The "Compétences et Talents" Card

Attracting talents, one France’s key priorities

Welcoming international talents is a key priority of French immigration policy. Unprecedented facilities have been introduced since 2007 to support those who wish to carry out a professional activity in the country. Fresh, innovative measures have been adopted to improve the welcome afforded to foreign talent and to insure that they enjoy the best possible living and working conditions ; as such, foreign nationals working in France benefit from a very attractive regime.

If you have a project, the three-year, renewable “Compétences et Talents” card allows you to exercise the professional activity of your choice in connection with your project.

You may be granted this card if you are likely to make a significant or lasting contribution, through your skills or talents, to France’s economic development or to its intellectual, scientific, cultural, humanitarian or athletic prestige, and directly or indirectly, to that of your own country.

If you reside abroad, you may apply at the Embassy of France or at your nearest French Consulate. The decision to issue this card is up to the diplomatic or consular authorities.

Your family members (spouse and underage children) will be issued a “Vie Privée et Familiale” card. This card allows your spouse to legally work in France. Family members’ cards are valid for one year only.

If granted, the visa issued will only be valid for 3 months to allow your entry into the French territory.
You will then need to go to the Prefecture or the OFII (local administration office) to apply for the long term “Compétences et Talents” card

What is the criteria?

The criteria is defined by the Commission Nationale des Compétences et Talents.
The applicant must submit a credible professional project meeting the criteria set forth by the National Commission.
The applicant must supply proof that he/she is in every way capable of carrying out this project.

The application will be accepted/rejected based on:

  • the project’s interest/quality
  • the applicant’s motivation/commitment
  • the applicant’s skills and qualifications
  • the means to carry out the project.

You must have a solid long term 3-year project in order to apply for a Compétences et Talents visa.

Who might be eligible?

  • University graduates
  • Qualified professionals, with a minimum of 3 to 5 years of professional experience in the field they apply for the visa, regardless of their level of education
  • Investors in an economic project (minimum investment of 300 000 Euros or proof of capacity to create a minimum of 2 sustainable jobs in France, excluding the applicant and his family)
  • Independent professionals such as artists, authors, athletes, etc.
  • Senior manager and high level executives employed by a French company that is part of an international group
Exclusion & Specifications
  • University graduates should be PhD. Lower graduates will be required to add proof of profesionnal experience in the same field for a minimum of 1 to 3 years (the lower the degree, the longer profesionnal experience expected)
  • Bachelors of Arts graduates are excluded unless they have a minimum of 5 years of professionnal experience in the same field.
  • Employees who qualify for the "Employee on assignment visa" (working in a company in the US that is sending them in France to work in the same group company, a subsidiary or the main company) will be denied. You must apply for a regular work visa.
  • Applicants who also qualify for other purposes of stay (studies, language assitants…) must apply these specific visas for these purposes please check our website

PROCESSING TIME

  • Between one to two months.

You may apply for your visa no earlier than 3 months before your departure date.
Please apply in advance, do not wait the last minute.

(Click on each category to expand)

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR THE COMPETENCES ET TALENT APPLICANT

All documents must be submitted in TRIPLICATE : one original set + 2 sets of photocopies Please make one extra copy of original documents we must give you back at the end of the process such as a diploma, a passport, a mariage certificate etc. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. THE VISA SECTION DOES NOT MAKE ANY COPIES

1 — PROOF OF RESIDENCY IN OUR CONSULATE’S JURISDICTION

You will have to show us at least ONE of the following documents:

  • a valid driver license or state ID or temporary DMV license/ID from one of these states, which must be located in the consulate’s jurisdiction (click here for a map) + ONE COPY
  • OR a valid student ID from a university located in our consulate’s jurisdiction). + ONE COPY
  • OR an original lease or rental agreement in the applicant’s name located in the consulate’s jurisdiction. + ONE COPY

2 — ORIGINAL PASSPORT

- Original passport + ONE COPY of the identity

  • Must be valid for at least three months after your return to the US, and be in good condition
  • Has least two blank pages left to affix the visa (amendment pages are not suitable for visas).
  • Has been delivered less than 10 years ago date of first issuance (i.e. your passport CANNOT be older than 10 years

    Refugee travel documents and US Re-entry permits are not accepted.
    Diplomatic and special passports are not accepted

3 — PROOF OF LEGAL RESIDENCY IN THE UNITED STATES

If you are not a US citizen:
- A valid U.S. permanent residence card GREEN CARD + ONE COPY
- or a valid work or student U.S. visa with valid I-94 and valid I-20 if F1 visa or J1 DS doc, + ONE COPY of each

  • B1-B2 visa holders: You must apply in the country of your residence.

