15 September deadline for French start-up visa for entrepreneurs

Applications from foreign entrepreneurs are now being accepted for the 'Paris French Tech Ticket', a new entrepreneur visa package granting successful applicants a French work visa, a grant of €12,500-€25,000 for each team member, office space in Paris completely free of charge, an English speaking administrative advisor, plus a fast track to a residence permit.

The visa is limited to 500 applications, 50 of which are granted every six months, with the first batch due to be issued in January 2016. To apply, teams need to be co-founders of a start-up business, with a maximum of three co-founders, one of whom can be French but living outside of France.

The business itself must be technology-related in the field of biotech, cleantech, digital, medtech or similar fields. Additionally, applicants must be able to speak English [the program is conducted in English] and remain in France for six months and quite possibly longer. Overseas nationals already based in France are also eligible to apply.

Start-Up Chile Scheme similar

The new scheme was announced by Axelle Lemaire, the French Minister of State for the digital economy, back in June, 2015. It's not too dissimilar to an initiative introduced in Chile in 2010, called Start-Up Chile. The Chilean government began accepting dozens of teams every six months, granting them a visa, a $32,000 grant and mentoring.

The Chilean scheme was seen as a great way for entrepreneur applicants to travel, work with a mentor and help finance a start-up business. Now, France is looking to replicate this with a view to convincing entrepreneurs to remain in the country once the initial six-months has elapsed.

Closing date for visa applications 15 September 2015

The closing date for applications is September 15, 2015 and only the first 500 applications lodged will be considered.