particularly in categories such as "business investor", "business creation" or "company director", enjoy an exemption from the family reunification process. Instead, they can opt for a simplified accompanying family procedure namely "famille accompagnante", making the family reunification more straightforward without any specific requirements.
Which family members are included?
Individuals who hold a Talent Passport residence permit in certain categories as mentioned above ("Talent Passport"), have the privilege of bringing their legal spouse, who must be at least 18 years old, to France. By submitting a simple application including notably their marriage certificate, the spouse will receive a family residence permit valid for the same duration as the Talent Passport. Note that, the law passed on 17th May 2013 recognizing same-sex marriages in France allows legal same-sex spouse to be eligible for the simple accompanying family process without any gender-based restrictions.
Children under 18 years old could also join their parent holding a Talent Passport without needing a separate residence permit. Alternatively, they can apply for a travel document for minor children (DCEM) allowing them to travel within the Schengen area, by submitting a simple application including notably their birth certificate.
When the children reach the age of 18, or in exceptional cases between the ages of 16 and 18 if they wish to work, they may be eligible to apply for a separate family residence permit, provided that their parent still holds a Talent Passport. The children's residence permit will be valid for the same duration as the Talent Passport.
It is highlighted that family members obtaining the residence permit through the simple family process also have the rights to live, work, and study in France along with access to various high-quality social benefits offered by the country.
How to obtain the "Family" Talent Passport?
The process for a main applicant obtaining a Talent Passport involves 2 stages. Firstly, they must apply for a long-stay visa with the French consulate in their country of residence. Secondly, upon arrival in France, they must apply for a Talent Passport residence permit at the local competent Prefecture. During these stages, they have the option to include their spouse and children in their initial application for the visa. This allows the family to arrive in France together. However, it is important to be aware that spouse and children can only carry out the simple accompanying family process once the Talent Passport has been issued to the main applicant.
Otherwise, spouse and/or children also have the option to apply for a visa and residence permit in France independently in any time after the main applicant has obtained their Talent Passport, as long as this is still valid.
Regarding the renewal process, when the main applicant successfully renews their Talent Passport, their spouse and children can also apply for renewal within two months prior to the residence permit's expiry date under the simple family accompanying process, without any exceptional challenge.
What if the application under simple accompanying family is rejected?
While it is rare for a simple accompany family application is rejected, if this is the case, there is still a possibility to proceed with the classic family reunification procedure.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.