What is the change? An immigration law overhauling the rules and classifications of foreign nationals in France has been published in the Official Gazette.

What does the change mean? The law introduces a Talent Passport residence permit category for highly skilled workers and waives work permit requirements for them. The law also revamps several intracompany transfer (ICT) routes for greater mobility within the EU. In addition, work permits will be waived for employment of up to three months in designated industries, to be announced by decree at a later date.

  • Implementation time frame: The Law on Foreigners in France was published Tuesday and is scheduled to take effect by Nov. 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Talent Passport, ICT visas, EU Blue Card, work and residence permits.
  • Who is affected: High-skilled employees, intracompany transferees and trainees and their family dependents.  
  • Impact on processing times: Work permit procedures will be eliminated for highly skilled workers under the Talent Passport category. Details on new procedures will be released in an implementing decree.
  • Business impact: The changes should benefit companies employing non-EEA highly skilled workers or seconding ICT assignees and trainees. Certain designated industries will also benefit from work permit exemptions for non-EEA nationals on short-term assignments.
  • Next steps: An implementing decree, which will clarify the changes, is expected to be released before Nov. 1.

Background: The law was proposed in early February and reorganizes the status of foreign nationals into several categories.

The Talent Passport is a residence permit valid for four years and encompasses several categories including EU Blue Cards, ICTs (on local contract), investors, scientists and others. Those falling under Talent Passport will not be required to apply for work permits. Family dependents will be authorized to work.

Residence permits for ICTs on a foreign payroll will have three categories: 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.

The law also requires foreigners settling in France to fulfill integration agreements demonstrating knowledge of French language and civics.

BAL Analysis: The law appears to simplify procedures by eliminating work permits for highly 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 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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