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Some French citizens are now eligible for a four-year US visa under new deal

French investors can stay in the US for twice as long under a new visa deal.
French investors can stay in the US for twice as long under a new visa deal. Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Angela Symons
Published on Updated
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French citizens can double the length of their US visa under this new deal.

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French citizens can now apply for a four-year US visa under a new reciprocal deal.

The bilateral agreement is aimed at investors and their family members who are looking to relocate between the two countries.

It follows negotiations that began on President Macron’s state visit to the US in December 2022, during which he committed to strengthening their trade and investment relationship.

As well as fast-tracking the French visa application and renewal process for American investors, it extends the duration of US residence permits for French investors from 25 to 48 months.

“It’s done!”, tweeted Olivier Becht, France’s Minister for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad, on 21 November. “French entrepreneurs will be able to benefit from a longer visa and American entrepreneurs from a simplified procedure. Happy to formalise this progress for our economic relationship.”

Who does the new US-French visa process apply to?

The deal, which came into force on 16 November, applies to citizens who are moving between the US and France to set up a business or make an investment. It does not apply to those simply purchasing a property.

The process for American investors moving to France under the existing four-year ‘passeport talent’ residence permit will be simplified and fast-tracked.

This permit can be obtained by those who invest via a company that they own at least 30 per cent of, or those who make a personal investment in a company in which they acquire a lasting interest, or at least 10 per cent of capital.

Both must plan to create or save jobs within four years of making the investment, and make an investment worth at least €300,000.

French investors can now stay in the US for four years

For French citizens moving to the US, the deal extends the length of E visas - namely, Treaty Trader (E-1) and Treaty Investor (E-2) visas - to four years, in line with the French talent passport.

Applicants must be going to the US to engage in “substantial trade”, including in services or technology, in qualifying activities, between the two countries. They must either develop and direct the enterprise in which they invest, fill an executive or supervisory role in it, or provide skills essential to its operations.

There is no specific investment amount for an E-2 visa but it must be deemed “significant”.

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