4 — PROCESSING FEE FOR A LONG STAY VISA

To be paid in person on the day of the appointment (Visa/Mastercard ONLY, by debit card).
Click here for a list of the application fees.
NO cash, NO money order, NO checks.

5 — LONG STAY APPLICATION FORM

PDF - 28.4 kb
Long stay visa - Application Form (in English)

One long stay visa application form filled out completely and signed by the applicant.
Please remember to indicate a date of departure from the US to France on question number 26.

6 — PASSPORT PHOTOGRAPHS

Five PASSPORT PHOTOS. No older than 6 months, in color, plain white background, photo quality paper, passport size (2"x2"), no glasses, your face must fill about 75% of the photograph, taken facing the camera, no side or angled view, no smiling, uncovered (head coverings are not permitted except for religious reasons, but your facial features from bottom of chin to top of forehead and both edges of your face must be clearly shown)

7 — POLICE CLEARANCE

A Police clearance from the county where the applicant has resided for the last three years

8 — YOUR RESUME

Your detailed resume

9 — DETAILED LETTER DESCRIBING PROFESSIONAL PROJECT

A detailed letter describing the professional project and specifying its interest for France and for the applicant’s country of origin

10 — ANY DOCUMENT CONFIRMING THE APPLICANT’S LIKELIHOOD OF COMPLETING THE PROJECT

Any document confirming the applicant’s likelihood of completing the project (i.e. experience in the field, publications, exhibitions, original professional letters of support, etc…)

11 — DEPENDING ON THE TYPE OF PROJECT, THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS ARE NECESSARY

11.1 - To hold a salaried position:
- A copy of highest-level diploma and job title
- A local tax return
- A letter from employer explaining the recruitment of the employee and specifying his/her duties;
- A copy of employment contract, unless exception is granted
- French work Authorization form

PDF - 153.6 kb
CERFA Autorisation de travail pour un salarié étranger | Click to Download

11.2 - To exercise a commercial, industrial or artisanal profession:
- The documents enumerated in points A-1 and B of article I of the attachment to the degree of September 12, 2007, concerning the documents to be produced for the issuance of a temporary residence card authorizing the exercise of a commercial, industrial or artisanal activity.

11.3 - To exercise an independent profession (liberal professions, artists, writers, athletes, etc.):
- copy of highest-level diplomas and job titles
- local tax return
- if necessary, documents establishing the applicant’s reputation.

12 — BANK STATEMENTS

Your last 2 monthly personal bank statements under the applicant’s name.

13 — PROOF OF ACCOMMODATION IN FRANCE

- if you are the owner of the property: title deeds, recent "taxes foncières"
- if you are renting the property: official lease/rental contract signed by both parties
- if you are hosted:
— if the host is the owner of the property: 1) original invitation letter indicating exact dates of stay 2) recent "taxes foncières" 3) recent utility bill with name and address 4) copy of host’s valid French ID or residency permit
— if the host is renting the property: 1) original invitation letter indicating exact dates of stay 2) official lease/rental contract signed by both parties 3) recent utility bill with name and address 4) copy of host’s valid French ID or residency permit

14 — A SELF-ADDRESSED FEDEX AIRBILL AND ENVELOPE

  • To mail back your passport, please provide a self-addressed FedEx Express "US Airbill" or an online prepaid FedEx Airbill
  • and FedEx envelope (one envelope per family - up to 6 passports)
  • for US Airbill, please fill out your own address twice (you are the sender AND the recipient):
Sender:
Your name and address
Select shipping preference
Recipient:
Your name and address
Billing information

