Since November 2016, French administrations (Consulates, OFII and Prefectures) are implementing the law N°2016-274 from March 7 2016. Below are the main lessons we drew:
- The generalization of the multi-years Resident Permits for all statuses reduces the number of visits to the Préfecture from applicants in order to renew their permits.
- The generalization of the use by local Prefectures of national lists of requirements for Resident Permit applications reduces differences in treatment.
- Shorter processing times for standard local hire applications (with labour market test) by local Labour Authorities (2 to 4 weeks against 8 weeks previously), since Consulates now handle other types of applications.
- The very diverse implementation by the administrations in France (Préfecture) and abroad (Consulate). Indeed, some Préfectures and Consulates that we have identified still have a very strenuous approach of the new law, which leads to errors in the visa and/or resident permit issuance, abusive request of documents (often times totally unrelated), and unnecessary delays in the processes. We will not fail to inform you upon initializing a file meant to be filed with one of these administrations.
- The very hard implementation of the Work Permit exemption for < 3 months, especially for the “audits and expertise in IT, management, finance, insurance, architecture and engineering conducted by employees posted to France by a foreign company”. Indeed, Labour Authorities often refuse to state a clear position regarding this new process, leaving up the responsibility to the client to prove their entitlement to the exemption. Conversely, they tend to apply a very strict interpretation (once again different from one jurisdiction to another), rendering this new process useless. To this day, it is still very hard to benefit from it and we seem to be applying more and more for short stay work permit instead.
- The creation a many Talent-Passport categories, generating hiring opportunities, like the skilled graduates for example.
- The centralization of Talent-Passport’s applications by French Consulates abroad, benefiting from short processing times of approximately 2 weeks (versus 4 to 8 weeks prior), enables a rapid arrival in France and eases mobility.
- The implementation, in some Prefecture, of a dedicated reception desk to handle Resident Permit applications, with shorter processing times and more travel flexibility for the employees.
- The issuance of the Long Stay Visa valid as a Resident Permit (VLS-TS) with the OFII endorsement once in France for ≤ 12 months stay, extended to Talent-Passports enables a lighter process upon arrival in France.
ICT posted worker
- The centralization of ICT posted worker’s applications by French Consulates abroad, benefiting from short processing times of approximately 2 weeks (versus 4 to 8 weeks prior), enables a rapid arrival in France and eases mobility.
- The issuance of the Long Stay Visa valid as a Resident Permit (VLS-TS) with the OFII endorsement once in France for ≤ 12 months stay, extended to ICT posted worker enables a lighter process at the arrival in France.
- The implementation of the ICT mobile status enabling intra-Europe mobility for Posted Workers relies on the implementation of the status by other European countries. Therefore we still have little insight regarding this status.
- The 3 years limitation of the ICT Posted Worker status, with no renewal from France of course affects new arrivals, but affects more dramatically the existing Posted Workers who were meant to stay for a longer period under the previous law. As of today, the only viable workaround this situation is to have the Posted Worker travel back to home country and file a new, full application in order to come back for an extended mission. Stay tuned for our next news on the future immigration law and its upcoming limitations on ICT posted worker’s extension.