What is the change? An immigration law that will overhaul visa categories especially for high-skilled foreign nationals, is expected to take effect Nov. 1. The law appeared to be stalled, but a decree for enforcement was submitted Wednesday at the Council of Ministers.

What does the change mean? The law introduces a Talent Passport residence permit category for high-skilled workers and waives work permit requirements for them. The law also provides for greater flexibility and mobility within the EU for intracompany transfers and intracompany trainees. In addition, work permits will be waived for employment of up to three months in designated industries to be determined.

  • Implementation time frame: Nov. 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: All work and resident permits, including EU Blue Cards, Intracompany Transfer visas and a new Talent Passport category.
  • Who is affected: French companies sponsoring high-skilled non-EEA nationals and multinational companies posting intracompany transferees and trainees in France.
  • Business impact: The lawshould simplify the classifications and provide important exemptions from work permits.
  • Next steps: An implementing decree is expected imminently. BAL will report details on implementation as well as any attendant changes to procedures as they become available.

Background: The Law on the Rights of Foreigners, which was published March 8, contains these key provisions:

  • The Talent Passport will be a four-year resident permit that covers several categories of high-skilled workers, including EU Blue Cards, ICTs (on a local contract), investors, scientists, and others. categories will be exempt from work permits. Family dependents will be authorized to work.
  • Intracompany transfers on foreign payroll will have three categories of resident permits: Seconded ICT Employee (maximum three years) for managers, ICT Trainee (maximum one year) for intracompany interns, and ICT Mobile Employee or Trainee for non-EEA nationals coming to France as ICTs from another EU state. Family members will qualify for residence permits.
  • Other residence permits will fall into three categories: Salaried Employees on unlimited contracts (one year, renewable), Temporary Workers on fixed-duration contracts (up to one year), and Entrepreneur for self-employed individuals.
  • Foreigners settling in France will be required to fulfill integration agreements demonstrating their knowledge of French language and civics.

BAL Analysis: The law should simplify procedures by exempting certain high-skilled workers under the Talent Passport category and foreign workers on short-term assignments in designated industries. The full impact of the changes will be clearer in the coming days when implementing guidance is released. BAL is following progress of the law and will update clients as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in France. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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