Immigration Act of March 7, 2016: A Major Reform Enacted into Law

Fully applicable since November 1st, 2016, the act of March 7, 2016 pursues three main objectives:

  • Improving the arrival and integration of foreigners who are legally eligible to reside in France
  • Promoting France  facilitating the secondment of international talents
  • Controlling illegal immigration in a more effective manner, all while respecting fundamental rights.

The key measure is the widespread application of long-term residence permits potentially valid for up to 4 years.

Key points

  • Creation of a long-term residence permit called the “Talent Passport” which covers 10 professional categories (highly qualified workers, intra-corporate transfer of a worker under a French employment contract, new business creator, investor, corporate officer, etc.).
  • Creation of the long-term residence permit for intra group company transfers (“ITC”), for which there are two sub categories “posted ITC employees” and “mobile ITC employees”. This measure is the transposition of a European Directive into French law, thus amending previous status of “posted workers” (known as “salarié en mission”). Authorized functions are limited to management or expert functions and the permit validity cannot exceed three years. This type of permit holder is mobile in the European Union.
  • Exemption from a work permit requirement for assignments shorter than or equal to three months. The seven professional fields described in the decree include audit assignments and IT, management, finance, insurance, architecture and engineering consulting. In practical terms, audit assignments include all assessment, investigation, verification and control operations in the scope of regulatory or norm setting requirements.

Main points of attention

  • The use of the ITC permit being limited to 3 years should be carefully considered in the decision to apply for this type of permit. 
  • Delays are occurring during the transition period since the service responsible for the “Talent Passport” has been switched to the French consulates abroad from the Regional Employment Authority since November 1st, 2016.
  • Increased controls are expected by the French authorities who will seek to ensure continued compliance with permit requirements.
  • The scope of assignments and professional profiles eligible for the exemption for periods shorter than or equal to three months is subject to clarification. Consequently, the exemption should be used carefully.
Diane Artis

Diane Artis, Partner, has over 20 years’ experience in French and international individual income tax matters. She assists leading worldwide companies in French individual tax matters, including income tax consequences […]

Stéphanie Porte

Stéphanie holds a diploma as a trilingual secretary and speaks French and English. After 5 years as a personal assistant for a tax Partner, she joined, in 2007, the immigration […]