Do NOT write the address of the consulate on the airbill
- We will NOT accept other methods of delivery: (NO USPS, NO UPS, NO FedEx "Ground" service)

(Click on each category to expand)

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR SPOUSE AND CHILDREN

All documents must be submitted in TRIPLICATE : one original set + 2 sets of photocopies Please make one extra copy of original documents we must give you back at the end of the process such as a diploma, a passport, a mariage certificate etc. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. THE VISA SECTION DOES NOT MAKE ANY COPIES

1 — PROOF OF RESIDENCY IN OUR CONSULATE’S JURISDICTION

You will have to show us at least ONE of the following documents:

  • a valid driver license or state ID or temporary DMV license/ID from one of these states, which must be located in the consulate’s jurisdiction (click here for a map) + ONE COPY
  • OR a valid student ID from a university located in our consulate’s jurisdiction). + ONE COPY
  • OR an original lease or rental agreement in the applicant’s name located in the consulate’s jurisdiction. + ONE COPY

2 — ORIGINAL PASSPORT

- Original passport + ONE COPY of the identity

  • Must be valid for at least three months after your return to the US, and be in good condition
  • Has least two blank pages left to affix the visa (amendment pages are not suitable for visas).
  • Has been delivered less than 10 years ago date of first issuance (i.e. your passport CANNOT be older than 10 years

    Refugee travel documents and US Re-entry permits are not accepted.
    Diplomatic and special passports are not accepted

3 — PROOF OF LEGAL RESIDENCY IN THE UNITED STATES

If you are not a US citizen:
- A valid U.S. permanent residence card GREEN CARD + ONE COPY
- or a valid work or student U.S. visa with valid I-94 and valid I-20 if F1 visa or J1 DS doc, + ONE COPY of each

  • B1-B2 visa holders: You must apply in the country of your residence.

4 — PROCESSING FEE FOR A LONG STAY VISA

To be paid in person on the day of the appointment (Visa/Mastercard ONLY, by debit card).
Click here for a list of the application fees.
NO cash, NO money order, NO checks.

5 — LONG STAY APPLICATION FORM

PDF - 28.4 kb
Long stay visa - Application Form (in English)

One long stay visa application form filled out completely and signed by the applicant (or signed by the parent for minor applicants)
Please remember to indicate a date of departure from the US to France on question number 26.

6 — PASSPORT PHOTOGRAPHS

Five PASSPORT PHOTOS. No older than 6 months, in color, plain white background, photo quality paper, passport size (2"x2"), no glasses, your face must fill about 75% of the photograph, taken facing the camera, no side or angled view, no smiling, uncovered (head coverings are not permitted except for religious reasons, but your facial features from bottom of chin to top of forehead and both edges of your face must be clearly shown)

7 — FOR ACCOMPANYING SPOUSE

- Marriage license (if not in English, provide an official English translation) (+ ONE COPY)

8 — FOR ALL ACCOMPANYING CHILDREN

- Birth certificate (if not in English, provide an official English translation) (+ ONE COPY)

** 9 — IF THE MINOR IS TRAVELLING WITH ONLY ONE PARENT:

  • notarized parental authorization from the biological parent not travelling with the child, allowing the child to travel to France and authorizing to travel with the other parent (+ ONE COPY)
  • or official and original court document from divorce decree stating that the parent has full custody of the child(ren). (+ ONE COPY)

Important Informations

The consular administration has full authority to evaluate and request more documents than those submitted by the applicant.
- Please be aware that submitting the aforementioned documents does not guarantee the approval of the visa.
- The French Consulate in Los Angeles can refuse the issuance of a visa.

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT

Every applicant must apply in person and must make an appointment on our website. No exceptions. Fingerprints and a photograph must be taken in our premises in Los Angeles.
  • If you are not able to attend, please free a slot by canceling or rescheduling your appointment by logging back in the appointment system and click on “changing your appointment”. You will need your “LAX” confirmation number and passport number.
  • Due to the high number of applicants, the French Consulate reserves the right to cancel appointments made by the same person on the same day (or even on two different dates).

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Dernière modification : 26/01/2016

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