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France Golden Visa program: requirements in 2024

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France

France does not offer a «Golden Visa» program in the same way that some other countries do, such as Portugal, Spain, or Greece, which provide residency permits to non-EU investors in exchange for significant financial investment in real estate or business. However, France offers several attractive residency options that can be considered equivalent to a «Golden Visa» for affluent individuals looking to invest or move there. These options cater to different types of investors and entrepreneurs, providing a pathway to residency based on economic contribution or business activity in France.

Talent Passport

The closest alternative to a «Golden Visa» in France is the «Talent Passport» («Passeport Talent»), a multi-year residence permit for non-EU nationals. This permit targets skilled professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs among others. Here are some key categories under the Talent Passport scheme that might interest investors:

  • Business investment. For individuals investing in an economic project that creates or protects jobs within the next four years.
  • Innovative business project. Entrepreneurs with a project recognized by a public French institution.
  • Economic investment. Direct investment either personally or through a company in which the individual has at least a 30% share, with significant economic impact.

Startup Visa

For tech entrepreneurs and startup founders, France offers the French Tech Visa, part of the broader Talent Passport scheme. This program is designed for startup founders, employees, and investors looking to engage with France’s thriving tech ecosystem. It requires the startup to be recognized by a public French endorsement agency as innovative. Though not a «Golden Visa» per se, France has provisions for wealthy individuals willing to make a significant economic contribution.

Advantages of the «Golden Visa» program

Choosing France for investment or entrepreneurship comes with numerous benefits, including access to a large and diversified market, a strong labor pool, and a strategic location in Europe. However, potential investors should consider the following:

  • Regulatory environment. France has a complex regulatory framework that requires careful navigation.
  • Language barrier. While not a legal requirement, knowledge of French is crucial for business and integration.
  • Taxation. France’s tax regime can be challenging, with wealth tax considerations for high-net-worth individuals.

While France doesn’t offer a straightforward «Golden Visa» program, its Talent Passport and other investment-oriented residency options present valuable opportunities for non-EU nationals looking to invest, start businesses, or live in France. Each option has its criteria, benefits, and challenges, requiring thorough preparation and possibly legal consultation to ensure compliance and success.

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