Indeed, while the conditions are more restrictive, the principle remains the same. Two similar packages are already existing in France: a long term residence permit given for exceptional economic contribution and a short term residence permit named “Compétences et Talent” card.
The first measure is quite elitist since it is required to make a ten billion dollars investment or to create fifty new jobs to get a long term residence permit. The investment has to be in tangible or intangible assets. As there is no further condition, an investment in real estate is likely to be eligible. Long term residence permits are usually given after having lived at least three years in France, that’s why the long-term residence permit for exceptional economic contribution is some kind of a special favour. This “money privilege” is entirely accepted by the French government. Luc Besson, the minister of Immigration and National Identity who is in charge of the implementation of this measure, has justified it, saying that given France’s generous immigration policy, we could introduce a little bit of economic interest in it. French authorities can judge an economic contribution as exceptional even if none of the two thresholds is reached, according to the characteristics of the investment.
The second measure is more affordable, since it requires a three hundred thousand euros investment, the creation of two new jobs or a project leaded by a foreign company that has had an activity for at least two years. In the case of an investment, it has to be in defined assets only: lands, buildings, machines, technologies, license, and patents. Housing investments are not eligible. Besides, this provision allows obtaining a three years stay permit only.
Short term and long term residence permits enable to travel in the European Union without visas under the condition to have a passport. This passport will obviously be the passport of the country of origin, as French passports are given only to French nationals.
These two measures are not well known and consequently not widely used. The agencies in charge of promoting them have low resources. Judging by the success that golden visas get around the world and by their ability to improve the country’s attractiveness, France should take advantage of this financial opportunity that could yield, at least, two billion euros per year.