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FRANCE – Decree Implements Major Changes to Immigration Regime

Effective 1 November 2016, the French government has published the first decree implementing the new Law on Foreign Workers of 7 March 2016.

The decree establishes that visa applications for two new immigration categories - “Talent Passport” and Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Employees on Detachment (a.k.a. secondment) – must be submitted at French consulates. Processing delays are expected until detailed procedures have been announced and fully implemented.

The decree also clarifies the occupations which are now exempt from the work permit requirement for up to 3 months.

Applications submitted before 1 November 2016 will be processed according to the previous regulations.

Talent Passport

This four–year permit will be available from 1 November 2016 for the following categories:

  • Change of status for students holding a Masters degree from France;
  • European Blue Card;
  • ICT “salarié en mission” with a local employment contract in France;
  • Scientists/Researchers;
  • Applicants holding a Master degree who wish to open a business in France;
  • Foreign nationals who present a project in innovation that has been recognised by an official administration;
  • Foreign nationals who invest directly in France;
  • Artists.

ICT Employees on Detachment

This category will now include three separate permits:

  • ICT Employee on Detachment – issued for an employee who is on an assignment in a senior management position or to provide expertise, to a company in France that is part of the same group as the home country employer;
  • ICT Trainee – issued when there is an approved training agreement within the framework of an internship with an institution or company of the same group as the home country employer;
  • Mobile ICT Employee on detachment or Mobile ICT Trainee – issued if the foreign national already holds a residence permit issued by another EU country under one of the above categories (ICT Employee or ICT Trainee).

Short-Term Assignments

For assignments of up to 90 days, a work permit will no longer be required for:

a) Employees on local contract in France working in the following areas:

  • Sports, cultural, artistic and scientific events;
  • Professional conferences, seminars and workshops;
  • Film, audio-visual, entertainment and Phonographic publishing production and distribution, if the employee is an artist or technical personnel that is directly part of the production or project;
  • Modelling;
  • Personal services and domestic workers during the assignment in France of their private employers;
  • Education given occasionally by visiting professors.

b) Employees on detachment (secondment, as defined the French labor law article L. 1262-1):

  • Assignments for audits and experts in information technology, management, finance, insurance, architecture and engineering

Assignees in these categories who do not qualify for a visa waiver will still need to obtain a short-term Schengen visa, documentary requirements for which have not as yet been indicated.

Action Items

  • Expect some delays in the processing of the above immigration categories until detailed procedural guidelines have been issued and fully implemented

This alert was drafted using information provided by Apro Consulting, Expat Partners and Itama Mobility.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.