France: Implementing decree released on Law on Foreign Workers

What is the change? The first decree implementing France’s new Law on Foreign Workers has been released. Processing of all resident permits for the Talent Passport and Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Seconded Employees categories is now handled outside France by appropriate French consulates. The decree also defines the jobs and activities that are exempt from work permits for up to 90 days.

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What does the change mean? High-skilled foreign nationals applying under the new Talent Passport or ICT Seconded Employee categories should anticipate delays as the transition to consular processing takes place. Pending applications filed before Nov. 1 will be processed under previous rules.

  • Implementation time frame: Nov. 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Talent Passport, ICT Seconded Employee; work permit exemptions.
  • Who is affected: French employers sponsoring high-skilled non-EEA nationals and multinational companies seconding managers as intracompany transferees to France.
  • Impact on processing times: The Talent Passport and ICT Seconded Employee categories are likely to experience processing delays. Work-permit processing will be eliminated for individuals conducting activities that are exempt from work permits, but visa-required nationals remain subject to Schengen visas.
  • Business impact: Employers and foreign nationals applying under the new law should factor in delays when planning business schedules and start dates. Meanwhile, the work-permit exemptions will facilitate short-term visits for certain professionals.
  • Next steps: Applications filed on or after Nov. 1 in the Talent Passport and ICT Seconded Employee categories may be delayed while the workload shifts to French consulates.

Background: The Law on Foreign Workers overhauls resident permit categories and took effect Tuesday.

The implementing decree moves processing of resident permits under the Talent Passport and ICT Seconded Employee categories to French consulates. The Talent Passport category is an umbrella category that includes ICTs (on local contracts), EU Blue Cards, investors, scientists and others. The ICT Seconded Employee category is for managers seconded to a French office of a transnational company.

The decree also designates the following activities as exempt from work permits for stay of up to 90 days:

  • Conferences, seminars or trade shows.
  • Audits and expertise in IT, management, finance, insurance, architecture and engineering conducted by employees posted to France by a foreign company.
  • Lectures by visiting professors.
  • Sporting, scientific, artistic, and cultural events.
  • Film, audio-visual, recording or performing directly related to production.
  • Modeling and art shoots.
  • Domestic work.

BAL Analysis: Businesses should anticipate delays for newly filed applications in affected categories. BAL is following the implementation of the new law and will report on additional decrees as details become 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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