French entrepreneur visa: the rules

This note is on the rules and law governing the French entrepreneur visa. You can see my full explanation of the French entrepreneur visa as well.

Article L313-10, The Code

“The temporary residence permit authorizing the exercise of a professional activity is issued:

[…]

2. Abroad who  comes to exercise a commercial, industrial or craft profession , on the condition in particular that he justifies an economically viable activity compatible with public safety, health and tranquility and that he respects the obligations imposed to nationals for the exercise of the profession envisaged. It bears the mention of the profession that the holder intends to practice. A decree in the Council of State fixes the conditions of application of this 2;

…”

Insee, French National Minimum Wage

Supporting Documents Checklist

To be joined by your spouse, you first need to be on the visa in France for 18 months:

Article L411-1, The Code

“Foreign nationals who have been  staying regularly in France for at least eighteen months , under cover of one of the documents with a validity period of at least one year provided for by this code or by international conventions, may request to benefit of his right to be joined, by virtue of family reunification, by his spouse, if the latter is at least eighteen years of age, and the children of the minor couple under eighteen years of age.”

Article L411-5, The Code

“Family reunification can only be refused for one of the following reasons:

1. The applicant does not justify stable and sufficient resources to support his family. All the resources of the applicant and his spouse are taken into account independently of the family benefits and allowances provided for in article L. 262-1 of the social action and family code, in article L. 815-1 of the social security code and articles L. 351-9, L. 351-10 and L. 351-10-1 of the labor code. Resources must reach an amount that takes into account the size of the applicant’s family. The Council of State decree provided for in Article L. 441-1fixes this amount which must be at least equal to the minimum monthly growth salary and at most equal to this salary increased by a fifth. These provisions do not apply when the person requesting family reunification is the holder of the allowance for disabled adults mentioned in article L. 821-1 of the social security code or the additional allowance mentioned in article L. 815-24 of the same code;

2. The applicant does not have or will not have on the date of arrival of his family in France accommodation considered normal for a comparable family living in the same geographic region;

3. The applicant does not comply with the essential principles which, in accordance with the laws of the Republic, govern family life in France, the host country.”

Permanent residence comes after five years:

Article L314-8, The Code

“Any foreigner who has an uninterrupted residence of at least  five years  in France, in accordance with the laws and regulations in force, under cover of one of the residence permits mentioned in articles L. 313-6 , L. 313-8 and L. 313-9, in 1, 2 and 3 of article L. 313-10 , in articles L. 313-11, L. 313-11-1 , L. 313-14 and L. 314-9, in 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 of article L. 314-11 and in articles L. 314-12 and L. 315-1 can obtain a resident card marked “long-term resident-CE” if they have health insurance. Years of residence, under cover of a temporary residence permit marked “private and family life” withdrawn by the administrative authority on the basis of a marriage having only the purpose of obtaining a residence permit or d ‘acquire French nationality, cannot be taken into account to obtain the resident card. The decision to grant or refuse this card is taken taking into account the facts which he can invoke in support of his intention to establish permanently in France, in particular with regard to the conditions of his professional activity if he has one, and his means of existence.

The applicant’s livelihoods are assessed in the light of their resources, which must be stable and sufficient to meet their needs. All the applicant’s own resources are taken into account independently of the family benefits and allowances provided for in articles L. 262-1 of the social action and families code and L. 351-9, L. 351-10 and L. 351-10-1 of the labor code. These resources must reach an amount at least equal to the minimum growth wage and are assessed with regard to housing conditions.

The sufficiency of resources with regard to housing conditions is the subject of an opinion from the mayor of the applicant’s municipality of residence. This opinion is deemed favorable to the expiration of a period of two months from the referral of the mayor by the administrative authority.”

Article L314-2, The Code

“When the legislative provisions of this code so provide, the issuance of a first resident card is subject to the republican integration of the foreigner into French society, appreciated in particular with regard to his personal commitment to respect the principles that govern the French Republic, effective compliance with these principles and its knowledge of the French language, which must be at least equal to a level defined by decree in the Council of State.

For the assessment of the condition of integration, the administrative authority seeks the opinion of the mayor of the municipality in which he resides. This opinion is deemed favorable to the expiration of a period of two months from the referral of the mayor by the administrative authority.

Foreigners over the age of sixty-five are not subject to the condition relating to knowledge of the French language.”

The right to naturalise as a French citizen after a term on the entrepreneur visa comes after five years:

Article 21-17, French Civil Code

“Subject to the exceptions laid down in Articles 21-18, 21-19 and 21-20, naturalisation may be granted only to a foreigner who proves a habitual residence in France during the  five years  preceding the submission of the request.”

Article 21-24, French Civil Code

“Nobody may be naturalized unless he proves his assimilation into the French community, and notably by a sufficient knowledge, according to his condition, of the language, history, culture, and society of France, whose level and whose means of evaluation are fixed by decree en Conseil d’État, and of the rights and duties conferred by the French nationality, as well as an adherence to the essential principles and values of the Republic.

Upon issuance of the verification of his assimilation, the person concerned signs the charter of the rights and duties of the French citizen. This charter, approved by decree en Conseil d’État, restates the essential principles, values, and symbols of the Republic of France.”

Naturalisation for family members comes after three years:

Article 314-9, The Code

“The resident card is automatically issued:

1. To the spouse and children in the year following their eighteenth birthday or falling within the provisions of article L. 311-3, of a foreigner holding a resident card, who have been authorized to stay in France for family reunification under the conditions provided for in Book IV and which justify an uninterrupted residence, in accordance with the laws and regulations in force, of  at least three years in France ;

2. Abroad who is the father or mother of a French child residing in France and who has held the temporary residence card mentioned in 6 of article L. 313-11 or a card for at least three years of multi-year residence mentioned in 2 of Article L. 313-18 , provided that he still fulfills the conditions for obtaining this residence permit and that he does not live in a state of polygamy.

The child referred to in this article means the child having a legally established filiation, including the adopted child, by virtue of an adoption decision, subject to the verification by the public prosecutor of the regularity of this decision when it was made abroad;

3. Abroad married for at least three years with a national of French nationality, provided that he stays regularly in France, that the community of life between the spouses has not ceased since the marriage, that the spouse has retained French nationality and, when the marriage was celebrated abroad, that it was transcribed beforehand in the French civil status registers.

For the application of 2 and 3 of this article to Mayotte, the condition provided for in the first sentence of 2 of article L. 314-8 applies.”

Visa Fee Information

The latest fee information is here:

https://france-visas.gouv.fr/en_US/web/france-visas

https://france-visas.gouv.fr/en_US/web/france-visas/self-employed-person-or-liberal-activity

https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/10a_fance_family_reunification_final_en.pdf

You can check out my full explanation of the French entrepreneur visa process.

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