The “Skills and Talent” Card visa (Carte Compétences & Talents)

If you have a project, the three-year, “Skills and Talents" card visa ("Carte Compétences & Talents") allows you to exercise the professional activity of your choice in connection with your project.

You may be granted this card if you are likely to make a significant or lasting contribution, through your skills or talents, to France’s economic development or to its intellectual, scientific, cultural, humanitarian or athletic prestige, and directly or indirectly, to that of your own country.

If you reside abroad, you may apply at the Embassy of France or at your nearest French Consulate (click here for a list of French Consulates in the United States). The decision to issue this card is up to the diplomatic or
consular authorities.

Your family members (spouse and underage children) will be issued a “Vie Privée et Familiale” card. This card allows your spouse to legally work in France.

What are the criteria?

The criteria are defined by the Commission Nationale des Compétences et Talents, which meets in France at least twice a year.

- The applicant must submit a credible professional project meeting the criteria set forth by the National Commission.
- The applicant must supply proof that he/she is in every way capable of carrying out this project.
- The application will be accepted/rejected based on

  • the project’s interest/quality
  • the applicant’s motivation/commitment
  • the applicant’s skills and qualifications
  • the means to carry out the project.

Who might be eligible?

- University graduates
- Qualified professionals with a minimum of 3 to 5 years of professional experience in the field they apply for the visa, regardless of their level of education
- Investors in an economic project (minimum investment of 300 000 Euros or proof of capacity to create a minimum of 2 sustainable jobs in France, the one of applicant or his family excluded)
- Independent professionals such as artists, authors, athletes, etc.
- Senior manager and high level executives employed by a french company.

Exclusion & Specifications

- University graduates should be PhD. Lower graduates will be required to add proof of profesionnal experience in the same field for a minimum of 1 to 3 years (the lower the degree, the longer profesionnal experience expected)
- Bachelors of Arts graduates are excluded unless they have a minimum of 5 years of professional experience in the same field.
- Employees who qualify for the "Employee on assignment visa" (working in a company in the US that is sending them to France to work in the same group company, a subsidiary or the main company) will be denied.
- In general, applicants who also qualify for other purposes of stay (studies, language assistants...) and have specific visas for these purposes.

Application Package


- 2 long-stay visa applications (download here)

- 5 standard-size photos

- Valid passport with at least one page for a visa stamp + copy of main pages

- A proof of your address (in Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia). If you are neither living nor studying in one of the 6 above mentionned states, you have to apply with another French consulate : click here (BOTH documents requested) :

  • copy of your driver’s license or state ID


  • original and copy of a utility bill no older than 3 months OR lease agreement OR deed of house/appartment (For bills, are accepted ONLY : water, electricity, resident phone, cable or rent slip. Other bills, for example cellphone, or insurance bills will be declined), showing the name and proving the address of the applicant and should match the driver’s licence/state ID.
    Any other situation is subject to be reviewed by the immigration officer of the visa section and may not make you illegible for a visa application until met.

- For each applicant aged 18 years or more, a local state and federal criminal report (BOTH documents are needed, provinding only one of them is not enough) :

  • A local state criminal history record can be obtained at the "police state office" of the US state you are living in.
  • A Federal non criminal record certificate can be obtained directly from the FBI. More information on the FBI website :

- Detailed Resume

- Long-stay visa application fee (click for amount)

- Detailed letter describing the professional project and specifying its interest for France and for the applicant’s country of origin

- Any document confirming the applicant’s likelihood of completing the project, experience in the field, publications, exhibitions...

- Proof that you will have the fundings to cover your own stay in France as well as to support your project. (reliable detailed business plans may be admitted but proof of significant fundings to jump start the activity will be required)


Depending on the type of project, other documents are necessary:


To hold a salaried position:

- copy of highest-level diploma and job title
- local tax return
- letter from employer explaining the recruitment of the employee and specifying his/her duties;
- copy of employment contract, unless exception is granted
- CERFA form (foreign employee authorization request – simplified contract).


To exercise a commercial, industrial or artisanal profession

- the documents enumerated in points A-1 and B of article I of the attachment to the degree of September 12, 2007, concerning the documents to be produced for the issuance of a temporary residence card authorizing the exercise of a commercial, industrial or artisanal activity (click here for list).


To exercise an independent profession (liberal professions, artists, writers, athletes, etc.)

- copy of highest-level diplomas and job titles
- local tax return
- if necessary, documents establishing the applicant’s reputation.


For the accompanying family (spouse and minor children)

- 2 long-stay visa applications (download here)
- 5 standard-size photos
- Valid passport with at least one page for a visa stamp + copy of main pages
- Civil registry documents establishing family connection with the “competences et talents” applicant.

Moreover, for future procedures in France, (those documents are NOT requested for your visa application) the French General consulate advise you to prepare :
- for the principal applicant and each family member going in France, a birth certificate and a full translation in French. The translation can be then certified by the consular offices in Washington, to be valid in front of any french authority that would request them. (you will need to provide the translation with the document, the consular offices do not make the translation). Without certified translation, US documents are not valid in France. Fees apply.
- a change of residence certificate ("Certificat de Changement de Residence") can allow you to be waived for customs fees for your properties moving. This document can be obtained after the issuance of your long stay visa with :

  • for US Citizen, your US passport and long stay visa applied in it;
  • for Aliens permanent residents in the US : your passport and long stay visa applied in it plus a proof of a minimum of one continued year or residence in the US (proof of deed of rent lease contract with utility bills of gas, water, electricity or resident phone for a whole full past 12 months)

Dernière modification : 23/02/2016

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